Equestrian Time Management
Whether it's school, work, barn time, and everything in between, we all struggle with keeping up with everything we have going on. Staying organized can be difficult, and prioritizing our tasks can be even harder. Luckily, we've all been there. Whether you're a high school student with a part time job and CET dreams, or an Adult Ammy sacrificing a clinic to finish that big project at work, we get it.
The hardest part of balancing work, school, horses and life is deciding what comes first, and there's no right answer. Everyone has their own priorities, and different people place different levels of importance on the different aspects of their lives. You might skip the girls' weekend getaway for a local schooling show, and your barn friend might never even dream of missing Friday night drinks for a lesson. It's important to realize that while we're all trying to find balance in our lives, that balance doesn't look the same to everyone, and that's okay!
Once you have your time prioritized, the really hard part is finding the time to get it all done. There are countless books, videos and articles on how to best organize your days, but they all agree on the one common idea: plan ahead. Some people journal. Some people make elaborate, pretty calendars for their entire week (I'm guilty of this one). Some people think about it really hard while they make their coffee Monday morning. No matter what form of planning you do, it's important to have a plan. Knowing what days you want to lesson and what days you want to ride in a given week before it starts helps an incredible amount with making sure you have the time. Of course, plans change, but having a base for your week will help you ensure you get your saddle time in.
We spoke to Ambassador Mikayla Burns about how she manages school and riding her horse Bear as they continue tp prepare to compete in the 1.20m classes. Here's what she said:
"For me, I know I have my entire life to ride, and only so many years of school and so many nights to do the work. Personally, I just try to set a time limit based on when I would like to go to sleep and that determines what time I need to leave for the barn. On days I know I'll have too much work to do after school, I wake up early and ride in the morning!"
Balancing all the aspects of life is hard, especially for equestrians, who have the added commitment of driving, tacking up, riding, untacking and driving back home 1-6 days a week. With the right time management skills and some pre-planning, hopefully you can find the time to get everything done.