28 Aug THP Top 10: Balancing Horses with Life
For many of us, riding helps keep us sane. But sometimes it’s a struggle to not only find the time to spend with our horses, but in figuring out how to make that oh so necessary time at the barn work with the rest of our life. Friends, family, funds – it’s a balancing act. Here’s our Top 10 that will hopefully give you some ideas on how to keep it all in perspective.
- Schedule Yourself. It sounds crazy, but if you put your time at the barn on the calendar and keep it consistent, it sets everyone’s expectations about where you’ll be every Wednesday night and Saturday morning. Once on the schedule, stick to it if at all humanly possible. Don’t let yourself fall prey to the office, chores, or any other new obligations.
- Reach Out. Seriously, let the people that mean the most to you know how much your time with your horse means to you. They might not always “get it”, but if you don’t at least try to explain it to them, they certainly won’t understand the importance your horse or horses have in your life.
- Build a Support Network. Partner up with other horse people, or friends, that are also trying to balance everything. Establish a barter system. For example, yYou pick their kids up from school on Thursday so they pick up for you on Wednesday when you ride.
- Pack Your Bags. Try to always have some barn clothes in your car or truck so you don’t have to always run home to change. You may even get some extra riding time in this way!
- DIY. You can save yourself a bit of money by learning some basic care of your horse like how to vaccinate, worm or treat minor abrasions. Talk to your vet. They are usually really happy to have you help out and teach you some of the basics.
- Partner Support. Okay – so we don’t mean to gender-ize but we know a lot of you ladies out there whose partners don’t even know how many horses their SO’s own. Some people just don’t get it and never will. Our suggestion – don’t make your “other” a weekend widow because of the barn (See #1 – Schedule). Also, be supportive and interested in what those special in your life are into and if that means enduring the car or boat show, do it!
- Budget, Budget, Budget. If you want to show or do some special clinics, plan it and budget for it. Don’t tax yourself or your bank account.
- Stop Talking! Horsey people don’t mind and actually crave talking horses 24/7, but don’t do that to your non-horsey friends and family. It just gets annoying and you’ll find people are running from you – rather than to you – at neighborhood BBQs.
- Manage Your Trainer. If you are at a barn with a trainer, don’t feel you have to go overboard on spending money for lessons. Maybe do one every two weeks and have him or her give you a list of things to work on like homework. Throw a clinic in every now and again.
- Don’t Sweat It. Forget doing it all. It just isn’t going to happen. Sometimes the family will eat take-out and the laundry will get a bit behind. Who really cares? If you’re happier and grounded because of your time with your horse, the other stuff will get done one way or the other.
Have a THP Top 10 suggestion? We’d love to hear from you! Just contact us!