I ride about 3 - 4 times a week, up at 4:30am to be at the stables by 5:30 and back on the road into work (of course through peak hour traffic) by 7:45! Its stressful but the best way to start the day... Thankfully my office is a little flexible with my hours so I can do those early starts usually about twice a week then I spend as much time as I want Saturdays and some Sundays!
You do what you have to do to make it work thats what passion is :)
I wake up at 6 am everyday and ride close to home for 1 hr, then go to work and be there as long as possible, even a little later than usual sometimes to prove that although I may come a few minutes late I will also stay a little late. Then study at home when taking a class, after work. Sleep at 12 am and repeat.
Early mornings and/or late evenings, save up that vacation time so you can use for it long show weekends!
I'm a full time student (taking 19 credits) work 20 hours a week. And am at a cooperative barn where I have to do 4 hours of work each week plus my own horses stall every single day. It's alot of late nights and a lot of early mornings. But it's doable if your motivated enough. I ride virtually every day and maintain a 3.8 GPA, and pull extra shifts at work if asked. Plan out your schedule, like even down to travel time, and follow it to a T.
My full time job is riding and showing other people's horses lol
The secret is that there will never be enough time- you just have to make it. I work about 50 hours a week and compete (on weekends/take time off) and it is hard to ride during the week. I think the best thing that has worked for me is to schedule it like you would anything else important. Your ride time is non-negotiable. It is a few hours out of the day that you will not adjust for anyone. It took me years to get to this point but I am now finally moving up instead of staying the same. Weekends are a given of more in depth rides and in winter I aim for at least 2-3 ride days a week...and yeah that means I am in the barn until 10pm sometimes. Can you stay late for a meeting- NO....can you stay and cover me- NO. It is crazy that by making a few excuses to skip a week add up to all of the sudden you have not ridden in 5 days. Your ride time is an obligation just like anything else-keep it.
I wish I knew this too. With school and a part time job, I find the best thing is delegating your time as best as is possible. I combine my riding/competing/school/work calendars into one, along with all the actual deadlines for each. I then set my own deadlines for my work/school a few days before and treat it as if that is when I have to have things done. I then use the time before that deadline to catch up with other work and get head starts on them. After a few weeks of this, it adds up to enough time for one show. There aren't ever really any breaks. I know some people who try to always cover other people's shifts so that when they need the time for their horse/showing, people are more likely to give it and be forgiving.
I wanna know the answer to this as well- i cant even squeeze 3 rides/week into my university/work schedule.