$ vs horsey time…

I need to work to afford my horse, and I need to see my horse so I don’t go crazy at work.

Working full-time and owning a horse is hard. I literally don’t know how all you people who own farms and work full-time do it all! I pride myself on being a good horse owner. I see my retired horse Gen almost everyday. I am not as good about seeing Lucky as I am with Gen (I see her 3-4 days a week on average while Gen is normally 7) but I still feel like I do a good job at seeing my ponies. Gen lives 25 minutes from my house and Lucky is about 10 minutes farther away. I don’t mind the extra time in the car everyday, what I do mind is when my job gets in the way of my horses!

I love what I do. I have been doing the same for years now, and while I have changed where I do it since starting the blog, the basics of my job stay the same. I am lucky enough to wake up in the morning and actually look forward to my day at work. I know what it feels like to wake up with dread, so no complaints about how things are right now! My job gets busy certain times of year. I am sure everyone can relate. So what is usually the first thing to go when things get rough? Sleep of course! I can live with less sleep if it means I get to see my pony. The second though when time gets tight is my horsey time.

This past week has been a busy one for me. I am working on a special project which requires me to be at work until 9:00pm. Considering my day starts at 7:00am I am pretty tried by this point. I have not seen Lucky at all since Sunday. Twice this week I skipped dinner and used my dinner break to fly out and see Gen. One of those times he got his toes trimmed and the other I just saw him for a quick, 5 minute cuddle. My horse has not been groomed in DAYS…and he looks it!

For the most part, I can make work and horses fit in to my life. Sure, some days I have to give up riding because I get out of work too late, but for the most part it has been workable for me. This week has been frustrating because of the lack of pony time. Have you ever tried to explain to your non-horsey boss that it was urgent you left to hold your horse for a farrier/vet/etc? They just don’t get it! I have to remind myself that it is worth it in the end though. No Paycheck No Lucky.

You see, even though I am working CRAZY hours, I am getting an extra $300. (sure, sure, some of you make that in an hour, but I don’t! And even though I don’t think it is worth working till 9pm, it is better than getting nothing). That can cover almost all of my show entries this season (I love schooling shows). So while I am missing my Gennyral and my Lucky, I have to remind myself that it is all worth it. I want to do a lot of things this year, and that can add up quickly. Having an extra $300 in the bank makes me feel less guilty about wanting to show more than once a month. So by 8:00 yesterday night when I was going crazy I just had to stop and remind myself, all of this extra work has the potential to turn in to ribbons…and that can make it all worthwhile!

What about the rest of you? How do you balance work and horse (horse and home is a whole different issue)…

5 thoughts on “$ vs horsey time…

  1. I don’t balance everything- my house & yard work suffers the most, but I sure can clean the barn aisle spotlessly! When I have to barn sit, I find myself more stressed if I also have to work my “real” job. I worry about the barn when I’m at work and worry about work when I’m at the barn.
    Work got slow so my hours were cut back to 4 days a week from September to February, so I did barn chores 3 days a week. It was difficult to make the transition back to a five day work week- & I really missed the barn! But I still do the weekend morning chores. Because of that, I’ve slept past 6:00 am only once since Christmas, weekdays I’m up at 5:00. That’s gotten tough, but I’m trying to set aside nap time on the weekends.
    I never take vacations since I use those days for barn sitting, but my boss is good about letting me shave a few hours here & there for appointments. I suppose having worked for him for 30 years has its perks!
    Good luck with Lucky and give a smooch to Genny for me!
    On another but semi-related note, here’s a good article for you- it’s a bit tongue-in-cheek, but spot on:
    http://thehairpin.com/2012/04/the-horse-explained#more

  2. It is tough to balance working full time with the barn and riding. Most of the year I go out 3-4 times / week. Work is in between home and the barn, so I go right after work. Makes for a long day though – I leave home at 6:45 and don’t get home until after 7pm. I have to remember to pack barn clothes and some snacks too… It’s all worth it though!

    I’m going to have my horse at home in July for the first time since I was a teenager. I’m interested to see how I will balance doing all of the chores and riding and working (and maybe cleaning my house, lol)… Looking forward to it though!

    Good for you to be able to do a bit of overtime for extra $$ – it is worth it as long as it doesn’t go on too long. I jumped at the chance to do OT at work right now too – should be enough extra money to order a few custom jump poles! (priorities, right?)

  3. It is hard to balance everything. You are fortunate that you love your job. I am enjoying mine at the moment with a new boss and new focus but last year and probably the past five years I didn’t like my job. I was bored. But, it paid well and therefore paid for the horse and mortgage on our place. Fortunately my husband is retired, although he works a bit part time, so he can pick up the slack on taking care of the animals. He can’t, however, ride for me. I can only ride certain days of the week and if rain or other unplanned activities make those days un-rideable, it is really frustrating. But, this is how I afford having our small ranch and the animals and my horses — I wouldn’t trade the balancing act for anything.

  4. Toss in a couple of kids, a husband, and homeschooling and I have more balls in the air than a master juggler! As you’ve already figured out – you just make it work.

  5. That’s why I started my Premier Designs Jewelry business! I work it when I can and it cover the horse expenses. I love it that it gives me the flexibility. It’s my part time job. I also teach full time. it is hard to fit it all in but I feel like now is my time to work my butt off so that by next year I can focus on the reiki business, the jewelry and my horse.

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