How To Balance Schoolwork and Riding

Above photo: TPH Intern Emy Lucibello makes her homework a priority even at a horse show

By TPH Intern Izzy Feinstein

To many young equestrians, juggling homework, studying, and riding can seem overwhelming and impossible. In order to study for your test and prepare for your upcoming horse show, it often may feel as if you have no other option than to sacrifice sleep for schoolwork. You may feel exhausted after a grueling no stirrup lesson at the barn and have no energy to finish your homework, so you hurriedly complete it in homeroom the next day. If you are ready to make a change, use the tips below to help guide you in the right direction to adequately complete your homework, school your horse, and even get a good night’s sleep!

  • Plan ahead! Use a day planner such as Day Designer, the Notes or Reminders apps on your phone, or apps such as myHomework Student Planner from the App Store to help you plan your schedule! Write down all of your homework, any upcoming tests or assignments, etc. in your planner to help you stay organized. On days you have more work to complete, you may want to opt for a quick hack instead of that hour group lesson. If you know you have a horse show or other event planned in advance, ask your teacher if you will have any tests or projects to study for so you can begin studying early and don’t feel overwhelmed. Try to begin studying the day you are notified of the test or quiz for 5 minutes a night, and begin projects and essays as soon as possible.

  • Use your time wisely. When you get home from the barn, get to work as soon as possible! Although it may be tempting to check your social media, FaceTime with friends, or watch Netflix, use these activities as incentives to finish your work. Since you have already recorded your assignments in your planner, you can quickly look back at what you have to do and plan accordingly. Start with homework that may take you longer to complete, such as an essay, and finish with lighter assignments such as worksheets or reading a chapter in a book.
  • Do homework whenever and wherever you can! If you have free periods or study halls, use them wisely by completing as much homework as possible. If you do not get car sick doing homework in the car to and from the barn may be an option for you. If you have time before or after your lesson or hack, sit with your horse by his/her stall, in a viewing room, or office and start some homework.

  • Don’t procrastinate at the barn or with your school work! Although this may be hard, try to be productive the entire time you are at the barn. It may be tempting to sit on the couch in the viewing room or on a tack box and chat with your friends. Instead, talk to them as you clean tack or groom your horse so you can leave the barn at a decent hour. Additionally, do not leave short or long term assignments until the last minute! Being on top of your schoolwork will make it much easier to complete everything on time and help prevent you from feeling as if you’re drowning.