Finding that balance0
Like many riders, I have to balance time at the barn with work, family, friends, and everything else life throws at me. It’s not an easy feat to be able to be able to find time for it all. Aside from my full time job, I also write for a number of blogs and am training for a number of endurance rides with my horse this year, one of them being my first FEI ride. I’ve put together a few of the tips and tricks I use when trying to find that perfect balance. I hope you find them helpful and please feel free to comment and share any things you do to manage your busy schedule.
- Time Management. This is the big one. Time management is a great skill to have and will help you in any part of your life. Purchase a day planner (or use the calendar app on your phone) and write down everything you schedule. Start with the non-negotiable items that cannot be moved such as school exams, work deadlines, etc. Then add any big events you would like to attend such as horse shows, weddings, or vacations. Lastly, add the things that are flexible such as gym days or riding time. Learn to be flexible. Things are not going to always go according to plan so you may have to skip a task in favour of something else.
- Relaxing is important too! It sounds silly but I schedule my downtime too. You are not superhuman and need time to recharge after going full speed. It all comes back to that one word: balance. Take a nap, watch some tv, hang out with friends. It’s needed for your health and sanity!
- Use your horse as your motivation. Have a dreadful task at hand? In order to power through it, make your reward for completing it a trip to the barn, or going tack shopping!
- Get help. Help can come in many forms. Recruit a friend or find a part-boarder to help keep your horse in shape. Hire a babysitter a few nights here and there to give you some time off to yourself. If possible, share work responsibilities with a co-worker. Finding help that you trust is also important as you don’t want to be worrying about that as well. This also carries over to coaching and barn care. You don’t want to be worrying about a work project or an exam while stressing over whether or not the barn owner is taking care of your horse properly or if the person riding your horse is following your instructions.
- Know your limits and have fun! Saying no is ok. You cannot do everything, even less so when your mental or physical health is suffering because you are pushing yourself too hard. Remember, horses are supposed to be fun. If you’re not enjoying yourself, you’re doing it wrong! . From time to time you will have to look at your schedule and perhaps find something that you need to cut out in order for the balance to be there.