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Motivation to ride at night... bleh

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  • #41
    Originally posted by pandemonium33 View Post
    Also, pony dearest lives out 24/7, and is at a very low-key family run barn. They dont blanket. So clipping is out of the question, but she is too shaggy to do more than 15-20 mins before getting pretty sweaty. That leaves me with 30+ mins just waiting for her to dry off.
    A hair dryer is your friend. A friend of mine clued me in that that is what she did with her totally unclipped horses and now I use it too when necessary (after they are cool and just wet/damp). Really doesn't take long and my horses have no objection to it.
    Yes, it sometimes feels silly to be giving your horse a blow dry, but since I am either (1) only just getting to the barn at 7:30 or 8 pm after work or (2) need to get to work on time if I ride in the morning, I have gotten over the feeling silly part because I don't have time to spare (although I do feel the need to explain to anyone new what I am doing )
    There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.(Churchill)


    • Original Poster

      Originally posted by eqsiu View Post
      How long is your drive? Can you ride at 6 am or some such?
      My drive is an hour this week, and then I switch to my permanent office, which is a 1/2 hour. Mornings are not really workable with the short days and temperatures. I'm really stuck with evening riding for the next month or so. And it's really critical for me to ride almost every day, if I want to run at prelim in March.

      Looked at the lights and my ring is too far from electricity to use the portable sorts of lights (which look like they'd be GREAT, otherwise). I'd either have to run electric to the ring or have some sort of solar power. But I can ride in the semi-dark. It is the motivation to do so that's getting in the way.


      • #43
        Okay – First, I do have the excuse that I am in mild CA – BUT, I do have a killer commute, which means leaving the house at 6:15 am to get to work – then going straight to the barn after – arriving there around 6:30pm.

        Like others have said – to make sure I RIDE I do the following:

        1. Go STRAIGHT to the barn after work (okay, sometimes I need to stop by the grocery store first, but no going home!)

        2. Take my riding clothes WITH me! I have a change of clothes in the car, and a back up one in my tack trunk so “work clothes” is never an excuse not to get out to the barn and ride (and heck, when I do forget, I have been known to ride in dress slacks tucked into half chaps). – warm the clothes up under your car foot area heater if it is freezing! Heck, I will change IN the car – its dark after all, they no one can see me

        3. Have a plan – I have dinner planned out that morning, I have an idea of how much time I can spend at the barn.

        4. Make things easier – I keep my horse at least partially clipped and always blanketed in the winter. I do not have time to brush off wet mud in the dark before a ride. I have a routine – arrive, change clothes, put feed on soak, quickly clean stall, tack up, ride, let horse cool off in clean stall while I clean the paddock, feed, blanket – and I am outta there!

        And like others have said, my night ride are usually pretty short, and 30 mins – I was able to go on a MOON LIT trail ride last Friday, and may be able to do one again tonight if it is clear. My week day rides are more about keeping a fitness level, and not working on “hard” stuff. Lots of stretchy work for my horse, and lots of no stirrup and strengthening exercises for me.

        Clocks spring forward in March – not too much longer until the sun returns!
        APPSOLUTE CHOCKLATE - Photo by Kathy Colman


        • #44
          So, did you get on last night??

          It is a struggle in the winter. Mine are "roughed off" for this winter, starting them March 7th (daylight savings!) but my trainer has offered exercising school horses in the indoor arena to get myself fit before then. She has an indoor in between my office & home, no excuses! But I still have to kick myself to do it. It's tempting to just drive by, especially with my own cold winter chores waiting for me at home. But it's a great opportunity, and I know it, so... gym bag packed with riding gear behind my desk!


          • #45
            I am in VA and learned my lesson last week when I left my winter tall boots in my tack trunk. Went out to ride and learned 20 degree boots = 20 degree feet. I didn't have anything else I could rid in so I sat in my car with the heat blasting on my feet and inside of my boots for 15 minutes and it didn't really help. Can you wear a pair of jeans or workout pants over your riding pants so you can change at work? Sometimes I will also just ride in jeans with my tall winter riding boots since they can zip up over the jeans. If you can't change at work absolutely bring everything inside with you it will get cold in the car. It does help me to read something horsey such as a thread here right before the end of my workday to get me motivated.


            • Original Poster

              Good for you! I DID ride last night and a good part of that is all the hype I created by vowing to do so. Now it is 70 degrees and I am headed out soon to ride again. I only got Mick ridden but that was enough and I am hoping to ride two tonight. Getting back in the groove... and beginning next week, I am 1/2 hour closer to work so I should easily ride two each night.

              Originally posted by Arcadien View Post
              So, did you get on last night??

              It is a struggle in the winter. Mine are "roughed off" for this winter, starting them March 7th (daylight savings!) but my trainer has offered exercising school horses in the indoor arena to get myself fit before then. She has an indoor in between my office & home, no excuses! But I still have to kick myself to do it. It's tempting to just drive by, especially with my own cold winter chores waiting for me at home. But it's a great opportunity, and I know it, so... gym bag packed with riding gear behind my desk!


              • #47
                It's definitely a challenge in the winter. When I was working (sigh) I would drive home from work, hang at my house for about an hour to feed and play/hang with my kitties and then go to the barn. I hate to dump and run on them; my kitties are kind spoiled.

                There's no indoor at my barn so it's out in the elements too...hour walk hacks in biting wind in cold isn't a whole lot of fun. To mix things up I'll also ground drive my guy so I get exercise as well and just maybe, one of these days there might be a decent amount of snow so I can jerry-rig a harness and give skijouring a try ;p ).

                I think it helps to really just grit your teeth and get out there to establish the habit. It does get easier. I have really good boots and warm clothes and my incentive is that once I'm out there moving around etc., I'm actually warmer and more comfortable than when I'm at home (thermostat turned down low in my house!).


                • #48
                  I am an evening person, but when it was 5:00 when it got dark and it was below zero, there was no motivation to ride. However, since my eventing season starts mid march, I have to ride. I agree, don't sit down when you get home, because you aren't going to get back up, bring your gear with you. I work 0630-5:00 pm, which really is a bummer, I don't get to the barn til 5:45 because I have horses at another place to feed. I ride for at least 45 mins, which is gets very dull going around in circles in an indoor. I usually don't get home til 8:30, since I have to wait til my horse dries. I am glad for the indoor( and its heated), because I wouldn't be able to ride until the end of march, more likely the first of april because of snow. I can't wait for summer, because my favorite time to ride is around 7:00 pm, because it is so lovely out. Good luck and don't freeze too much out there!


                  • #49
                    Originally posted by yellowbritches View Post
                    I don't do it as much anymore (different employers with different feelings about alcohol in the barn), but I did love to have a beer in the evening as I finished up the last of the chores. I also find that if I'm braiding the night before a show, a beer is mandatory. I also prefer to drink while clipping....but that probably has more to do with my feelings toward that chore than anything.
                    Why have I not ever thought of this??? Although, I board in a barn where I am the only boarder (and the owner's horses). So then it would be just me and my horse...so maybe not such a good idea! lol

                    In all honesty, I have to LEAVE for work at 4:45am so I can make it there by 6am. Work until sometime between 6pm and 11pm (its the military, so...unfortunately, no set hours or over time), then if I want to get to the barn its a 45 min drive, followed by a 35 minute drive back to my house.

                    The logistics of my horse life are awful right now and not very conducive to riding at night (especially in the winter) as we have no indoor.

                    What I have found if I tell myself...you WILL go these specific days/nights, then I know that I can get a break on another day. It seems to work, barring any unforeseen setbacks with me leaving work!


                    • Original Poster

                      Well, I did NOT ride tonight! We are in the midst of horrible rain storms and there was. no. way. I. was. going. out. in. that. Tomorrow, a cold front comes through but I plan to ride tomorrow night regardless. Either that, or I can dash my plans for competing at Southern Pines.


                      • #51
                        I couldn't ride last night (when the weather was great) because i had an Area II phone conference.

                        Tonight, I got about 35 minutes before the rain hit. Then, since she was already wet, I gave Belle a bath. It will be too cold for a bath tomorrow and Friday, and I am taking her to the Morningside CT on Saturday.

                        She is a flea-bitten gray, so keeping her even halfway "presentable" is an ongoing challenge.

                        chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).


                        • #52
                          I can't wait till 3/10/13!!!!! I work 10 hour days (but do get a 3 day weekend) My work is 20 miles from home, horse is 10 miles from home in another direction. Work straight to horse is 40-45 minutes. AND I do my own feeding/mucking. Man oh man do I wish life were a little easier. But I do love my girl and do the best I can. And it's OK to take a night off when work has kicked your ass. Sometimes you just need to get a good night's sleep!


                          • #53
                            Same as others have suggested - riding clothes to change into after work!

                            It's easy right now for me to ride in the evenings (and actually prefer that cause the barn is usually much quieter then) since I'm only about 10 minutes away from work and about 5 from home. When I move back to my mom's the end of this week, I'll be 40/50 minutes away from home, ten minutes from work. I'll have to really force myself to get out there and ride instead of going straight home to relax. I'll be doing a lot of staying over at my brother's house or staying with my friends who live on the barn premises.

                            Originally posted by katarine
                            I don't want your prayers, tiny cow.
                            Originally posted by Pat9
                            When it's time for a horse to go to a new person, that person will appear. It's pony magic.


                            • Original Poster

                              I am with you here! Daylight Savings Time will make a huge difference. Unfortunately for me, it is the Sunday of Southern Pines I and that's my target date for "slow prelim" fitness. We may have to scrap those plans and shoot for Morven instead. I so love Southern Pines! But it is what it is.

                              And I should be thankful to have sound and healthy horses... a few weeks late start is not the end of the world.

                              Originally posted by Mukluk View Post
                              I can't wait till 3/10/13!!!!! I work 10 hour days (but do get a 3 day weekend) My work is 20 miles from home, horse is 10 miles from home in another direction. Work straight to horse is 40-45 minutes. AND I do my own feeding/mucking. Man oh man do I wish life were a little easier. But I do love my girl and do the best I can. And it's OK to take a night off when work has kicked your ass. Sometimes you just need to get a good night's sleep!