Boarding/College dilemma.. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 08-23-2014, 05:35 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Canadensis, Pennsylvania
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Unhappy Boarding/College dilemma..

So I love the barn I'm at, not so much the facility, but the people and the atmosphere. I've been with them for 13 years.
I purchased my mare from this barn. We're supposedly moving barns (slowly)
to a much nicer barn, and we'll have an indoor when we're there, access to plenty of bridle paths. I'd love to go there with them, BUT, I have bills to pay while being a full time student.

My board right now is $300 a month, plus her joint supplement at $40. So it's not bad compared to other places, but I really can't afford it.
My bo said she would take my mare back or try to work something out until I can take her back. I feel sick doing that though, I've put 5 years of work into her and she's come so far. I couldn't stand to see her go back to the way she was. She's 16-22 years old so if she went back into such a poor shape again, I'm afraid bringing her back up might be too stressful.
She's really very fit and healthy now, from consistent and proper work, I wish I had someone to lease her, but the face that she's a Standardbred and possibly on the older side, no one advanced enough is interested in her. Even though she's great, she has been going through combined training with me and she's just absolutely brilliant and so athletic. She's really a gem and I can't even think about losing or giving her up without tearing a little bit. She's my baby and my first horse, though I don't think it would be any different if it was a different number.

School and my mandatory bills (my car insurance, payments, gas, and health things) obviously need to come first. I know that. I'll hopefully be working after my classes at my current job, and on campus. I'm commuting, so I have plenty of time between classes to work, rather than waste the gas to go home and sit around.

What would YOU do? I don't feel right just leaving my horse as her (my bo) responsibility. So many people take advantage of her, I know that isn't my case, but I still feel like it would be adding stress on her.
I'll see if maybe she would do a half lease on her, so she can use her for her business (lessons and trails) without me just paying nothing. She can't afford to have ANOTHER horse. When I brought up the half lease she kind of seemed like she didn't want to. She said "we'll figure something out so you don't have to lose your horse." but she really wouldn't speak any more on what we should do.

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post #2 of 3 Old 08-26-2014, 03:20 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Colorado
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This is a hard situation, and I know this is going to sound painful, but it doesnt mean you have to do what I did! I am now 24 and finally got a horse again last year. I graduated college in 4.5 years and got a FT, salary, M-F, 8-5 job. I was out of horses for the entire duration of my college career...an occasional ride on my mom's horses excluded.

I had a lovely 6 year old Dutch WB x TB cross who was going great, I had bought him with my own money 2 years prior. I never considered that I would have to make a choice on rather to keep him or not when I left for college, I thought he would come with me. I went to a school that had no equestrian program, and boarding would have been not viable on my part time job salary. I was also too far from home to keep him there, he would have sat for weeks at a time. At 6 that is not fair.

So I did the best thing possible, and with a very heavy heart I sold him. I got triple what I paid for him, and the money kept me afloat during college for 2 years without working (I took 19 credits though, then started PT job for Jr/Sr year). For that I am very grateful to that horse. I will admit though, I was depressed for a very long time. I didnt really want to get back into horses or anything.

When I graduated in December of 2012, I didnt really think about horses either; you sort of panic trying to figure out where to live (no more dorms!) how to eat, and getting a job etc. When I got my job...3 months later I finally decided I wanted to try horses again. At first I was just going to do lessons or lease..but I got given my horse that I have now. Funny how that works.

I see a lot of people selling their horses when they go to school, I really feel for them, but I also think its a better option to work on your education and yourself before you try and support another living being. Its like a teen mom situation in a way (no offense to those who can manage).

Just my thoughts, and if you can work out a situation then thats great! But sometimes it doesnt work that way; but its probably for the best in the long run.
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post #3 of 3 Old 08-26-2014, 09:00 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2014
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I'm on the other side as Starcailer.

I'm in college (granted, an Equestrian college, but that doesn't matter too much...I can't bring him with me because it's 700 miles away and they have no room), and I also board my horse.
You say he's a more advanced-level horse...mine is the same way. I've used him as a lesson horse, but he'll definitely try to test you and I didn't want a beginner on him just as a precaution. However, there was a girl who had just started riding, yet was confident and assertive, definitely ready to take on a lease, though she didn't have the riding miles that I was looking for. My BO offered to keep an eye on them, and give her pointers as they go. It's been working out perfectly! Don't be afraid to try people out though they may not be at the level you really want. A lot of the time, it doesn't matter!

If you don't have any options like that, you'll have to weigh what is most important to you. If I suddenly couldn't afford my horse and college, I'd first try to get him on an offsite lease, but after that, I don't know. I really don't know.
With the right person, advertising, and photos, age won't matter. I'd try to get him leased out first. While it's really hard to watch someone use your baby, think about how it could be worse.
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