Balancing The Triple Threat

Balancing The Triple Threat

Riding, Academics, and a Social Life: All necessary for the life of an equestrian, but not all get the attention each deserves! Trust me I get it… as an equestrian competing on the AA Circuit, training 4-6 times a week for many hours, being an A-Student at a challenging private school, and wanting to spend time with friends, I understand it's hard. However, that’s why I am here to share with you my tips on trying to balance these three aspects of life.

First, when I figure out my schedule for the next week (usually two-three days before that week begins) I decide my priorities.  Of course, all three are important and I have to put my time into each, but there is a need to give and take. Below is an example of a schedule I could have one week during the school year: One important thing to remember is I don’t have a concrete plan in place each day because my body feels different each day and it's important to listen to how you are feeling! The following example is a rough schedule of a week similar to one I may have during a the busy show season.


  • Wake up 6:30 am
  • School 7:30-3:30
  • No riding-- gym or hangout with friends 4:00-5:30/6:00pm
    • At my gym on Monday I usually kick-start the week with a workout! I start with either a 4-7 mile cross country hill program run on the treadmill or take a step outside and do a cross country run filled with hills 4-7 miles. Then, I do some strength training workouts. I start with the TFE Core Strength Program or my personalized 5-10 minute core workout. I also do a personalized 10 minute arm workout and then I use some of the machines at my gym for my core, back, thighs & hip abductors and arms/shoulders. The amount of strength training varies depending on my activity level the rest of the week, and how I am feeling that day. I like to finish my workouts on the powerplate and stretch/roll out my muscles.
  • Homework & Studying (and dinner in between) 6:30-10:30pm. I always try to get work done at school during free periods so I don’t have to do as much at home.
  • Sleep 10:30pm-6:30am (8hrs is the minimum you should get!)


  • Wake up 6:30am
  • School 7:30-3:30pm
  • Riding from 4:00-7:00pm. I usually ride one to two horses on Tuesdays incorporating a lot of flatwork in my rides by myself.
  • Homework & Studying: I try to get a lot of work done at school for riding days so I only have 2-4 hours of work at home.


  • Wake up 6:30am
  • School 7:30-3:30pm
  • Gym 4:00-5:30pm -- No riding (If it is a week where I have an away horse show, I ride Thurs.-Sun if it is a non-show week I ride Tues, Wed, Thurs, Sat, Sun)
    • This is my second day at the gym this week. Since I did a medium-hard workout Monday today I will do an easier workout. 3-5 mile run with rolling hills, strength training 30 mins. My strength training include the TFE Core Strength Program, my 10 minute arm workout using 10-12 pound free weights and another 5-10 minute of core exercises. If I have time I will use machines specifically for my core, back, inner thigh, hip abductors, and shoulders. I like to finish my workouts on the powerplate and stretch/roll out my muscles.


  • Wake up 6:30am
  • School 7:30-3:30
  • Riding- 4:00-7:00pm
  • Finish packing for the horse show
  • Homework & Studying: I try to get a lot of work done at school for riding days so I only have 2-4 hours of work at home.


  • Wake up 6:30am
  • No school (for away shows I leave for the show on Fridays... so I miss school)
  • Get to barn around 9:00am
  • Usually leave the barn with my horse(s) in the trailer and head to the show mid-morning (sometimes earlier depending on how far away the show is). During the car ride to the show I do homework.
  • Arrive at show early afternoon & get number from show office and figure out a game plan for the next two days. Unpack my tack stall and the horse stall(s) so all the horses are settled in.
  • Do a nice flat ride on the horse(s) and walk them around the showgrounds so they gets familiar with surroundings.
  • Clean everything up, feed/take care of the horses and prep everything for the next day.
  • Sleep at around 9:00pm-10:00pm (I try to get to sleep as early as I can)


  • Wake up 5:00am (my wakeup time depends a lot on the time of my first class but no later than 5am because I have to feed my horse(s) myself). I eat some form of breakfast either heading to the show or nibbling off it during the whole process of getting everything ready. Check out the previous blog post written by TFE Ambassador Sophia about healthy horse show snacks! For more nutrition information download the Free Jump Start to Healthy Eating Guide here!
  • Arrive at show 6:30am and feed horse(s), clean out stall(s), and braid mane(s) if needed.
  • (If its a morning class and I am late in the order-of-go) Course walk  
  • Tack up and head down to the warm up ring
  • Show in the class(es)
  • Untack, clean horse(s) and stalls and organize everything for the next day.
  • Lunch and relaxation :)

It's a long and very tentative schedule of my week but an easy breakdown is:

  • Try and hang out with friends once per week if possible
  • Workout at my gym 2-4 times per week (If it is a show week I only get to go twice but my usual amount is 3-4 times.)
  • Ride 5-6 times per week (Riding 2-3 horses a day on average)
  • Homework & Studying: This is the hardest part of my schedule because it varies depending on how many tests, projects, and homework I have. But I do homework/study every day of the week and I try to get as much done each night. I restrain myself from doing too much late at night so I get enough sleep!

As you can see from my schedule my main priority is riding and academics. To be honest, my social life does get damaged sometimes because of what I do. It's inevitable to have to give and take when balancing these three things, but if you set priorities and plan an organized schedule each week it is definitely possible to handle all three! Good luck with tackling this triple threat, I am sure you can do it… after all, you ride a 1200lb animal for fun!

-The Fit Equestrian Ambassador Martha Wyatt-Luth

Instagram: @mwl.equestrian


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