Managing a job and a horse
Hi everyone. I really enjoy this forum. I don't have a horse right now. I had to find him a new home when we had to move to an area we could not afford board. My husband is in the military and we had planned on staying where we were but..well life changes. So here I am dreaming of owning a horse again one day.
I am working a full-time job now. I work from 9am to 5:30pm and usually leave my house at 8am and don't get home until about 6:15pm. I am looking for other horse owners that work full time and what do they do to get time in with their horses. Do you board so you don't have to do a lot of heavy labor or do you keep your horses at home? I am looking at ways on how you balance your work, home, and horse life. I don't want to give up on my dreams of owning a horse again because of lack of time or high board areas where we have to live.
I am thinking of lease ideas, but I don't have a lot of time to ride and am not too familiar with the benefits of leasing when I could just get a horse of my own. My experience with a lease horse is you really can't do what you want with them or training like a natural horsemanship clinic, etc. unless the owner wants it.
Love to hear some ideas and opinions.
For my it's about prioritizing. I half lease my horse (and I do board but it's self care) she takes care of him half of the days I do the rest. Normally I go to the barn right after work (I'll bring barn clothes to work with me) and sometimes stay as late as midnight getting a good ride in/doing chores. Or days I'm very busy/behind/exhausted I'll just feed/clean and leave.
I think it's entirely possible for you to lease a horse even with working full time!
I work full time, usually odd hours like 7am-4pm or 2pm-10pm, plus I work at my boarding facility 3 days a week for reduced board, and I still find time for my horse. I don't get to see him every day, but at least the three days a week I am out there already, plus anytime I am not at my regular job if my home life allows. I'm not married and I don't have any children, so I'm sure that would change things a bit. I've heard that spouses/kids like to take up a lot of your barn time. :-P
I would look into leasing first. A lot of owners will do a partial lease for 3 days a week or so. Some of them probably wouldn't mind if you wanted to do natural horsemanship stuff, in fact some might be thrilled that you are into it. Just see what's out there, if you don't find it, then you could start looking into buy a horse. Just realistically consider how much time you will have available, what you would like to do with your horse (lessons, trail riding, etc), and how much everything will cost you, boarding or not. IMO, boarding is the way to go, especially if you work full time. It can be expensive, but at least you know your horse will be taken care of when you can't be there.
Good luck! I hope you find a new equine friend soon!
I work full time and board my horse at a full care facility. I also do day trips by plane twice a week, so even if I had the land to keep my horse at home, it would be difficult to care for him myself (and DH is already unhappy when he has to clean the litterbox while I'm gone on longer trips, so I doubt he'd be happy about mucking out a stall!)
I get out to ride 3-4 times per week usually (a covered, lighted arena is critical!). However, lately I've been really swamped at work and haven't had a chance to ride much (plus a week of vacation and a week at a conference) so I finally broke down and asked my trainer to ride him a few times. I don't have any kids, but I still find it difficult to balance work, home & horse life sometimes...
You have the added challenge of being a military spouse, which means that, if you buy, you'll have to consider the extra effort it will take to move your horse whenever you get a PCS.
Leasing could be an option for you, but has the downsides of you not getting to make as many decisions about the horse's care/training (usually less of an issue if you do a full lease), possibly having to 'start over' to some degree with every new horse you lease, and investing in tack/training/etc that doesn't carry over to future horse(s). There's no standard contract terms for leasing, so make sure you don't get locked in for a set time period since you have a high probability of moving (30 days notice is generally fair for both parties)
I have my horse at home and even when I don't have a full 'work' day, I more often than not have enough chores to leep me grounded. I've discovered a new dimention to mu love of everything horse, but my butt-saddle-time is hugely dimished.
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i work mon-fri8-530 and sat 8-2. weekdays i can leave at 4 if i have to give a lesson. My horses are at a partial care facility, so i have to muck and feed every night. Some days, i wake up at 4, get tot he barn by five, ride until 630, leave by seven an get to work on time, just to feed an ride somebody elses horse that afternoon (mostly show season schedule). I usually get home form the barn by 830 at night.
Its totally possible to take care of a horse and work full time, it just takes dedication and a well kept sleep schedule.
I always say that my riding career is my part time job on top of my full time job. I ride 5 days a week and work full time - some nights like last night I didn't get home till 10:30, but it's worth it.
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I ride 3-5 times a week, I board(almost full care), I work full time and I have two horses and two dogs, plus all of the other things in life, friends, family, non horsey hobbies, etc. you just learn to manage time well.
I work full time and am taking 4 college courses in addition to being married, "mommy" to 3 cats and 2 dogs and the primary cook/housecleaner. I also work out everyday. I see my horse 6 days a week. I could see him seven but that one day I don't see him is because school starts immediately after work and its way on the other side of town - I could see him after class but its late and so I don't. I don't always ride but I usually do -something- with him like groundwork, liberty/free longing, a trail walk, whatever other random thing I think up.
I have to organize my time; make a schedule and multitask but I juggle everything just fine. I'm currently carrying an A in all of my courses and will finish my degree in May.
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It can be tough after a long day's work to have the energy to ride. I think it's easier if you keep your horses at your place rather then boarding. There are a lot of times that I want to ride, but don't want to take the extra time to drive to the barn. It can add a lot of extra time to your day. I also need to be in a routine of going to the barn right after work. I can't go home first because I'll never make to the barn. I come home and my focus is tiring out my dog (Aussie). Time management and routine is key when working a full time job, plus other responsibilities when having a horse.
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