I’m glad Hillary posted this the other day, because way back when Karen first broached this subject I drafted this post, then promptly forgot about it. Oops. My Drafts folder is a scary, crowded, very random place.
It’s always interesting to me to see how other people manage to fit horses and riding into their regular lives. Some of us have other big responsibilities to work around (like kids), or long commutes, or considerably more active social lives. I have no kids, a relatively short commute, and basically zero social life, so my only real challenge is making sure I actually get to see the SO for a couple hours a night, lest he become grumpy.
Luckily he has his own hobbies and much more of a social life, so he’s pretty good at keeping himself entertained. I do pretty much all the cooking though, and neither of us would like to eat dinner at 9pm, so I try to tailor my life to where I’m home at a decent hour. Basically this just means that I wake up and go to work a lot earlier than most.
I’m up between 5:15 (if I go running, like today) and 5:45 every day, and at work by 6:30-6:45. I’m a really light sleeper and cannot sleep if there’s any kind of noise or light outside, so the schedule works well for me. As soon as there’s even a hint of dawn or I hear cars starting/people driving by, I’m awake anyway. To answer some common questions in advance: No, I do not drink coffee, it’s disgusting. No, I’m not a perky morning person, I just wake up wanting to get shit done and out of the way. I’m never perky. If I seem perky, just assume I’ve been body snatched. Do not talk to me until after 8am. Or never. Never works too.
I don’t take a lunch break, I just eat at my desk and work through until 3:30ish. My commute to the barn is 30 minutes, so I’m there around 4. Of course, that’s usually right around feeding time, so I usually toss Henry a handful or two of his grain to avoid Drama Queen theatrics when the other horses get fed, then get him out of his stall.
Unless I’m in some kind of major hurry, I curry and brush him thoroughly every day. This is finally possible now that I have the Leistner brushes that he likes… I used to just wipe him down with a towel and be on my way so I didn’t suffer the Wrath of Henny. He seems to enjoy grooming now though, and his coat looks better, so I take the time to be thorough and just enjoy being with my horse. I also use that time to check him over for lumps, bumps, scrapes, fungus, or whatever other fun new thing he’s decided to do to himself.
Then it’s picking his feet, putting his boots on (which, every single day its like he’s never worn boots before in his life), then tacking him up. I usually have a rough schedule planned out in advance that dictates whether we’re doing a dressage ride, conditioning ride, jump school, etc. I’m usually on by 4:30, maybe 4:45 at the latest.
After I ride he gets hosed off then fly sprayed, and I either spray him with fungus spray if needed, or rub some Healthy Hair in the base of his tail, or slather him with Swat, or whatever else. Usually by then I’m running a little later than I want to be, so I just wipe off my bit and then toss my stuff back in the tack room. Cleaning/conditioning tack is usually a weekend thing for me, just like really long rides or shampoo baths or anything that I’d like to be leisurely about.
I try to be out of the barn by 6:30 so that I’m home by 7, then start dinner, take a shower, and have a little bit of time to hang out with SO and the dogs. I go to bed at 9 and read until I fall asleep (usually around 10) so I’m kind of a grandma like that. I need quiet time and I need sleep, sorry not sorry.