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Anyone here enlisted military?

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  • Anyone here enlisted military?

    What about the horse?

    Did you get settled into a base and bring him/her after basic and specialized training?

    If you board, do you do so on the base or off the base? If you board on the base, how is the stable life? Care? Benefits?

    I know it will vary from base to base, but I'm just feeling things out here so anything you can offer, horse or even non-horse related is appreciated.

  • #2
    Originally posted by acoustic View Post
    What about the horse?

    Did you get settled into a base and bring him/her after basic and specialized training?

    If you board, do you do so on the base or off the base? If you board on the base, how is the stable life? Care? Benefits?

    I know it will vary from base to base, but I'm just feeling things out here so anything you can offer, horse or even non-horse related is appreciated.
    Will you be going in as enlisted or as an officer? It truly will make a difference in pay and of course, your ability to afford to board a horse. I joined the Navy right out of high school and wanted to bring my horse along after I went to my first duty station. On my pay (many years ago- almost 15) I was lucky to feed and house myself. My horse had to stay at home with my parents. There was NO possible way to afford to bring her with me.
    Not all bases have stables. I was stationed in Virginia Beach and they had a nice barn but this was YEARS ago. No other base I was stationed at had a stable.
    One other thing to keep in mind, you don't always get to be stationed where you like. My very first duty station was to the Phillipine Islands.
    Also keep in mind that you will be moving just about every four years, sometimes every two.
    It really was an adventure and I'd do it again in a heartbeat, I really did love it and it helped to grow up. Best of luck to you.

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    • #3
      I'm retired now, but I always tried to have some contact with horses during my time in service. Things really do vary from base to base, depending on which part of the country (or which country) you're in. For example, in the Philippines, there were stables on base, but the only option was to lease a government horse. In Virginia, I boarded at the base stables, in King's Bay GA, I boarded off base.

      The thing that really made it possible for me to keep my horses while I was active duty was a trusted friend who kept them for me during periods I was unable to bring them along (sea duty). Whenever I transferred, I was able to ship them to my friend (a couple of times she actually came and got them for me!) until I found a suitable place to keep them at my new duty station. Since I was single, I found it easier, once I checked onto a new base, to stay in the barracks while I searched for a suitable barn. Once I found my barn, then I would try to find a house or apartment as convenient to both barn and base as possible.

      During times when I could not bring my horse, while at service schools or while deployed on a ship, I always brought along my helmet, half-chaps and boots. You never know when or where an opportunity to ride will pop up. I was able to take jumping lessons in San Diego while at service school, and then there was the time my ship had to stop for a week for repairs in Scotland and some kind people down the road let me ride one of their spotted ponies around the countryside.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by BeaSting View Post
        I'm retired now, but I always tried to have some contact with horses during my time in service. Things really do vary from base to base, depending on which part of the country (or which country) you're in. For example, in the Philippines, there were stables on base, but the only option was to lease a government horse. In Virginia, I boarded at the base stables, in King's Bay GA, I boarded off base.
        Brings back memories of the PI. While I was stationed there they imported over a dozen horses from New Zeland. I was able to work out a deal where I rode one of the green ones for free. Fun times for sure.

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by datdog View Post
          Will you be going in as enlisted or as an officer? It truly will make a difference in pay and of course, your ability to afford to board a horse. I joined the Navy right out of high school and wanted to bring my horse along after I went to my first duty station. On my pay (many years ago- almost 15) I was lucky to feed and house myself. My horse had to stay at home with my parents. There was NO possible way to afford to bring her with me.
          Not all bases have stables. I was stationed in Virginia Beach and they had a nice barn but this was YEARS ago. No other base I was stationed at had a stable.
          One other thing to keep in mind, you don't always get to be stationed where you like. My very first duty station was to the Phillipine Islands.
          Also keep in mind that you will be moving just about every four years, sometimes every two.
          It really was an adventure and I'd do it again in a heartbeat, I really did love it and it helped to grow up. Best of luck to you.
          I'll be going in as enlisted, Air Force. I have an associates degree, so I'll gain a small amount of rank, but not enough to make a difference in pay. I am getting married though, so the housing allowence will be more sustainable. Also, my husband-to-be is going back to college after 8 years in the Marines, so he gets the GI Bill, plus unemployment from a previous job, so between the two of us, money really won't be the issue. I currently live on about half of what an E-2 rank recieves without the housing allowence, so it will be quite an increase for me .

          I plan on leaving my horse where he is during basic training and during the specialized training as well if it isn't a resident school. I do have two friends in the area that will see to him and ride him for me while I'm gone, and the folks at the barn I've had him at for almost 4 years now will continue to take good care of him. Once I get settled into a station, I'll send for him. The Air Force has most of its bases in the U.S. and the likelyhood of us staying at home is increased.

          Its time that I've done something with myself. In all honestly, I've half-assed too many things in my life so far and feel that not only will I benefit from the military, I actually need it. It's so nice to hear from other people (especially other horse people) that they wouldn't trade the experience for anything and it has been invaluable for them.

          Comment


          • #6
            As for care on the bases, it really varies from stable to stable. Very few are run like Oceana (USN, Virginia Beach) which is a full-blown business. Most are clubs run like a co-op. You will often find a substantial waiting list as well due to the lower cost of board. Depending on your MOS in the AF you may or may not deploy, move more or less frequently, have shift work, etc. If you're ever stationed at Langley AFB shoot me a PM, I board at a private stable just across the back bay from base.

            I think you're making the right decision to leave horse at home while in school (both basic and tech). You'll need to be studying or resting when you're not in training or class. So spending quality time with the horse and especially riding would be tough. Before you head off to tech school look up a riding school near the base you'll be at and look into weekly lessons just to keep your riding sharp(er). Good luck!
            "Beware the hobby that eats."
            Benjamin Franklin

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            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by JumpWithPanache View Post
              As for care on the bases, it really varies from stable to stable. Very few are run like Oceana (USN, Virginia Beach) which is a full-blown business. Most are clubs run like a co-op. You will often find a substantial waiting list as well due to the lower cost of board. Depending on your MOS in the AF you may or may not deploy, move more or less frequently, have shift work, etc. If you're ever stationed at Langley AFB shoot me a PM, I board at a private stable just across the back bay from base.

              I think you're making the right decision to leave horse at home while in school (both basic and tech). You'll need to be studying or resting when you're not in training or class. So spending quality time with the horse and especially riding would be tough. Before you head off to tech school look up a riding school near the base you'll be at and look into weekly lessons just to keep your riding sharp(er). Good luck!
              Thanks for the information and luck! I will definitly pack up my riding clothes for tech school. I know I'll be fit from BT but riding fit is a whole 'nother story and I do want to keep in shape for my own horse, whenever he shows up. I'm feeling out other options as well for him. My cousin a couple hours north of here has her own horse and her dad has been riding with her. I was going to see if he wanted to take my horse up there and ride him. There are plenty of options for him while I'm in training so I'm not worried .

              I'm getting very excited about it all!

              Comment


              • #8
                I'm an officer in the Canadian military. When I was first posted I took my horse to the base stable - the price was a dream, it's subsidized up the wazoo and all you had to do is a week of once-daily feeding every 3 months and bring in hay/straw on Sundays. Hay, straw and shavings were included in the price, grain everyone got for themselves if they wanted it. The place had an outdoor and a heated indoor arena.

                But it was all based on pasture 24/7, so if you wanted to stall that part was DIY. And winter here gets to -40, so my mare wasn't staying out nights in winter. Plus they turned out all together, a herd of about 30, and my mare was low on the food chain - she wasn't getting enough when fed in pasture.
                For a while taking turns turning out/feeding with a few others who stalled was ok, but they weren't active military (spouses, retired etc) and me being away for months at a time made that kind of chore "sharing" unfair. So I moved to a civilian full-care facility.

                But if I wasn't away so much I'd have stayed there. It's a good facility, it's cheap, and it's really close to where I live and work.
                Proud Member Of The Lady Mafia

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