My favourite time of day can easily be reduced to a simple answer. However, my answer also sneaks out of properly answering the question, because my answer is: any time I’m on a horse. When people ask this question, they’re generally asking whether you’re a morning person or a night owl. I’d define myself as either, depending upon what the situation is and various other environmental factors.
But if you really pushed me, I’d have to say that my favourite time to be in the saddle is first thing in the morning. Ideally, it wouldn’t be raining, but even if it were, I’d be happy to be riding. I’ve found that riding first thing helps me to start my day properly. As the saddle is a transcendental place, it’s time to shake off any worries or stresses which linger from the previous day. Many people use exercise to put them in a good mood. I, however, hate sweating, so I don’t get the same rush of endorphins from running or working out as other people do. The activity of being on a horse does provide that for me, though, and that’s another reason I dismount in a good mood.
Even if my morning ride involves having to concentrate – schooling a horse or having a lesson – I seem to be better off for it. My recent lessons have been the first thing I’ve done during a morning, and even if I feel like it could’ve gone better, I’ve dismounted feeling invigorated and ready to tackle whatever else I need to do that day.
The reason I say I enjoy it at any time is because a ride at the end of a bad day can cheer me up, reset my focus and allow me to finish the day with a better attitude. But if I have the choice to start well and continue in that way or fix something bad with something better, I’ll choose the former.
Hopefully, the future will hold many opportunities for me to crawl out of bed, tack up a horse and head out on a contemplative morning wander, or a pipe-opening gallop as my mood requires. Until I’m in that privileged position, I’ll have to settle for recalling one of my previous horseback trips, and making the most of what I can get.
What’s your favourite time of day to ride (or participate in your favourite activity)? Is it when you’re at your best, or fixing your worst?