There are so many things that need to get done every day. If you are like me, you may find yourself struggling to find the time to ride your horse. Many of us have a lot of different things to juggle in our busy lives. We have horses, but we also have a full time job, maybe a part time job, a family, chores that need to be done, as well as everything else we want or need to do on a daily basis. So how do you find the time to ride too?
I don’t know about your personal circumstances, but I can share with you how I do everything that I do on a daily basis. If you are wondering how to find horse time, keep reading.
Budget Your Time
We all have the same amount of time every week. We all get 7 days a week, and 24 hours a day. But it’s how we choose to use that precious time that makes the difference.
First things first, figure out how you use your time. This is really n important step, so don’t leave it out! It’s best if you physically write down everything you do in a day, and keep track of it for a week. I promise, you will be surprised at just how much time is wasted. And you won’t be able to find these time wasters unless you figure out how you are spending your time each day.
How do you spend each and every day of the week? And what are you willing to change in order to get the time you want to ride, or just spend with your horse?
Figuring out where you can recapture some of the wasted time in your day. I like to make a list of the week, and plan for some things to do each day. At the time of writing this, it’s still summertime for me. So I can still make it outside to ride at least a couple of times a week, if I manage my time correctly.
I start with a blank notebook page and write down what I want to accomplish for the week. And then I break it down day by day. This way I have a plan of what needs to get done, and then I budget the time on each day. I just have to say, I love making lists.
Saturdays and Sundays are my days off, and when I can, I try to leave at least a portion of those days free for family activities.
Plan How To Use Your Time
Now that you have a list of the things you need to do for the week, think about how much time you waste every day. How much time do you spend surfing the internet aimlessly? I love me some Instagram, but it can be a time suck, just like Facebook. So I really try and limit the amount of time I spend on social media.
Do you watch TV? If you do maybe try to limit how much time you spend in front of the TV. You can always DVR your favorite programs and watch at a later time, when you can’t get out and ride.
How often do you have to run out to the store? If you make a list ahead of time for menu planning, feed, or other necessities you can limit the amount of trips you make to the store. You may even find that you save some money too by planning ahead, and going to the store less.
I try to limit myself to shopping on my way home from work, or during my lunch break. This is partly because we live at least 25 minutes away from any type of shopping, so going to the store is more of an event. And if we need just one thing from the store, it turns into a 2 hour (at least) time suck.
Prioritize Your Horse Time
Now that we know how we are going to budget, and save some time, now we need to make our horse riding a priority. This is easier to do when the weather is nice, but it can be done in the shorter days of winter too, if you budget your time wisely.
First determine how many times a week you want to ride. For myself, it’s 4 times a week, during the good weather time. During the winter, depending on the weather it drops down to two or maybe three times a week.
Then using the notebook method, write down your riding time. For example, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday are days reserved for some riding, at least 30 minutes is what I like to budget.
Then start filling in other things around that until you get your calendar full of your weekly activities. I am sure if you write it out, you will be able to plan for everything you need to do during the week. And because you have a plan, you know when you will have time to ride.
Find Extra Time
You may not think it’s possible, but you can find extra time. One way I do this is to get up an hour earlier every day, even on my days off.
Like right now for example. I am writing this blog post at 5:00 AM. I woke up at 4:30 AM, took a shower, got my coffee, and sat down to knock out a couple of blog posts. I mean, why not?
Getting up early has become a habit for me. So during the week I will routinely get up at 4:30 AM. On the weekends, I tend to sleep in until around 5:30, but that’s still early by most people’s standards. But I can use this quiet time to write blog posts, edit videos or photos, or even make some lunches for the week. It’s almost like I found a secret stash of time, and I like to use it!
If I were really motivated, I would use it to ride one of my horses. But I haven’t gathered up that much motivation yet. Hopefully next summer, which is a goal I have.
So if you can, try setting your alarm for an hour earlier and wake up early. You can use that time to get some extra things done early, which will free up some evening time for other things you want to do.
How To Balance Horses With A Busy Life
I think it goes without saying, we are all busy. But with a little work on your part, you can find the time to spend with your horse. I challenge you to try this out for a week or two and see what happens. You have nothing to lose by trying it right? And who knows, you might just find that extra time you have been searching for, so you can ride your horse a little bit more.