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Does anyone ride early in the morning?

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  • Does anyone ride early in the morning?

    I'm trying to find the best way to add more riding into my life. I work from home, and have two young kids. Hubby has a demanding job and a lot of late nights. My own small business is starting to pick up so my days are filled between work and managing the kids.

    I'm starting to think early morning might be best. Up at 5, to the barn by 5:30, ride and then leave by 7 to get back to the house for 7:30 by the time he goes to work.

    Anyone actually do it and make it work? It's kind of insane to me because I'm really NOT a morning person, but I'm sort of desperate at this point!
    We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.

  • #2
    I am absolutely NOT a morning person. I hate waking up early, and I really hate putting my book away before I am ready to put it away at night just because I have to wake up early the next morning.

    However...summer here is hot, and if I want to ride, the only time to do it is early in the morning. Last summer I started getting to the barn by 7:30 or so, which is early for me. And it worked out nicely. I got into a routine and it was actually very pleasant.

    My advice would be to go for it. You might surprise yourself.


    • #3
      I used to do it in the winter when I boarded. The arena was jam-packed in the afternoons/after-school hours, so the only time I could get the arena to myself was early morning. I got up at 530, to the barn and riding by 630, leave around 730/800, to work where I showered and then at my desk by 900. As much as I hated getting up early (I am NOT a morning person by any stretch of the imagination), I hated riding in a crowded arena more, so I did what I had to do...

      Give it a try - you might find you look forward to those early mornings with just you and your pony.
      "A horse's face always conveys clearly whether it is loved by its owner or simply used." - Anja Beran


      • #4
        When I had the horses up north and had an indoor with lights, I would start riding around 6:30 in the morning. I am not naturally a morning person, but if I wanted to get 3-5 horses done before work/school/etc, I dragged my but out of bed and got going!

        Now that I'm in Florida when I'm not on the road, I only ride early in the summers. During the winter, it's just too dang chilly most mornings to start any earlier than 9 or 10. But during the summer, I'm usually on my first by 7 or 7:30 and I stop riding at 9. If I have any more to do, I'm back out there by 6:30 or 7 pm.

        If you have the energy to get your riding done in the morning and get on with your day, it can be a really great way to get in your saddle time and get yourself going. It always makes me feel like I have extra time to do other things throughout the day
        Nine out of ten times, you'll get it wrong...but it's that tenth time that you get it right that makes all the difference.


        • #5
          That is similar to what I'm doing right now. you'll be ready for bed when you get the kids down at night, but otherwise it works.
          If i'm posting on Coth, it's either raining so I can't ride or it's night time and I can't sleep.


          • #6
            In the summer I'm often done riding by 6, 7 at the latest. I hate the heat and the bugs.
            A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it.


            • #7
              Early morning and late evening are my favourite times at the barn. Accept that it'll take some getting used to, but you may love it. Especially in the summer.
              "Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
              "With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey


              • #8
                I ride in the early morning because I work in the afternoon/evening, and typically have class mid-morning. I don't get up nearly that early though, I tend to ride about 8am.
                Maggie Bright, lovingly known as Skye and deeply missed (1994 - 2013)
                The Blog


                • #9
                  I ride from 6:30-10:00a in the summer months to beat the heat
                  In the winter, there's no way I'd go ride that early. It's too cold, and bad for their lungs. I go during the warmest 4 hours of the day.

                  Kids make things tough it seems. If I had them, I would surely have a nanny to help while hubby and I worked (and played). Perhaps a nanny from 7:30-11:00 would be useful for you.
                  chaque pas est fait ensemble


                  • #10
                    At the track we always did, is when the track is open for exercising.

                    At home, we rode very early when working cattle, otherwise we did chores first, then rode.

                    In most training stables/riding centers, the routine generally is feed and clean stalls, groom and then ride/give lessons the rest of the day, feeding and cleaning and grooming again all along.
                    This routine gives the horses time to eat in peace and stand around a bit, most nap, before turnout, go on the walker or riding starts.

                    When we go work cattle, we always get horses fed at least one hour before we go get them, so they have time to eat and drink well before work.
                    That at times may even be at 3 or 4 am in the summers.

                    If you go ride very early, how do you arrange that, feed, wait a bit and then ride, or ride first, then feed?


                    • #11
                      ^Bluey, I was wondering the same thing regarding when feeding fits into the early morning riding routine.


                      • #12
                        In the summer, I will be mounted by 4:30 AM. It's one of those things where you wake up, pull on clothes, and head to the barn without even thinking.


                        • #13
                          I'm not a morning person, never have been, but there is something nice about walking into the barn first thing in the morning when it's quiet, it's a different feeling than at night and lovely! I can't really think of a better way to start the day than with the beast.

                          I always moan about it at first, but then am always happy that I went.

                          I would always ride first, and then feed. I just plan to have time for a long cool out if I know that I'm going to be doing something challenging.


                          • #14
                            I used to when I worked from home and didn't have to worry about being dressed up for work by 8am. I typically rode 3 horses every morning. It worked great for me BUT I was also able to go to be early. I require more sleep than the average Joe, so that made all the difference for me.
                            A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                            Might be a reason, never an excuse...


                            • #15
                              I ride in the morning at least once a week for my lesson. I'm lucky to work in the tech industry so I don't have to be at work at a specific time but I shoot for 9AM... So I feed the horses I've got at home, head to the barn, get there by 6:30, tack up by 6:45 and start warming up, then lesson from 7 to 7:45. I get myself cleaned up and out of the barn by 8:30 and on my way to work!

                              The downsides are that I hate getting up early and I have little time to cuddle and groom. The upsides are that I'm greeted by the most gorgeous sunrises, the arena is quiet for my lesson, and I get to socialize a tiny bit after my lesson... My barn is deserted in the evenings when I'm often there so it's nice to be able to do that each week. I think when my 2 year old is ready to start and moves to my coach's place my morning rides will be much more frequent as I will feel more comfortable riding when others are around in case anything goes wrong whilst on the greenbean.


                              • #16
                                Prior to child #1 I did it on the days I worked from home and sometimes even on days I had to go to the office. Up at 5, on by 5:30 and back in the barn untacking/cooling down by 6:30. I cleaned his stall while he cooled down (I boarded at a self care place)...and fed him after he was ready to go back up. In the summers it was easier becasue they were in all day, so I could put him back into his clean stall and feed him and leave.

                                During the winter it was a bit tougher because they were out during the day, so he needed to eat and then go out in the pasture.

                                I am hoping he can come home this summer if his lease doesnt renew....my goal then is to ride BEFORE hubby leaves for work, at least a light hack. IF I get to quit my job after child #2 arrives in May I may be able to find a sitter for a few hours a few days a week so I can ride...but that remains to be seen.
                                Never Ride Faster Than Your Guardian Angel Can Fly
                                Way Back Texas~04/20/90-09/17/08
                                Green Alligator "Captain"


                                • Original Poster

                                  Thanks guys for all the responses. Looks like I'm not the only one trying to do some creative scheduling.

                                  Yes kids do complicate things! I'm having one of those weeks where I'm ready to sell my tack, re-home the horse, and give it up for good. At least for awhile. It's just so hard to keep all the balls in the air...
                                  We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.


                                  • #18
                                    Yupper, I have done the early morning ride routine for just over 13 years now. When I started riding again as an adult I tried out the early morning routine since I had to be at work, so up at 5, lesson at 6:30 and off to work. Now it is just habit and I love the mornings at the barn!


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Bluey View Post
                                      If you go ride very early, how do you arrange that, feed, wait a bit and then ride, or ride first, then feed?
                                      Feed first! I have QHs who would put the ASPCA on their speed dial if I expected them to work before breakfast! I kind of agree with them - I'm a breakfast kind of girl myself.

                                      In the summer, I get up at 4:30 and feed. Then fix my breakfast at five and I'm ready to ride by six. In the swamps of SC, one wants to be off the horse by seven in the summer.

                                      In the winter, though, I wouldn't do it. It's not light enough, and it's cold!

                                      I like my early summer mornings, though. It's like having the whole world to yourself for a while.
                                      I'm not ignoring the rules. I'm interpreting the rules. Tamal, The Great British Baking Show


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Bluey View Post
                                        If you go ride very early, how do you arrange that, feed, wait a bit and then ride, or ride first, then feed?
                                        I'm a horrible, mean horse owner... Mine gets fed at 6AM and I usually arrive to start tacking up at 6:30. He's finished with his grain when I get there but I interrupt his hay time. He's never happy about it but he gets over it. Actually I much prefer my morning rides. After hanging around the pasture all day he's in far less of a mood to do real work than he is in the morning when it's crisp and he's fresh.