Rethinking my riding lifestyle - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 11-30-2010, 09:35 PM Thread Starter
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Rethinking my riding lifestyle

Okay, so lately I've been gearing myself a lot toward college in the ways I ride and such. I have recently been thinking a lot, and I've come to the thinking that there are really only 2 horses that I would be able to even think about taking to college and they're Buddy and Daisy. I don't want to take Daisy because 1. shes my brothers horse and 2. I feel like a giant on her because she's sort of short.

So this leaves Buddy for me, which I am just fine with. I really like him, seeing as how he was my first horse that I could call 'my own.' So far, he's had 30 days of professional training, but before I swnt him to training he would already do basic groundwork, willingly accept a bit, and had started learning a bit of the cues under saddle. Since he got back from training, I have been slacking a lot on working with him because i had been working toward the 4-H show and a few other things.

Now I'm trying to get him back into the swing of things and I'm just trying to figure out how to do it exactly. When we left off his training, he was a bi bull-headed at times and wouldnt trot without the tap, sometimes more, of a crop. When lunging, he sometimes has a hard time keeping a trot without going into his weird gaity-thing and liked to invade space when he went around occasionally.

I'm at about the same stage with Daisy right now, except she's more willing to trot under saddle , but doesn't lunge and she is a lot younger (she's 3, hes 5 or 6 I think, I have NO clue why I can't remember right now, lol.) Also, Buddy stands very well for the farrier, and Daisy has yet to learn though she isnt horrible, and Daisy loads but Buddy can be a pain.

So back to the original point of my post, tell me what you would do as far as which horse you would choose, and whichever horse you choose, please tell me where you would start with their training.

I'd like to get into English riding and jumping eventually, but right now I do western pleasure, halter, contesting etc. in 4-H.
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post #2 of 7 Old 12-01-2010, 02:35 PM
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Personally, i wouldnt take either horse with me to college. I would wait until your 2nd year at least, or even second semester until you get a feel for college life and the teaching/training techniques of the coaches, im assuming youll be involved in the riding program?
I would continue working with them on the basics, proper lunging, learning the leg and seat ques, go and stop buttons. It sounds like they arent really ready to go to college with you either. Once they have an understanding of the basics, itll be a lot easier to take them to school and have help getting them in the direction you desire. They seem smart overall, just need some refreshing and some work time. If you keep up on it, repetition is the answer, they will be going well in no time.

Good luck! Where are you thinking of attending college?
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post #3 of 7 Old 12-01-2010, 03:32 PM
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I agree that you might consider not even bringing your own horse to college with you. They require a huge time commitment and this is a time in your life when it's really important to focus on yourself. The first year especially, you'll want to make connections and find out the direction you're headed in.

I'm currently in college and believe me, it's TOUGH to avoid the temptation not to get a horse... but it's also given me a huge amount of freedom in terms of the horses that I do ride. I can switch up instructors, learn new disciplines... and I've had so many offers of horses to ride. It's actually way cheaper for me too. I'm taking once-weekly lessons with an instructor and she's basically offered me unlimited access to several of her horses that need work... free!

Riding so many different horses will definitely broaden my horizons and give me more experience working with several different horses than if I just had one horse of my own.
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post #4 of 7 Old 12-01-2010, 05:34 PM
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I think you should wait like the other posters recommended. It is really quite hard/difficult/confusing to make the transfer to university life. Make that transition for yourself before you have to do it with a horse.
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post #5 of 7 Old 12-01-2010, 06:16 PM Thread Starter
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I guess I mightve forgotten to say, but I don't go to college for 2 more years, I'm just trying to give myself plenty of time to get whichever horse I choose ready.
I'm thinking of going to either Black Hawk College or Lake Erie University, though I'm leaning more for BHC.
My mind has pretty much already been made up on taking one with me if I do go to BHC, but maybe waiting if I go to Lake Erie. I could almost not stand to be away from my horses on a week long vacation even with my trainer giving me daily updates, so I can't imagine a few months, because I'm not so sure how much I will be returning home since BHC is 4 hours away.
(sorry for the novel)
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post #6 of 7 Old 12-01-2010, 08:45 PM
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I disagree with the other posters. I did a bachelor's, a master's, and am in the final year of a PhD and I have had a horse continuously since I was 13. The horse I have now I have owned since my senior year of high school and she has been dragged through all the aforesaid degrees, not to mention states and countries. She has provided a lot of stability as I've moved from one place to another, constant, steady friendship, exercise, been a grounding presence, and I wouldn't think twice about doing it again.

Yeah, it limits, to some degree, other potential things you can do. But I don't think that is to an epic extent. Since owning horses and then in my final year of undergrad, I learned to play Irish traditional music and got heavily involved in that. Since starting postgraduate work, I have gotten into rock climbing and mountaineering (in Scotland, which isn't Nepal but still...).

It's a decision you have to make *for yourself.* The uni I did my undergrad had its own barn where I boarded my horse (how is that for crossing British and American slang?) for those four years. Some people there got so involved in other stuff that they were never seen at the barn. I had no idea who owned a few of the horses there. Others have gone on to successfully show FEI dressage but that's pretty much what they focused on during and after university. I saw my horse most days but am still riding at a very mediocre Second Level (and quit showing dressage or anything else years ago). So it's all about your choices. Do you want to excel in the horse world? Do you want to try so many other things you honestly don't think you'll have time to spend with your horse? Do you think you can balance out whatever? University is a lot of work, don't get me wrong, but doing well academically does not preclude creating the time to ride and train your horse.

The advice to give it a semester, or even a year, to see how things go before you bring your horse isn't bad. But sometimes you just *know* in yourself what the right thing to do is. I brought my horse out at the beginning of my first year of uni (I got there a whole day before she did) and I think it would have been a bloody miserable year if I had waited. Others did wait and made their decisions accordingly. It just depends on you and what you feel and if you think you can afford it without too much stress.
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post #7 of 7 Old 12-01-2010, 11:13 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for that, I found it very helpful. I've had horses since I was 10 and I just can't imagine my life without them there.
I, like you said, like the idea of having the stable friendship to fall back on.
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