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How can I keep from selling my horse?

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  • #21
    Originally posted by clanter View Post
    No horse is more important than your education as long as the schooling increases your future marketability. The chance of you returning to grad school diminishes each year after you walk away as it becomes harder and harder to return as other obligations interfere.
    Not to mention that if she waits more than 4 or 5 years many colleges won't apply pertinent classes to grad school and she would have to retake them!

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    • #22
      Originally posted by clanter View Post
      No horse is more important than your education as long as the schooling increases your future marketability. The chance of you returning to grad school diminishes each year after you walk away as it becomes harder and harder to return as other obligations interfere.
      Except unless you're talking medicine or engineering, most grad schools are now only worth it if you can pay out of pocket (ie no loans or debt) and are willing to go for just the knowledge and experience, not with the expectation of a well-paying job or anything other than the diploma. If there's a real job with halfway decent pay and benefits you can get, better to do that. The degrees will only pay for themselves if you go into a few very limited, super-specialized fields that require extremely heavy math and science skills. I'd never advise anyone to pick school over a paycheck.
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      • #23
        Originally posted by danceronice View Post
        Except unless you're talking medicine or engineering, most grad schools are now only worth it if you can pay out of pocket (ie no loans or debt) and are willing to go for just the knowledge and experience, not with the expectation of a well-paying job or anything other than the diploma. If there's a real job with halfway decent pay and benefits you can get, better to do that. The degrees will only pay for themselves if you go into a few very limited, super-specialized fields that require extremely heavy math and science skills. I'd never advise anyone to pick school over a paycheck.
        Too true. Way too many college grads out there with degrees and no way to pay for the loans they have incurred because they have not been able to get jobs.
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        • #24
          The op never stated which grad degree program she had her interest. But I disagree in that only math or science grad programs are of any value.

          An MBA is still highly regarded and can open doors.

          As for "I'd never advise anyone to pick school over a paycheck" each case has its own specific parameters; yes there are some like our son who dropped out of college to take a job... it was the best thing for him to do.

          As for our other children it was better for them to obtain their degrees, undergrad and grad, as they have the freedom to chose their career paths rather than the careers dictating their path

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          • #25
            If you keep the horse get medical insurance. Its only 500-600/yr avg for medical, surg/colic, and mortality. Its the best money spent in my opinion. It might be hard to pony up the cash, but its so worth it for saving thousands in unexpected bills plus you don't have to let the bank account prevent you from treating the horse.

            Grad school is great but try to get some sort of internship or work in the field before you decide for sure.

            Also if you work at a university you can get free/reduced tutition for part time school, this is how I paid for my grad school (science) in a non-traditonal route. I had a horse the whole time but it wasn't easy. I was mid-20s and had worked for a few years.

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            • #26
              Is this horse a "heart" horse? I only ask because I was in the same position. I adored my mare, and I made it work - bought her just before Senior year of college (and only did so because I already knew her/had been riding her/was in love with her). And I won't lie - it's been rough. I had a horrible time finding work right out of school, was laid off last Thanksgiving...but, in the end, I made it work. It involved an hour and a half move into an area of the state where I knew no one so I could live over the barn and work off board (which I'm still doing), but I'm making it happen. And finally, 3 years after graduating, I'm getting myself into a stable financial place.

              Would I advise doing it just because of a horse? No. Would I advise doing it even if you really really like the horse? No. It's limiting, it's stressful, it's hard to enjoy the horse when you're working 3 jobs and whatnot. But, if this is your "heart" horse, then you'll find a way to make it work.
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              • #27
                I wouldn't move the horse to a cheaper facility, far away. It will make it harder to sell your horse later for only a short term saving of funds. Less buyers will make the commute out, no arena to try your horse and if you can't get there often your horse will be unfit.

                I would say either sell or do a lease for six months with the idea that lease will either continue or you'll sell your horse, in the spring.

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                • #28
                  There's lots of on-line grad schools you can do part time and cheaper.
                  Colorado has a well respected program. Some military people enroll there as well. Most science and technology jobs almost need a PHD now if you want to compete with the PHDs from India and China. Also, if you want to move into management, an advanced degree is best.

                  If you want to keep your horse, get a full time job with tuition reimbursement and go to night school, local or on- line.

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                  • #29
                    OP has stated that her father is cash strapped, her mother is seriously ill, and she herself lives at home and will be needing a "new" car soon. It is not clear how she would pay for grad school. Nothing has been said about the horse; may it a wonderful packer or may be something else. No info about age, soundness, use, etc. At this point, selling the horse is the best option. Need barn time for sanity -- volunteer at a therapeutic riding center or take lessons. There is nothing wrong with going horseless of a period of time in your life. Get a career going and earn enough money so you can afford horses without financial stress. And if my mother was seriously ill, then I would be spending my time with her right now.
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                    • #30
                      It is clear that the best interests of the owner are not served by sale, but the best interests of the horse might be.

                      Horses are a luxury good. It's a luxury good that lives, breathes, feels, etc. If it were a Bently it could be prepared and put in long term storage. But horses can't be kept that way. They have a minimum, continuing care requirement. That care includes regular work. And there's always the possibility of an unexpected vet bill.

                      So, if the OP can't afford proper care (and it seems that is the case) then the moral and ethical choice for them is sale.

                      This may be unfortunate but that is the way it is.

                      G.
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                      • #31
                        Giving us some more information about your horse, discipline, show record, disposition, etc. would be really helpful.

                        As someone living in a college town in GA I can vouch for how hard it is to free-lease a horse. By hard I mean almost impossible. Countless riders are in your position and are trying to lease out their beloved horse so they don't have to sell. Nice WTC, lower level jumpers with an average local record and nice personality can still take months to free-lease out. Add in any behavioral or training issues and the battle is that much harder.

                        Also, if you are targeting a transient college population then you are going to be rider searching every semester or year as schedules and financial situations change.

                        I have a nice older, lower level dressage mare who is hot and quirky but sound and has a lovely personality on the ground. I am having to pay someone $40 a ride to keep her going while I am in my second year of grad school. No one wanted a free ride and anyone willing to take less than $40 wasn't someone who had the skill set to be charging me. It completely drains my small amount of discretionary income that comes in each month.

                        Right now I am a full-time grad student, a TA, working unpaid for a nonprofit, holding a position on the board of a student-lead group, and doing an unpaid internship. I am thrilled if I see my horse 2 days a week. My average day is 14 hours long. Just going to grad school and doing the minimum isn't enough in most fields. You need to be going above and beyond to increase your skill set and demonstrating proficiency in multiple areas.

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                        • #32
                          As a parent w/ college graduated children.....with Grad school ? Is it going to get you a job? Add in the loans you will rack up? Vrs getting a job now?

                          The horse? By the time you are all done school get a job a place to live school loans car insurance etc....time and money for a horse is where?.....only you can decide and it's the time and money that will make the decision ...

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                          • #33
                            As much as I'd like to say, "oh no, if you just do this, this, and this, you could totally keep your horse!"...it really doesn't sound like you can.

                            If you can lease your horse out (presuming she's a packer or really talented or something like that) well....that might help for a while. Though if something happens, you might suddenly find that your leaser is no longer interested and you've suddenly got a horse's full expenses to pay for again at an inopportune time.

                            Sure, you could work more jobs, but then you won't really be seeing the horse. Which might not be a problem, per se, as long as the horse is getting good care but does mean that you're running yourself ragged to keep a horse you can't even enjoy.

                            As someone who went straight out of undergrad into a pretty well-paying job...I've got to say that even then it was several years before I felt like I was in a good position to get a horse. You've already said you're broke, that your father has been subsidizing your horse care costs, and you've been living at home. Not to mention the whole new car thing.

                            I don't know what rent is like around Atlanta or if you plan on staying in that area, but I can tell you when I was up in Maryland, I was paying $650 for a (nice, furnished, but still) basement apartment. I paid $1300 for a small two bedroom house (but had a roommate).

                            I'm in Georgia now (but over in Augusta), and I'm paying just under $800 for a two-bedroom apartment. I expect prices in and around Atlanta are probably comparable. I've got a $300 car payment every month (but you could get a cheaper car than I did, true). A big chunk of my paycheck goes to taxes, insurance, and my retirement plan (and I would NOT suggest on skimping out on that if you have the opportunity, particularly if your possible future employer does matching. Just saying. Another thing to think about is if your possible future employer in your job field would subsidize your school costs. Mine did or I wouldn't have gotten a graduate degree).

                            Board around here seems to range from under $200 for do it yourself field board, all the way up to $1000 training board over in Aiken. I'm paying a bit over $200 for full field board (that is...I don't have to go out and feed my horse, etc, but he isn't stalled).

                            Anyway, my point that I'm slowly rambling toward is that you're about to be out in the 'real world' (I say that because I wish fondly for the days of when I was in college and didn't have to be a 'real adult'). You probably will suddenly find your expenses increasing (hard for them not to if you're going to get a new car which I assume you need because presumably upkeep on an old one is getting expensive? So either way...car costs are likely increasing. Then there's the whole 'leaving home and paying rent' thing) and whether you get a full time job or you go to grad school and presumably get a part time job...you're going to have a lot less horse-time.

                            I really honestly think that you may need to strongly consider selling your horse.
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                            • #34
                              Haven't read all, but here's a thought - although you'd need to know you'd be staying in the ATL area.

                              Really scour around to find small private (family) farms and try to work out a room & board arrangement for you & horse in exchange for work (when family is on vacation/away for weekend - in addition to daily chores). Field hunters?

                              Can you tutor their children in math/science/English?
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                              • #35
                                Originally posted by ccoronios View Post
                                Haven't read all, but here's a thought - although you'd need to know you'd be staying in the ATL area.

                                Really scour around to find small private (family) farms and try to work out a room & board arrangement for you & horse in exchange for work (when family is on vacation/away for weekend - in addition to daily chores). Field hunters?

                                Can you tutor their children in math/science/English?
                                In the ATL area you are looking at $750-900 for private family barns. Land is so expensive the only people who can afford to build private barns are also the type that don't need a boarder to help ends meet. Of course there are exceptions but I know many people who have looked into private barns and been quoted numbers in that range. $750 is still much less than $900-1,200 which can be pretty normal in that area.

                                Field Hunters own farms in the greater Athens area and pay people to hack their horses during the week. They usually drive up Friday PM and then hunt on the weekend. Some will drive up for Wednesday hunts as well.

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