Time for Riding
You will find that once you start, riding quickly becomes addictive. Once you have got the hang of it, you will find you want to do it all of the time, come rain or shine. Most horse people will jump at any chance to get on the horse's back. Unfortunately, it is a time consuming hobby and fitting it in to a busy schedule can be difficult, especially for people who work and have children. The seasons also take their toll, with shorter days meaning less time for riding, certainly in the light.
Liveried HorsesOne way to partially solve the problem of finding time to ride is to have your horse fully liveried. This means that your yard will do everything for you, from grooming and mucking out to exercising, feeding and watering. All you then have to do is turn up at the yard when you want to ride. Having your horse fully liveried does cut down on all of the fiddly aspects of horse ownership which can take up so much time. But, like most good things, there is a downside. First is the cost which can be prohibitive for some people. But secondly, and more importantly, you miss out on a lot of bonding time with your horse if you are not doing all of the little things for them, like giving them treats and brushing their coat.
Weekend RidingAnother option is to become a weekend rider if you do not have time in the week. You can devote your whole weekends to riding and spending time with your horse. This will allow plenty of time for hacking out and generally spending time with the horse, while light and when you do not have anything else to worry about. But here the downside is that you may end up with little time for other hobbies and things you may do at weekends if that is the only time you get to ride.
Bad WeatherIf you really want to maximise the time you have for riding, then you are going to have to be prepared to ride in bad weather. This in itself brings its own set of challenges. Riding in poor weather is not as safe as in good weather for a start, so do not do this until you have plenty of experience in good conditions. When you do go out in bad weather, always make sure you are wearing clothing with high visibility strips on it so that you can be seen clearly by traffic. Have a good riding jacket to keep you warm and dry and consider investing in some chaps to keep your legs warms and dry too.
Riding is a labour of love and to enjoy it properly you do need to devote a lot of time to your hobby. But it is a satisfying hobby which can bring many, many benefits. It is also for all of the family – meaning you can ride and enjoy family time. But it does leave you with little time for other hobbies, so a lot of dedication is needed.