How do you people do it?

There's been radio silence but that's not due to a lack of riding. Dassah and I have been grid-ing it up, xc schooling, and hill-working with SuperEventer.

I fell off last week in a grid session due to a refusal on my part to, you know, ride. Wacked my head good and it hurt for several days after so I'm getting the Charles Owen Pro II in silver (it was the best price and in my size).

There is sooooooo much grid-work in my future. But I love the ability to slowly focus on other things to make those grid passes cleaner and better. Like looking ahead to the next jump! Widening your hands and keeping your leg on so the horse doesn't dodge out (LOOKING AT YOU DASSAH). Grid work is fantastic and I love it.

On a deeper note, if you are married and/or have kids, how do you keep riding? No one ever mentions their discussions with spouses about how much time and money (board, supplements, tack, showing, training) the horse takes.

How do you manage it if you work full time? How do you manage it if you work full time and want to compete?

How do you manage it if you work full time and have kids?

Be for real, are you all made of money? Am I just aspiring to something that seriously cannot exist in my world if the following are absolutely integral to my life?

1) A healthy marriage
2) A full-time job
3) Children

K, thanks.


  1. I work a 20-30 hr week instead of 40+ and don't have kids. By the time hubby gets home, I am usually done with the barn and home starting dinner. Husband also has a LOT of his own hobbies and interests, and doesn't begrudge me my barn time in the least. He also often comes to shows with me, and is overall very supportive. We are definitely NOT made of money, but make sacrifices and budget HARDCORE for the things that are priorities for us. We have a shared bank account, and I have NEVER attempted to hide how much horses cost! We were very fortunate financially this year that I was able to take lessons and compete, but if the money wasn't there, I would have to sacrifice that. But, in short, lots of respect and communication and we each have our own passions and interests, and also enjoy sharing in those with each other. I don't know how that would work with small humans in the picture! Might have to re-evaluate if youngin's come along.

  2. I work 40+ hours a week and do Grad School about 20+ hours a week and then I spend close to 4 hours a day driving.. It is not fun. I am really hating life right now. I am still able to ride about 2-4 days a week, I think I'm able to do it because I know its not forever. This is a very short spat in my life where I have to work very very very hard, but it will be worth it (Master's Degree + no debt = yay) So yeah.. lots of scheduling, lots of open honest conversations. Lots of squeezing as much productivity out of the day as possible.

    I do not have kids or other pets though. I am also not married (do have a boyfriend). If I had kids I think this would all be impossible, I'd have to give something up. Granted if I were married I'd probably have to work less. (His earnings far greater than anything I'd be able to achieve).

  3. Kids are a huge dividing line. You can watch other bloggers--if you have property and keep horses at home on a tight budget, you can usually do horses and kids, especially if the kids are a little older and the horses aren't high maintenance.

    For boarders who aren't independently wealthy, kids are usually the death knell of riding. To pay horse expenses and kid expenses, you have to work full time, but that adds in child care expenses, which frequently aren't worth it. There are exceptions to the rule, but there's a very good reason that most urban/suburban mothers don't ride. It is cost prohibitive and I'm told kids are pretty time/money consuming.

    Good luck. :-)

  4. bummer about the fall - last time i came off izzy was doing grid work too... womp womp. at least you got a snazzy new helmet out of it ;)

  5. Yeah not sure how kids factor in there, don't want any myself. I work full time plus a decent amount of overtime (300+ hours of overtime per year before recently changing to a job that should have less). I already had one horse (Stampede) when I started dating my husband and I was very clear that I would always have horses and that riding was something I did not just as a hobby but a lifestyle and way of keeping myself happy. When I had the option to bring Phoenix back into my life I don't think my husband realized what was coming exactly but he took it in stride, lol. I now ride 7 days a week so that means I'm gone every night until at least 9pm. Showing for me has been relatively economical since my barn hosts many shows for the local circuit. Recently added going to the gym several days a week right after work as a way to prioritize my health, riding alone just wasn't cutting it. I just think if you really want something you go for it. Not saying I don't have days where I'm tired and just want to sit on the couch, but I'm always glad I didn't once I'm on the back of a horse. My husband has learned to pick up more hobbies like golf and has truly embraced going to the gym while I'm at the barn. I think we enjoy each other more when we are together since we are apart so frequently. We can rest when we are dead. :)

  6. I am lucky to have a full time job with a relatively flexible schedule. I work 10 AM-6 PM, so I go to the barn before work. I also have weekends off, so competing usually isn't a problem.

    My horses are boarded at a lesson facility, so I get a little break on the cost of board because I let the trainer use them for lessons. Since I ride early in the morning, I rarely show up to the barn to find Moe or Gina unavailable. And I communicate when I'm going need one of my horses for a show or other event; the trainer is great about making sure I have first priority. I actually really like this system, since their lesson kids are competent teenagers and help keep them fit for me.

    My husband and I have separate bank accounts; my paychecks go to 'my' expenses- the horses, my car loan, my student loans, etc. If I want to go to a show or a clinic, it comes out of my money. That's not to say he wouldn't help me out if there was a clinic I *really* wanted to attend but didn't have the cash for, but I'd feel guilty about asking him to cover it. Our current system works well for us, and my husband is incredibly supportive of my riding endeavors.

    We don't have children, and likely never will. Neither of us has any desire to be a parent. I've had a few friends in the last couple of years that have had babies, and one has done a great job of continuing to ride and compete. She isn't as active as she was before, but she works hard to schedule time for herself. Her husband is very supportive and it seems like they communicate really well.

    Good luck- it's hard to be a working adult and have a family!

  7. When our kids were younger, I only rode occasionally on the weekends, and really just for fun. I wasn't showing or really progressing much - but for much of that time, I had one horse and he was mostly retired. There were several years where I was working on my Ph.D., working full-time, AND we had kids - and I could not have done it without my husband, who took over child care almost fully.

    When our kids were in high school and driving (they're one year apart), my husband and I sat down and discussed how much I really wanted to get back into competing. He rides too, although he likes to do jousting and foxhunting, so that makes it a little easier. He's been very supportive of me at my dressage shows, and I support him for his jousting competitions. We foxhunt and trail ride together, and also take lessons together. I tend to ride more often because he's got a long commute and he travels frequently and I don't, and I'm also focused on showing whereas he has maybe 4-6 jousts per year to prepare for.

    We keep our horses at home - we bought our place because we could have horses and not be a million miles from town. It's really not cheaper than boarding when you take into account all the expenses that go with having a bit of property (fencing, barn, truck, trailer, tractor, tools, etc). Still, we love having our boys at home, and I joke that I don't need a gym membership because I'm out taking care of the boys 2x per day. I usually get home from work, ride, then take care of everyone and am done before husband gets home. In the past, I did board, and my husband would get upset if I was gone to the barn too many nights per week. We worked out a schedule for nights I would go that coincided with him working late or doing other things.

    Our finances are combined, so we both know exactly how much gets spent on the horses. Since we both have good full-time jobs, we are very lucky that we don't have to worry if we need to call the vet or buy a load of hay, because we know it's in the budget. It hasn't always this easy, because horses can take up a HUGE part of your time and money - and your heart. Not all spouses are as understanding or happen to share the same hobby. Communication is key, as is the understanding their point of view. I all but gave up horses when the kids were young, and while I did miss it, I am also glad I was able to spend so much time with them since they grow up so quickly! Balance is very difficult to find. Good luck!

  8. I pay for the horses from my own income, so discussions re: finances are fairly minimal. Time wise, husband is really supportive, because he doesn't have any big interests and thinks it's cool I do and more often than not will tag along to the barn with me.
    Kids would really complicate things - I definitely would have to either cut back the work hours or the barn time to make it work.

  9. Juggling everything is tricky. I don't have kids but I have a husband, two dogs, two cats and two rabbits. And I try to have a social life. Sometimes I am super woman and am able to get everything done. Sometimes I suck. I just try to do my best! Was very interesting to read the other comments :)

  10. Thank you all so much. I've really appreciated how you were all open about how you juggle everything. That means a lot and was incredible enriching to hear how we all approach pursuing this equestrian dream. Thank you!

  11. Falls suck and I have had quite a few rough ones in 2015 BUT they make you stronger :) I am super jealous youre able to xc school!

  12. When it comes to the whole juggling husband, a bunch of young kids (3 to be exact), horses, riding and competing I have carefully crafted and been blessed enough to be in a situation where having it "all" is not just possible but my reality. Easy,meh that's relative. But I can say it was harder getting to this point then it is to actually live it. But all totally worth it.

    There is a whole heck of a lot of flexibly that is involved especially when is comes down to the fact that I have an even extra ordinary situation where all 3 of my kids love horses. This needing to own 4 horses,lessons for four people,shows for 4. You get my drift. Pretty much insane. And no we are not millionaires. I was actually just thinking of writing up a post on this very thing. Where I'm at and how I got here. So if you are interested watch for it. I'll go into more detail in that post.


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