How Do You Make Time? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 04-19-2019, 11:05 AM Thread Starter
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How Do You Make Time?

I've been crazy lately! Working any small job I can find, trying to care for all the horses, job searching, wedding planning, financial planning, house keeping and trying to be a great friend, fiancÚ, family member, ect.

I have been juggling a bunch a stuff and when I finally get a bit of time to myself I'm wiped. But the other day I finally got a chance to hop on my mare and it was amazing!!! I smiled ear to ear the whole time and it was the first time in a long time I caught a break from my crazy life and depression. I was happy and I was the rest of the day.

I am curious on how you guys carve out time in your busy lives to ride? Just looking for idea on how I can better prioritize some time for riding my mare

Thanks guys!
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post #2 of 13 Old 04-19-2019, 02:11 PM
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Life today can be busy and overwhelming. You don't mention whether you have your mare on your property or are boarding.
One thing that helps my me and my wife is that we have our horses here so we have the opportunity to at least interact with them on a daily basis with feeding and such. It does make a big difference, for us anyway.

We don't get to ride as often as we would like, but just being with them for a hour or so every day keeps us calm and grateful that we have them to take care of...
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post #3 of 13 Old 04-19-2019, 03:24 PM
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Sounds to me like maybe your family/friends don't share your horsey passion. IMHO your real friends would understand if you need horse time. They should encourage you to pursue your own interests and hobbies and not demand all your time if they don't share the same ones. Perhaps they could help with the wedding planning, barn chores or even some housework?

My boyfriend tried to talk me out of getting a horse at first but once he came out to the barn he was hooked! Then he was a big help to me over the years and always encouraged me to go after my dreams. My best girlfriend has little interest in horses but likes mine ok. She has other things to keep her busy so isn't worried about me always being the perfect friend. We do have things in common and still remain close. So it can happen!

As for family both my sisters and I have been horse crazy our whole lives and we do "horse stuff" together all the time. Our parents think horses are way too expensive but are kind of resigned to it now. "Well if that's what the girls want to spend their money on", and they shake their heads--LOL!
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Last edited by pasomountain; 04-19-2019 at 03:33 PM.
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post #4 of 13 Old 04-20-2019, 01:07 AM
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Well, if you saw the condition of my house right now you would know that housework hasn't been a priority!

My husband got me Miss Lulu because he said I needed to do something besides clean the house and take care of him and our kids (youngest kid is 16 and I homeschool). Lulu used to be on our property but now is at the trainer's barn and it is a long drive from our home so carving out time in my day to spend with her is difficult. Just to give you some background. I rode as a teen and when I was first married and then took a 28 year break from horses. My husband got me a horse that is very green so our trainer is training Lulu and training me to ride my very green horse.

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Originally Posted by heybay View Post
I have been juggling a bunch a stuff and when I finally get a bit of time to myself I'm wiped. But the other day I finally got a chance to hop on my mare and it was amazing!!! I smiled ear to ear the whole time and it was the first time in a long time I caught a break from my crazy life and depression. I was happy and I was the rest of the day.
I don't think we (as a society) value personal time enough. And because of that I think a lot of people (myself included) don't take the time to recharge our batteries and do something really meaningful. About a week and a half ago I was scheduled to have a lesson on Lulu. I woke up that morning feeling exhausted and overwhelmed. I was stressed and was only able to sleep four and a half hours, the house was a mess, the yard was covered in weeds, the car needed service, and I'm attempting to plan a trip soon to visit my son when he graduates from basic training that includes my oldest daughter flying in from England. And, the date of graduation was changed after I made the hotel and flight reservations so I needed to cancel and reschedule. Also, my youngest daughter competes in agility with our Border Collie and we had a three day trial that weekend. I felt physically ill and considered canceling my lesson but I don't like to inconvenience people and my trainer is a really lovely person so I told myself I had to go.

I had an amazing lesson. I felt so happy after riding Lulu. My trainer took a video and sent it to me. It was great to see that I don't look like a total klutz when riding! So I spent the next few days at the agility trial and then the next couple of days after that reworking the travel plans. My house is still a mess, the yard and the car need attention but I am so happy I didn't cancel my lesson. If you don't take lessons then make a weekly (or 2-3 times weekly) appointment with yourself and keep it. If I had canceled that lesson and worked on "stuff" it wouldn't have lowered my stress level. I can't see my horse every day but I am making sure I schedule my lesson and also schedule time to just go visit her. It is good for my mental health and, in the long run, will make me more productive.
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post #5 of 13 Old 04-20-2019, 08:38 AM
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There will never be more time. You just have to schedule rides and do it. Don't wait for your life to get less busy, because it probably won't.

Last night it was raining, our paddock was just mud, and my parents are coming for Easter weekend (arriving today), but my daughter and I went out for a quick ride anyway. It was awesome.

I just stopped trying to keep people happy. I don't really care anymore. I do what I need to do for my two teenaged kids, and to keep everyone fed and in clean laundry, but otherwise, my housework is minimal, I don't commit to doing things with other people unless I REALLY feel like it, I have backed off of work commitments that are not absolutely necessary, and I no longer feel guilty for saying no.
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post #6 of 13 Old 04-20-2019, 10:21 AM
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I think it helps to be an introvert!

I resist the "busy is better," "if you're busy you must be important'" culture.

I work full time and am a parent. I'll admit most of my friends are from work, the barn, or various horse activities.

I am lucky that my husband was open to trying out the horse lifestyle, and is now hooked, too. My daughter also rides, although she is not as passionate about it and will likely not be a lifelong rider. Most of our family activities revolve around horses.

I think the key to having more time is developing good routines and habits that work -- I try to minimize grocery shopping to once every two weeks (with maybe a trip for a few items in between), plan meals for the week, prep my lunches on Sundays, use automatic deductions and bill pay as much as possible, get up 30 minutes earlier to do yoga before work. We watch TV a lot less. We try to keep our house uncluttered and clean up after ourselves as we go to minimize the need for hours of extra cleaning. I try to use my down time at work to make phone calls or take care of little things online, although I know not everyone has a job where that is acceptable.

I have learned that my time is valuable and I need to consider how I spend it. One question I ask myself is "how is this serving me?" Is it an old habit that no longer has a positive effect? Do I leave this person or activity feeling better or worse? Is this activity congruent with my goals and values? To quote a popular organizer, "Does this bring me joy?"
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post #7 of 13 Old 04-20-2019, 11:42 AM
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There was a professor that did a demonstration once. He brought in a bucket of big rocks and asked if everybody thought it was full. Some said yes. He then poured in smaller rocks and asked if it was full. More said yes. Then he poured in sand and everybody agreed it was now full. He poured in water.


The point is, when we fill our lives with little things (sand) There's no room for the big ones.
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post #8 of 13 Old 04-20-2019, 12:35 PM
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I love the line that @Cedar & Salty quoted: "Does this bring me joy?"

I've learned to be selective of how I spend my time. Since being with horses being me joy, I will decline other invitations in order to spend time with horses.
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post #9 of 13 Old 04-20-2019, 10:22 PM
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I agree with what some of the other have said. As we get older and have far more responsibility it is about spending your time doing things you enjoy. I don't hang out with my friends nearly as much - it is a 2 hour drive one way, so just driving there and back is half my day. I love what someone mentioned about "does this bring me joy". I also try to focus on what is important to our acreage and our lifestyle. Is it more important that I spend an afternoon shopping with friends, or maybe would that time better be spent painting my horse shelter so it doesn't rot? Hmm.....with a beer and some tunes, doing chores around here isn't so bad. Plus I like the feeling of accomplishing something.

I try to make more time for riding, but sometimes just being around my horses has to suffice. And that makes me happy too.
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post #10 of 13 Old 04-24-2019, 07:00 AM
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I will add that sometimes you have to make hard choices in live, especially when you're young. I did not have horses in my 20s because I was studying, then trying to make a name for myself in a competitive field. In my 30s, I was raising two babies. It was only in my mid 40s that my life slowed down enough that I knew it was realistic to have horses again (I'd had them from age 5 - 17). There is just no way I could have done everything I did and had horses. Some part of my life would have suffered, and I needed good income, a good career, and to be a good mom. So as hard as it was, I just decided to wait. Then my daughter, who was 6 at the time, asked for riding lessons one day, and a few years later, I bought her a horse, then one for myself, then another... and I've never been so happy in my entire life. Mid-life is extremely liberating.

Now my kids are teens, my job is secure, I have a good income, I have the land to support horses at home, and most of my friends are also raising families and/or pursuing their passions or careers, and they get it. They no longer expect me to hang out with them all the time, or drop everything to go on a road trip at the last minute. No one my age does that anymore. We all have responsibilities now and we like our quiet time.

Trying to do it all will probably lead to missing some important pieces of your life or burnout. I'm not interested in either of those options. I know you think you can do it all when you're young, and some people do, but it's a dangerous game that can quickly get overwhelming. So I suggest you prioritize, and if riding is one of your top priorities, schedule those rides a couple of days a week, and keep those times free, just like you would if you had promised you'd have coffee with a friend who is going through a rough time. Be that friend to yourself, and your mare.
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