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Coordinating riding with a baby

14 replies

Cariadxx · 04/08/2018 08:50

So I'm considering putting my horse in full working livery at the local equine college from September as I'm due in Januaryand it would mean she's fully looked after and schooled/ exercised. It is also no cost to me except for the farrier and she's barefoot. Outside of college hours i am able to use their facilities for free which include 2x outdoor, a xc paddock and a competition sized indoor. She'll come home in the holidays and then finally next June. I only live 15 minutes away and the local farrier knows several people who have had their horse there and there are no concerns with mistreatment etc etc.

My question is what did you do with your babies when you rode? I'm wondering how feasible it is to have them in the pram next to the school for half an hour whilst riding?obv if it's a nightmare child who screams constantly and won't sleep this won't work but most aren't like this.

OP posts:
smerlin · 04/08/2018 11:52

I usually ride when partner home from work - we have a constant juggle of who has late work commitments/ hobbies/ social life (occasional!!)

CountryCob · 04/08/2018 15:26

Hello congratulations and best of luck with this sounds like a good plan. I kept my horse diy with my little girl who is almost 3 now. In winter I tended to give jan/ Feb off riding which I found to be helpful and positive, into March if weather bad. Didn’t this year now though when I am back to low level competition. I did manage some riding with baby in cool car beside school/ or in pram when baby very young and sleeping. Found really the hardest thing was having the energy and was easier when I stopped pushing myself as much and decided not to feel guilty when I couldn’t. Also I had a plan b of just leaving horse in school if needed to look after baby. There was a small turn out pen beside school which helped. Not easy though and as she got older just lunged like that as felt more manageable. One really low point when had tacked up for first time in a while and then baby woke in pram and needed to untack. But that was only once and it’s not forever. Depends on the yard set up, how your baby is and how you are, and the weather! but good idea to get some strategies in place without putting too much pressure on yourself. In the long term baby is now horse mad and pretty good rider and I am happy enough for her to be around horse although always need to be really careful. Moved yards twice in the end to find the perfect place, quieter yard much better as less to keep track of. People have been largely good but some just do not get it. Caught a horse for someone at a show and she took a while talking and not taking horse, I had 2 year old on hip thinking I don’t know your horse and has just bolted so you better take it back! She was just young though and I think on the school you might get a bit of that. I don’t think I could have done it either if my horse wasn’t such a kind forgiving character who can have breaks and responds well to the little training we have time for. It all needs to fit together really if that makes sense. Now I ride when I work from home and during holidays and when my husband can mind my toddler. Have also paid a local horsey teenager £5 an hour to mind my little girl at the yard while I ride or have something I need to do with horse although even that is a faff really so don’t do it often, although it is something to consider, best of luck and don’t worry if the plans don’t work out perfectly keep trying and where there is a will there is a way, it took me a couple of years to get back to riding like I had before but looking back wouldn’t really change anything, except maybe getting to the right yard sooner and being a bit easier on myself...

Greyhorses · 04/08/2018 15:49

The pram thing never worked for me and I ended up just riding when DH came home from work or at weekends.
It was more the coordinating pram/horse in the same space while tacking up and inevitably baby would wake up just as I got on.

Now I have a toddler and it’s even worse Grin

Cariadxx · 04/08/2018 16:04

My horses usually live at home but this arrangement wouldn't cost me anything and would save me money on hay and feed. It would only be until the end of the summer term in June which is when I imagine the little one would be too old to just sleep in the pram whilst I rode in the school. Then I'd have the lighter evenings at home to ride after dh got home from work and the baby would be able to go a few hours without me by that point. It's just whether the college feel she's suitable for them.

OP posts:
maxelly · 06/08/2018 14:33

Sounds like a really good arrangement if they'll take her, it's good that she'll be getting exercised regardless, so you don't have to put yourself under pressure to ride. I know plenty of people who leave baby in pram/buggy or even sleeping in the car while they ride (with varying degrees of success I have to say!). I would just make sure that you don't ride when there's no-one else around on the yard, in case of accidents, and that someone knows you have the baby with you. Ideally someone would be available to come hold horse and/or baby if s/he wakes up mid-ride - unless yours is the type that will stand unsupervised in the school if you have to suddenly leap off and not piss off or mess around (the horse not the baby that is!)

Cariadxx · 06/08/2018 21:12

I'm hoping they ask to assess her, and whilst she may get a little bored just doing school work it's all a lot of horses do. She doesn't enjoy hunting as it's too muddy so wouldn't be missing that. She's definitely the kind to be fine if I had to jump off to see to the baby, she's a lovely mare, only vice is she's can be a horror to catch when living out 24/7! It depends how much she fancies being ridden. At the moment I don't have a school at home so have to box up and hire one for lessons so that would be a saving too once baby is here. I've known my instructor for years so I'm sure she'd teach with one hand on the pram!

OP posts:
Booboostwo · 06/08/2018 22:01

I have my horses at home and through two DCs i only managed to ride once when I was responsible for the DCs. It was the only time DC1 stayed in her prom sleeping for long enough for me to bring in, tack up and get on...and then a delivery lorry arrived and I had to get off again!

Realistically it is quite difficult to ride with a baby in tow and impossible with a toddler.

DiseasesOfTheSheep · 11/08/2018 16:16

A friend of mine has done just that - sent her horse to an equine college while she had a baby / toddler in tow. It seems to have worked pretty well for her.

Although when I was younger, I remember a local RI who used to exercise her horses while her child played in the sand in the corner of the school Shock

Cariadxx · 12/08/2018 09:00

Horse has her assessment tomorrow so we'll see how she gets on. Once baby is a toddler he or she can be on the section A in tow! We start them young round here!

OP posts:
maxelly · 14/08/2018 19:06

How did it go?

Cariadxx · 15/08/2018 17:18

Urgh. It didn't. For the first time in 2 years she came in lame! So currently on box rest and bute for a week. Hopefully will reschedule for Wednesday next week. I dropped by on the way to the vets as we're only 10 minutes away and it would have meant waiting all day for a callout. They loved her nature but obviously need to see her ridden.

OP posts:
maxelly · 17/08/2018 15:58

Oh man, horses eh? They always seem to find a way to thwart your best laid plans! Hope she's sound again very soon!

Cariadxx · 18/08/2018 18:33

I know. She's still not hugely better and vet thinks may be her tendon so I'm completely stressed out and gutted about it

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whymewhyme · 18/08/2018 20:06

I have a 2year old and let me tell you it's soooooo much easier when he was tiny! I used to time feeding baby just as I was about to ride, I'd tack up, then bf baby, leave him wrapped up in the pram in the corner of the ménage or outside the gate. My baby was a gem when I rode he rarely cryed, as the months went on he liked to like watch me go around the ménage now he's two, well it's hard! I need to have my mum or DH watch him while I ride

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