50 ways to live your best horsey life

  • While many of us have started box-walking, desperate to break free from the restrictions of lockdown and to fully enjoy time spent with our horses once again, you won’t be alone in having pondered the question “What’s the first thing you’ll do when lockdown is lifted?”

    Will it be a gallop on the sands, a return to the show ring, a completely new equestrian challenge or even just a hack with friends? We’ve been pondering this ourselves and here are just some of our post-lockdown goals as we dream of a time when things return to “normal”. What’s on your check list?

    Horse & Hound’s 50 steps to living your best horsey life

    1. Enjoy a beach ride on your horse

    2. Support your local point-to-point meeting

    3. Hear a round of applause for jumping a clear round

    4. See one the big five (lion, buffalo, rhino, leopard and elephant) from horseback

    5. Donate (and present) a trophy at your local show

    6. Score a perfect 10 in a dressage test

    7. Jump a hedge

    8. Take a selfie with your equestrian hero

    9. Watch your child compete in his or her first Pony Club event

    10. Go to a race meeting which requires a hat/morning suit

    11. Compete in the same class as an Olympic rider

    12. Volunteer with your local equine charity

    13. Ride in a three-day event

    14. Attend a Boxing Day meet, either mounted or on foot

    15. Be featured in Horse & Hound (preferably for something you are proud of!)

    16. Learn to drive a HGV lorry

    17. Take the reins in a horse-drawn carriage

    18. Watch a foal being born

    19. Walk a five-star cross-country course

    20. Ride up the gallops on a racehorse

    21. Learn how to ride a piaffe (either on your own horse or a schoolmaster)

    22. Buy some made-to-measure riding boots

    23. Be invited to an equestrian awards ceremony

    24. Watch a championship medal being won

    25. Own (or share a lift in) a horsebox with living accommodation that is nicer than your own home

    26. Introduce a horse to being ridden for the first time

    27. Spectate at an equestrian competition in a foreign country

    28. Ride in a charity race

    29. Support your local independent tack shop

    30. Read every horsey Jilly Cooper novel

    31. Commission an artist to paint your favourite horse

    32. Ride side-saddle

    33. Hear the Cheltenham Festival roar

    34. Watch a sunrise, or sunset, on horseback

    35. Jump bareback

    36. Watch the action from a VIP table at a Global Champions Tour show

    37. See some of Great Britain’s native ponies in the wild

    38. Ride to the top of a mountain

    39. Go hunting in Ireland

    40. Have a lesson from (or join a clinic with) your equestrian idol

    41. Be a fence judge for a day

    42. Take part in something that scares you — the Golden Button, a team chase, or step up a level in your next competition

    43. Ride in central London

    44. Go back and thank your first riding instructor/someone who has influenced your horsey life

    Continued below…

    45. Lead a racehorse in to the winner’s enclosure

    46. Channel your inner cowboy by herding sheep or cattle from horseback

    47. Attend your local hunt ball

    48. Watch the Grand National in person

    49. See the Spanish Riding School perform

    50. Learn how to produce perfect plaits

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