Got this meme from a fellow equestrian a while back. Given how much I love memes (not), I put it aside, and finally dug it out tonight to fill it out. Here goes:
Which of the following have you already checked off of your equestrian bucket list?
- Gallop along the beach.
Gallop on a beach? In Wisconsin? Have you seen our beaches? Like you think you even could gallop around all the trailers unloading ice fishing shanties from the shore?
- Win a blue ribbon, even if itâ€™s for the egg and spoon race!
Does it count if you’ve glued the egg to the spoon?
- Enjoy an evening of equestrian theater, from major touring productions such as Cavalia to local performance troupes.
See #1. Like we’d ever have the chance here in Wisconsin?
- Try your hand at cattle work. Find out what it means when they say a horse is â€œcowy.â€
Oh, Lordy, I can just see what the local dairies would do if I had ever gone out herding their prize Holsteins… yeah, that would have gotten me shot right quick, I’m here to tell ya.
- Jump! From crossrails to cross-country obstacles, experience the thrill of soaring over fences.
I’m assuming you mean jump various obstacles whilst mounted on a four-footed beast, not by, say hurtling oneself at them in futile hopes of getting over? If so, then yes–already done that. Lots. Even did a tad of jumping while riding sidesaddle with my late beloved Beth, the World’s Best Horse. Ever. So we can check this one off.
- Fall off and get right back on again. Conquering fear is empowering.
Yeah, right. Let me slap whoever wrote that up the side of the head to see if I can shake a few of their brain cells into functioning. It’s SO noble. Uh huh. Especially when your horse stumbles while he’s cruising at a nice bold canter and you do a triple cartwheel through the air while your horse equally spectacularly crashes, leaving you both with injuries that are damned nasty and only by a miracle not deadly. Empowering, my a–.
- See the majestic white Lipizzan stallions of the Spanish Riding School.
(Shhhh – don’t tell anyone…. I’d actually love to do this–it really is a bucket list item for me!)
- Come to a sliding stop on a well-trained reining horse.
Done a few of these on a badly-trained brainless Appaloosa named (fittingly) “Bobo” who could jump the moon but loved to pitch riders into the standards just for giggles, but never did one of these on a reining horse, well-trained or otherwise.
- Take a lesson with your equestrian idol, _________ (you fill in the blank.)
Sadly, The Lone Ranger never answered my letters asking for his schedule of clinic dates, before retiring his mask.
- Nurse a horse through a crisis and back to full health.
Yes, and discovered to my chagrin that they’re much better patients than I am, although I’ve drawn the line at providing bedpan service, ungrateful owner than I was.
- Watch the horses come through the Head of the Lake on cross-country day at the Rolex Three-Day Event.
No, but I’ve seen a Belgian draft horse charge through a five-foot tall manure heap and jump a four-foot fence to escape a particularly nasty stinging horsefly. Does that count?
- Have the courage to do the right thing for your horse, even when itâ€™s not easy.
Like what, deny her carrots when she’s had more than The Official Carrot Guru says she should? Puh-leeze–that’s not courage. It’s being “daring.” (waddya mean, I’m sarcastic? NOT! I’m ironic. So there. Nyaaah.)
- Attend the Kentucky Derby dressed to the nines-including hat!
Strike that one. I don’t like mint juleps. Too sweet.
- Tackle a trail accessible only by horseback and enjoy the view.
What view? The view of my riding partner’s horse’s butt scampering off down the trail after dumping her when a vicious fanged maple leaf blew past on the ground and touched his hoof? That view?
- Take your dream vacation on horseback.
aHAHAHAHAHHA! My dream vacation involves lots of down time with fluffy pillows, no alarm clocks, sacks of candy and a case of Frey port wine. The horse is more than welcome to come along if it brings its own corkscrew and snacks.
- Master the sitting trot.
Duh. This one just cracks me up. Sets of cavaletti’s followed by three-foot in-and-outs… (as in a series of three jumps in a row, each three feet tall, with the horse taking one stride in between, for those of you who haven’t ridden hunters or jumpers) without stirrups AND without reins was part of the regular practice routine back when I was riding hunters. Not just for me – for everyone. Master the sitting trot. Hee hee hee. Um, that would be a “yes, already done that. (who wrote these?)
- Ride a fine-tuned horse in your discipline of choice, be it dressage schoolmaster or barrel champ.
You mean like the time I was talked into taking out a highly trained eventer through an Olympic training level cross-country course, because I was naive enough to believe his owner when she said “if you think any of the fences are too hard for you, you can just go around them.” Little problem: my friend neglected to tell the horse that, and being a very talented and competitive eventer, Horsie thought jumping was more FUN than carrots and apples, and the bigger the fence the BETTER and ALL fences were made to be jumped. I’m guessing it must have looked like the equine equivalent of putting a Piper Cub pilot behind the controls of an F-18 fighter and slinging him off a carrier via the steam cat. Screams optional. I’m here to tell you it was six miles of sheer unadulterated terror… but, damn, I’d do it again in a heartbeat!
- Watch polo. Even better, try your hand at it!
Actually, I’ve played a bit of polo, and am totally lousy at it. But, boy, could the Morgans I rode kick butt in a good game of broom polo.
- Feed, muck, groom, ride. Repeat daily.
If this is on anyone’s bucket list, they need their head examined. My bucket list? Owning the horses and having somebody else always do this for me. Daily. For free.
- Wake up to a whinny every morning.
If I was waking up to whinny, it would mean yet another Morgan spent its night scheming out a way to go over, under, around or through a “horse-proof” fence and was demanding breakfast at 4 a.m. by shoving its nose into the house. Does this sound like a life ambition to you? No? Me neither.
- Fly down the track on a Thoroughbred.
You haven’t experienced a gallop until you’ve galloped a just-off-the-track-Thoroughbred who has learned to do one thing in its life (run like hell, with no on-board brakes as standard equipment and about as much steering mobility built in as an oil tanker) and the pig truck arrives unannounced to drop off a load of angry full-grown porkers in an open pen right next to the arena. Yeah, that’s a bucket list item everyone should aspire to have. Special note: be sure to have clean undies waiting at the point you figure your crazed mount will finally stumble to a stop in exhaustion. That will ensure that you can obtain a “newly freshened” feeling after you drop to the ground and kiss it fervently in sheer and abject thanks for your survival.
- Meet one of your favorite famous horses in person.
See “Lone Ranger” above. I always did want to meet Silver.
- Ride bareback, bridleless … or both!
Well, duh, I’m guessing whoever wrote this one was born into money, because the rest of us rode that way because it was cheaper than putting lots of wear and tear on that expensive tack. What, that’s not why you’re supposed to ride bareback and bridleless? It’s supposed to be a mystical experience?
(Remind me again, did I already ask who wrote these stupid questions?)
- Share a bond with your horse thatâ€™s deeper than words.
I leased a Thoroughbred for a while who would fight with me over who got the last spoonful of our shared hot-fudge-coffee-flavored-ice-cream sundaes. Does that count?
Whew – that it! That’s the end of the meme. Aren’t you glad we had this moment of sharing?