Those of you who have fulltime jobs, how do you keep up riding 5 days a week?
I just started a new job, I work 9-5:30 and have a family. My plan is to ride at WAAAAAAAYYYYYY early in the AM so I can keep up my 5 day a week schedule. However, I am curious, how do you guys manage your time if you have a family and a dressage horse you compete? I do not have the money to have him ridden, nor do I want him ridden by someone else regularly... I am afraid I will get too out of shape myself. LOL So, please, tell me how you manage it. I am totally open to ideas and suggestions to managing my time. I REALLY want to keep up the momentum. What? Obsessive? Me...
~Amy~ TrakehNERD clique *Bugs 5/86-3/10 OTTB Mare* RIP lovely Lady, I miss you *Frodo '03 Anglo Trakehner Gelding* My Facebook
I ride after work, and try to get in three evenings, and then both days on the weekend. I board 15 minutes from work. I leave work 4.30/5ish, depending on the day of the week, drive 15 minutes to the barn, blow the worst of the dirt off and ride. I have a 45 minute drive home. I get home around 7 and feed my home horses as soon as I get home, then feed my husband and I. He's quite happy to be left alone until 8pm as he gets home from either work or school (music major) and does his singing practice and homework.
I generally take Mondays and Fridays off from the barn unless they are the only two days in the week with good weather. I do the grocery shopping on the way home on Friday nights, housework and laundry get done on the weekends, as does most barnwork for my retired horses who live at home.
I'm lucky in that my husband and I own our business so I do have some flexiblity in my work days. For instance, this weekend's weather sucked enough that I couldn't get my regular lesson in yesterday, so today I took a 2 hour lunch break, blasted round to the barn and got it done today and get back to the office, a little tired and smelly, at a decent time. However, I tend to only do this very occasionally as I think it sends the wrong message to my staff to be sneaking out of the office too often in the middle of the day dressed for the barn...
I can't do the mornings, personally. Too much else to do, like feeding and watering the oldsters and getting myself respectably out of the door.
I too have an all weather arena with stadium lighting at home, which is why I ride mostly at night during the week. I typically leave the house for work by 6:15 AM so riding before work isn't always possible. If I can work my schedule to start surgery later or don't have surgery that day then I will ride at least one before work. As for keeping myself fit, I work out at least 3 times a week outside of my riding. I have multiple horses and not all of them are ridden 5 days a week but I certainly ride at least 6 days a week in order to fit them all in to the schedule. I have found the juggling act to get easier as the kids have become older that's for sure.
When I was riding 5 x week I did as the above, rode 3 times during the week, after work, and both days on the weekend. I have lights at home (not stadium but still) which makes that more doable. I am *not* a morning person so theres no way I would be getting up before work. Plus 3 days out of the week I have to be up at 5:15 to head to work by 6:30 and I dont think the mare would enjoy being ridden before breakfest (my step dad feeds them for me in the AM).
Member of the ILMD[FN]HP Clique, The Florida Clique, OMGiH I loff my mares, and the Bareback Riders clique!
I don't get 5 days, but I can easily get three days in during the week and one on the weekend.
I leave work around 3:30 - 4 (I start work at 6), drive 1:15 to the barn and put in a solid 1 - 1:10 hr workout on Caly. Another 30 min grooming and cooling her down and making sure she's fed and watered for the night and I'm home between 7:30 and 8.
Make a quick dinner, hang out with family, go to bed around 10, wash, rinse repeat.
On Saturdays I'll give Caly a mental day off by trail riding for a couple of hours and finishing with some light gymnastics in the arena before turning her loose in the pasture.
You make a schedule that works with your job and family obligations and then try to stick with it at all possible cost. It will become second nature after a while and you won't agonize over every ride because it will just be "part of your daily schedule".
That is how I get in 4 to 5 yoga classes a week.....
Siegi Belz www.stalleuropa.com
2007 KWPN-NA Breeder of the Year
Dutch Warmbloods Made in the U. S. A.
I've struggled with the same thing. I've found it a real challenge to ride 5+ days/week, do enough workouts per week to lose 30 lb, and do my day job and other personal stuff (relationship, grocery shopping, other random stuff).
I just started a completely different schedule that seems to work. I'm up by 6am, go to the gym from 6:45-7:45, at my desk by 8, work until 5pm. I leave around 5 or 5:30 to ride my horse and then I'm home at a reasonable hour that enables me to do other things.
I used to start my day around 8am (arrive at work) and then push everything later or work out during my lunch break, but that only stretched my evenings out to 11pm or later.
Now however, I can get everything done but it only works by staying on a strict schedule.
It is a real balancing act. I am married but we do not have children yet - however that is on the horizon for the next couple of years. Also, when we first got together, it took my husband some time to accept the demands on my time that riding presents. But he quickly grew to understand that this is not just a hobby but a passion. It sounds like at least you're way past that part and just on to figuring out the best plan to match your schedule ...
I do sometimes ride in the morning, and I will admit that once I get up and get going, it's nice to have that peace and quiet and be done for the day once I untack. But, I REALLY hate getting up before 6 AM, and that's what I would have to do to ride consistently in the AM before work. I also work full time at a demanding job, and when I have early morning meetings, it's sometimes just too much to ride in the AM and get changed, drive the 40 minutes to work, etc.
My barn is not exactly conveniently located for where I live and work, so that's another challenge, but I take that downside for its other positives. I do end up riding most of the time after work - either way if I get up early or go after work, I'm still going to be tired, so at this point riding after work fits my schedule better most of the time. I do manage to squeeze in about three days per work week and both weekend days, sometimes an extra day here and there for an average of 5-6 days...if some weeks I ride 4, that's okay, too.
As someone else noted, you just have to find the right balance that will keep YOU happy and ultimately, your family happy, as well. My husband plays hockey every Tuesday night, so I always make an effort to go watch his game, and then twice a week we do a running group together so we can share something.
You might have a rough start figuring out that balance, but you'll settle into a routine.
Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue.
I worked full time and rode seriously for 15 years. Frankly, in hindsight, I'm not sure how I plugged along, especially in the dark, cold midwest winters. And I didn't have a family OR a husband...
Unlike some of you, I'm NOT a morning person, so mine was an evening schedule; get home from work at 6 or so, to the barn for a 7 pm ride time, often out for quick dinner after and home. Generally rode five times per week, sometimes 6, but found that the two evenings helped me keep some type of order at home. I will also say that the people at the barn were a good part of my social network.
Now in semi retirement, so I can ride pretty much on my own schedule - joy joy!
We ride in the evenings too...In general, I do chores in the morning (our horses live at home) and then turnout, but have everything ready to go for the evening. When we get home I bring them in to eat their dinner and I take that time to eat my dinner, or sometimes a snack, and then we ride (my husband rides too) our horses. It makes for a late night, but it's a fun night. We have an outdoor with lights, but we ride both weekend days and it's a welcome relief. You may just have to try several options until you find what works best for your situation. Best of luck to you!
I am a morning person, but my best work in the office happens then, so I usually am at my desk by 8am after having mucked stalls, taken care of dogs and possibly had a run or done yoga.
I leave work between 4 and 6, and go home to ride. If I've planned well, dinner will either be a) easy to pull together when I come in from riding between 6:30 and 7:30, b) be leftovers from the weekend or c) already be cooking in the crock pot.
I also have a really helpful husband who works odd hours as a firefighter, so two out of every three days, he's home to handle basics like mowing, grocery shopping (if I've left a list), or other yard/barn work.
I also give myself permission to only ride 4 days in some weeks and 6 in others. You just never know when emergencies - both personal and professional - will come up.
Mr. eponacelt sometimes gets irritated that I keep a pretty strict schedule all the time, but its the only thing that fits it all in!
I find that this time of year (I live in Connecticut) that things seem to come to a grinding halt with the time change!! Of course, it doesn't help that we just had that ridiculous snow storm and had no power for a week!!
I finished my show season this year with the Region 8 Championships in September. I also work full-time and have a soon-to-be 8 year old daughter. I will also be DC of my daughter's pony club in 2012. My challenge going into next year is that my horse should be ready for 3rd level, but I don't have the daylight (I get home at 4:30 and it's dark at 5:00), the extra time or an indoor facility in which to keep him going through the winter. I have an outdoor ring which will freeze once we get to those temperatures. Right now I will become "a weekend rider", assuming the weather is good.
I did limited showing in 2011 and spent more time working on my horse's training and fitness to be a solid 2nd level horse. He came out of the winter last year surprisingly well, considering all the snow in the Northeast. I hope to keep him going as much as I can this winter, but it may take longer in the spring to climb back up to where we left off this fall.
It is a constant struggle. When I was younger, not married, no mortgage and no children I was up and down the east coast with my event horse. I could go south for a period of time to get a jump on the season. Now, it's just not possible. I do have a farm within a 30 minute drive that will allow me to come in and use the indoor this winter. Again, it will probably be a weekend thing, which is better than not at all.
I am praying that the snow stays away this winter. I still need my husband to chainsaw several trees that fell in my ring from the recent snow before I take my horse down there. We are having some nice weather now, but that work thing gets in the way of enjoying the outdoors!
Good luck to you! Maybe now with more daylight in the morning you can get a quick ride in before you leave. I use that time to go to the gym so that I can stay a step ahead of my horse!
I manage a full time upper management position, plus keeping my horse in full competition training, plus I have a client horse in full training, and two students.
You fit it in wherever you can; the earlier the better.
Oregon, sitting on my couch looking out the window at a mountain
Wow, I'm really impressed with how y'all manage to fit it in - especially those who have kids who demand time and attention and feeding and bathing and homework-doing, etc...
I technically work FT, but it is only 32 hours a week and I get out at 2. Rush straight home and change clothes and ride before dark (I don't have arena lights). I try to keep two horses going but it is hard - I try to have a schedule of riding Mac on Monday, Paddy on Tuesday, Mac on Wednesday (lesson), Paddy on Thursday, Mac on Friday, and both on the weekends. Tuesday and Thursday nights I have yoga class so only have time to ride one. If I need to fit in two rides on a weekday I do it on Monday or Friday.
I thought my plan was brilliant but of course other things get in the way. Like rain. Or dentist appointments. Or sick cats that have to go to the vet.
I'm not competing, don't have high aspirations, and winter is upon us. I give myself a break this time of year and sometimes just sit in the house in front of the fireplace with a cup of tea!
I get up at 6:45, grab a pre-packed bag with work clothes in it, and head for the barn. I'm at the barn by 7:30. My groom has my horse tacked and ready. We're done with our walk by 7:45, and I have about an hour to ride. I give him back to my groom and pull out by 9:00. I get to the office about 9:15, jump in the shower and end up at my desk around 9:30.
I'm a lawyer, so work ends somewhere between 4pm and 4 am depending on the day. One late night of work isn't an excuse to skip riding. I let myself take a day off riding if I have two awful nights in a row. In that case, I call my trainer and leave a voicemail and she rides instead.
I have no problem working away from the office, which makes shows easier. I tether my laptop to my phone and work from a director's chair in front of my stall. Occasionally, I have to be in the office and show plans get canceled last minute, but it's just one of the things I've had to accept.
First, I fix a few huge meals on weekends, which will then serve my meals throughout the week. Except for some very simple things, I don't have time to fix food during the week.
To keep myself fit and strong, I work out M~F during lunch hours, and eat my lunch while working at desk after my work out.
Riding: I ride at night at a dimly light outdoor arena. To get to ride as early as possible, I again, eat my dinner at my desk while working before I leave for home. When I get home, I change clothes, and ride. In summer hours, when it is still 100+ at 8:00pm, I get up before dawn, and ride before work.
Now I don't have children and my husband is extremely supportive.
You make a schedule that works with your job and family obligations and then try to stick with it at all possible cost.
That is my exact plan, to "stick with it at all costs." I am worried a little about getting up that early, but, I am truly dedicated to my riding and I think that will help me on dark, chilly mornings. LOL
Keep 'em coming and thank you all who have already posted for your inspiration. My horse is 2nd level and we will hopefully have him working at 3rd level this winter... and that goal is HUGELY important to me.
~Amy~ TrakehNERD clique *Bugs 5/86-3/10 OTTB Mare* RIP lovely Lady, I miss you *Frodo '03 Anglo Trakehner Gelding* My Facebook