School, Sports, Social Lives & Horses: How to Balance It All (Without Going Insane)

Juggling a jam-packed student schedule can feel overwhelming, but it can be done! Kate Kosnoff, a junior at Denison University in Ohio, shares some tips for managing your time like a pro.
Photo courtesy of Kate Kosnoff.

Photo courtesy of Kate Kosnoff

As much as it pains me to say it, summer is drawing to a close, and for many equestrians that can only mean one thing: school is back in session. No more are the long, leisurely days at the barn. No more spending weeks horse-showing. Now we find ourselves sitting in a classroom, staring out the window, and wondering, “I wonder what my horse is doing right now.”

Yes, school is back, folks. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t continue to enjoy the company of your equine companion. Here are some tips for keeping your life in balance:

First of all, invest in a weekly planner.

Go to Target or WalMart and find a cheap one, or shop online to find a fancy, pretty one. It doesn’t matter what it looks like; it’s what’s on the inside that counts. In order to balance homework, sports seasons, social outings, and riding time, it is essential that you manage your time wisely, and by mapping out your weekly schedule in your planner, you’ll be able to stay on top of schoolwork and riding lessons.

There are only 24 hours a day, so don’t bite off more than you can chew.

It’s okay to take a day off from the barn if you need to catch up on homework or take a nap. Trust me, your horse will understand.

Flickr/Dafne Cholet/CC

Flickr/Dafne Cholet/CC

Let your horse help keep you motivated.

If you’re a high school student with a heavy course load, it’s important to spend time on homework and studying for tests. I know you hear it 100 times a day, but your grades do matter if you want to go to college. Spend the most time on subjects that are more difficult for you, and use barn time as a reward once you finish an essay or study guide. That way, you’ll feel accomplished after you complete a task and you’ll be able to focus your attention solely on your horse.

Take school seriously.

Are you in college and enjoying your newfound freedom? Congratulations! But don’t lull yourself into a false sense of security. In college, you actually have to show up to class. It’s not like in the movies. If you’re lucky enough to have brought your horse with you, time management is essential. While you may have more free time, you will certainly have harder and more extensive work that shouldn’t be put off until the last minute.

Remember that chill time is important, too.

What about the weekends, you ask? Go ahead and hang out with your friends. But remember, weekends were invented so that we humans can relax and recharge for the week ahead. Watch some TV, sleep in, and take a relaxing trail ride with your pony to clear your head!

Flickr/Steven Depolo/CC

Flickr/Steven Depolo/CC

By my senior year in high school, I had two horses, a budding show career, volleyball season, a small bakery business to manage, three AP classes, college visits and applications, and friends to hang out with. Yes, there were some late nights, and trust me, I was exhausted sometimes. However, I am now a junior in college and I have somehow survived the juggling act of school, sports, social outings and horses. With hard work and dedication, you can successfully balance all extracurriculars and academics. Have a great school year!

Kate Kosnoff is a junior at Denison University in Ohio. She has been riding for seven years and currently owns two horses, Mac and Marley. You can check out her blog, Kate at the In Gate, here.


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