You could try to find a rider who is able/willing to ride her at least a few times per week and charge him/her say $100/month. That way you're not paying someone to ride your horse, you are making a bit of an income to go towards your horse's upkeep (which you are paying for 100% right now anyways, I am guessing). Plus, that is fairly cheap for 3+ days per week.
I, for instance, would jump on a chance like that right now as I have very little extra money but I am wanting to get back into riding. I have come across a few ladies in pretty much the same situation as you, and I am going to be trying out their horses in the next couple of weeks.
I will do that. I guess I was just focused on having someone free lease her and rider her up to 6 days a week that I wasn't looking into any other possibilities.
I don't know how leasing would work, but I have a different idea for how you could manage to get to ride your horse without leaving your baby at home and still be able to nurse on demand (BTW, with my kids I nursed all of them on demand and never would have been able to leave them for even a few hours - I wouldn't change that for anything).
You could find a teenager who can watch your son ringside (at the barn watching while you ride), so she can hand him right over if he wakes up or gets hungry. You could either pay her for this as if she were babysitting or you could trade her watching your son for letting her ride your horse.
That way one or two times a week (more often if the arrangement works for the three of you - you could even look into finding a homeschooler so you could do this in the middle of the day on a weekday) you pick up the teen at her house and drive to the barn. The teen holds your son while you ride for half an hour or more. You take your son and watch while the teen rides your horse for another half hour or hour. Then you both put your horse away. This way you can get two or three hours at the barn with an extra pair of hands to hold your son. Also, if you don't already, try carrying him in a sling - it will free up your hands and makes it really easy to nurse him standing up.
I never thought to have a babysitting come with me! And financially it would be better for them to be paid with riding than money, though that can easily change.
I thought of having my mom do that when she comes to visit but never someone else.
And I do have a sling! Its the more wonderful thing in the world.
I know a few moms who ride, or rode. Some of them just couldn't make it work. Some of them have a very large support system of babysitters and people to watch their kids. You have to find what's best for you. Your son is your priority and if that means you can't juggle him and riding, then you can't juggle him and riding and it's not a big deal! I applaud you for sticking to your guns about breast feeding! Finding someone to lease your horse to keep her in shape is a great idea. I'd try again, you never know, the right person might just be looking now! You could also advertise on Criaigslist and just mention that you need someone to come and exercise your horse. Or are you opposed to letting a riding stable use her as a school horse? We have several people do that. We take excellent care of our school horses and don't overwork them. There are some that are only ridden by advanced students, and there are some that are even get leased out to some of the students who fall in love with them. If you find the right barn that will take good care of her it might work out for the both of you. We are very very picky about what we take in though. I don't know how friendly Vega is! If you don't htink that's a good idea you could call a riding stable and see if they have any advanced students who don't have horses of their own that would be interested in coming out and riding yours. I have a few kids like that who are dying for something to ride on a regular basis! Good luck!
I do believe the new barn gives lessons and I will approach them about using Vega for lessons. At first I was against anyone besides me riding her, but i think it helps to round out a horse to have multiple riders. I of course would want to observe the first few lessons to make sure it was something that I would be comfortable with.
She's a sweet, very loving horse, but she's like me and can have an attitude and is also stubborn.
I will ask some people if they want to, or know anyone who is wanting to ride a few days a week.