Since I'm entry-level... I don't have the ability to peace out early. I typically work from 8-6 and live in ATL so any barn would be at least 45 minutes from my office, if not further. How do you guys who work handle your barn schedule?
I work until 5:30pm during the week.. then I go home and change, then get to the barn around 7pm or so. During the summer, it really isn't that bad. The sun doesn't set until 9:30pm or so. It is hard being stuck at work though when it's a beautiful day outside and I know that all my barn buddies are probably hacking along on a trail ride.
If you really want to ride, you make it work. There are days I am so exhausted (I am also in college, BTW- I have two in-seat classes during the week that go from 6-10PM) and I don't think I am going to make it to the barn. For some reason, once I get there though and see my horse, I wake right up!
I also get a couple of weeks of vacation time... I try to use these sporadically throughout the summer- typically on Fridays Otherwise, there's always the weekend. It's not easy I know... but if you love it, you make it work
I try to come in about a half an hour early - I work 8:30-5:30 instead of 9-6. Where I work is 45 minutes away from where my horse is boarded, so I just have to deal with traffic and the fact that I'll be leaving the barn in the dark.
It helps to have other people who work who are willing to ride with you after they're done slaving away for that day too!
I actually bring all of my stuff with me to work and leave it in the car. I usually take the last couple minutes of work to put my riding stuff on and drive away since we have really large bathrooms that allow me to change comfortably! :P
I often ride before work as well. We have an indoor, so ok if it is dark. Leave house 5:15ish, at barn by 6. On by 6:20, ride til 7ish, out by 7:20. At work by 8:15. But I also have a totally flexible work schedule, so am not all that constrained.
Everyone's different: I get up at 5:45 and leave for work at 6:30 AM and arrive home at 7:00 PM, M-Th. I change clothes at the office if I can, so that when I get home I park at the barn, not at the house, to avoid the 20 minute time-suck that is 'going in the house. ' I will only ride one horse per night, so I ride maybe 2 of those nights from 7 to 7:45 ish and can be back in the house about 8ish for dinner/show/a little TV/laundry/husband chat...then go to bed about 10. Then I have Friday-Sun off for lessons, doing other stuff, etc...I thought I would love working 4 10s. I don't. I hate doing almost nothing but work for four days straight, with only a 30 minute lunch. But I'm trying to cope with what I have.
I change in the work bathroom ( except for my boots) and sail out the door 5 minutes before 5. Leaving that extra 5 minutes helps me avoid some traffic and make it to the barn with enough time to tack up before my lesson.
Traffic is bad around here at rush hour (I work in DC) and it takes longer to get to the barn if I try to leave work anytime between 4 and about 6:15/6:30 so, unless I have an evening lesson or something, I leave work around 6:30 or 6:45 drive the hour to the barn and ride. Home by 10 (house is closer to the barn than the office). This approach requires a lighted ring and BOs that don't care how late I am there and, in the winter, an indoor.
The biggest problem is that, due to my job, I can get stuck at work and not be able to leave by 7 which just makes the whole endeavor too late for me. When I was getting my horse fit for a 3-day, I started riding at the crack of dawn before work so that I would not mess up my fitness/training schedule by missing days when I got stuck at the office
There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.(Churchill)
Up at 5am and out the door at 5:45, start work at 6:30am and work until 3:45pm. Home by 4:30 and then at the barn by 5:30 for a 6:30 lesson or hack. We then get every 2nd Friday off as we accumulate a full 8 hrs during the previous 2 weeks (we get paid for 8 hrs/day and put the other 1/hr into "earned day off"). Luckily, we have flex hrs at work and can work our full day how we want to (with mgrs approval) as long as we are there between 8-3:30.
Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!
Getting to the barn at 7 is really not a big deal-- I keep mine at home, and work from a home office--and often that's the time I'm hopping on my horses anyway. Just be efficient about grooming and tacking, and maybe you could ask the BO if they'd bring your horse in a stall for you on those nights.
Just a comment that in this economy, it's no time to give your boss even a moment's doubt that you are shirking. So good for you to not even consider skating a bit early, that would be really unwise. Even if your boss doesn't notice, your coworkers will.
I guess I am lucky. I live less than 6 miles from the office, and my horses live at home with me. I leave work at 5, and am home by 5:10. Go in, change, let dog out, and back out at the barn by 5:20 or so. That gives me from 5:30 to around 7:00 to do all barn chores, ride, etc. I like to ride RIGHT AFTER WORK, but horses expect to be fed as soon as they see me in the evening. They are not always happy about being ridden when THEY think they are supposed to be eating! LOL
I work until 5:30. I live 2 miles away from work, so I run home and change and grab things I need. Barn is half an hour away - so at the barn by 6:30 and riding by 7. It stinks during the parts of the year that don't have much daylight, but is fine in the summer. I also generally don't eat dinner until I get home, often 9:30 PM or after.
Before kids, I would ride early before work if I knew I was going to be there late (5:00 a.m.). Otherwise I would go to the barn immediately after work, arrive at barn by 7-8ish, but wouldn't get home until 9:30ish at night. An indoor and early/late barn hours were mandatory for me.
Now that I have little ones, I had to change some things. First, I no longer have a commute that's over an hour each way (and before, my barn was another 30 minutes the opposite way from home). Second, I moved the horses closer to home. This also meant changing my priorities when it came to certain amenities, but it's all good. Third, I no longer ride almost every day... if I'm too late at work, I just don't ride. This meant selling a greenie that wouldn't have done well in light work.
My old schedule was 8-4. Ate lunch while working so that I could leave at 4 and then I'd put time in at home after I rode if needed. I do morning lessons before work and occasionally ride on my own in the a.m. too. I just got a new job and my schedule will likely be later but hopefully not too much. As it is I rarely get out of the barn before 7 or 7:30... I'm kind of waiting until I get back from training out of state to negotiate that