- Set Clear Priorities
Before the school year begins, establish a hierarchy of your responsibilities and commitments. Knowing your non-negotiables will help you build a realistic timetable that accommodates your equestrian activities without jeopardizing your other duties.
- Take Advantage of Off-Peak Hours
Whether you’re hitting the trails or practicing in an arena, doing so during off-peak hours can afford you more flexibility and less stress. Consider early mornings, late afternoons, or even your lunch break as potential windows for riding.
- Leverage Weekends
Weekends can be a goldmine for extended riding sessions, especially if your weekdays are packed. This could be the perfect time for trail rides or hacking, which often require more time and preparation than a quick training session.
- Utilize Online Resources and Tools
From horse care tutorials to riding lessons, a wealth of online resources can supplement your physical time in the saddle. Whether it’s watching a dressage webinar while making dinner or listening to an equestrian podcast during your commute, make the most of your downtime.
- Be Flexible but Consistent
Your schedule may not allow for riding every day, and that’s okay. What’s important is maintaining a consistent routine that keeps both you and your horse in good form. You might not be able to commit to a 5-day-a-week regimen, but even a consistent 2 or 3 days can make a world of difference.
- Involve Your Family
If you’re a parent, why not make horse riding a family affair? Not only will this allow you to indulge in your passion, but it’s also a wonderful way to spend quality time with your loved ones. Who knows, you might even be nurturing the next generation of equestrian champions!
- Enlist the Help of a Professional
If you’re particularly pressed for time, consider hiring a professional to exercise your horse on the days you can’t. Not only will this keep your horse in good physical condition, but you’ll also benefit from the expertise a professional can offer.
- Know When to Take a Break
Life happens. There will be weeks when even your best-laid plans fall apart. Recognize when you need to step back and take a break, both for your well-being and that of your horse. A well-rested rider is always better than a stressed one.
- Plan Ahead for Special Events
If you have school holidays, use them wisely. Plan special riding outings, like a weekend trail ride, a 4-day trail ride with one of our short breaks, a longer horse riding holiday or even just a visit to a different riding school, and plan it well in advance so you have something to look forward to.
- Celebrate Small Victories
Balancing an adult life with a passion for horse riding is no small feat. Whenever you successfully incorporate riding into your busy life, take a moment to celebrate, even if it’s just a quiet moment of gratitude.
Balancing horse riding with a back-to-school schedule might seem like a tough act, but remember: where there’s a will, there’s a way. With thoughtful planning and a dash of creativity, you can continue to enjoy the exhilarating world of horse riding, no matter how busy life gets.