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Motivation to ride at night... bleh

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  • Motivation to ride at night... bleh

    So I started a new job this month that leaves only the late afternoon and evenings for riding. This is a huge change from my schedule over the past decade, where I've had mornings free.

    I am a morning person, through and through. It is excrutiating for me to get home at 4:30 and run out and ride in the cold dark dusk. But I have to ride... if I want to compete this spring. It's just so hard to get motivated. I also ride alone, on my own place, so I don't have anyone to meet up with "at the barn," other than the horses and a couple of barn kitties.

    Any ideas on how to get myself motivated to do this? I sure hope my lack of motivation doesn't continue on through the spring. It could be the end of my serious riding! Ack!

  • #2
    Don't sit down!

    As hard as it is, when you get home don't sit down. Change your clothes and go right to the barn. Better yet, leave your clothes in your tack room or bring them to work and change there so you never even step foot in your house. (Ideally, if you boarded, you would just go straight from work to the barn.)

    Do you also have someone who can hold you accountable? A friend in a similar situation who you have to call, text, or e-mail every time you decide not to ride today?
    Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique

    Comment


    • #3
      Man...I am right there with you!! This is my first winter having a descent horse to ride, but also a 9-5 job in the city.

      I really dont mind riding at night (nice, lit, albeit, outdoor ring), but I DREAD changing from my "work" clothes to my riding clothes. I cant change at work, as I take a train (and I wouldnt wish sitting next to me in my riding clothes upon anyone...) but getting out of my toasty car to strip into my undies in close to freezing temps is NOT fun.

      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.

      I've pretty much given up trying to ride during the week until it a) starts to warm up or b) stays a bit lighter later (therefore increasing my motivation exponentially)

      Thankfully my horse is just a green 5 y/o, who doesnt need to stay in constant work at this point in her career. She is a very late bloomer, so I dont mind skipping days in her training. I, on the other hand, could use the time in the saddle.

      Wow...first world problems?

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Wonders12, that's a great idea. I do go home and the house is warm, the computer is sitting there beckoning , and all I want to do is put wood on the fire and get in my jammies. So I can put my riding clothes in the car and go straight to the barn. I will try that.

        Of course, I noticed that YOU LIVE IN SONOMA Can I move in with you until the ground thaws out here!?!?

        Comment


        • #5
          Yup, change at work and drive straight to the barn.
          Click here before you buy.

          Comment


          • #6
            I also think it helps to have a riding plan for the day. I'm always much more willing to go ride in the cold and dark if I have put time into thinking about my goal for the ride and how I'm going to get to it.

            Comment


            • #7
              I don't feel the SLIGHTEST bit of guilt about subjecting anyone to sitting next to me in my riding clothes. Half the people I sit near on the train smell worse I also have no shame.

              I find having a writing journal and writing out my plans/homework helps. I don't want to be that person who crosses it out the next day because I wimped and didn't ride.

              I am also a morning person and have always had to ride at night due to my job. Of course, it's harder in the winter when it's cold... but I just remind myself I love this. Not every minute maybe, but love it overall.
              ~Veronica
              "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
              http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

              Comment


              • #8
                I always pick my most challenging horse first so I ride when I have some daylight left. The reasoning is that I know that horse needs the consistency so it forces me in the saddle. Once I get started I typically just keep going and ride one or two more (I have lights).

                Invite friends.. I have some friends who come out to ride my horses just to keep me company.

                I also try to ride first and then do the barn chores but we also try to finish everything in the morning so I can just bring in, feed and ride with little other chores remaining.
                http://www.benchmarksporthorses.com/

                Comment


                • #9
                  Finally a question that relates to my life and riding. I too am a morning person, I use to work from home, and I use to board so that I could stop work at 4:30, drive to the barn in 15 mins (be dressed of course) and get a great ride in before it got dark. In the deep of winter I'd go over at noon...good times.

                  Well that changed @ 3 years ago and I was back to the grind of driving 30 minutes+ to work and I also bought a small farm so no boarding, I do all the work now for three horses. How do I do it (I am a 52 software developer for reference)...

                  I schedule 3 nights a week I will ride. When I come home, unless work was an absolute merde I will go in the house, if need be have a small drink to settle my nerves, but change and get out for at least 30 minutes of flatwork. On a good day I'll change and go right out. The key is that I schedule and commit to those days.

                  Bad work days? I don't feel guilty to not ride, but I will groom. I take lessons on the weekend and get my conditioning work in as well.

                  I did rig up descents lights to light up my pastures so riding is not to difficult and I don't try to expect much, but a good honest ride. If the temps drop below 40, honestly...forget it. The point for me is positive reinforcement and just getting time in the saddle what ever it may be. Once the sun stays up past 67 PM (EST) then I am ready to put my jumps back up and work a little bit more, but for now, if I get three ride a week in I'm doing good for the winter.

                  Best of luck!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by deltawave View Post
                    Yup, change at work and drive straight to the barn.
                    +1

                    Ann, welcome to my world.

                    My vest and a bag with my helmet, gloves, and assorted riding stuff lives in the trunk of my car. On the weekdays that I set aside to ride, I put a set of breeches and weather-appropriate shirts and boots in the car too.

                    I am lucky that my normal workday is 6 am to 2:30 pm, even though as a project manager with a challenging job I can't always hold on to 8 hrs a day. On my riding days I stop working NLT 3. I go to the car, get my kit, change in the handicapped stall, and drive an hour to 1H 10min to the barn. By the time I have groomed and tacked it's close to 5. 45 min to 1 hr ride including cooldown, untack, groom, check water and feed, clean tack, drive 40 min to get home around 7 if I don't stop at the market to get stuff we need. Then shower, make dinner around 8:30 for the wife and kid, chill for a few and hit the rack for a 4:30 revellie.

                    And I am in western Ohio, where the weather at this time of the year simply sucks. There is no other way to describe it.

                    But you know what, at the end of the day, I get home tired and sore but so motivated to do it all over again because I had a good ride and connected with my horse. Even when he's been an ass and cow-kicked me in the knee because he didn't like the brush I used to groom his chest.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Wonder Rides. A wonder ride is a ride that is so quick that when you think back on it you wonder if you even rode.

                      I was talking with a dressage coach (a regular CDI competitor) about how hard it is to keep everything going in the winter, wet, cold when there are holidays and a gazillion other things on my plate. She suggested that I commit to really short 15-20 minute rides. She believes even that little bit a time is enough to keep your horse going and actually continue to improve. I think she's right. When I have the mindset that I'm just going to hop on for a few minutes and that's ok I'm more likely to hop on when I'm busy, tired, or just don't feel like it today.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        So tomorrow night is the test. It will be cold but not horribly cold, and I am taking my riding stuff with me in the car. I will change at the barn but at least the clothes etc will be warm (I hate putting on ice cold clothes!). I will do at least one "wonder" ride (love that phrase) and maybe two if it is still light out.

                        Our forecast for tomorrow is freezing rain earlier in the day, but it should clear up later on, with temps in the upper 30s. That is cold but heck, I used to ride in the teens when I lived in Michigan, with an indoor.

                        I would love to have lights on my arena. But I think that would be very expensive and I really don't see myself riding when it is cold AND dark.

                        Caballero, your dedication is impressive!

                        Ann

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by ahbaumgardner View Post
                          So tomorrow night is the test. It will be cold but not horribly cold, and I am taking my riding stuff with me in the car. I will change at the barn but at least the clothes etc will be warm (I hate putting on ice cold clothes!).
                          I haven't looked up what VA weather will be like tomorrow, but if you can, bring your clothes and boots INSIDE to work with you. Even if you're not changing until the barn, not having your stuff sitting in even a "moderately cold" car for 8+ hours will make getting into them when you get to the barn way better -- especially the boots.

                          Just a hint from the frozen hinterland.....
                          At its finest, rider and horse are joined not by tack, but by trust. Each is totally reliant upon the other. Each is the selfless guardian of the other's very well-being.
                          (Author Unknown)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ahbaumgardner View Post
                            Of course, I noticed that YOU LIVE IN SONOMA Can I move in with you until the ground thaws out here!?!?
                            Of course! It's perfect out here! But don't be fooled... this winter I've been at the barn multiple times in the dark and low 30s/high 20s. I know in some places that's nice weather, but it's definitely not warm right now.
                            Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Yep--same advice as others--the key is to go straight to the barn after work, not home. I pack all my clothes in my car and change at the barn. This time of year, that means i also pack a coat, down vest (for changing into once I am ready to ride) boots, several "warmth levels" of gloves, hat, carrots, etc. It requires a lot of prep in the morning before I leave. Luckily, my barn has a nice, heated lounge and bathroom for changing. I used to board at a place with no heated space so I would change in my car!

                              I usually don't get done with work til about 5:30 or 6. I am really fortunate because my barn is only 5 minutes from my work. But by the time I am changed and have a horse groomed--it's 6:30 or later. I usually get done around 8-8:15 and eat dinner around 9 most nights. This is my daily routine because I have two horses and alternate which nights they get ridden. On occasion, I have ridden 2 on a weeknight--but those have to be the "wonder rides" recommended by subk! Now my hubby rides some so he may ride 1 or so weekdays and that means I might get one night "off" (whoa--what to do with myself?)

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Seriously considering lights. I don't think they are that expensive.
                                My difficulty is my schedule varies. I ride in the AM some times and some times the press of work requires a quick evening ride if I even get that. The days are getting longer now so it helps. But lights are not that much and I am seriously considering them, except I am often really tired at night in the winter and it's really cold where my arena is located, it gets a lot of wind in the winter. Makes for nice summer breezes though.
                                Proud & Permanent Student Of The Long Road
                                Read me: EN (http://eventingnation.com/author/annemarch/) and HJU (http://horsejunkiesunited.com/author/holly-covey/)

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Thank you, eventerfolks...I think you've just triggered an epiphany for me! I have the hardest time getting motivated to ride after work (I, too, have my horses at home). This thread has made me realize it's the changing of the clothes that is so difficult. Soooo, the clothes are going with me to work tomorrow. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
                                  "We need a pinned ears icon." -MysticOakRanch

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by seabreeze View Post
                                    you've just triggered an epiphany for me! [...] it's the changing of the clothes that is so difficult!
                                    THIS IS IT! Im packing the clothes in the car for my night ride tomorrow...

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by subk View Post
                                      Wonder Rides. A wonder ride is a ride that is so quick that when you think back on it you wonder if you even rode.

                                      I was talking with a dressage coach (a regular CDI competitor) about how hard it is to keep everything going in the winter, wet, cold when there are holidays and a gazillion other things on my plate. She suggested that I commit to really short 15-20 minute rides. She believes even that little bit a time is enough to keep your horse going and actually continue to improve. I think she's right. When I have the mindset that I'm just going to hop on for a few minutes and that's ok I'm more likely to hop on when I'm busy, tired, or just don't feel like it today.
                                      I love that idea! Even in the dead of winter when I lived in PA the challenge was getting on - once you warm up it's not so bad, but it's the process of getting to that point!
                                      “They were not sitting backwards on their horses,” he said with a sly smile. “But they had no dressage preparation..." - Bert de Nemethy

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Changing clothes is where I get lazy..

                                        I have to change pants...then socks...find my boots...DRIVE to the barn...get the horse in...clean him...tack him...
                                        so tiresome!

                                        You can DO it!!!

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