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StrawberryFields
Apr. 12, 2011, 02:30 PM
How many people owned horses in college? I am a sophomore in college and work at a farm for my job....but I really want a horse of my own. How many people owned a horse(s) in college? I spend all my time at the barn or with my boyfriend. I'm on the IHSA team as well but I would like to do more shows this summer. I'm not really into partying as much as other colllege students and really just want to spend all my time at the barn. I also have straight "A's" but lots of free time! What gives?!? I've owned horses all my life and I feel naked without one, haha! Anyway tell me the pros and cons, etc, etc. I used to have 4 horses at my house and show a lot but now I don't..... :(. It's weird and I feel like I'm missing something! I would work off my board and still get paid enough to afford everything. My parents would pay for show fees (just local stuff).

c'est moi
Apr. 12, 2011, 02:36 PM
You might get some good responses here, but there have been MANY threads on this very topic. I'd suggest doing a search on your query, I think you'll find a lot of good information.

StrawberryFields
Apr. 12, 2011, 02:38 PM
oh i know i was just thinking for my particular situation already being in college and such. The good thing is that I wouldn't need a truck or trailer because my trainer (also my IHSA trainer) goes to all the local and rated shows in our area. that would save a lot of money! I'll do some searches though :)

*JumpIt*
Apr. 12, 2011, 02:45 PM
If you have someone else funding the horse then all means get a horse. But as a current college student working 24/7 and pinching pennies to meet my horse's minimum needs then I wouldn't recommend it.

kateh
Apr. 12, 2011, 02:47 PM
Well, you know what owning a horse is like. You know what college is like. Put them together. Look at your current schedule and block out your study time. Then add in your hours working at the barn, with commute. How much is left for riding time? Are you ok with that amount? Are you ok with the amount of "leftover time" for friends/boyfriend? Will you be able to save some money as well pay for the horse? You may need some money in savings for emergency fees AND for after graduation, if you can't find a job immediately. Also look at your major and talk to some upperclassmen in that major-does the work get harder in the upper level classes? Can you keep a "barn friendly" schedule for the next two years?

The friends of mine who've kept their horses through college all had horses that didn't need to be ridden every day. Are you ok with that? I don't know what your budget is for the horse in the first place, but if you're looking at project horses, keep in mind you may not have the time to be super consistent in their training.

Have you considered leasing/half leasing? It might increase your riding hours, while allowing you some more flexibility in timing and finances.

AliCat518
Apr. 12, 2011, 02:51 PM
I brought my horses to school sophomore and junior years. I also did IHSA. I didnt find it to be a problem at all. Horses were on stall board, so they were fed, watered etc etc if I couldnt make it out. I generally did some of my IHSA lessons on my guys, sometimes on others. Sometimes I would take a lesson with a different trainer on my guy, then an IHSA lesson with the coach on a schoolie.

I thought it was easy? The hard part would be financial...however if you can work off board and costs, thats great!

cswoodlandfairy
Apr. 12, 2011, 02:54 PM
I had my horse with my all four years of college. The first semester of my freshman year, Indy was located about 5 miles off campus at a local barn and I made it out there everyday with a heavy class load. I also worked at the barn on campus to try and cover my expenses. It was a bit tight but I enjoyed the work and wouldnt have it any other way. The second semester a spot opened up on campus and Indy lived there the rest of my four years. I still worked at the barn, luckily I worked the evening shifts where he was boarded, so I really got to take care of him myself. I showed and took lessons twice a week with a full class schedule and I never found any problem with it. I will admit I was lucky that if one week was bad and I could get out there to ride him the 4-5 times a week he was still a good boy for my lessons.

I loved having a horse at school and I'm not sure I could have done it without him. It was a great stress reliever to be able to leave the college work behind and think of nothing but being with my horse!

Good luck!! Hopefully you will find the right solution for you!

kahhull
Apr. 12, 2011, 02:56 PM
I owned a horse for most of college. My dad paid board, but the rest was up to me (lessons, tack, shows, etc.) It was by no means a glamorous time for the horse and I, but it was important to me and I definitely made it work. However, I have to say that when I sold my mare at the end of my junior year, I felt a little "free" from it - I could go on vacations without worry, get involved in other clubs (still did IHSA), work more hours and study more. College IS about having NEW experiences, so if you have any inclination to explore other activities, now is the time to do it. I spent my life until college pretty much devoted to my horses and appreciated getting a chance to try some other stuff out. Don't worry, you'll fall right back in after you graduate - I know I did. :)

Rel6
Apr. 12, 2011, 02:58 PM
:eek:
I brought my horses to school sophomore and junior years. I also did IHSA. I didnt find it to be a problem at all. Horses were on stall board, so they were fed, watered etc etc if I couldnt make it out. I generally did some of my IHSA lessons on my guys, sometimes on others. Sometimes I would take a lesson with a different trainer on my guy, then an IHSA lesson with the coach on a schoolie.

I thought it was easy? The hard part would be financial...however if you can work off board and costs, thats great!

this! I know five people on my team who have their own horses and this is how it works out for them. Also, they allow their horses to be used in IHSA so other riders take lessons on them and bring them to shows. We even have riders who brought there horses and allow the open riders to school him and fix certain behaviors.

Honestly if the finances work out, I would think the biggest hurdle would be what to do with the horse when you graduate.

lauraware
Apr. 12, 2011, 03:20 PM
Two of my favorite things! Horses and college!

I have had two horses throughout college (I'm a third year). I do IHSA (but my school's commitment to IHSA is very minimal), try to show my horses about once a month (sometimes more), am an Undergraduate Research Assistant and the House Manager for my sorority. I ride 3 days a week (usually Tuesday, Saturday, and Friday and/or Sunday); more when there's a show. I'm lucky because my school is pretty close to a lot of show facilities (LAEC, the Oaks), and about 35 minutes away from my barn. I could not imagine my life without horses, and I'm lucky because my parents are still willing to fund them, so that's something that I don't have to worry about. However, horses are not the only thing in my life, so if I'm super stressed about school/everything else going on, I call my mom (mom's my trainer) and tell her I can't ride for the day (this only happens once or twice a quarter).

Horses do sometimes limit the amount of time I can spend doing sorority activities, and they limit the amount of time I have to go to UCLA's sporting events, which causes me to sometimes feel like I'm "missing out," but I've managed to be more involved in school than a lot of people while still owning horses. I love horses, and definitely would not be enjoying college as much if they were not a part of my life.

Also, my opinion: If you're getting straight A's in college and have lots of free time, you are definitely not "maximizing" your college experience. Spend that time doing other things you love...like owning a horse!

hj0519
Apr. 12, 2011, 05:11 PM
I brought my horses to school sophomore and junior years. I also did IHSA. I didnt find it to be a problem at all. Horses were on stall board, so they were fed, watered etc etc if I couldnt make it out. I generally did some of my IHSA lessons on my guys, sometimes on others. Sometimes I would take a lesson with a different trainer on my guy, then an IHSA lesson with the coach on a schoolie.

I thought it was easy? The hard part would be financial...however if you can work off board and costs, thats great!

Same here. I have my horse at school, it's no problem at all. I get out six days a week every week, ride for my school's team at a different barn, and get good grades. I show reguarly with my horse and the team. However, my parents pay for my horse. If I had to finance it myself, it would be very hard to do.

Tstarke22
Apr. 12, 2011, 06:25 PM
Totally know what you mean about feeling naked without a horse!! I feel like college changes up everyones riding situation which kinda sucks and most people (including myself) on my ISHA team had to sell their horses right before college.

If you've got good grades and your parents will foot some of the bill, why not get a horse?! I'm going into my senior year now and plan on getting a horse too. What I'm doing, and my advice to you, is to enroll in more 3 hour classes if you can. Since those classes are only once a week you'll have less in-class time and more time to work at the barn/ride/get schoolwork done on your own schedule.

Good luck!!

poltroon
Apr. 12, 2011, 06:37 PM
Also, my opinion: If you're getting straight A's in college and have lots of free time, you are definitely not "maximizing" your college experience. Spend that time doing other things you love...like owning a horse!

My suggestion would actually be different.

College is a time where you have access to activities and opportunities that you will never have again. It depends on your field, but it's a great chance to work for a professor, to look for internships, and do other programs that will get you experience that will make you more employable and give you more flexibility when you are out in the world and paying for your housing and your horses on your own thin dimes.

Consider enrolling in another class, even if it's just a fun class.

When you finish school, your new job may not give you time and money for a horse at first, so that needs to be part of your thoughts too.

vantage
Apr. 12, 2011, 08:13 PM
I'm in my third year of college, and just bought my first horse at the end of January. I took freshman year to really immerse myself in school, this past fall I studied abroad, and I'm a good student and active member of my sorority. My parents were never very financially supportive of my riding, so I'm no stranger to working for what I want. I decided I wanted a horse, so I spent most of what I still had saved after my semester abroad and have found several jobs that support my horse. I'm responsible for all of her bills.

My mare is an "investment" (as much as any horse can be) that I will sell either this fall or next spring, and that money will go towards the move I'm planning to make abroad after I graduate. I work about 20-25 hours a week, have a full course load, and am actively involved in my sorority, other organizations on campus, and the school social life. I also ride 4-5 horses a day most days. I wake up early and am productive most of the day. I have an amazing barn owner/vet/farrier team, and feel very lucky to be in the position I am in. I say if you have the means and the drive, anything is possible.

Wildwood
Apr. 12, 2011, 08:28 PM
I got my horse at the beginning of my sophomore year. I'm a senior now. I had no intention of getting a horse until I had graduated and saved some money, but he was a rescue. I was going to rehab him and find him a good home, but he has soundness issues that limit his abilities, and he's not quiet enough to be a beginner's flatwork/trail horse so he's not going anywhere. I adore him, but it really limits me. I work off his board, my parents can't afford to help me at all. I can't afford to lesson or show. Between working at the barn, doing school work, and commuting to school I don't even really have time to ride him, and I don't have time or money to go out and have fun.

I don't know, in my experience I think I would have had more fun lessoning/leasing/showing and having some money in the bank to play with. Where I board there's 2 or 3 other college students whose parents pay for the expenses and having a horse is not an issue. If money weren't an issue I'd feel differently, so I guess that's what it comes down to.

StrawberryFields
Apr. 12, 2011, 08:57 PM
I was thinking the same thoughts as some posted above. Afte college I want to go to grad school and after that it's time for the "real" world. I feel like now is the time to own a horse and take advantage of the situation. During grad school my horse will stay at my aunt's farm or just stay and be used for the IHSA team i'm thinking. There are many things I want to do but one of them is owning a horse and showing!! I have a great opportunity to do some rated shows as well (which I have never done before). I'm pretty used to working hard in school and the barn. frankly, this is what I love and I can't stop thinking about it!!!!! I would be working 5 days a week at the barn (night feeding) and one day a week at my mom's store. Between this I would have enough money for board, an extra lesson (on top of my already prepaid IHSA team lessons), and pocket cash. Plus, my boyfriend is moving in with me and my roommates so that is also a big help on payments. What my parents save on utilites they said I could use for vet and farrier bills. Is this just me, or is it fate? Plus, I have the opportunity to free lease a horse and then my parents would buy her for me after I graduate.

StrawberryFields
Apr. 12, 2011, 08:58 PM
forgot to mention I wouldn't have to buy ANYTHING since I saved all my stuff from my previous horses. I would only need to buy a saddle. Until then I can use one of the MANY saddles my trainers has. Also have over 1000$ saved up and by the end of the summer it will be over 2k. My gut is telling me to DO IT!!

fordtraktor
Apr. 12, 2011, 09:35 PM
Go for the free lease, that would be a good compromise.

I had 4 horses during college, 1 competition horse and 3 horses I could use for lessons. I went to school 3 days a week and ran a small up-down lesson and training barn the other 4 days a week to pay for college. My horses paid for themselves but I worked my butt off, 16 hour days every day. I sometimes missed class to take clients to shows.

My parents had a farm that I could use for training, but they could not afford to pay for college. In a way they paid for my college by providing a platform I could use to earn money to pay for my own college, but it was a lot of work and not the easy way to go about it.

I did have a good scholarship so that helped a lot. I had a 4.0, graduated at the top of my class and got into a top law school. But I never partied or did much else beyond the barn and classes.

There are sacrifices. I only had 2 friends from college at my wedding, and now I've lost touch with even them. But I am still close with many of my riding students even though I haven't taught a lesson or done a training ride or anything that would come close to violating the ammy rule in 7 years.

You have to decide what is important to you and go for it. I have no regrets about my college experience. In many ways law school was my college, I took one horse and rode 6 days a week but nothing like the time I spent doing horses in undergrad. I have tons of law school friends and went to all the parties, etc. then. I was never much of a partier but it is easy to talk to people when you are all dorks.

EverAfter
Apr. 12, 2011, 09:43 PM
I'm a freshman in college. I'm also on a NCAA Division I athletic team.. Rowing team, not equestrian team ;) ... Like you, I am also I straight A student. I have two horses that I drive 50 minutes almost everyday to ride. I also don't party ever aha..

I would say that the biggest con for me is time. I have practice 4 hours almost every day. 2 hours starting at 5:30 am and then again at 4 pm.. The hardest thing for me is fitting driving out there in my schedule and still get my homework done in time to go to bed. The only other con really is that I get upset sometimes that I'm not horse showing, like I'm putting all this effort into my horses, but I don't get to go to shows anymore during the year.

Honestly though, I wouldn't ever get rid of my horses. They are an amazing stress reliever and are always there when I need them.

The only thing I would think about is if there is someone to ride your horse for you when things get busy (ie lots of test one week etc). My trainer rides my horses for me when I can't, so I'm never stressed about them sitting in their stalls.

BelleOfTheBall
Apr. 12, 2011, 10:36 PM
I'm a sophomore in college, and just brought my horse here in January. He was at a trainer's barn in Jersey to get trained and sold, but when he wasn't getting sold my parents decided that it would be cheaper to bring him to school with my (about a third of the price here at school than at the Jersey barn...1/2 the price of barns at home). I ride as often as possible...which is anywhere from 4-7 days a week. I'm also in a sorority, but that doesn't take up too much time. Unfortunately I can't really show up at school because there's none near by. I am very very lucky though that my parents are so supportive of my riding, so I don't have any financial responsibilities for the horses....for now. But it's so great to be able to go to the barn when my quadmates are driving me crazy, and no matter how stressed or a terrible day I've had, seeing and riding him just makes my day so much better :)

TequilaMockingbird
Apr. 13, 2011, 01:16 PM
I'm a senior right now and graduate in December. I desperately want a horse but I'm going to wait until after graduation. I work regular business hours M-F and go to school at night 4 days a week. That doesn't include the time I need for studying. My classes have definitely gotten progressively harder in the last year. I used to make all As without even studying. I can't get away with that now.

I have made time to take lessons on Friday evenings and early Sunday mornings. That means I have to be in bed by 11pm on Saturday and if I want to go out on Friday it has to be after 8:00pm. The barn is an hour round trip as well. I take every opportunity I can to take lessons at a more "normal" time, like during Spring Break and the summer. But those are the exceptions.

I also pay cash for school and own my own home, car and other pets. Owning a horse right now is completely out of the question but mainly due to time constraints and the fact that I do not want any college debt. I'm also at the gym regularly, making an effort to be as active as I can.

But after graduation? All bets are off!

Personally, if I had the time for a horse during college, I'd sign up for additional classes. Maybe I am weird but I cannot wait for college to be over. If could graduate earlier by taking a heavier course load, I'd rather do that until I graduate. And if I had student loans, I'd start paying them off early with the money I would otherwise spend on a horse.

tua37516
Apr. 13, 2011, 08:12 PM
As a May '09 college grad, I definitely understand where you are coming from on this one! However, I strongly urge you to wait until you're settled down in a career. While it may definitely be possible financially, it is definitely a burden on your time. When last minute necessities pop up (like lectures, 15 page papers due on in two days) you'll feel pulled in two directions with your horse waiting for you. Like some other posters have suggested, college is a rare time to do things like travel abroad, and classes will only get more difficult. Especially if your parents would consider purchasing for you after school is over, why the rush? I competed in the "A" hunters through high school and IHSA in college---and I have never learned more than when I rode a different horse every day of the week, and I think that is the most important thing you can do. Take this time to learn everything you can! Take this opportunity to learn about horses, not just one horse.

overthemoon
Apr. 13, 2011, 08:35 PM
Out of curiousity, why are so many posters concerned with missing a couple of days of riding their horse? Do they need to be ridden THAT consistently to maintain their training? Is the turn out very limited?

I am a student with a horse. I did a few years in university without a horse (and a few years without being around horses, period), and I am much happier now than I was before. There have been times, and there will be times, where I cannot get out to the barn every day to see my horse. I am just beginning her undersaddle training now, but there will still be times where I cannot ride her... I'm not overly concerned about that. She's at a facility with caring barn owners, and she gets lots of turn out. She certainly isn't going to care if I only make her cart my butt around 3 days in a week instead of the normal 5... the only thing she might miss is the apple I always bring.

I think there are two main things to consider: can you handle it financially? (I can, by seriously watching what I spend, and incorporating a lot of ramen noodles into my diet - good thing I like them); and can you prioritize and put school before your horse? I don't think it's a matter of not having enough time for both. I think it's a matter of being able to say, "school is more important than getting out to ride Billy today."

Good luck, with whatever you decide.

englishcowgirl
Apr. 13, 2011, 09:13 PM
I am a junior in college and I bought my horse last year. I go to a engineering school that is know to be difficult and I don't have any regrets. My mare keeps me sane through the hell that is my academic program. I have a boyfriend but he knows that the horse comes first and I have no problem choosing my mare over him. You just need to choose what your true priorities are.

mcohen416@ufl.edu
Apr. 13, 2011, 09:29 PM
I am a coming sophmore in college and am so excited to say that I am just starting my horse search :-) As per request of my mom I kind of took a step back from riding my freshman year, and in my opinion it was a good idea. Although I was stressed out and the horses could have helped me keep my sanity at times, it allowed me time to get used to college life, figure out my way of doing things without living in my parents home, and get some harder classes out of the way. Im on the same wavelength as some other COTH'ers as I want to lessen my time here in college as much as possible :-).

Of course I would not be able to begin my search without the support of my parents. I am so thankful for their support, and will be working at the barn Ill board at to help them with board costs etc.

All in all, I think its something you need to be the judge of. Do you have a lot of time on your hands because you are taking easy classes? Could you take harder ones, get some major core credits out of the way, and still have time for the horse? And obviously are you prepared to pay for both college and horses?? No one can answer these better then yourself, and be honest. One thing I cant stand is when people THINK theyll be abe to do everything, and their new horses attention becomes last priority in the mix.

makeasplash
Apr. 14, 2011, 08:35 AM
I am a sophomore that has had her horse with her (and at one point two!) since semester one of freshman year. The only day I don't get out to ride is Tuesday. I am very involved on campus, pre-law society, sorority, and a community service organization, have a very high GPA, and take mostly 400 level classes. It can be done you just have to budget your time!

And you can still go out, you just have to realize it will detriment your sleep schedule and maybe not stay out as late/go out every night.

fordtraktor
Apr. 14, 2011, 08:57 AM
It also sounds like you have horses in your life already and are still able to ride, OP. In many ways that is ideal -- being able to ride without the financial burden of having your own.

One option college kids should remember is finding a situation where they can ride a single horse regularly, even if they can't own. I would love to find a Notre Dame student to help me exercise my horses a few days a week. I would even try to get them to a few shows if I could. They could love all over them, groom and pull manes and pamper and treat just like their own horse, it would thrill me to death.

That would make a lot more financial sense for the average college kid than buying a horse.

Jaideux
Apr. 14, 2011, 10:38 AM
Don't do it.

Free lease, or half lease, or take more lessons.

I love my horses to death, and I could never part with them. But, as a recent grad... who also did grad school... and is now working full time plus overtime... it's not fun financially or time wise. And, I did have to miss out on a lot of things in college I wish I didn't.

If you want to do grad school, you should be saving your pennies to fly out for interviews/application fees. Depending on what kind of grad school program you're looking at, you may need to save those pennies for cost of living expenses. Put your earnings into a savings account.

Maximize the opportunity to ride horses at little or no cost if they exist for you.

Eventually, your parents probably aren't going to want to keep footing the bills... I mean, I do know one girl in her 3rd year of med school whom I'm 90% sure her parents still pay for all horse things, including going to Florida to show in the winter... but most parents can't/won't do that.

If you have this much free time, I would also suggest you consider picking up another major. Take a language that will make you very marketable. Study abroad. Are you already doing research? If not, get on that. Are you doing a thesis? If not, get on that. THOSE are things you can't ever really do outside of school, and not doing them now could play a major role in getting into a grad program with a nice stipend :)

Event4Life
Apr. 14, 2011, 12:06 PM
If you are making straight As without trying hard and still have free time you are not in a challenging enough program. Also, as others have said - college is about trying new things. I picked up rugby when at school in the states and had a blast. In Edinburgh, I started hillwalking, joined the committee and got involved with organising the weekend long trips (you try getting 50 uni students away to the highlands for a weekend and organising all the acitivites/food that went along with it...for a Christmas themed trip!). I learned how to play polo - which is so much fun! I got involved with a charity which I not only loved enough to work for last summer but will also look great on my CV.

If I were you, I'd be looking into leasing, or continuing with things the way they are and trying something new. Taking a language is a great idea, I REALLY wish I had stuck with French throughout Uni but there's no way I knew it well enough to take on a joint degree, and you can't take "extra" courses at my uni.

CR Gorge Girl
Apr. 14, 2011, 12:37 PM
Out of curiousity, why are so many posters concerned with missing a couple of days of riding their horse? Do they need to be ridden THAT consistently to maintain their training? Is the turn out very limited?

I am a student with a horse. I did a few years in university without a horse (and a few years without being around horses, period), and I am much happier now than I was before.

I agree. Why does everyone feel that when they don't ride 5-6 days a week, it's not enough? I've always had my horses at home, and only an indoor when I had lessons (haul-in)/high school equestrian team practice. That was, at best, 2-3 times a week.

Maybe it's because I go to a school with an equine program and a really good rodeo team, but a large portion of the students here have horses. I know people that work almost 40 hrs a week, have two horses and still get good grades. They make it to the barn to ride when they can. They prioritize. Granted, it is a little easier at my school because of how we do classes, but a lot of people are in other online classes outside of the block system.

If during finals week you can't get out the barn, I'm sure your horse isn't suffering (provided there is turnout, food/water).

If you have the finances to do it, I say do it. After spending my entire life with my horses right out the front door, I'm miserable in college without one. Even though I'm on the IHSA team, it's really not the same.

bascher
Apr. 14, 2011, 12:45 PM
When I was in undergrad, I continued to own my horse. However, I did not bring him to school with me because I was only an hour and a half away from home, so I drove home every weekend to ride. People at the barn/my trainer rode/hacked him during the week if need be. I was also the captain of the equestrian team at school, so even though I wasn't riding my horse during the week, I still took lessons up at school. It does seem that many people are pressured to ride their horse every day if they have their horse at school with them, but because mine was at home, I never felt that pressure. My other friend did bring her horse to school and went up to the barn every day, either to hack or just groom, and she was perfectly fine as far as time and grades were concerned.

Now that I'm in vet school, I did not bring my horse with me because I am in Michigan and my horse is in Pennsylvania. My mom rides, so she is up at the barn a lot to see him, and other people at the barn and my trainers ride him too. I wish I could have him up with me, but I don't feel like I have the time at this point and it would be unfair to him. However, my other friend in vet school brought both of her horses with her, and there are several other people in my class who have horses with them. They seem to manage their time very well and keep up with the work, but I have horrible time management skills haha. Anyway, I'm just saying that I have seen people successfully have horses both in undergrad and in a very demanding veterinary curriculum and I haven't seen them have problems with it. :) I didn't read all of the other posts, so I apologize if this is all repeat!

StrawberryFields
Apr. 14, 2011, 08:03 PM
I actually am an environmental issues major with TWO minors and I already know two languages and am in a sorority....so it's not like i'm taking "easy" classes. I just schedule my time right and DO NOT procrastinate. That is the worst thing to do. I will be starting my research next year since I'll be a junior. I'm involved with school as much as I would like to be. I'm also the captain of the riding team!
I wouldn't feel pressured to ride every day, either. 4-5 days a week is enough for me! 6 would be a perfect week, and who has those anyways?

Jaideux
Apr. 15, 2011, 12:48 PM
Sounds like you already made up your mind then.

I would counter, though, that if you have all this free time... you might want to look at a more challenging program or major. I'm sure you love what you study, but if school comes easy to you, why not take some classes that will work towards a field with better money after you're done with school?

Good luck, though, with the horse it sounds like you will inevitably be getting :)

kahhull
Apr. 15, 2011, 01:04 PM
Another thing you might want to consider is what will happen after you graduate. I know I ended up moving a couple times, first for not having a job and then once I actually got one. If you're going to be financially on your own once you get done, it's surprising how expensive life really is and how time-consuming a career can be. It took me a couple years to make the time and money to just be able to ride again (after owning a horse and riding almost every day in college), and buying my own horse is still a couple years off since I know I'm still not fully settled. It's likely you'll be doing a few moves and career changes, so be prepared because those 4 years go by way too fast, and whatever you think you'll do when you graduate is likely to not go quite as planned!

woodhillsmanhattan
Apr. 15, 2011, 10:31 PM
I am a sophmore in college majoring in Biology with a minor in genetics. I am Vice President of the IHSA team for my school. Own a horse. Ride everyday (my horse and usually atleast one more). Go to the gym everyday. Go to almost every nearby 'A' show and the occassional out of state shows. Basically I got to about 1, sometimes 2, shows a month with my own horse and then usually 2 a month for my IHSA team (although the shows for our region our usually bunched together and over within the first few months of each semester). I braid at all the shows I attend to help pay for it. I will have an internship this summer that will continue into the fall. I will also be taking 2 additional classes this summer. I have a boyfriend. And try to make time to go out with just my girl friends and experience college once a week. So basically, it's able to be done. Just be ready to live on 4-5 hours MAX sleep a night and plan ahead. Prioritize school first, ALWAYS. If that means staying in or doing your homework/studying at the horse shows, than that's what you have to do.

StrawberryFields
Apr. 16, 2011, 11:51 AM
thanks guys! GREAT suggestions. I'm going to write them all down and talk with the parental units this weekend!

Horse Gentler
Apr. 16, 2011, 06:25 PM
College junior here. Decided to commute for college so I could keep my horses. It was not NEARLY as easy as I thought it would be.

The past three years I've juggled: full time credits (taking summer classes to lighten semester loads = no breaks), between 24 and 50 hrs of work a week, a soccer team the first two years, 4-h the first two years, an active social life AND riding. I started with five horses, now down to two and a mini. I ride two-three horses, April-Nov, 5-7 days a week. My sacrafices: sanity, normal college experience and grades. My wins: qualified 2008 4h states, three horses qualifed 2009 4-h states, 2010 two year end awards. All with my self-trained horses. Time with my aunt.

Would I recomend it? No. Even my friends think I'm insane. But that's because of my situation. My parents don't pay for anything but let me live with them and put food on the table. I will also be paying my college loans back when I'm done. My aunt owns the horses and pays for food and we split vet bills. I pay for everything else including shows (dumped like 2k last year which is a lot for a college studen lol). Sometimes I regret my decision because I get super stressed. But it's the choice I made and life goes on. I've gained a lot of experience I woudln't have without my horses.

Whatever you decide - think about it rationally and then go for it. Don't let other tell you how you should feel about it. I get that a lot with "missing out on the normal college experience". Good Luck!!

diKecnadnuS
Apr. 18, 2011, 10:41 AM
I kept my large pony at a barn 1.5 hours away from me my freshman year, and I tried really hard to make it work out, especially at first. I would go to class, go to my college's barn for my lessons, then race to my car, drive 1.5 hours, ride my pony, drive back 1.5 hours to campus, go directly to the library, and then crash. I kept up a pretty active social schedule, too. It worked for the first 2 months of school - I made it consistently to the barn to do the pony about 2-3 times a week. After two months of it, I just couldn't balance school, riding at college, riding pony, and all that goes along with being a freshman in college. I thought I'd share that, because a lot of times on COTH it comes up that keeping your horse with your current trainer works out well, but it's not something I would recommend for a freshman to take on. I will add, when I did this, I was still a bit burnt out from my junior years showing in high school, and maybe in some ways my heart wasn't in it as much anymore.

I had a horse at college my sophomore year for spring semester, and it was the best semester of my college experience! I loved it!!! It took up more time than just riding on the team did, but it was so worthwhile. That semester I was happier than I was all of college, I had a busy and challenging class schedule and made excellent grades, and even had some time to go to a handful of horse shows. I was devastated when I wasn't able to lease him the following year, and riding at school really wasn't the same after that.

kahhull
Apr. 18, 2011, 11:45 AM
I am a sophmore in college majoring in Biology with a minor in genetics. I am Vice President of the IHSA team for my school. Own a horse. Ride everyday (my horse and usually atleast one more). Go to the gym everyday. Go to almost every nearby 'A' show and the occassional out of state shows. Basically I got to about 1, sometimes 2, shows a month with my own horse and then usually 2 a month for my IHSA team (although the shows for our region our usually bunched together and over within the first few months of each semester). I braid at all the shows I attend to help pay for it. I will have an internship this summer that will continue into the fall. I will also be taking 2 additional classes this summer. I have a boyfriend. And try to make time to go out with just my girl friends and experience college once a week. So basically, it's able to be done. Just be ready to live on 4-5 hours MAX sleep a night and plan ahead. Prioritize school first, ALWAYS. If that means staying in or doing your homework/studying at the horse shows, than that's what you have to do.

You sound just like me when I was in college. :yes: It was a blast and I loved doing EVERYTHING... but looking back, I even consider myself to be a little insane! I have no idea how I made it work.