Having horses can be a challenge and many people find it difficult to keep the balance in particular if there are other aspects of life to consider. All to often riders give up on their passion because it seems all too difficult.
So lets have a look at some of the challenges that might come up for you from time-to-time and how best to deal with them.
1. Work / Riding balance
Most riders are not professionals, so they have a daytime job as well as fitting in time to ride and care for their horse. Time management is very important so plan your week and work out which days you have that you can fit in your ride and if you are better off riding in the morning or in the afternoon. Having set days makes it easier to organize your week and helps you to have a routine.
Remember that unless you are competing at a higher level your horse only needs 3 – 4 rides per week to keep up general fitness and suppleness.
There is the option of putting lights next to your arena/paddock area that will allow you to ride later in the evening to make the most of the time you have.
2. Competition / Training
A competition calendar is really beneficial. It helps you to plan in advanced and also gives you great incentive to work your horse on a regular basis. Set out a program with things to work on from one competition to the next Discuss with your instructor what the best competitions are for you to go to and remember that competitions are also great social outing s for you and your horse.
3. Horse /Family
We all know that kids teach us patience which is something that we also need with our horses. Having to deal with kids and horses together gives us great practice to cope with stressful situations and to stay focused when the pressure is on.
Involving your family as much as possible. The more they are involved the more fun it is for everyone and you make great new friends together.
4. Money / Sport
Our sport can be rather expensive therefore it is really important to put a budget together that will help you to accommodate expenses as they come up. Factor in regular costs like farrier/trimming, feed bill, lesson money and allow extras for unforeseeable costs like vet bills, new gear and repairs. If the money is tight consider maybe having someone else share your horse with you. In Europe it is very common for 2 or even 3 riders to share one horse, which means everyone shares the costs, the work and the rides. If horses and riding is your passion look for ways that you can continue to ride and enjoy your horse. Too many people give up because it all seems too hard, only to regret later that they didn’t try harder.
Where there is a will there is always a way!