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Shift workers - finding time to ride??

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  • Shift workers - finding time to ride??

    I don't wanna grow up!

    Recently, I accepted a job in my field (with the economy and all, I took the first job I could get after 6 months of looking!) which is great and all, however the hours suck. It's shift work, so I work a combination of days, afternoons (to 11pm) and overnights. My barn is 30 mins from my house, and my work is an hour away - however the barn is sort of on the way home.

    I'm already freaking out because I simply won't have the time to ride - the schedule works on 4 week rotations, so for 8 weeks at a time I won't have the time to go to the barn. I'm devastated. I have a gorgeous young horse that I've been making wonderful progress with, and I need this job to be able to pay for him.

    I have him up for part board, but with very, very limited interest (like 1 email). Nobody wants to do the work on a young horse it seems. I have thought about sending him to my trainer for the winter, but it's almost double what I'm paying now, and cost-wise, it's just not that feasible at this point - I have even priced out having him ride several times per week, but that's on the expensive side too. I'm not really sure what to do here.... I love this horse and I can't bring myself to sell him, but it's not fair to him to sit and do nothing until I have time for him.

    Looking for some good old fashioned CoTH wisdom. I'm really in a funk

  • #2
    I don't quite understand... Shift work like this sucks, sure, but... I'd see *more* opportunities to ride when you're not on a regular day schedule. E.g. ride in the morning, either before or after work.

    (Some of the happiest horsepeople I know are nurses who work second shift or overnight.)
    You have to have experiences to gain experience.

    1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by quietann View Post
      I don't quite understand... Shift work like this sucks, sure, but... I'd see *more* opportunities to ride when you're not on a regular day schedule. E.g. ride in the morning, either before or after work.

      (Some of the happiest horsepeople I know are nurses who work second shift or overnight.)
      I agree that it gives you an opportunity to ride at different times. Just think, you won't have to battle the "everyone wants the indoor" syndrome.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        The way the schedule goes is 4 weeks on "days" (ie 7-3), so riding there is ok. Then I get into my afternoons, which are 3-11. I can't ride before work, as I have a 30 minute drive back to my house, and then an hour back the same direction as the barn to my work, which is murder on gas.... Then nights are 11-7. I wouldn't want to ride just after a night shift, since I know I don't do well on nights and will probably need to go home and sleep right after. If I didn't live so far away, this would be a lot less of a problem. But with a 30 in commute to the barn and one hour to work, its a huge waste of gas for me to drive back and forth multiple times if I don't have to.

        Comment


        • #5
          I know lots of people who do shift work and have plenty of time to ride. And often, because they are not tied to commuting in rush hour, they actually find it easier to get to the barn to ride. Particularly in the winter, when it gets dark so early, I'd LOVE to be able to ride during the day, and then go in to work later. I bet you will find that it works out really well.

          That said, it may take a bit of juggling to figure out the logistics that work best for you. Living an hour from work, IMHO, is perhaps not ideal. I realize that it's not easy to pick up and move, but is there any possibility of living closer to your new job?

          Congrats on the new job!
          **********
          We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
          -PaulaEdwina

          Comment


          • #6
            I have done this....; it's actually not as bad as it seems. If you want to ride, you will just have to find a schedule that works. I found that going in the morning worked best for me if I worked an overnight, but you will find your own pattern of barn time that works for what ever shift you worked and what the next shift is.
            Who say's your best friend has to be human?

            Comment


            • #7
              Congrats on the job! I used to work overnights and would ride in the morning after work. It is to be expected that people do not want to put the work on a young horse. If you think about it in theory, why would somone pay money to put training or hours on your horse? It is more fair to think of it as a trade off. They help you by putting time and or training into your horse while they get riding time. In this economy, if people can pay out, they want it to be on a horse that is already trained to their level or higher. At least in my area that is true. People are begging people to ride their horses for free.

              Comment


              • #8
                I don't do shift work, but I foten work 9+ hour days, and I live two hours from my job, each way. Don't get me started how I lost the draw on commute time with SO. Let's just say I fully understand your gas situation.

                I was used to riding at least four times a week, and going out to the barn nearly every day with my old job and where we lived previously. The best thing for me was finding a barn right off the major highway I spend most of my commute on, or within ten minutes of my home. I lucked out with the close to home option. I'm not sure how feasible it is for you to think about moving your horse, but having him somewhere nearer to your commute route is ideal.

                When finding a barn, I found an indoor arena was essential for me, since the only time I will be able to ride during the week is after dark, or before sunrise. Another essential (no longer necessary since the barn is only ten minutes away now) was a facility that had a legitimate bathroom where I could clean up before heading on to work. I am a certified expert in sink baths, and getting ready for work at the barn.

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Thanks everyone it has been a frustrating and long search for a job, so when I was hired I was so excited about the job and the money I didn't think what else it would affect. I wish I could move, but the BF works about an hour in the opposite direction, so we're right in the middle of both commutes.

                  I had advertised as a paid part board to try and prevent any wahoos from wanting to ride, I was ideally looking for an adult rider who wanted to show, or even someone who just wants to hack around, but no one seems particularly interested.

                  I'm not really sure if I'm going to have the motivation to ride after working an overnight, but I guess I will have to see how it goes. Also, Italian baths in the barn washroom may not save me from being stinky and helmet headed at work lol

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Keep your helmet clean, get dry shampoo and a mini hair dryer to fluff it up, get a travel case for makeup and don't change at the barn. Also, some 24 hour gyms are cheap, mine is $20/month. Get a gym membership between horse and work and shower and change there
                    Somewhere in the world, Jason Miraz is Goodling himself and wondering why "the chronicle of the horse" is a top hit. CaitlinAndTheBay

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      id get a hair cut that was condusive to hiding helmet hair or something that you can just run a wet brush through.

                      If you are motivated enough, you will find plenty of time to ride. Even if its just 30 minutes 3-4 tmes a week after your overnight shifts. It will be hard but it can totally worl.

                      Gym membership is a great idea!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I work 7p-7a six days in a row. I come home from work, go to bed then get up at 3p and go to the barn (or go for a run, depending on the day). It isn't easy.....some days I sleep in until after 4 and do nothing. It is doable if you are motivated. The thing that made it possible for me to do this was I found a barn 2 minutes from my house. If you rent I would move closer to either the horse, the work or both. Your commutes are what is killing you.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Candle View Post
                          Keep your helmet clean, get dry shampoo and a mini hair dryer to fluff it up, get a travel case for makeup and don't change at the barn. Also, some 24 hour gyms are cheap, mine is $20/month. Get a gym membership between horse and work and shower and change there
                          Love the gym membership idea. Also, I have found a new love in dry shampoo. Truly magical. I buy the cheap kind at Sally Beauty Supply, "Bastist" I think, and it works wonders. Even when I'm not trying to clean up helmet hair. I would also clarify that I the barn I would change at has a spotless bathroom and a separate area with lockers for changing. I know that's not everyone's situation.

                          JustABay - I completely understand not having the motivation to ride after work. It's tough soem days for me when I leave the house at 5:30 and don't get home till 7:30 all I can think of is my bed. I have found that if I change into my riding clothes at work before I leave, i'm more likely to stop at the barn and ride. If I'm already dressed... I may as well. For me it's all about psyching myself up to ride those last few miles home. Also, I'm always happier I stopped by to see the baby, tired or not.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            This is the un-romantic life of the adult amateur. This is why we don't go up the levels quite as fast as someone who has more time to ride. But barriers can be overcome. I agree that your commute is a major culprit. I also sympathize with being too tired to ride sometimes. These are the sad realities of us working stiffs who try hard to fit horses into our lives.
                            I work full time and keep my horses at home. I have the type of job that can be quite emotionally draining and sometimes I am too fried to ride - usually I can make myself change into breeches and do it, but there are days when I just hit the wall and then the horse gets a day off or maybe I just hack out. I don't have an indoor so when the clocks get turned back in November, it's dark when I get home so I just don't ride for two months, except on weekends weather/footing permitting. Around the first of the year, my horse goes to my trainers' barn ( 2 1/2 hours away) where I can afford two or three months of board and training for him and lessons for me a couple of Saturdays a month. We just have to do our best with what we have.
                            I had one period in my life where I missed several years of riding due to circumstances that just took time to change.
                            I would offer you one thought: your situation doesn't have to last forever. It's possible you will go on to better jobs with better pay and hours and someday things might be better for you. The thing is to change what you can, accept what you can't change - and hang in there until things get better.
                            And your lovely young horse cannot be harmed by not being ridden. Her education will just maybe be a little delayed but there are worse things
                            Hang in there.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I rode more when I took lessons, I also lived 10 minutes from work, but I moved too far away and my start time changed so no getting up in time for lessons. Now I have the horses at home and a different shift, get off at 0930, so DH waits for me to get home to feed, then I crash and wake up oh, around dark, so no riding at home.

                              If you didn't rotate you'd have a better chance of figuring out what works and getting acclimated, but with your commute I think the idea of getting the gym membership is great.
                              Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                              Incredible Invisible

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by JustABay View Post
                                The way the schedule goes is 4 weeks on "days" (ie 7-3), so riding there is ok. Then I get into my afternoons, which are 3-11. I can't ride before work, as I have a 30 minute drive back to my house, and then an hour back the same direction as the barn to my work, which is murder on gas.... Then nights are 11-7. I wouldn't want to ride just after a night shift, since I know I don't do well on nights and will probably need to go home and sleep right after. If I didn't live so far away, this would be a lot less of a problem. But with a 30 in commute to the barn and one hour to work, its a huge waste of gas for me to drive back and forth multiple times if I don't have to.
                                Any chance your work has somewhere to shower/change? If not, I'd second the suggestion to see if there is an inexpensive gym nearby, in which case riding before work would seem to be a lot more do-able.

                                I agree with Shagyas that these are the usual issues of the working adult ammy world. It helps if you can come to some peace with the reality that our horses might not progress as fast as they would if we could make riding and training the priority, but there are lots and lots of us out here and we *do* manage!

                                Another option to consider is whether there might someday be a possibility of trading shifts with a colleague. Obviously not something you will want to do as a new employee, but it's something to think about in the future. I work in healthcare and many of my colleagues do shift work; they seem to be able to enjoy a fair amount of flexibility by trading off with others when the need arises. Just a thought. Congrats again on the new gig!
                                **********
                                We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
                                -PaulaEdwina

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  My weekly schedule is M+th+F 7-4, T + W 1pm-10pm. It isn't quite as tough as yours but I actually adore my schedule. During the winter those two mornings when I can ride because it's still light out keep me sane, I don't have an indoor. I wake up at the same time I would have to if I were working early, have plenty of time to ride and then go straight to work since I pack a change of clothes. This upcoming year I will probably end up with a different job and I will miss my mornings off.
                                  My little girl, Katai - 13.2 Haflinger/Unicorn
                                  and her blog

                                  "Ponies are the new black. Welcome to the darkside!" - Manahmanah

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by JustABay View Post
                                    The way the schedule goes is 4 weeks on "days" (ie 7-3), so riding there is ok. Then I get into my afternoons, which are 3-11. I can't ride before work, as I have a 30 minute drive back to my house, and then an hour back the same direction as the barn to my work, which is murder on gas.... Then nights are 11-7. I wouldn't want to ride just after a night shift, since I know I don't do well on nights and will probably need to go home and sleep right after. If I didn't live so far away, this would be a lot less of a problem. But with a 30 in commute to the barn and one hour to work, its a huge waste of gas for me to drive back and forth multiple times if I don't have to.
                                    Originally posted by Candle View Post
                                    Keep your helmet clean, get dry shampoo and a mini hair dryer to fluff it up, get a travel case for makeup and don't change at the barn. Also, some 24 hour gyms are cheap, mine is $20/month. Get a gym membership between horse and work and shower and change there
                                    This is the idea which makes most sense to me - find somewhere to shower so you can ride on the way to work, especially given you say you won't be motivated enough to ride after work.

                                    If you were going to make a separate trip to the barn regardless it wouldn't matter what time that happened, but I can understand not wanting to make a separate trip. You have to decide how motivated you are to get it done. If you don't want to move up the levels quickly your horse won't mind, as long as his needs are taken care of, you trust those around to ensure he's safe and happy and he gets turnout, he will be perfectly ok with less work. Your commute does sound painful, so this is where you figure out how dedicated you are. There are plenty of options of how to make it work given in this thread, and while I don't envy the drive, I do envy the short hours you will work!
                                    If Kim Kardashian wants to set up a gofundme to purchase the Wu Tang album from Martin Shkreli, guess what people you DON'T HAVE TO DONATE.
                                    -meupatdoes

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I work nights, 7pm to 7 am, 7 nights straight, and then am off a week. I get off at 7a, go straight home, in bed, then back up by 12:30. At barn by 2 pm, tacked up and on by 2:30, ride 40-50 minutes. Feed him his supplement, then back out in pasture. I try to leave the barn by 4 pm. Home, eat, shower and change, leave at 6 pm for my 7pm shift.
                                      Very doable-I do get tired by the end of my rotation. But if you want it-you will find a way. And I don't see the issue at all with the 3-11 shift.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I too am on a PM/NOC rotation, often switching around in the same week, with short turnarounds from Noc to PM, and I have a 2 year old human. I so feel your pain, and really the answer is I dont ride nearly as much or as often. But I think thats the kiddo. No real advice, but early was better for me. and the bonus, if I get their early enough I dont have to catch the horse or put her out, since they are still inside!

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