Principles for Time Management

Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve written a post. We’ve recently moved 1000km and I’m very excited because my horse is currently out the back door and once we’ve bought our first home she will only be five minutes away as opposed to twenty.

I’ve been thinking for some time about writing a post on time management, not your standard time management, but how to do it with a baby so you can have time for yourself. Its taken me some time to work out what to say. My expectations for how easy it was going to be to ride were definitely a little unrealistic.

I had expected to be able to pop baby in the pram or portacot beside the arena and off I go. In fact that was not the case. The longest I got with him happy to sit in the pram alone was about 7 minutes.

Your biggest asset for time management if you want ride with a baby is having a support person.

When I was living 20 minutes away from Essie I had a standing arrangement with my husband that Sunday mornings he would come with me and look after Jack while I rode. Now we’ve moved I have a community of support people willing to help me out and more chances to ride.

If you are fortunate enough to have support people willing to help you I would really recommend setting up a regular day or days and time that you intend to ride. This will not only keep them in the loop of what is happening, it will make sure you follow through with your intention to ride on those days.

Some Sunday mornings I wasn’t feeling it, but as it was my only chance to ride, and I had pre-organised with my husband, I followed through and was grateful I did by the end of the ride.

If you don’t have a support person, or opportunities with your support person to ride often, there are still a lot of things you can do!

My son was happy in the pram for a short time and that gave me enough time to do a lot of other fulfilling activities with my horse.

Every interaction we have with our horses is valuable. The time we spend building connection and confidence on the ground will pay out ten-fold when we get back to riding. It doesn’t have to be hours at a time either, just five minutes will make a big impact.

Here’s a list of a few activities other than riding that you will enrich both you and your horse:

  • Brush up on your groundwork – you can check out the online resources from Warwick Schiller, Katy Negranti, Anna Blake, Finesse Equestrian, and many more to get you going
  • Give your horse a really good groom
  • Try some liberty in the paddock, don’t even put a halter on, just go in and do something for 5 minutes – I loved doing this, I would get her to follow me, we tried Spanish walk, we practiced liberty circles
  • Try something new! I love clicker training, you could try that.
  • Breathe. Just stand or sit in the paddock with your horse and breathe. Check out Anna Blake’s page for more on the benefits of breathing.
  • Watch online training videos when you can’t get out to the paddock
  • Check out ‘3-Minute Horsemanship’ for more ideas on quick things you can do –

The most important thing in doing anything if you have limited time is to set the intention and follow through. If when I go to bed the night before or when I wake up in the morning I decide “today I am going to ride”, I am far more likely to do it than if I don’t set the intention.

If it all seems too hard, remember, be kind to yourself. Your horse doesn’t mind spending his days grazing until you have the time and energy to get out there. Most of all enjoy the time with your little one, they’re only this small for a short time and before you know it they won’t need you so much and you can get back out there with your horse!

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