5 Day a Week

So about a year ago I started a new job. Instead of my idyllic 12 minute drive to work on a single country road, I would now be driving 50 minutes each way. The commute is a hard one that takes me about 10 miles out from one of the largest cities in the world and brings me through some of the deadliest roads in North America. It also means that I am far, far from my pony and that I am in the car for well over an hour each day after work to go see my pony. I told myself when I took this job that I would lighten my driving time by running errands as I passed stores instead of making separate trips and that I would do the unthinkable…cut back on my Gen time.

I promised myself when I started my new job that I would cut back to seeing Gen a mere 5 days a week. Most people who can ride their horses do about 4-5 days a week, I figured that my retired pony and I could scale down to a much more normal amount. In general, for the 9 years I have owned Gennyral, I would guess that I saw him about 27 of every 30 days. There were vacations or work functions from seeing him everyday, but for the most part I did lay eyes on my pony way more days than not.

I knew going down to 5 days was going to be a challenge, but I just didn’t realize how much of a challenge it would be. It is really hard not to feel bad for not seeing him when I don’t have something else going on that night. I work earlier in the day so even when I am meeting friends for dinner or going out I can usually sneak in a quick visit to see my pony. I really like Gen and I really like seeing him. He calms me in a way nothing else in this world can. I adore that pony. I just do.

At first I was pretty good about sticking to the five day a week rule because of the weather, we had a terrible, terrible winter last year. I hate driving in the snow in general, and by the end of the season the town Gen lives in had run out of salt and supplies so they didn’t even do the road the barn was on. Once the weather got warmer I started going every day I could. In my mind, I was making up for all those missed days. Once the weather got hot I had to go because Gen gets so hot and sweaty he needed his daily showers.

Now in the fall I have realized I am all out of excuses…and I am still going to the barn all the time.

You are probably asking what the big deal is. Why is it a bad thing to go to the barn everyday. The answer is that it just isn’t practical to go to the barn everyday anymore. I drive so much that those extra 40 miles a week going to the barn add up. I also need two days a week to do stuff, run errands, etc. There are many days that adding that trip to the barn adds stress to my life. Until I have a barn in my backyard I think I am going to have to work on my horse/life balance. What I really want is the barn owners to let me install a webcam so I can stare at Gen anytime day or night. How many days a week do you go to the barn? How do you balance it all? How far away is your horse boarded from work? From your home??


4 thoughts on “5 Day a Week

  1. I boarded for over 30 years and visited my horses every day. Now I’m retired, and my horses live with me. Yay! I can walk out my door and check on them 24/7. The only things I miss about boarding are an indoor arena, and some of the great folks I met.

  2. I board my horse and work 9-5 Monday through Thursday. Most weeks I aim for at least 4 days at the barn, 2 weeknight and both weekend days. Some weeks I may ride more than 4 days, but 4 days is what allows me the best horse/work/life balance. Otherwise I never see my hubby! Seeing my horse less makes me really appreciate the time that I do get to spend with him

  3. I board my horse about an hour away from work and home. There is no easy way when you work in the city, to see your horse in 10 minutes. So, the barn where he is boarded gives me the piece of mind I need because I couldn’t get there in 10 or 20 minutes from the city anyway. I need the security that he is never going to suffer for long, and with smart people around him at all times. That’s my main concern. It can’t always be about the rider, it has to be about the horse and his life while I’m at my desk job 40 hrs a week. It’s sad, but true. I ask myself, what would I do for a loved one that needed special care? And then I came up with that answer. After years at show barns, and busy barns who can’t really keep a good eye on 50 horses, I decided to go to a smaller 20 stall barn, with really smart people. In the good weather I only get there 4 days a week, in the winters probably 2 – 3 x a week. I used to see him every day 2x a day so It was a big adjustment. Like yourself, I had a difficult time with not seeing him everyday. Plus I have a SUV and still have a trailer for him in case we decide to take a nice ride to great trails and I find that hard to give up. But, the cost of gas is hard to keep everything going, and his care comes first. He is 24 now and I have owned him since he was 6. I want him where he can graze all day long too, and that’s hard to find closer to the city you go. When I do go on the weekends I spend 4-5 hours with him. I would sleep over if I could!

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