It got me thinking about how much you really can fit into a day if you want to!
I have come to the conclusion that horsey people are a rare breed, they can get up at the crack of dawn to muck out before work with a head torch on, work all day and still look forward to finishing up and head back to the yard to ride at 8pm at night. Don't get me wrong, we don't feel like that everyday but we still get on and do it anyway!
Going back to the question of how I fit it all in, I am a super planner. I could tell you what I have on almost every weekend for the rest of the year all going well. I also have an alternate plan as we all know things don't always go to plan with horses, lorries, weather, work commitments......
Everything goes in my google diary which I can access from my phone and at work. Once I make a plan, I do everything I can not to change it or back out. If I have a lesson booked after work I will leave work at 5 to rush to the lesson but then work again later on at home to finish things up. I use my google diary to set reminders for competition entries, qualifying dates etc so I never miss anything. My lunch breaks are full of doing entries, organising farrier appointments, dentist, physio for the horses. Online entries, feed ordering etc also makes things easier.
I also record what work/lessons each horse does online too. I have a set plan for both each week - mix of schooling, jumping and hacking as everyone does but I adapt it to how my day is going - if I am super stressed from work I will have a fun session rather than schooling as although I love competing, I have my horses for enjoyment and fun at the end of the day.
I guess being realistic is also important. Through the summer when I am eventing Corky, Lucas takes a bit of a back seat as keeping them both at a good level of fitness/training to compete isn't always possible time or money wise and I would rather have one going great than two going ok. Also knowing that if I am busy with work, long hours or traveling that the horses will not be ridden as much so therefore probably won't go as well competing. Recently I have been away a lot with work and Corky's dressage has taken a step back. I need to keep reminding myself that you can't do everything and as much as my horses are my passion - my job must come first over competing as it pays the bills!
Other tips/tricks which help me would be things like using a winter turn out rug which is breathable and they can also wear in their stables overnight to save time in the morning (and it's also the best way to dry them off on those wet winter days). I fill my hay nets for the week at the weekends if I can and also use one giant net each as they are quicker and easier to fill. I bought lovely thick stable mats which have paid for themselves by the reduced amount of shavings I need to now use. They also make the beds much quicker to muck-out. Through the winter I try not to stress about how fit the boys are. I ride at the weekends and then only 2 nights in the week if I am struggling for time. I also lock everything I need for lessons etc in a tack locker in my lorry so I'm ready to go as soon as I arrive at the yard. No packing required!
I also have two secret weapons....
1. I now no longer do my own turn out in the mornings and lovely Mary does it for me. It means I can get into the office a littler earlier in the hope I can leave a little earlier! Mary also looks after the boys when I'm traveling or busy with work. She had helped me for the last 3 years so the boys love and trust her which is great. She even keeps manes and tails tidy and helps me with show prep too.
2. I have a sharer who pays me to come up and ride Lucas 2/3 days a week. She is fantastic with Lucas, he loves the extra attention, it takes the pressure off me and helps pay the bills and cover the stable duties. win-win!
All in all I definitely an a very busy person, but with good planning, prep and help it's manageable and most importantly - fun!
I've added some clips and photos from Hendersyde BE to show how much fun it can be!