Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Time Management 101

Worthy of its own thread...

In the last post, the question was asked: "How do other people make time, schedule for, accomplish riding/training when working full-time, raising kids, etc.? "

I can't speak to having kids, but I do work two jobs. I work 7 to 5 Monday through Friday and 9 to 5 Saturday and Sunday with a thirty mile one way commute to each.

Here's my weekday:

5:00 AM - feed and pick stalls
5:30 AM - shower
6:15 AM - trudge into Starbucks, LOL
7:00 AM - 5:00 PM - work. Often involves running to the feed store on lunch.
6:15 PM - arrive home, change, trudge out to barn and begin feeding and picking stalls
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM is when I ride. Yes, we have a sort-of-lighted indoor.

I do not cook. I live off of Taco Bell when I'm poorer or premade stuff from Whole Foods when I am having a better money week. If traffic is bad, that means I'm in the barn until 10 PM.

Weekends are a repeat of the weekdays except I get to sleep in until 7 AM.

When I had a more high-powered job, in Los Angeles, I used to answer all of my e-mails as I was cooling out at the end of rides, on my Blackberry. While I am sure no safety expert would recommend this, it does work. You can also do that sort of thing as you're supervising a foot soaking, or holding horses for the farrier. (Just do not move to the PNW and drown your Blackberry in the horse pasture in the AM. I know from experience - they do not swim.)

I have always thought one of the most important things about actually getting the horses worked is not to lose your forward momentum. Do not try to go home first and then go to the barn - if you can, go straight from work or go at a set time every day no matter what. Trust me, once your butt makes contact with the couch it is going to take dynamite to get it off of there and out to the barn. That's any of us.

Past that I'd say: set a goal. For example, my goal with the VLC has been 3x a week and I have stuck to that. Get a calendar and make big red X's when you do it. Or give yourself a gold star for each horse ridden. Whatever works! You'll love it when you can look back on a month and see your progress. I don't care how old you are, you'll feel good when you see that line of stars!

Oh, I also seriously recommend Diet RockStar. I LIVE off of Diet RockStar. Diet RockStar should advertise here, because without their product, my schedule would not be possible! I am immune to caffeine, having ingested massive quantities of it from about age 8 onward, but Diet RockStar actually wakes me up.

What about the rest of you? How do you get your riding/training done amid the rest of your busy busy life?


Char said...

See, anyone SERIOUSLY addicted to horses and needing them to function "normally" should NEVER try to work and have kids.

I'm quickly finding out that if I had the opportunity to do it over again, I would have stayed single. I love my son with all my heart, but he takes a LOT of time and care, and with a hubby that has his OWN goals Monday-Thursday until 8:00 pm or so, it's all me.

So, screw it. I'm taking the kid to the barn Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

I DARE anyone to bitch 'cause this mamma has HAD it.

Sorry for the long rants/bitch fests. I've been increasingly frustrated re: my horse activities and lack of allowed time for such for going on 7 years.

From the sounds of it - I'm going to have to get a day planner and stick with it.

verylargecolt said...

Char, my friend raised her first two pretty much AT the barn from day one and they suffered no ill effects.

Hey, keeps 'em off the streets!

Char said...

I forgot to thank you for featuring this subject. It should prove extremely helpful to hear others ideas on this matter.

oneidea said...

Amen... Mine live at the barn. I think the dirt and germs help them develop healthy immune systems. Ducking the occassional flying hoof helps them develop good reflexes. Hearing mommy cuss improves vocabulary. ;-)

My day is a lot easier than VLC's because I don't have to do my own turnout and AM feeding... I have kids for that! LOL!! So during the week, I go off to work, my eldest goes to the barn around noon and works horses during the day, I meet up with her at the barn after work, we finish chores (stalls, get feedings and meds ready for the next day), work a few more horses, come home and grab a bite to eat (thank you dear god for sending me a husband that cooks!!) and get to bed. Often I have all three with me at the barn in the PM. They can pick stalls and push wheelbarrows easier as I can!

oneidea said...

*than* I can.

Grrr on not being able to edit comments.

oneidea said...

char, I'm not sure how old your son is... but mine were 'helping' as toddlers. If he's still young, get some child-size garden tools... he can pick stalls with you. My youngest is 10 now, but for several years she has been able to lead horses (not the crazy ones!), pick feet, drop hay... and I bet whatever you have him do, he will LOVE it because he's doing it with you.

**Disclaimer** the above-mentioned activities may create horsey children that demand their own mounts by the time they can walk. ;-)

Karen V said...

In my perfect world, I would ride every day! However, they kicked me out and make me live here. Basic schedule:
5:45 - Alarm goes off
6:00 - Stumble in to kitchen, pour coffee (Starbuck Verona, 8 cups water, 7 scoops grounds.)
6:03 - Trudge to bathroom, apply warpaint, run the eggbeater through my hair.
6:40 - Put on grubbies, trudge to barn to feed 6 starved darlings and a 2 month old who has learned to whinny. (I tell ya, it's dang cute, even in the morning) Feed, check waterers, look over the darlings for boo-boos, scratch the baby, head to the house.
6:50 - Go back to barn, check that fence is on, turn off night-lights.
(I don't pick "stalls" because mine are open to 70 ft dry lot runs)
6:55 - Return to house, put together lunch, and my shit together.
7:00 - Leave house and head 8 miles to the high school in Kennewick because my 17 yr old Princess just HAD to go to the same school as all her friends.
7:35 - Arrive at work, work through lunch. Puruse FHOTD, add important information is I can, funnier-than-shit stuff if I can't.
4:30 - Leave work
4:55 - Arrive home. Hit the bathroom, pet the dogs while seated on the throne (Because I haven't peed by myself since my son was born (in 1986) and I'm scared to do so with out another breathing creature in there with me.)
5:00 - Change my clothes and head to the barn. Feed the darlings who are once again starved nearly to death. Clean the stalls of the OFFENDERS - those special one or two who decided they were two tired to walk 10 feet and crap outside.
5:45 - Head back to the house to check e-mails, start dinner.
6:30 - Sit on the back porch with a drink and a cigarette, watching the horses and decide who my victim for the night will be.

3 out of 5 nights - can't decide and give up. Sometimes my husband is otherwise occupied during "ride time" and sometimes he's a whiney, demanding baby. He's still alive because most nights I just don't have the energy to dig the grave...

I don't work Sat and Sun (at a job), and I have every other Friday off.

Fri off-Sat-Sun
Sleep until 7
one cup of coffee
clean stalls and runs
clean up poop off the pasture (anal retentive hubby - don't ask)
Usually done by noon. Ride if it's nice. Fix stuff the horses broke, etc.
I seriously believe that KEEPING forward momentum is easier that STARTING it.

One of my biggest excuses is that I don't have an indoor arena, and I won't ride in the wind or the rain.

Anonymous said...

My secret is step-kids, a full-care boarding facility (with year-round daily turn-out) and working out regularly. I love the kids to death and can't wait to see them every weekend, but the week is MINE! Sure, I have to work and I have a fiance at home to tend to as well, but he can cook for himself, stay home alone and get himself to bed at a decent hour. Oh, and he takes care of the dogs at night, I take care of them in the morning since he leaves for work at 5AM. Full care board is great -- no hay hauling, so stall cleaning and if you can't make it to the barn, you know they have been out with their pals all day. Granted, I'd rather have Brig at home and if I had the time and it paid well, I'd clean stalls all day! Working out regularly helps with energy, though it doesn't make sense.

My schedule is:

Monday: Up at 5AM, work-out 5:30-6:30AM, go to work and shower (having a shower at the office is awesome!), work 7AM-somewhere between 4 & 6PM depending on what's going on at work (lunch at desk). Head to barn an hour away. Ride. Stop at Subway, eat in car. Get home by 8:30 PM, get ready for the next day (bag for barn clothes, bag for work clothes) and go to bed by 9.

Tuesday: Pretty much the same as above, but go straight home as early as possible and make nice dinner for my hunny, catch up on housework and be loving (to make up for barn-time). Go to bed at 8.

Wednesday: Same as Monday.

Thursday: Same as Tuesday.

Friday: Same as Monday. However, I am sure there is food for dinner in the house, organized for ease. Also, choose something that kids can help with. Skip Subway, come straight home, eat leftovers, hang-out with kids, then go grocery shopping once they are settled in for the night.

Saturday: Get up before anyone else and make nice breakfast. Do laundry while I cook. Put dinner in a crock-pot. Try to work out. Take one daughter to barn and leave chores for others (in exchange for stars that = money!). Be home in time to finish dinner, eat, catch a movie at home, take dogs for walk and spend time with family.

Sunday: See Saturday.

Princess Jess said...

7am- wake up, throw on barn grubbies, drive 5 miles to barn. Everyone is fed and watered and stalls are picked usually before 8:30am.

8:30-9am- Yank the LBH (Little Black Horse) away from his breakfast (he eats REALLY fast, anyway, and it's usually almost gone by the time I'm done with chores). Groom, tack up, ride/longe/long-line/torture/whatever.

9:30-10am- Turn out LBH and OFSB (Old Fart Saddlebred). Give friend's mare more grass hay so she shuts up.

11am- drive home, shower, change, eat lunch while packing dinner.

12:30-9pm Work. Go home and sleep. (Friend takes care of the horses in the PM, where she feeds dinner, waters, picks stalls if needed, brings the boys in, turns her mare out for the night (they don't get along and we're not cross-fenced yet)

I LOVE having the mornings to do my stuff. I'm still really motivated in the mornings. Granted, I hate getting out of bed, but if I know there are horses starving in their stalls, I will get up early. Once I'm out there, I'm fine. It's really working well.

Plus, nothing pumps me up like having a training breakthrough first thing in the morning. I feel invincible at work all day after that.

ellen said...

I addressed the "dealing with family" aspects in the last thread (Go Char!!!)

Now that the husband is rehomed nd the kids are gone, I am "only" working around a demanding full time job and a very full time horse operation, which I do all by myself. It's a little ridiculous, and future plans include remodeling the finished basement into an apartment for an equine science student from the nearby university who wants to live rent free in exchange for helping with barn chores, but that's a year or two off. I would love to be able to get off this farm for a day or two one or two times a year....

Here's the time structure I devised for this spring. Did I always do this? No. Did I sometimes come home from work exhausted, throw feed at the horses, and fall asleep on the couch in front of the TV? Yes. I am learning to allow myself to be human, but also to balance that with the discipline to do this well enough that I FEEL human (I have a very low failure threshold).

5:30-7:30 AM feeding and chores (yes, it takes every bit of 2 hours -- many many horses all with different feed requirements all over the farm)
8-9:30 AM Mass
10 AM to 5:30 PM: handle weanlings and yearlings, work all horses in training
5:30-7:30: feeding and chores
7:30 - 11 PM finish riding, plans and preparations for work week.

5:30-7:30 AM: feeding and chores
8-4:30 work (including that feed store run on the way home, and providentially with the blessing of an unstructured afternoon that I can occasionally usurp for vet appointments and shoeing appointments)
5:30-7:30: feeding and chores
7:30 - 11 PM (or later): work training horses A/B/C + groundwork on another

Same as above except work training horses D/E/F + groundwork on another

Horses' day off
Late hours at work finishing week's documentation and paperwork, grocery shopping etc. on the way home, perhaps a meal in town
followed by feeding/chores, house chores, laundry, and possibly loafing a bit.

6-8AM feeding and chores (sometimes I sleep all the way till SEVEN!)
8 or 9 - 5:30: Work all the training horses, strip stalls, walk fence
5:30 - 7:30 PM feeding and chores
7:30 - 11:00 PM finish riding, house chores.

Notice what is NOT on there -- evening activities, socializing, much of anything else. What my advancing age is forcing me to put IN is taking care of myself -- eating something besides crap in a sack, exercise, rest. Yes, compared to how I rolled for nearly 50 years, that schedule includes a LOT of rest.

Fortunately, my job also allows me to work only very part time all summer -- June to Aug. 1, so throw in all the summer farm work, bush hogging and any building projects into the mix for summer, but put every day but Thursday on the "weekend schedule" above. Thursday is town day -- I go to work, make my weekly trip to town, etc.

ellen said...

Karen V -- hint hint for you. If you have a garden tractor or an ATV or any such conveyance, you can drag your pastures instead of picking them up. Saves a lot of time -- a section of chain link or welded fence panel will do it, with something heavy on top. It will pulverize the poo.

icepony said...

Slightly O/T, but relevant to the heat/cold/wind thread from the other day. Here is the forecast for my area for this afternoon - does anyone blame me for not riding AGAIN today?


Mary said...

My schedule:

Monday-Thursday first!

4:00 AM - Wake up, stumble to the coffee pot. Stand and stare out the window wondering if I should battle Mother Nature that day
4:20 - Wake up husband - Get that 6' toddler dressed and ready for work. Tell him all the whining in the world isn't going to talk me into letting him stay home
5:00 - Continue arguing with husband that he HAS TO go to work. Get him out the door then turn on the computer
5:05 - Read the fugly site, check email, check local rescue for anyone that needs me, get all 5 kids up, fed, chores done, breakfast made
6:00 Attempt to outsmart Mother Nature and tame my curly hair. Suit up and walk out the door by 7am with kids in tow
7:20 - Drop kids off with grandma
7:45 arrive at work and look over agenda (I'm a Casino Host) see what entertainment is coming in, get contracts filled, be screamed at by people who lost all their money, help out in the bar/buffet/snack bar/players club/valet/hotel/slots/anywhere else that is short handed.

6pm - Make my way home. All 45 miles of it.
7pm until about 10pm- Listen to hubby whine about work. Make dinner, feed 5 kids and 6' toddler, go out and check the skinny boy for any new wounds, clean out old ones, count the chickens to make sure everyone is there, play with my 120 pound yellow lab that had been following me around with those sad eyes because I left him all day, pull laundry off the line, clean up mess hubby left in the yard, shower and die.

With having such a large family (no, I am not a human BYB, we're a joined family) and working what I do, I save my riding for the weekend when I can devote the time and energy that I feel SSP needs and deserves.

Karen V said...

Ellen - Oh, I know! I have a piece of chain link fencing that is 4 ft high and 14 ft long, doubled over a round wood fence post (cut to size so the ends don't get hung up on sprinklers or anything). Then I have the brackets that hold dog kennel panels together (15 of them total) at various intervals on the link. The bolt is a 5 inch fully threaded bolt, so when the excess bolt side is down, it doubles as an arena drag, when the bolts are up, it's a gravel smoother-outer.

I have a two yr old lightly used ATV.

I also have an anal retentive husband who for the most part is a smart guy, but for some reason, he's decided that once the poo burns off the grass, it won't grow back. EVER.

*sigh* I know. I've had this arguement before. A LOT. Vigorously! Which is why I'm too tired to dig the's just so exhausting.

Remember a last weekend I had a "stupid attack"?? Mine comes and goes. His comes and stays a while. His usually goes when he has determined it was his idea in the first place.

bigpainthorse said...

Lord, I'm in awe of all of you. I can barely do it with just my one horse, a twice-per-week trainer, boarding at a full-care facility, and with no kids in the mix. Although I do sort of have my full-time job and then my other full-time job ...

Mary said...

After reading the comments I have to add:

Everyday of the week each one of the kids, from 14 down to 6, has an animal chore. Since the SSP is actually my old sons, HE is incharge of bringing the beet pulp to Lex twice a day and they all (we have a mini-sized wheelborrow) clean out the barn and dry lot DAILY. It takes them 1 hour to do it all and it won't kill them.

Mary said...

I'm crying at Karen V! The bathroom true is that?! Not only peeing, but taking a shower is rarely done without either a black nose (rottie) or yellow nose (fat lab) peeking in to see if my plumbing has changed since the evening before.

wolfandterriers said...

Maybe you guys can offer me some advice. I'm currently taking organic 1 as a summer course (aka applied torture) and trying to balance the hour and a half drive one way to the university into my days. I'm signed up for organic 2 in July and I'm attempting to study for the MCATs on top of everything else. I'm feeling every so slightly out of whack as I can't seem to get a good schedule down.

I normally carry 21 hours + an audit, work 4-5 days a week, and everything balances. My pony was getting worked 4 days a week minimum. Now I'm up till 2-3 am doing homework and I can barely drag myself up with the aid of 2 alarm clocks. I didn't realize how much I needed those three hours!

A big part is how much I hate driving. Despite the fact that I LOVE my car (I sold my last pony for it, ok? It's beee-yoo-tiful!) I just despise having to drive that far. I can barely SIT once I get to class since I've been doing 80 mph the entire way there. I get very tense driving and am exhausted from the transit when I get back from class.

Scheduling advice? Should I eat more? (That's another subject...) Should I try and sleep on a more regular basis? I'm not exactly sure what's going on with this...the material in and of itself is less difficult than modern physics, but I think I'm getting wound up in the driving side of it.

Mary said...

Never underestimate the awesomeness of power naps! 10-15 minute snoozes that help you recharge. When I was a full time college student and worked full time, I would do these in my car since I wouldn't get comfy enough to take a 3 hour nap, but I could still shut my eyes and doze off.

I have some nasty health issues that require sleep to function. I set a bedtime and stick to it. After all, if I can't work because of my health, all the other stuff will fall apart, too.

fanoffugly said...

Hey, fugs can I jump on the side bar bandwagon?

And I am going to start the QHXTB under saddle myself, I have 3 weeks off soon so thanks for the inspiration. Hugs to the VLC.

gillian said...

The thing I discovered when I was at the barn 9 hrs/day or so is EAT. Seriously take 15 minutes to eat something and you will be rewarded with getting way more done. I mostly ate cheese and crackers last year. This year I'm trying out trail mix which requires no refrigeration. I'm liking it but I dont think its as filling as the fat in the cheese. What are other people eating for snacks/meal replacement?

Karen V said...

On the weekends....

Eat? What is THAT? For that matter, what is drink?

By noon, I'm watching the horses in case one suddenly keels over, then I'll get to eat!

Just kidding...I usually wait until I can't take it anymore, then hauls my hindend up to McDonalds for a Big Mac and fries. Then I come home, take a nap on the floor (because I still stink to high hell, and hey, with all the dog hair, it's down-right comfy!) I nap until I wake myself up snoring (unually about 15 minutes - power nap?) Then I'm back at it, finishing whatever chores I have left.

Mary - I've got all black noses. One yellow lab, two Jack russels. They aren't the only ones. Sometimes the cat comes in to check, sometimes the daughter, sometimes the husband. THIS is why I can pee in the barn. Or the woods, or out on the trails. I have no modesty left! The only time I get to pee alone without someone else watching is when I'm at work.

Char said...

You gals are amazing. Plain and simple.

Actually, my son is now 6 years old, when he was 1yr-2.5 I DID take small gardening tools to the barn with us so he could "help" :-D. The innocent bystanders were MORTIFIED that I was allowing him to play in poop. My reply was, "hey, at least he's already smart enough not to eat it!"

But then, my son got mauled in the face by the BO's German Sheppard and it has pretty much scarred me for life. I've always thought, "If I didn't have a *problem* he wouldn't have gotten hurt."

Guilt is a terrible thing.

Karen V:
No more cigarette talk... I've JUST quit so that I have another $40-$50 to spend/save on my horses and I don't need that kind of tamptation. I miss it like CRAZY. I've only been off the gum for 4 days now. I still want to SMOKE.

ellen said...

Karen v -- I think your hubby should get a nice book on the nitrogen cycle for Christmas this year.....

mugwump said...

I know we're all busy, but I think Fugs qualifies as a bonified horse loving obsessive maniac.
I have the privilege of working with horses every day. It has been a wonderful ride for a lot of years, but my body is giving out on me.
My daughter still tells the tale of taking naps curled up in the corner of the indoor.
I became a full time trainer because I could keep her with me.
So my kid is the product of plenty of quantity time, if she thinks she needed quality too she can go ride her horse.

Lali said...

Mmmm, Diet RockStar is the best. Their new coffee drinks are good too, even though they look nasty! Well Mocha is nasty, Vanilla and Latte are my favorites.

For a kick, Diet RockStar and Jager is AH-MAZING!


Shelley said...

I'm a bit of a 'special' case here :D I am not able to own a horse right now, so I get my 'fix' by working with the wonderful lesson program at my barn.

6:30am: Roll out of bed, wondering what the heck I'm doing with my summer vacation.
6:30-7:00am: Force down cereal and OJ (yeah yeah, breakfast is good for you)
7:00-7:30am: Try to find decent business-y outfit to wear (I have more barn clothes than I do 'job' clothes!)
8:00am-12:00pm: Work.
12:00-1:00pm: Eat lunch and check FHOTD and VLC blog!
1:00-3:00pm: Work. (How much do I LOVE getting off two hours before everyone else in the office? Lovin part time!)
3:00-3:30pm: Run home, throw on barn clothes, gulp down a snack and get barn stuff (stirrups, helmet, H2O etc) together.
3:30-10:00pm: Informal job out at the barn with the lesson program- giving lungeline lessons, getting horses ready, forever watering, mucking stalls, and once or twice a week riding. (I say informal because I'm payed in experience and the occasional free lesson)
10:00-11:00pm: Come home, eat supper and bathe.
11:30-12:00pm: Finally....sleep.


8:30am-9:00pm: Barn. (See 3:30-10:00pm above for further explanation)
9:00-10:00pm: Eat dinner and bathe.
10:30-11:00pm: Sleeeep.

Sundays vary based on what we have going on at the barn- sometimes a birthday party, sometimes feeding, occasionally a trail ride.

Not too bad, but admittedly tiring for a college student on summer vacation.

Shelley said...

*FALL asleep, not just sleep for thirty minutes a night! :P

a beautiful disaster said...

since i only have one day of actual classes left, i guess i'll put my summer schedule

6:30 out of bed, stretch and 15 min run
7:00 shower and dress
7:30 breakfast and make lunch, pack up shit for day
8:15 arrive at barn, check ponies, tidy grooming area, set up stuff for day
8:45 morning campers start arriving
9-12:30 morning camp (chase kids, make sure they don't hurt the ponies, supervise chores, chase ponies around ring, teach/entertain barn lessons, eat)
12:40 last camper leaves (if we're lucky)
12:40-12:50 "half hour" break to bitch about campers
12:50 afternoon campers show up (if not earlier)
1:00 afternoon camp ("teach" 4-6 year old how to groom and ride -aka groom little pony and then jog it around ring whilst said kid bounces in the saddle, instructor (or is that supposed to be pony) baths)
2:30 afternoon camp ends
2:45 last camper leaves, collective sigh of relief, recommence breathing, eat some more
[if monday, feed all 55 of the barns horses 3-5 and then hack a schoolie bareback (boarders day off)]
3:30-7:30 riding/training/grooming/baths/ect on Buddy and the SLM
7:45 arrive home, get yelled at by parents for amount of time at barn, eat food, crash by 9

fridays are basically the same, with no afternoon camp. that means i'm home by five and possibly with enough energy to do something social

saturdays and sundays are less scheduled, ride one or both of them and do cleaning of barn stuff that doesn't get it during the week.

i am also taking an online civics class, and have summer work for AP physics english and spanish

i honestly don't have a clue how i will do that...but it sure seems a hell of a lot easier than what some of you do! i will enjoy the sleep while i can :)

Jackie said...

Geez...some of you! Maybe I'm getting older and pushing it (51), but I am *dead tired* by 9 anymore...

4:45am..wake up...hubby leaves for work by 5:30, so I snuggle in bed and wait for him to give me good bye hugs (yes, the *only* mushy thing we do LOL!)

School Year (see how my world revolves around my son's school!)

5:45am..make myself get up (guilt, hubby's already almost at work). During school year, on the weeks I have my son, get my shower (alone!!!!Whee Ha!), go feed Starlette (I never want to board again...I just love having her home to get my ass going in the am!)...grab a bite to eat and read various internet sites (besides horses, my new hubby of 6 years addicted me to drag racing..yup, have my own Pinto...need to figure a bumper sticker for that other horse is a QH?...hmmm...I do race the 1/4 mile...). Feed cats/dog.

6:30 Take my son to school 1/2 hr away (I refused to fight with my ex about custody, so we split it and I eat gas mileage taking him to his original school), come home, let cats up (they sleep in the basement...7 house cats running around in the night is just tooo much and we need our sleep). Get back home by 8, BREATHE, check Starlette (with carrots or apple..did I say I love having her home?)

8:45: leave for work ,get out at 5:30...get my son (if it's a school week), come home, make dinner, play with Starlette (either ride or ground work, or continue to teach her to bow). Feed her (and my hubby is now coming out to hang !!! I see a hubby horse in the future!) Go to sleep by start again!

Summer is different in the fact I don't have to do the driving to get my son...I have him 2 weeks, he goes to his dad's 2 weeks. I hate the heat, and need to ride Starlette in the am or when it cools off in the pm, or I won't ride. I miss my Winter under-the-moon bareback rides with her...but I love the extra daylight hours in the Summer.

Weekends are lazy, take our time (unless it's summer and we are going to the track on Sat), and I ride/play with Starlette whenever (did I say *again* I love having her here?) We tend to stay up later...(the only reason I am even posting this at 11 is we are on "stay-cation this week). Once our weekend flys by, it's back to the same old routine....

All of the Above is Subject to Change Without Notice LOL!

Chezza said...

When school is in I try to do the bulk of my barn chores while the little 'bear' is at school. He is mentally disabled and a handful.
For my summer schedule. I get up, get breakfast, X dogs, get to work (next door to house, bonus), work until mid afternoon, have lunch, go to barn and pick stalls (board), come home give D a nap, do some housework (EVIL), fix dinner or GET dinner, ride when Hubby gets home or on days when hubby gets home late do short work rides or groundwork or grooming, while the little bear of a child plays in and out of stalls/arena/aisles.
I have been known to ride as late as ten pm. Sundays are the BEST. D and Daddy home to nap and GO spend all day at the barn (well MOST of the day) they get up and come join me and D rides his pony.

Anonymous said...

I am one of those who couldn't do it without full care. I live 40 miles from work, and the barn is just about exactly halfway between the day job and the house.

I'm up at 4:30 to write (my other frustrated ambition), then off to day job at 6. Wrangle middle school kids most of the day, then head to barn 2-3 days a week, depending on nighttime scheduling. Get home from barn around 7, read online stuff, work on writing, crash around 9.

I try to ride 3-4 times a week, but it doesn't always work out, especially toward the end of the school year when I get buried in paperwork. Fortunately, my little Chocolate Chic Olena mare is pretty well broke by now, at age 8, and she's always eager to get out there and get to work (we simplify schooling quite a bit during these times, focusing on bending, suppling, and up and down transitions). It also helps that I figured out a while back that she does better with a day off between sessions.

That said, this summer I'm going to try riding her two days in a row to see if she's gotten past the issues that made me move to a lighter schedule with her. Primarily her back--tension and flexibility. She's much more muscled up now than she was at age 5, though. I wouldn't mind riding more frequently for shorter periods of time, especially in the winter.

Heidi the Hick said...

I was a stay at home mother for over a decade with my horses at Grandma's (where they still are) a long drive down the big highway away from me.

Finally I found a place to ride and work. I love it. It's 20 minutes away from my house. I can go out in the morning, bring my lunch, and leave around 3 to meet my kids after school.

I do whatever odd jobs need to be done, ride the horse who got left out of lessons or needs a tune-up, clean the barn, drag the sand ring, fling manure, whatever needs to be done. It's different everyday. I can also practice the test pattern for my level 4.

I do three days each week. My weekends are family time, since my husband works usually from 10 am to about 2 am. (Yes, 16 hr days are normal in a recording studio, and no, he's not making mega bucks! Also he's been doing this for 20 years so I've pretty much raised the kids on my own.)

Anyways. Monday and Tuesday are for shopping and writing, clean house/ do even more laundry than usual/ clean up office/ yard work/ email.

My coach's 9 month old boy has been going out to the barn with her since he was days old. Her 11 year old boy has jobs to do too.

My kids have been coming out the their grandpa's barn since they could walk. They're good workers. I mean, when my parents were that age in the 50s all the farm kids were half raised in the barn and half in the house. It's good. They can do some of your work, learn the value of it, and accidentally have fun!

Heidi the Hick said...

I feel that I should add:

My schedule is not as breakneck busy as some of yours. (You are very strong!!! Tell yourself that!)

Part of that is this mental health thing that I've been trying to recover from/ survive for the last few years. I know that if I push myself to hard I get ridiculous anxiety problems, then I'll have to mess with meds again, and I've learned how to pace myself. NOBODY benefits if I'm all frazzled and stressed and so depressed that I can hardly function.

so that's why I don't have a job even though we really need a second income. When I decided that our second income would come from me teaching riding lessons, we knew it could take awhile to get me all certified and ready to go. I'd like to think it's worth it.

And the on-the-job training is just incredible!!

Heat Stroke in FL said...

VLC - you are right. If your bum hits the coach, the day is OVER. That has always been my problem. I have to force myself to do everything and NOT stay glued to the coach.

I commend you on your schedule. It takes a lot of dedication to work 2 jobs, spend the rest of your time mucking stalls, and then go to bed day in and day out. That is true dedication.

I find that keeping my horse numbers DOWN (which is hard considering all of the abuse cases lately) keeps me from getting overloaded. I have more time for myself and the horses when I only have 2 out in the pasture to deal with.

serensk said...

I don't have kids, just a border collie. That helps. The DH is 10x more addicted to the Barn than me. The Barn IS my therapy. Only thing that would make my life even better is being at a barn that allows dogs -- darn insurance at those big boarding stables.

The Barn is a daily event, almost always. It's our clubhouse, our solitude and our social tea. We have a routine that ensures four horses get some kind of interaction each day we're there. Fridays we usually skip in favour of geekier city things. I work stupid hours. I work 5 days a week, 6am-6pm, and every third weekend and every third night on call. I carry two pagers on call, and have learned to put one on each hip so they don't clack together at the canter... still too protective of the BlackBerry to RIDE with it (but that's fading... fast.) The DH has been known to conduct business on his BlackBerry while holding horses for the farrier. That's what you can do when you "work from home" in IT. :P

We definitely need to plan better. We need to streamline the time spent at the Barn. When it's just me, I surprise myself. Once there's two people in the equation, it seems to triple the time spent there... on the same number of horses. Weird. :P We definitely don't have a problem with bums hitting couches, although the DH's constant drive to get the hell out of the house he works in probably helps there.

But the biggest secret for us has nothing to do with good planning, or bad eating (but we do the latter). It's got everything to do with a good Barn. Board here is sooo much cheaper than what we were used to in Ontario -- and the city is small. We got space at a boarding stable that's less than twenty minutes from home or work, in traffic. Not having to worry about feeding or fence maintenance; and having a heated fully enclosed massive indoor arena with lights on until 10:30pm... that's the real secret.

We've got it easy, I feel so lazy and ashamed reading all these hardcore equestrian schedules.

Aimee said...

My schedule consists of:
5:30 Wake Up - Feed Horses/Dogs, Clean Etc
6:45 Get Ready For Work - Down Caffine
7:45 Off to work
Lunch Time-Runs To get feed or what not
17:00 Finish Work back home or shop when required
17:30 home, back in the slacks, back out side
16:30-19:00 settle back down inside, to continue working on my own business
Working until 21:00
Then Sleep.

Horses dont get ridden until the weekend *unfortunately, but partly so because my only rideable horse is also spelling too*

Weekends working on the farm from 7am-Late as needed with horses, sheep, dogs and chooks.

Masquerade said...

I work 7 - 3 Mon to Fri, so I'm up at 5:30 and out the door by 6:30. Work is rather flexible as long as I cover off 8 hours.

I usually come home after and head to the barn around 5:30. Right now I'm doing the night feed as the BO is working nights. Excellent way to get me off my butt and back to the barn. I feed everyone and work my guy for around 30 - 40 mins.

On weekends I'm free so go up whenever I want.

My problem is more to do with being away every month for work, lately a week or two at a time.

In the fall when my kids are here I'll have to adjust and probably ride after they are in bed. New place I'll be I can have my horse there so it will work out. Once winter hits I'll only be able to ride a bit on weekends as we have no indoor.

As much extra work as I'll have with having him home I'm happier being the one to care for him. Where he is now is excellent but after boarding and running a stable for years I promised myself and my horses that I would be the one to care for them. Plus, boarding is way to expensive and I can't afford it LOL

On a good note I've worked the boy twice this week :) Yea me. I got the third ride in last night, only bareback and only walk but calm and steady makes me happy.

Nagonmom said...

wolfandterriers, you have a serious sleep deficit going on, and the 90 minute drive twice a day is a set up for a very bad accident!! You need more sleep!! (Residency is as bad, although supposedly getting better with the 80 hr limit.) Actually most schedules posted have a cavalier attitude about sleep. It is not optional, and people die everyday because of sleep related accidents. Is living closer to university even an option? Overnight place to sleep in town (friends guest room?) for a night or two during the week? Good luck with MCAT.
Char take the kids to the barn. Also remember they do grow up and away, and by adolescence will be pretty much on their own, and more than happy to have you at the barn!!
Ellen I loved the rehomed husband comment. I rescued mine! Sorta
Fugly, MORE of this. Reading other's schedules made me feel my life was more doable. I actually made the call to start riding lessons as a rerider!

sidetracked said...

I am now a struggling 27yo that recently broke up with the BF who owned the house and I have 1 horse, 2 dogs and 1 cat. The horse is boarded. I am scrambling around trying to find a roomate to split an apartment with me which is between the barn and work. I am currently living at my parents 1 hr away from work and barn. I work 8A-5P and have weekends off. However now that my living situation and financial situation has changed I have started feeding on Saturday AM and PM to help offset the cost of board and am also picking up some stall duties. My routine was come home from work, change and pick up the dogs and go to the barn until about 8 or so. Find something quick to eat, cruise the computer for about 30 min, get ready for the next day and go to bed to make sure I get atleast 7hrs. I ride my own horse as much as I can and am now working with the BO's horse so that I can show her mare for free, so I am atleast riding her 3 times a week. It's hard sometimes juggling that life and I've been accused of only having work and barn as a social life but it's what I love. This Friday the 13th I'm taking my certified alcohol and drug counselor exam, racing to the barn afterwards to get ready for a show on Sat. Riding, bathing, packing, braiding and cleaning and then sleeping in the pop up camper I have over at the barn since I live so far away. Wake up at 3:30 take a quick shower and load the trailer and horses and drive 2 and a half hrs to the show grounds. It's crazy but it's my life and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

4Horses&Holding said...

char - I feel you. I feel guilty saying it, but..... single was a hell of a lot (well, I feel guilty saying it).

Let's say that it's not the easiest thing to go from a single/working & riding all the time girl to a stay at home mom of five (all under 10) - two of them being step-children (and one is 6 and the naughtiest, most exasperating child in the entire freakin' world!). Especially if the husband seems to think that it's "your job" to watch the children 24/7. He can hop up at any time and say "I'll be back in a few hours" and just leave, but you must clear the schedule with him before you do anything. And he probably already has plans.

Ya know - *my* children are the oldest, so if he would take care of *his* and *ours* then I could ride a lot more often. (I don't usually make the distinction between "yours-mine-ours" but to make it clear while I'm bitching, I will.)

Boy, am I crabby this morning. :)

Lisa said...

I keep a busy schedule, too, but I normally don't have a problem keeping the 3 horses ridden (my 2, plus the barn owner's horse).

Usually, each of my horses gets ridden every other day during the week, and I squeeze in a ride on the BO's mare in every couple days. Then I ride as many as I have time for on the weekends. It works out so everyone gets 3-4 rides per week.

But, you know what's thrown my schedule lately? Gas prices!!! I know we've been groaning about them for years now, but with them going up over $4, I'm now starting to feel the pinch. I've been trying to avoid going to the barn 7 days a week to save myself the trip, but that ruins my perfect every other day schedule.

My main vehicle is a small, two-door coupe that gets 40mpg highway (I also have a gas-guzzling truck that I only drive when needed. It hasn't moved in a month). I can't even fathom how those commuting in large SUVs and trucks are surviving right now.

crazyhorse said...

Here's my blog spot for us that struggle to make the shows a priority:

Rialin said...

Having just graduated from college, I'm finding working at a place I enjoy is much less stressful and less time consuming that full time college. Just for an example, a schedule from my very recent college days. For perspective, I was a Graphic Design/Theatre double major, and on the Equestrian Team ... for shits and giggles. I'm also an obsessive runner.

7:30-8:00: Wake up and run 4 miles, dress.
8:00-9:00: Class.
9:00-11:00: Shower, dress for EQ practice.
11-12: Class
12-1: EQ Practice,
1-4: Class
4-5: Run the rest of my daily miles
5-6: Dinner, Shower, Change clothes(again)
6-10(or midnight): Stage Manage Theatrical Rehearsals
12-?: College Experience?

This was Monday-Friday. EQ Practice only on three days a week. The rest of the time I was training one of their newly-acquired off the tracks.

College sucks ... I'm so glad to be done.

Serendipity said...

I'm impressed that you have your schedule down to the hour, Fugs, because I can never seem to stick to a schedule beyond being on time for work.

Fiance and I are childfree and work full-time, with about thirty animals of varying sizes between us.

7:00: I get up and get ready for work.

8-5: work, with leftovers for lunch.

After 5: drive home, hitting whatever errands are necessary on the way. Some nights I get out to the barn and fiance takes care of the pets, and I get home around 9.

If it's a night I have to spend away from horse, I get home around 5:20. Feed cats/clean litterbox. Feed/clean cages of birds. (I'm a breeder so I have about twenty of the little bastards.) Feed/clean the rats' cages. Give rats play time outside of the cages. Cook dinner: I do elaborate recipes when I have the time, but usually it's something Kraft. Fiance and I then split whatever chores there are like dishes or vacuuming. After showering I usually crawl into bed between 12 and 1am. I get about six to seven hours of sleep a night.

Saturdays we sleep in late before heading off to do laundry, which takes most of the day. (We don't have our own machines yet.) During the summer this is also the day I devote to gardening.

Sundays I still sleep at least 10, then go see my baby again at the barn until I feel like leaving. :)

I miss college.

barrelracer20x said...

Char-I know how you feel!
Until I married my man and had my first baby, I rode every day, competed on a regular basis, and never had to "Schedule" time to ride. Riding was a part of my day, I structured everything else around my time at the barn/arena. Now, I have to wait untill my husband can be here to watch my son. Babysitters don't work for my little boy, he's a mama/daddy sorta guy. I tried to have dinner on the table as soon as my husband gets home from work, so that as soon as we're done we can all go outside! One of these days, I swear I'll get it all back, LOL.

Spotted_T_Apps said...

I have found the biggest thing that holds one back is actually GETTING out there. Once one is out there, saddled, one is happy to be there. There are millions of excuses not to get that far though.

I keep a riding blog, so this forces some accountability for riding. I keep neighbor girls that want to ride 8 days a week. I'm lucky to hold them back to 3.

I work a m-f 9-5 job. I show, I give lessons, I haul for friends, I take lessons, I haul for myself, I board 2 extra horses at my place.

Beyond the normal "get up and do chores, go to work" my life doesn't have a regular schedule. I have a lot to fit into it. I make it all work. I don't have cable TV. I'd never leave the house. 3 chanels that all show the news in the morning and evening bore me to tears.

Dawn said...

Hi, I just stumbled across your blog and I love it! I'm the proud mama of a yearling Draft Cross and it's a pleasure to read about someone else's adventures in training. :)

June Evers said...

Good golly, this posting made me exausted reading through all your schedules.

cwgrlinchaps said...

New here but here goes....
5:35am alarm rocks my world, off to the bathroom for brush teeth, and put in contacts.
5:50am out the barn where 5 starving horses and one ornery shitland pony mare are singing the WE ARE NEVER GOING TO LET YOU HEAR NORMALLY AGAIN chorus...including the 3mnth old stud colt in his he/she tenor voice. clean stalls(three of the chorus are the newly divorced sister who had to move in with me sisters horses)
6:30ish everyone goes to appointed paddocks for the am(till the horse bloodsucking gnats appear) then all princess ponies go back into barn my parents help out with putting them back in around 1130ish am
7:15am my turn to shower and get on the road(30 miles commute)
work starts about 8:15 and ends about 5pm. 30 miles back home.
Enter home where 3 shihtzuhs and 2 rat terriers are making so much noise that I should use ear plus so I don’t getting damaged ear drums(out of the damn house they all go)
5:45pm back into barn pick stalls again throw everyone a scrap of hay to shut em up, while deciding who gets to go first. (somewhat smart two yr old gelding or really pushy three yr old mare)RPM is this way due to Sister who(actually a great rider) didn’t educated the mare because she herself had a Very spoiled Diva to deal with for the past 4 yrs.
Start with SSG(who recently suffers from UFP. I pony him with my mom's Very bitchy paint mare for about 30 minutes of long trotting, cool them out doing showmanship. Then its RPMares turn. She is in the "don’t tell me what to do" stage so I politely ask her for things- let her have a hissy she does it then we move on(funny thing is she doesn’t ever resist the next time I ask)
its about 9pm when I'm finally done cooling out and feeding night grain and hay.
BTW while I'm riding RPM(belongs to sister) I have to endure Annoying sister tell me don’t fight with her. GRANDDDDDDDDDD........

Redsmom said...

I'm still working on a schedule that will get me to ride more. I have a 10-year old and we each have 1 horse. I work full time and my commute is one hour or more depdning on traffic and how many stops to drop off or pick up kid. Home by no earlier than 6:30 p.m. on a good day. Factoring in feeding time for Matty of 30 minutes (still haven't built him a place to eat undisturbed by the Other horse) and factoring in dark at 8:30 now that its summer, that does leave about 1 hour to actually ride.

Yesterday I took off from work early and trailered my horse for a lesson.

Weekends are free to take care of all that gets bypassed during the week. Must go to feed store at least every other week. am working on getting in shape enough to ride both days on the weekend.

fuglyhorseoftheday said...

>>Reading other's schedules made me feel my life was more doable. I actually made the call to start riding lessons as a rerider!<<

I love hearing that! Good luck on finding a great trainer.

Redsmom said...

Hey, Cathy, you may have missed where I posted that I did make it to the show (speed events) with Dude last Saturday. Had a lot of fun, although he acted up a little. I will be taking him again. Took him to a lesson yesterday (bass ackwards as usual - most people take a lesson and then go to a show) Thanks for the encouragement you all have given me!! Sue

amarygma said...

I have, in the past, taken caffeine pills. I go off and on them every so often.

I am a graduate student 9-5 M-F and any other time depending on what I'm up to. I also got an evening job at Blockbuster to supplement the funds, and keep the horse. My "pony money" i call it. Luckily he's in a free pasture right now, so he's never been cheaper. I work BB usually Tues, Fri 6-12am and Sun 5-12. I hit the barn one weekday evening a week, usually Wed, and one weekend day, usually saturday. I eat with hubby before going to barn, and spend at least one evening at home with him so he doesn't whine. Monday nights I socialize with friends, we have a dinner club.

Nurse In Boots said...

Wow VLC. I am feeling super lazy about my cush school nursing job that ends at 3 and I get summers off. I guess I better get off my lazy ass and start riding!

fuglyhorseoftheday said...

Redsmom, that is great!

The VLC's first show is the end of August. I am looking forward to it but I guess I need to start being more serious about actually riding in a bit. He greatly prefers his halter but that's not exactly hunt seat tack. LOL!

emmab13 said...

Does anyone work with horses all day, then go to do their own at night?

I work 7 til, um, whenever I finish. This can be 5pm or 3am

I do my own before and after my boss's. 2 OTTBs and a KWPN x TB. I event on my days off. Surprisingly (lol)I have no boyfriend and never go out!

It does get very hard, but I have an addiction that can't be controlled!

serensk said...

wolfandterriers: SLEEP. Sleeping helps you think. And with the career path you're planning, here's some advice. Number one rule of medical training: SLEEP WHEN YOU CAN. (Rules number two and three are eat when you can and sit when you can. And rule number four is never let them see you sleeping, eating, or sitting.)

When I've had anything less than 5 hours of sleep I make my husband do the driving. And I'm more likely to ride for the sake of riding than to work a horse up then... I'm also more likely to get up on an old timer than on a young green thing.

I cannot profess to have good time management. I have been unfairly blessed with good skills at flying by the seat of my pants. Also, I tend to do better with busy, packed days. I sure packed up my days when I was studying for my MCAT. I took summer classes and did some 800+ volunteer hours all over the province and bottle-fed a kitten (my 'mkitten'). I also used to schedule when I would shower or else I might forget.

So specifically: you need sleep. You need to eat properly. You need to plan your days so that you get both work and play. You already know all this. That might help you feel less wound up, it will help you enjoy things and stay focused. I always liked driving, I used it to cool down and do some thinking. I can't say I really miss it though.

Lynsey said...

I have a full lease on a horse, no kids or husband/boyfriend and am usually riding 5 days per week with a full time job Mon to Fr.

Mon, Weds to Fri - I wake up at 430am and either jog for a few miles or do strength training.
Work is from 8a-430 (but i leave at 4 :P )
My commute via commuter train is about 30 mins each way.
Home around 5p-530p, change and drive 25 miles one way to the ranch. I am there from around 6-ish to 8 or 830pm. Home around 9pm, eat dinner & dinner is either Puffins or Kashi cereal or healthy leftovers. I'm in bed by 930 or 10pm.

I usually don't ride on Tuesdays as I get back and neck adjusted and tend to either clean or veg out.

Weekends I am up by 8am and either ride in the morning or in the late afternoon or I take a lesson.

I just signed up for a half marathon in October so my jogging days are devoted to that as well as longer runs on the weekend but I can still run errands, clean, do laundry and ride :o)

Lynsey said...

gillian- when I'm at the ranch/barn I usually take at least a liter of H2o with me. Hydration is really important and I love water :) For weekends my snacks consist of 1-2 apples, maybe 1/2 sandwich, and sometimes a non-chocolate Luna bar or pretzels. I have a small cooler type bag I fill with a few water bottles and an ice pack and put the snacks in there. That way I don't have a reason to stop at Subway on the way home.

Athena said...


4am- wake
4:30a- leave house
4:45-5:30a- clean stalls for free board
5:45a-4p-work (taking care of 22 Arabs at R&R for oldies, broodies and youngun's)
4:30p - go turnout one of my horses
5:45p - home and on my puter til dinner then bed to do it again

Wed & Sat - (my days off haha)
4am- wake
4:30a-leave house
4:45a-5:30a - clean stalls for free board
5:45a-9:30a or 10- go clean stalls, throw hay and fill feeders at work for more OT pay
Wed-10:30a drive out to see
filly that is in training
1p- drive to turn out colt and
3p - run errands
5p - home and on my butt

Sat-10:30 take 3 hour nap cuz
I'm beat
2pm - drive out to turn out colt
and possible exercise
4pm - home

My kids are thankfully older and fairly self sufficient. I have a lot of guilt for not spending enough time with them, though. They don't like horses, go fig. I haven't found anything to help with my lack of time except for sleeping less or not working overtime. .... I also haven't *really* started my colt and am thinking I should send him out and just work the extra 5 hours a week to help cover it. lol

ellen said...

....and sometimes the day defines itself.

Today I had to put a lovely and very special mare down -- a rescue, not the prettiest to look at on the farm, but with the biggest and most beautiful heart I have ever known. She came to me after being pulled out of a slaughter pen (for the SECOND time in her life) by a former owner less than an hour before the truck left.

It started at breakfast as what looked like mild colic, but soon took some weird and ugly turns -- my vet and I were stumped so we did a blood chem panel -- as it happens she had pancreatitis, the only case my vet had ever seen in a horse -- nothing to do for her, she was in increasing pain, and was "checking out" -- she knew she was leaving me.

Best guess from evaluating the bloodwork is she had a tumor that either blocked or ruptured her pancreas -- so sudden and so hard to deal with.

She picked her own spot under a shady tree in the tall grass, I sent her over the Bridge, and then laid her to rest up there on the hill where she can watch over us as she always did.

I will miss my very special girl.

dp said...

No kids and the horses live at home. I am a data analyst in the health research industry, which allows me to work from home 2-3 days per week. On those days I put in my hours between 12-8 which gives me the whole morning to fuss with horses. They only get fed and picked on the days I'm in the office as I have a 2.5 hour commute each way (by train). It all balances out in the end, but I can't imagine doing it with kids. Helmet off to you remarkable mothers out there.

Sagebrusheq said...


I'm so sorry for you. That's always rough but especially so as she was a favorite. I know just how you're feeling now and wish I could do more than offer my condolences.


Persistence said...

Hi! I started reading your fugly blog and really enjoyed it, and then I started reading this, and it inspired me to make a training blog of my own.

I definitely have an issue with time management, and I like way you laid this all out here... I work at Starbucks 3-4 days a week for 4, 6, or 8 hour shifts. It SUCKS not having a stable time schedule. However, I've become pretty flexible - when I work opening/mornings, which generally start at 5am and end between 10am and 2pm, I go home after work and nap, then wake up around 5-6 and head out to the barn. I live in south Florida, so the later I ride, the better. I do need to start remembering to turn the arena lights on before I ride so that halfway through, I don't end up on a horse side-stepping shadows in the twilight... :)

I have a sort of peculiar situation in that this is the first time I've ever really boarded a horse without the horse being in training - I decided to take my show horse home for some "us" time and skip the big shows this year. So we're both still adjusting and trying to figure out our goals.

I am definitely putting diet Rockstar on the grocery list this week.