Being a full time student as well as an equestrian can ultimately be stressful – should you prioritize checking in on the horses or studying for your test? Luckily, it is possible to do both! Here’s How to Juggle School and Horses!
As a full time college student myself, I know both the woes and wonders of heading out to the barn after a cruel day of hard work and classes. But with the barn – depending on the day – being exactly what I need or the exact opposite of what I need. More often than not, I’m practically forcing myself to put on those dusty old boots.
When I finally do arrive at the barn, it’s a quick pat down of my horse, Theo, then *maybe* 15 minutes of riding; I try to justify it by, “it’s only temporary” or “I had a long stressful day.” But then I have to remember that Theo isn’t going to be around forever, and barely getting by is not an ideal way of life. So as I go, I’m trying to be more proactive in my mindset and the way I tell myself and others that “I just have too much on my plate right now.”
Fortunately enough, as this semester (especially) goes on, I’ve learned to navigate the ways of juggling homework and horses – which I’ve carefully summed up and put into a list just for you. So without further ado, here’s how to juggle school and horses!
Bring your horse with you!
One of the best decisions I ever made was bringing my horse with me to college. So often do riders sell their horse(s) or leave them sitting at home as a pasture ornament; bringing your pony with you will absolutely ensure that you make time to head out to the barn, otherwise you’ll probably end up with a text from the barn manager.
And remember, even if the surrounding barns aren’t up to your standards, rides in a small arena are just as meaningful as rides in a luxurious one. Trust me. You’ll always treasure your time in college and those short little rides after a long day.
Check out: Knowing When to Spend or Save with Horses
Set aside time for both
As said earlier, there’s always the question of should I check up on my horse or study for my exam (etc.)? And while the answer might be obvious to some, others may struggle with their priorities.
In reality, it is possible to do both. Because let’s be real here… you’re not studying 24 hours a day, you just need to balance your schedule. So set aside time to study AND go out to the barn – even if you have a 2 hour block, see if that’s enough time to go out and groom!
And just a little tip, set a timer while studying – with zero distractions – to ensure you’re not running behind or cutting into barn time. That quick scroll through Instagram WILL turn into 30 minutes and before you know it, all you have time for is a quick groom or check up.
Having connections at both the barn and your school will make a world of difference! Have a tutor session but the farrier is coming? Send your barn friend a text and see if she can hold your horse! Or vice versa: have the farrier coming out but you need to work on the study guide? Send your classmate a text and see if they can lend a hand!
There’s something so special about developing these relationships of support, but make sure you’re also always willing to help out if needed 🙂
The weekends are for the ponies
Much like setting aside time during the week, have a dedicated day just for the ponies! So often, even if you do have time to run out to the barn, it can still feel stressful or like you have to hurry.
Because of this, it’s so important to have a day where you can just spend time enjoying your horse; plan to make Friday, Saturday, or Sundays a designated barn day! A lot of times, I’ll personally invite friends out to ride as well – just to change it up a bit or to let others enjoy a farm day too – because we all know animals are good for the soul.
We all do it. Procrastination. But if you want to juggle school and horses, it’s time to give it the boot. This semester, I personally have reallyyy worked on getting everything done well before it’s due… that way, if I don’t have class on a certain day, I don’t have to fill it with homework.
Likewise, maybe you’re spending too much time at the barn where you feel like you need fifty hundred hours just to groom. But in actuality, you’re just spending too much time grooming.
So work towards condensing both the time it takes to complete your homework as well as your barn routine! And I know, I know, barn time is entirely more enjoyable – but there’s still room for both!
At the end of the day…
Owning or leasing a horse while in school can be overwhelming. Just remember that it’s okay if you don’t make it out to the barn like you planned or that you need a break from schoolwork! Learning to balance your schedule takes practice and it’s so worth it once you get it down-pat!
Tell me, are there any strategies that you use for juggling school and horses? Let me know!
All the best,
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