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  1. #1
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    Sep. 5, 2010
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    Default What to do with the horse (during college)

    I will be off to college in a year and would ideally like to take my horse with me. However, I know that I won't be able to have a car as a freshman and also realize that I will want/need some time to settle in and make sure everything is under control before adding the extra element of a horse. (plus I'd need to find a barn, trainer, etc) So right now I was planning on trying to get my horse free leased for the first semester or two of college. Without going into too much detail, said horse is nice albeit not 6 figures worthy. 16'2 WBx, lead change, local as well as rated show mileage in the 2'6-2'9 hunters/EQ (although not as extensive) and probably moving up to the 3' next year- pins well. We school higher at home with ease and he walks down the lines. He's not 100% perfect and does have a mind of his own, but no vices, healthy (no maint), no buck/kick/rear, takes a joke and jumps from anywhere. Do you think I would be able to find someone to lease a horse like this for 6-12 months? Or should I think of other options and prepare myself to sell him? Obviously you always need backup plans, just wondering how practical this might be.



  2. #2
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    Feb. 8, 2003
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    I think that you should be able to find a person to lease your horse. Sometimes you can find a high school senior or junior who would love to ride more but does not want to buy a horse before college. It would not hurt to ask your trainer if they know some one who is looking to lease. Good Luck!
    Ann
    ~\"Think today so you will be here to think tomorrow\" Burma Shave~



  3. #3
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    Jul. 3, 2011
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    Gainesville, Fl
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    I think you should be able to find someone more likely for 12 months then 6. Most people are looking for a longer term lease then just 6 months. To sell is always a hard decision, one that really only you can make. Good luck! I am in college with my horse, and I wouldn't give her up for anything right now. Shes whats keeping me sane!



  4. #4
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    Jun. 17, 2001
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    down the road from bar.ka
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    Short term free leasing is only going to put off dealing with the real issues.

    For one thing, you will want to keep close tabs on your horse and the person leasing. Despite touting the free lease concept on here so much-most leassors will not appreciate the kind of close supervision and terms that go with it. They take on all the financial responsibility for something that is not theirs. Leases are not all sunshine and lollipops, they can be a PITA.

    Horse is probably in his prime right now, sound and saleable. You need to devote your time to your college and the social aspects that go with it...and prepare to enter the work force.

    Sell. Make somebody really happy with a nice horse and make your checkbook a little happier too.

    If you want to ride a bit during your school years, there are local barns. Take a few lessons and when they know you maybe you can get some catch rides...all of which is substantially less then what it costs to keep a horse. There are times when ownership turns into a financial and emotional anchor when we need to focus on other things.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.



  5. #5
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    Aug. 4, 2010
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    Newtown, CT
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    When I went to college my mother, who had previously had only been a really great supporter of my horsey habit, took up riding recreationally. It was perfect. My horse got exercise and he and my mom bonded. I still rode him when I came home. It worked wonderfully and he retired with my mom still pleasure riding him.



  6. #6
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    Jan. 16, 2003
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    Tennessee
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    While I can see that the school could require that freshmen live on campus, and that they cannot have a car on campus, they shouldn't be able to say that you cannot have a car at all. Rent some garage space for the car close to school, leave the car there, and get a bike to go from school to the car.
    It's 2014. Do you know where your old horse is?



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov. 12, 2011
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    I don't think you'd have a problem free leasing your horse. He sounds like a great guy. I agree with findeight though; I think that selling is your best option. Take it from someone who just graduated from college: it is HARD to find the time and the money to do horses with a full time course load. I put horses on hold for those four years of my life and am now back in it full force!
    "A horse gallops with his lungs, perseveres with his heart, and wins with his character." - Tesio



  8. #8
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    Jun. 17, 2001
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    down the road from bar.ka
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    Many of my friends are or have put their kids thru college.

    I have watched from the sidelines for many years as all sorts of alternatives like a free lease or a paid lease either fell apart unexpectedly resulting in a surprise return of the horse (with a bill). Or return at the end of the short term period and having to start all over finding another situation while the horse sat unused.

    Money was not really an issue with any of these other then having to supoort a horse that was not being used or fool with marketing it as a lease horse. these people are usually not horsey themselves and it is difficult for them with their rider gone away at school.

    All these horses sold by the end of the kid's sophomore year.

    The ones that took the horse with them to school found time was lacking and they developed other interests available in the college experience. Those came back home to sell.

    It's not impossible but between paying the board and time split between classes, labs, required activities and social activities (like a BF, sorority, charity or extra credit work)? Just not enough time and better places for the money to go.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.



  9. #9
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    Mar. 24, 2010
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    Tucson
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    Quote Originally Posted by pony4me View Post
    While I can see that the school could require that freshmen live on campus, and that they cannot have a car on campus, they shouldn't be able to say that you cannot have a car at all. Rent some garage space for the car close to school, leave the car there, and get a bike to go from school to the car.
    They pretty much could at Dartmouth when I was there - with no where to park besides on campus, really, they were aware if you had a car.

    I know you could petition if you needed a car for some reason, though, and traveling to get to horses was actually one they allowed...

    My freshman year I free leased my horse to my first riding instructor for her lesson program because he had the kind of personality where that was totally fine with him. I wanted to take him back my sophomore year but had a vet check done first and found he was getting arthritis in his hocks. At the time you didn't hear about all the various injections you could get, and I decided trailering cross country and the combination of cold winters/humid summers would be unfair to him, so instead found him a retirement home locally.

    It's really hard to say if sell/take to school/lease out will be the right decision for someone else. Any of them can be the right fit depending on the individual.
    My horse is a dressage diva so I don't have to be.

    Quote Originally Posted by katarine
    If you have a fat gay horse that likes Parelli, you're really screwed



  10. #10
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    Aug. 12, 2010
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    Westford, Massachusetts
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Libby416 View Post
    I think you should be able to find someone more likely for 12 months then 6. Most people are looking for a longer term lease then just 6 months. To sell is always a hard decision, one that really only you can make. Good luck! I am in college with my horse, and I wouldn't give her up for anything right now. Shes whats keeping me sane!
    I agree with this...you'd be less likely to find a six month lease than a 12 month. Depending on where you live, leasing for six months would put the lessor on the horse through the winter, where there might not be a lot of opportunities to ride and, even if there is an indoor, it would be cold. I'm in NE, where winter can be tough. I would not lease a horse that I knew I could only have through March...the worst part of the year! Also, if the lessor wanted to show, they'd want the horse through summer show season. A horseless high school senior without a horse, who wants a decent horse to do their last junior year on before THEY leave for college themselves would probably be your best bet, as they'd bet ready to give the horse back just went you might want it .



  11. #11
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    Apr. 23, 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by findeight View Post
    Many of my friends are or have put their kids thru college.

    I have watched from the sidelines for many years as all sorts of alternatives like a free lease or a paid lease either fell apart unexpectedly resulting in a surprise return of the horse (with a bill). Or return at the end of the short term period and having to start all over finding another situation while the horse sat unused.

    Money was not really an issue with any of these other then having to supoort a horse that was not being used or fool with marketing it as a lease horse. these people are usually not horsey themselves and it is difficult for them with their rider gone away at school.

    All these horses sold by the end of the kid's sophomore year.

    The ones that took the horse with them to school found time was lacking and they developed other interests available in the college experience. Those came back home to sell.

    It's not impossible but between paying the board and time split between classes, labs, required activities and social activities (like a BF, sorority, charity or extra credit work)? Just not enough time and better places for the money to go.
    If you've saved and saved everything you make and don't spend on bills or the odd recreation and you finally have enough to buy a wonderful yearling, your very first horse... you probably aren't going to want to sell.

    Just adding my $0.02 in, as I find sometimes the older crowd is a bit too quick to say, "sell, sell, sell."

    I had a horse through the bulk of my university years. Paid field board initially, and then paid higher board to have her close to me. Paid vet bills, farrier, worming, gas. Did so all myself (my parents, who were great at supporting my habit when I was younger, stopped contributing financially when I was in high school), and it was HARD. I was in school full time, and worked more than one job. I didn't have much of a social life because I was always working, doing projects and labs, or at the barn. But my best friends were still horse people, as they had been since I was in junior high.

    I don't look back and regret anything. I had to make sacrifices - hell, I still do - but my mare is worth every second of it. If she weren't I wouldn't be doing it.

    IME, the people who don't have "time" for horses in college are the same people who lost interest for a few years when they discovered boys. Money can be a whooole other ball game, but time alone? Prefer to party, prefer to be heavily involved in a sorority? They certainly aren't the ones willing to work to have their horses.

    Anyway. I say lease him if you can, bring him with you if/when you can. If you think you won't have ANY time for him, and that he's not your heart horse... sell him, I suppose. But don't plan to buy another horse when you're done school; you'll have less time and money then than when you were IN school.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr. 27, 2003
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    Virginia
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    Default

    I had a horse through college. And yes while a full course load, social life, and college experience is all a must and I did thoroughly enjoy it I was able to still find time for riding. For me however, it was how I actually was able to make it through all the stress, exams, overload work, etc. Bad day or stressful day I was able to release it by going to see my boy.

    I guess it will all depend on you as well and what you want to get out of college. I had the best four years of my life, and all my friends were horse people and I was still able to try what college have to offer.

    I think you should have no problem finding a lease for your horse. Another option is once you know where you are going, visit the horse scene and see whats down there. You may find a place there that he could be leased and be close to you so you can check up on him. But I agree with others that your best bet may be a high school senior wanted to have a really good last Junior year!

    Anything is possible, it just depends on what you want to do and how you are able to handle it.

    Good luck!
    Forrest Gump, 15, OTTB
    Little Bit Indian, 27, TB

    Owner of Spur of the Moment, Custom made spur straps! Find us on Facebook



  13. #13
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    Sep. 5, 2010
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    MD
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    Thanks for all of your input!

    OTM: This is kind of what I was thinking. I've been around horses since I was about 5 and have had this horse (my first horse, which I worked extremely hard to be able to get) for about two years. Looking back, I cannot imagine how I dealt with just the ocassional lesson or ride. My barn is an hour away and I still manage to get up there about 4-5 days a week with a full high school schedule, college classes, work, and even some time for friends and family in there. I totally understand it is much more practical to sell, but I honestly do not believe that an occasional catch ride or once weekly lessons with satisfy the itch. I absolutely love every part of owning a horse, from the care, to the connection, to the long hours and to the sacrifice. BUT, I will be sure to keep all my options open and will try to think practical as much as I can as well.



  14. #14
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    Sep. 2, 2005
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    Upstate NY
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    This is something worth talking to your trainer about now. Discuss with your trainer what they think your options might be. They can probably help you find an appropriate lease situation.



    ETA - I am part of the older crowd.



  15. #15
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    Dec. 31, 2010
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    600

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    I found college to be a boring repeat of high school and that it is way over rated. I actually bought my leased horse during this time (leased as her high school girl wanted to be "social"). The horse is the only reason I finished college, have any good college memories and the way I met all of my friends. I hated high school as well, so if you liked that you may really like college and not need the horse.



  16. #16
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    Jun. 17, 2001
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    down the road from bar.ka
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    Quote Originally Posted by over the moon View Post

    Just adding my $0.02 in, as I find sometimes the older crowd is a bit too quick to say, "sell, sell, sell."
    Well, being "older" we might have gotten stuck with horses we could not afford and should have sold instead of being forced to give away. That tends to influence advice.

    Kind of assuming here that OPs parents are not going to fund the horse 100% anymore so that is a possibility she needs to consider...what if she cannot afford the horse.

    Have to say feel some resentment in assuming my friends kids or others who find they don't have time for a horse drunken partiers as well. Some actually go to class, labs, take on extra assignments like tutoring and join a social organization dedicated to their chosen profession to aid in job placement and getting into grad school. They DO NOT HAVE TIME.

    Not saints for sure but they all went to grad school or to work for major corporations making good money right out of the box when they graduated. Recently.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.



  17. #17
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    Sep. 21, 2011
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    Lambertville, MI
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    IME, the people who don't have "time" for horses in college are the same people who lost interest for a few years when they discovered boys. Money can be a whooole other ball game, but time alone? Prefer to party, prefer to be heavily involved in a sorority? They certainly aren't the ones willing to work to have their horses.
    I agree with this. I was forced to sell my horse for college for money reasons, and I know I would have had plenty of time to ride and been completely dedicated. I ended up leasing horses in the summer and saving up. I bought my next horse right before I graduated with my masters degree.

    In a twist of fate I bought back the horse I sold when I went to college almost two years ago after 9 years apart. He's 23 now and still the equine love of my life. Not everyone gets that chance and I'm forever grateful.

    There are people who will do what it takes to have a horse and take care of them and some people who won't, you just need to be honest with which one you are so the horse gets what he deserves.



  18. #18
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    Oct. 7, 2005
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    520

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    I love my D to death and she has ridden horses all of her life, but she knew that once she went to college we would not be keeping her horse. D's horse is a true 3'6" hunter with a good A show record in his prime so it just makes sense to sell him now. D will be at college in NYC which was a choice she made for what she wants to study. She was recruited by D1 equestrian teams, but in the end decided that she did not want to compete in college and wanted to spend her college years doing something different than she has done her entire life.

    D can always come back to horses when she is done with school. This is not the end of riding, just a new chapter in her life. If she really needs to get out of the city and ride we have a couple of great places people have suggested and she can spend a Saturday at the barn.



  19. #19
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    Jun. 17, 2001
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    Quote Originally Posted by morsekg View Post
    ...There are people who will do what it takes to have a horse and take care of them and some people who won't, you just need to be honest with which one you are so the horse gets what he deserves.
    Not far to characterize horse owners as those who will care for them and those who WON'T. You forgot CAN'T take care of them any more.

    The best thing for any horse is a consistent program with a devoted owner. Some can pull that off in college but many cannot and the horse either runs thru a series of leassors or sits unused.

    That possibility needs to be considered in deciding what to do here. Especially if finances are a consideration.

    I had to swap one for back board years ago shortly after I graduated when I did not make what I thought I would plus had to relocate. Should have sold, would have been alot better for that horse.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.



  20. #20
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    Dec. 19, 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gnomeland View Post
    Do you think I would be able to find someone to lease a horse like this for 6-12 months? Or should I think of other options and prepare myself to sell him? Obviously you always need backup plans, just wondering how practical this might be.
    I think he sounds lovely and a 12 month free lease shouldn't be too hard for you to find, assuming you are flexible.

    You could possibly take him to college with you and find someone to half-lease him with you so that you could still ride. There are ways to have a car off campus as others have mentioned... but most schools allow freshman to have cars on campus so you don't necessarily know that yet (unless you have already narrowed your search down to one school?)

    If you can find time for a horse in high school, you can find time in college. Maybe your first year will be harder, but you can usually schedule your classes so that you might have mornings free, or afternoons... I know people who have managed to have entire semesters with classes only 3 days a week. Yes, you have to study, do papers, and of course socialize and get the whole college experience, but you can certainly carve time out to ride! Several of my friends had their horses near campus and they worked it out.

    I couldn't afford a horse AND college, so I had to find my horse a new home. I thought it would be tragic but her new girl loved her very much and did well with her, so that made it easier. I joined the equestrian team at my college so I could still ride. As it turned out, not having my horse wasn't the horror I thought it would be and I survived So either way you work it out, it'll be OK!



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