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What did you do with your horse when you went to college?

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  • What did you do with your horse when you went to college?

    As the title says..

    I'm going to be starting back to school full time in the summer (after nearly 3+ years of fiddle-farting around going part-time). At first, I was worried about financial constraints with my horse and school, but I was able to figure that part out. My new concern is time. I will be going full time, taking difficult courses, and working full time in the afternoon-evening.

    My horse is no where near A circuit ready (yet), but he could jump around a local circuit with an advanced rider (or pro) like a champion. He is also quirky though, and I fear I would have a hard time selling him (which I just don't want to do) or leasing him (even free lease).

    So what did you do with your horse when you went to college?
    www.thetexasequestrian.com

  • #2
    I went to a school in such a way that I was able to keep riding. I know most folks don't go that route, but I did. I consolidated my classes in undergrad into 8-12 or 8-1 MWF, or 8-10 or 8-11 MTWThF, and I'm now in law school and crunch my classes, generally, into 3 blocks every day, though those times vary (9-12 or 2-5 usually). That gives me plenty of time to ride, work, and study. Yes, I have no free time. No, I wouldn't do it any other way!

    Everyone I grew up riding with gave it up when they went to college and sold their horse. That's not something I can stomach, but then I'm the one going to law school full-time, working around 20 hours a week, and still spending every free minute in the barn. You just have to be able to manage your schedule well, and be prepared to change at the barn. Ride before class in the morning. Ride late at night after work.

    Good luck!

    Comment


    • #3
      I also had a job, full time classes, and managed to be able to ride throughout college. I just graduated this past December and am SO glad I didn't do as many suggested and stop riding throughout school!

      Comment


      • #4
        I took my guy. I actually chose my school particularly so I could take him - it wasn't my first choice but my parents told me if I chose that school (no tuition) they'd pay for my horse to come with me, so it was kind of a no brainer for me!

        Sometimes he sat around for a few days, or even a few weeks now and then. Funny enough, he didn't seem to care.
        My CANTER cutie Chip and IHSA shows!
        http://www.youtube.com/kheit86

        Comment


        • #5
          I'll tell you what I should have done, how's that? Learn from my mistakes!

          Save up some money and put your horse in training with a local pro to get some miles on him. Lease him out.

          No one is doing their "quirky" horses any favors by letting them continue being "quirky" (which, yes, even with my "quirky" horse, is usually a synonym for "lacking training.")

          A quirky horse is one change of life circumstances away from an unsellable horse. You're doing both the horse and yourself a favor by getting him as far along in his training and as rideable by anyone (juniors, ammies, pros, etc.) as you can.

          Sorry for the lecture - don't do what I did and think your horse is just quirky or sensitive while foregoing putting real pro miles on him. My horse was not an attractive lease prospect and would be unsellable even if it was younger than his 20+ years.
          Originally posted by BAC
          I don't think FF's post was rude (not this one at least).

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          • #6
            I took my mare, kept her less than 5 miles from the dorms and rode almost every day.

            I took 18 hours almost every semester, worked almost full time, and practiced with the equestrian team. For my own peace of mind I needed my horse close.

            Comment


            • #7
              my daughter took hers to school with her, Texas A&M @ College Station.... boarding around the school was cheaper than keeping him here at home

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by french fry View Post
                I'll tell you what I should have done, how's that? Learn from my mistakes!

                Save up some money and put your horse in training with a local pro to get some miles on him. Lease him out.

                No one is doing their "quirky" horses any favors by letting them continue being "quirky" (which, yes, even with my "quirky" horse, is usually a synonym for "lacking training.")

                A quirky horse is one change of life circumstances away from an unsellable horse. You're doing both the horse and yourself a favor by getting him as far along in his training and as rideable by anyone (juniors, ammies, pros, etc.) as you can.

                Sorry for the lecture - don't do what I did and think your horse is just quirky or sensitive while foregoing putting real pro miles on him. My horse was not an attractive lease prospect and would be unsellable even if it was younger than his 20+ years.
                I really want to put pro miles on him, really bad.
                I just have to afford it. That is on my mind though. I just worry a pro wouldn't take him if I went upfront and said OH BTW, don't tie him up because he may blow (and really, I mean don't tie him up. Tack him up in a stall if you must, though he does ground tie perfectly)!

                When I say quirky I mean a little head shy and is prone to pull back (hasn't done it in about a year, but he will yank stuff out of the ground..). He also was on a bucking string for a while, but that just terrified him more AND he just ran off, didn't buck.

                He is my "special" boy, which is why I find it had to sell him (and I adore him). I'm going to look into some training around here.

                I do board at a wonderful place for freeeee (I work off board by doing chores)! It's a private barn in a DQ's backyard. We have so much fun together, but I would hate to just leave him there days at a time without even coming to see him. I fear that might not go over well.

                I can't imagine life without him, but I am scared I won't find time for him, since he desperately needs time. You guys at least let me know it is do-able to work full time, school full time, and ride somewhere too. That makes the heart happy.

                Sorry for the book. I'm googling pro's around and training costs now. Maybe income tax will be spent on shipping him to a pro rather than a saddle.
                www.thetexasequestrian.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  Took him with me .

                  I go to school full time, work nearly full time, and still manage to ride 5 days out of the week. It's not hard to do, it just takes a little extra work.
                  Lots of things you could do with a stopwatch...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Luckily for me, the school I wanted to go to was also in my home town so I didn't have to move them. I also worked and had a full time course load and rode as often as I could, the biggest thing is definitely time management. Get a day planner and literally plan down to the hour. Do what you can to make it so that your classes are one after another and during as few days a week as you can. You might also meet a nice capable horsey friend at school like I did who will be more then happy to ride your horse a couple days a week when you run out of time

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Thank you, you all are very helpful.
                      I guess my real problem is that parting with him will probably give me anxiety, but I also want to do what is good for him (since he needs consistency).
                      www.thetexasequestrian.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        When I went to undergrad, I purposely stayed close to home so that I could keep my horse at the same barn and ride with my trainer. I had a half-boarder to help keep him fit, and we showed a LOT less than we had when I was in high school.

                        Now, I'm in veterinary school, and I brought my horse with me. We were originally trying to sell/lease (mostly for time concerns, but also because the money would have been nice for tuition).

                        After that was unsuccessful, we moved him up here where board is much cheaper than at home, and I've been riding him 3-6 days a week depending on my schedule. It's very nice to have him here, and luckily he's the type of horse that is rideable even if he has time off (unless you want to show him successfully... then he needs a program). Going to the barn is a much-needed stress reliever in my life, and I'm actually really happy with how things have worked out.

                        I feel that I've entered a new stage in my riding career- our goals for the year include getting more comfortable with trail riding and maintaining suppleness as his joints/muscles age.

                        I might take him to a few little shows this Spring, but for the most part our showing days are over/

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I know you aren't asking for any training advice, but coming from someone who has rehabbed quite a few horses who were TERRIBLE about setting back, invest in a tie ring! They work! Tie him on the easiest setting and if(when) he sets back it will slide through the ring with minimal resistance. The panic will leave him when he realizes he can move. As he gets calmer and better about being tied you can gradually increase the resistance to where it will still let him back a ways if he panics but he won't be able to just pull his head down and graze. I use the rings on my cross ties, regular tie posts and carry a few in the trailer to clip on the tie rings on it when I haul places. I haven't had a horse hurt, a halter broken, or a post broken since I started using them! Just make sure to buy a long (9-14') lead rope to use with it.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I took her with me! I was a full time student and worked, but still found time to ride (I purposefully didn't have a boyfriend and didn't want one at the time). My college years were much more memorable because I had my special mare with me, and I made good riding friends that are still some of my closest friends years later.

                            I'm in grad school now (after a decade hiatus from school), taking more than a full time course load, working part-time, and making time for my wonderful husband when he is home. I lost my beloved mare last March at age 27, but have a new mare that I bought last fall. Some weeks I have time to ride a lot, some weeks I can't ride at all. She would progress a lot faster if I could ride more, but that doesn't matter....I do what I can, and I love having a horse to spend time with. With a stressful schedule, it is important to have a go-to.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I would suggest part-board, so you can ride when you are able. Around here, many students do it, it alleviates some of the financial constraints.

                              Lots of offers have the horse staying at the same barn they are already situated, the part-boarder often is requested to take 1-2 lessons/month at the barn with the resident trainer (so there can be some sort of check of how things are going) and it seems to work well with the people I know who do it where I ride.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I took my horse with me, BUT I think that is really tough on a horse that needs consistency. You are very unlikely to ride during finals week, etc, and if you are going to be coming home for Christmas and summer breaks, and it is far enough that you need to move the horse, that's potentially a lot of stress on him. My horse at the time fortunately was that rarity that really thrived on inconsistency - really shocking when I think back now to the crap I put him through. I used to go out and ride him at 2 am, which was often the only time I could find. For a year I lived in MD, and after he got unhappy when I tried to leave him in his usual barn in NC, with friends keeping an eye on him, I started hauling him back and forth with me all the time (as in, I would go home to NC for a weekend and bring 2 horses with me, it was totally insane). He was totally game for anything and seemed to really like the change of scenery, but he was also an old show horse who I think would have been bored hanging out at home all the time, and he was definitely in many ways the exception to the rule.

                                Either way, I would really recommend not bringing him for the first semester - I think it was really good for me to have time to settle in to school, ride on the intercollegiate team for my horse fix, and generally figure out a schedule before trying to manage the horse as well. My mom lunged him at home to keep him at least quasi-fit as he was getting older by that point.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  When I first went to college, I free leased my horse. I let my trainer take him so I knew he was in good hands and one of my friends rode and showed him for two years. I met up w/ them from time to time at shows and either hopped on to school or showed in a division. He was two hours away from me so I didn't get to see him that often.

                                  He came home to me after my trainer's vet seeing his nasty osselets (he's an OTTB) and was told to never get on the horse again. I gave him a year off sitting at my house and got a second and third opinion and began riding him again. By that point in college I had more time for him and it worked out great. I eventually moved him to a barn close to campus for my last two years in college and started showing him again. I went to school full time and worked at a vet clinic and taught up-down lessons during this time.

                                  You can make it work, but if you are leery, maybe try a lease or free lease for 6 months to a year until you get into a good routine.
                                  A Moments Worth - "Chance" - 1990 Chestnut OTTB
                                  King Creole - "Milo" - 2006 Bay Appendix QH

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I go to school full time, work full time and still find the time to ride my boy! I would like to find him a half leaser though.
                                    "No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world."
                                    -Dead Poets Society

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I took mine with me. I didn't ride as often as I was before going off to university and I had to give up a couple boarding amenities to afford it (pasture board, no indoor arena), but it was worth it to have a place to destress!

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Pookah View Post
                                        Either way, I would really recommend not bringing him for the first semester - I think it was really good for me to have time to settle in to school, ride on the intercollegiate team for my horse fix, and generally figure out a schedule before trying to manage the horse as well. My mom lunged him at home to keep him at least quasi-fit as he was getting older by that point.
                                        Not sure I agree with the above. School gets harder, you get busier. When I first arrived I had the most time on my hands! As the years passed I got busier, but had a pretty regular riding schedule and was able to keep it going.

                                        Comment

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