I recently saw this photograph floating around the internet and it really hit home to me. Some Facebook pages were classifying the image as being a “Corporate Cowgirl” which completely made sense to me. This image applies to many horsewomen all over the world whether they ride English or Western. There are so many of us who work full time in the business world in order to live and afford our expensive horse habit. We live two vastly separate lifestyles and try to combine them together in order to enjoy our favorite lifestyle with our horses.
Living these two lifestyles can be challenging and quite time consuming. Horses require a lot of attention and if you are competing with your horses it is almost another full time job with overtime! Spending eight hours a day at your job can be extremely difficult when you are constantly thinking about being at the barn working with your horse. It is often hard to squeeze in time for yourself and having a social life is almost impossible especially once summer hits! Not to mention, working out is nearly impossible to fit in on the side. When competition season hits, your weekends are full of traveling and hanging out at shows and jackpots. Those weekends can be relaxing but they are also very stressful and hectic. Pulling yourself out of bed on Monday mornings after a horse show are literally the hardest! It is a major struggle to go to work, because you really haven’t had a restful weekend like the rest of your co-workers and you are literally exhausted.
Living two separate lifestyles can be very difficult but it can also be so rewarding! All of us horsewomen are working towards one wish of having our horses be our main and only lifestyle which can seem extremely difficult to achieve. It may happen and it might not be attainable, but in the end we all know that we are extremely good at multi-tasking, we are women after all! We also can break the world record of changing out of work clothes into barn clothes, that’s for sure!
So please don’t judge us by our outer appearance because deep down inside we are horse lovers at heart and that is where our happiness truly lies.
So cheers to the corporate cowgirl:
Who wakes up an hour early to feed her horses before getting ready to go to work each morning and once she’s at work she finds random pieces of hay and horse hair in her hair, clothes and even her bra
Who works her butt of at a full time job to afford her expensive horsey lifestyle and to earn a living
Who works from 8am -5pm at her full time job and then spends her nights at the barn from 6pm-9pm
Who spends any free time at work looking up horse pedigrees, equine news articles, horse sale pages, tack sales and/or competitions for the weekend etc….
Who wishes that her work benefits and health insurance covered her horses veterinary and farrier bills-horses should be considered as family members too right?!…
Who pulls into work with a bunch of hay in the back of her pickup truck or backseat of her car! And yes I have done that-garbage sacks come in handy!
Who spends all of her paid leave on taking time off for horse shows, clinics and horse health appointments. Horse competitions are considered a vacation for this gal, because she has no paid leave left by the end of the year!
Who would much rather be spending money on horse tack , competition outfits and/or riding boots then spending a fortune on work clothes
Who wouldn’t be recognized by her horsey friends in her work attire and her co-workers wouldn’t recognize her in her barn and or competition clothes either!
Who often wishes she could discipline her co-workers like she does with her horse. They should make office round pens!
Who can’t wait to get to the barn after a long day at work. She literally counts downs the hours till 5 o clock. On days she leaves early from work to a show, concentration for this working girl is nearly impossible!
Who has a vehicle full of horse tack and riding clothes so she can change into her barn clothes immediately after work-She never offers to haul any of her friends around to places because there is literally no room for them to sit and it smells like horse manure and horse hair is all over the place!
Who has a horse as her therapist and a horse trainer as a counselor
Who after a late morning of feeding horses rushes into work with her muck boots on!
Who gets home from work and immediately has to feed her horses, fill water troughs and exercise her horses, clean stalls and somehow fit in time to cook dinner for her and/or her family and spend time with her family while doing laundry and other household chores…
Who spends a few nights a week taking a riding lessons after taxing days at work
Who counts her riding time and barn chores as her nightly workouts, because some days it is hard to find time to work out for an extra hour. Barn Chores can be exhausting after a long day at work
Who constantly has to turn her friends plans down because she is too busy with her horses. She would much rather spend a night at the barn, then a night at a bar or club. This gal really doesn’t have a social life- and when she does go out with her friends she sometimes feels like she is betraying her horse!
Who has mastered changing from her smelly barn clothes into a fancy “girls night out” outfit in less than an hour. That is,…..when she wants to spend time away from the barn…..which is sometimes a good thing for her mentally!
Who literally has no weekend- because she is spending it doing barn chores, fixing fences, hauling hay, deep cleaning stalls, spending a weekend at a horse competition, a clinic, or going on trail rides. And Sunday nights she is busy catching up on all of her household chores that multiplied during the week!
Who drags herself into work Monday morning after surviving a long weekend at a horse competition looking like a raggedy Ann Doll Zombie with no make- up and dirt and hay in it!
Who is so immune to being on the go all the time, she doesn’t even realize how busy she actually is! When she does have a few hours of free time it almost seems like multiple days have passed.
Who has a master calendar of work and horse events and multiple budgets for herself and her horses. Her schedule is jammed packed!
Who would rather spend money on spoiling her horses with pedicure’s, chiropractic and massage appointments. This girl however, barely spends time spoiling herself!
Who constantly wonders what non horsey people do during their free time, because it seems like they would have so much free time! Not to mention all the extra money they must have! >>However that lifestyle seems very boring and lifeless to a horse lover who would rather work her butt off and be broke at the same time!
Who wishes her full time job was spent at the barn and not in an office. She constantly hopes and dreams to make in big in the horse world to fulfill that dream
Who wins a tough horse competition class or jackpot that she has worked hard to achieve. She is reminded of how how much her hard work and dedication has paid off and how rewarding it is. A life spent with horses is one that is very humbling and fulfilling!
Who absolutely loves her life, even though others might think she is crazy!
Are you a “corporate cowgirl?” How do you manage to find time to get everything done? Especially if you have kids and a family?
Currently, I am not married nor do I have kids. I do have a boyfriend who is very understanding about my busy schedule and my crazy love for my horses.
Here is a glimpse of my schedule:
Since I’m currently boarding my horses, I don’t have to wake up early and feed in the mornings, like I used to when I lived at my parents farm.
- I wake up around 6:30/7am and drive to work by 8am.
- I work a full time administrative office job at a University from 8am-5pm.
- After work, I run home and try to fit in a Jillian Michael’s workout video before changing into my barn clothes and venturing out to the barn. I’ve found this to work the best so I can get some type of a work-out in! I love her’s because they are usually less than 45 minutes
- I grab a quick snack for dinner and usually get to the barn by 6:30pm. I ride my horses and finally get home around 8:30/9pm.
- Then I relax and/or take a shower before bed.
- I usually go to the barn on Monday, Tuesdays and Fridays because the barn is booked in the evenings on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
- Wednesday and Thursday nights I try to work out and spend time with my boyfriend. If he is busy with school on those nights, I usually blog or work on my photography and try to get some household chores done and spend some time to myself.
Off competition Season (November-February/March):
- Weekends in the off-competition season aren’t quite as busy, but I still try to spend a lot of time out at the barn, but I definitely mix in more of a social life. The winter is cold, so I find that to be a good excuse to not be at the barn quite as much especially since you are limited with only certain things you can work on.
- I try to cherish my free time on the weekends during those months until competition season hits
Competition Season (March/April-October)
- Once competition season hits, I’m usually traveling almost every weekend to a barrel racing competition or rodeo each week.
- Most competitions are on Saturdays but there is usually a long weekend competition at least once a month.
- I try to leave at least one or sometimes two weekends off each month from a competition for my budget and to give my horses a mental break. It’s nice to be able to spend time with family and friends.