The Lifer’s List

This may not be a complete list — it’s just a list of experiences that, as an eventer, you might want to participate in. After all, you’re an eventer; so most of these things you’re probably already checking off your Lifetime Bucket List anyhow!

1. Rolex

The mecca for eventers. The greatest weekend in the sport; America’s annual and only 4-star CCI competition attracting the very best in the world to the Bluegrass of Kentucky the end of April. Go before you die. Yes, that is an order.

1. Rolex. Required.

1. Rolex. Required. Photo by Holly Covey.

2. Foxhunting

The reason we love cross-country has its roots in this ancient sport. Find one close to you and support it. Hunting really makes your horses clever and bold, too, and you’ll find great riders with lots of experience riding over field and hill. Highly recommended for any eventer!

30 greg and hounds

Photo by Holly Covey.

3. A classic three-day event at any level 

These competitions change your life. If you can put one in your sights, do it.

Vet box plantation

Photo by Holly Covey.

4. Take a journey as a groom for an upper level horse 

Living with a horse that competes at a high level is a life altering experience. You find out what you are made of and what it takes to keep going when you are long past the point of exhaustion; it is a journey of inner strength and also one of new places, new friends, new experiences. The ultimate in intrinsic experiences.

4. Groom an upper level horse. Find out how strong you can be.

Groom an upper level horse. Find out how strong you can be. Photo by Holly Covey.

5. Take a lesson from a God/Goddess of Eventing 

You are good enough. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you aren’t. That advice was given to me by Bruce Davidson. So suck it up and get in the ring. You will never forget the experience and will count it among some of your best memories.

5. Suck it up and take a lesson from someone you are scared of.

Suck it up and take a lesson from someone you are scared of. Photo via Holly Covey.

6. Join a group and event together.

There are many ways to become part of a group – check the Adult Rider box on your USEA membership application and join the Adult Rider group or young rider group in your area. Join your local CTA. They need members.

Go with friends to cross-country school. Contact others on social media and meet someplace to ride or school together. Talk to the person you park next to at an event (met one of my best friends and one of my best trainers ever that way.)

Go together.

Go together. Photo by Holly Covey.

7. Volunteer

Yes, you. Take the time. Show up. Have fun. Bring sunscreen!

Take the time to give back to the sport you love.

Take the time to give back to the sport you love. Photo by Holly Covey.

8. Take time with an injured horse

An injured horse means time spent in a different way around the barn, and it's good for your soul.

An injured horse means time spent in a different way around the barn, and it’s good for your soul. Photo by Holly Covey.

9. Experience training a young horse 

Stretch your skills as a rider, learn patience, experience disappointment and the consequences of decision making when you take on a young horse. Everyone has to gamble a bit in life and a young horse is the eventer’s gamble.

Me - this summer. Photo by Jessica Snyder

Me – this summer. Photo by Jessica Snyder.

10. Win something important

It is not about besting others, it is about finding what is inside of you that makes you work hard enough to achieve a dream.

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Photo by Holly Covey.

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