Am I crazy for wanting a horse while I'm in college? I'm so torn - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 08-28-2011, 02:54 PM Thread Starter
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Am I crazy for wanting a horse while I'm in college? I'm so torn

I'm starting my junior year at university tomorrow. I live with my parents.
I got rebitten by the horse bug last year. I looked for months, and then finallly found my horse out of state. My dad has an airplane, and he flew me up there to look at her, as my christmas gift (gift=the flight. rest was up to me). I only saw her and rode her once, liked her, paid a vet up there to do a pre purchase exam, trusted her and the owner when they said she was sound. So I spent my budget, bought this horse, made arrangements to have her hauled to me, and have her here. And then I notice the scar tissue when the farrier comes out the first time.

The previous owner later admits my horse CUT THROUGH A TENDON stepping in a fence, years ago. She and the vet never told me. And to the experienced eye--or even my eye now that i know more--its impossible to miss. She's sound for trail riding. But I dont want to go ride out in the woods by myself and risk my life over a plastic bag. It's not even enjoyable.

And then the english bug bit me. Specifically, eventing . I see it, and i get goosebumps. It's all I want to do. I;ve taken a few english lessons now, and I can't go back to a western saddle, ever. It's like you're having a conversation with the horse. It's incredible. I now found a trainer who will give me lessons, and is great, but i have to have a horse to take lessons ON. Another lady who use to compete at the professional level in eventing, i can ride with. She's awesome too. I bought a saddle, and now have my own pair of tall boots.

I got a second job and worked 7 days a week all summer. Did I do this because I enjoyed it? I'm miserable working til 11:30 at night each night. But, each time I clock in, I am that much closer to being able to a afford a board bill, and a useful horse.
So I'm trying desperately to get RID of my mare. Because I cant use her for jumping. So far...not a lot fo interest. She is registered, has good bask bred lines (take a guess what breed this is). She's a bay tobiano. and Sabino. She's got nice conformation and she would make someone a good weekend trail buddy or a GREAT broodmare for pretty foals.

The trainer has been helping me look. We've been scouring craigslist, dreamhorse, horse clicks, equinenow,, CANTER USA, local feedstore boards and everythign. not much to choose from in the way of tall thoroughbreds between the ages of 4-10, with decent confo and no injuries. It's ridiculous.
We ask for a video of the horse trotting, EVERY HORSE, and conformation shots.
And then, last week, I expanded my search a little to the west coast. I found a mare I really like 500 miles from me. I requested video of her, and she's perfect. Beautiful mover, under saddle western and english, nice price tag, 5 years old, never touched a track, and great, great bloodlines. My trainer liked the video even more than I did.

The problem? I start school tomorrow. I cant drive 7hrs and go see her.I know she will sell, if she's a good horse. They always do. My dad is flying over to the west coast to take himself fishing tomorrow. He wil fly RIGHT OVER the little town where she is. He could land, very easily, take the crew car for free at their airport(I was raised at an airport, i know these things too well), and go see this mare for me in the flesh. All he has to do is feel her legs, take me some pics, and have the trainer ride her for five minutes. That's all I want. To make sure she's real. If I like what I see, I can make a deposit through paypal, and work on my transportation details with someone hauling from So Cal to the southwest from there.

From all my working, I have the money to do all this. I told my dad this this mornign, and he flipped out. He told me "No way I'd stop and do that. You need to focus on school, not have a horse, a thoroughbred will break your neck like christopher reeve, etc etc". I told him I will focus on school, just like i have for the past three years, but I'm allowed to have a hobby that's I support. Then he says "What? You gonna board this horse? Im not letting you keep it here." i told him yes, I will be boarding my next horse (we do not live in a good set up for horses--the ground is soft and on a hill, my horse ends up with wet feet and thrush all the time, AND BEST OF ALL..WE HAVE NO SHELTERS! Oh, and there's nowhere level to ride. There are no arenas unless you haul to a board facility. If I board a horse, they feed it twice a day for me and I dont have to worry about it, I can go ride each morning before class in one of their FOUR arenas and jump courses, and my trainer can give me weekly lessons AT the barn, without having to drag my horse into a trailer and jaunt across town.) It's $375 a month to board. But I will rpobably be able to negotiate a little, and they also need help (they posted an ad on craigslist looking for help mucking), so I could trade some working mucking stalls a couple nights a week for part of my bill. Dad then flipped out again about how "Im pissing money away, and not paying attentiont o my education, and how he payed good money for me to go to school." I have no social life--free time is spent studying. I will be working for days a week during the school year. I've already calculated, and based on my current salary, between the two jobs, after tax I make $970 a month DURING SCHOOL. I dont buy fancy clothes. I dont have a social life or like to be with people. i LOVE HORSES. This is the one thing I've ever found that makes me look forward to GETTING up, and feel better about myself. unline anything I can describe.
Then my mom tells me I should "just take lessons, because I dont know waht I really want. Just look waht happened with the last horse (my worthless mare)

Now I'm sitting here torn and tired. And stressed. What would you do if you wanted something so badly, and everyone told you you shouldnt have it? How do you explain this to people? Is it so wrong of me to want to hve a horse while in college?

Last edited by poultrygirl; 08-28-2011 at 03:00 PM.
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post #2 of 17 Old 08-28-2011, 03:16 PM
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Sorry dear, but I'm going to have to agree with your parents on this one. Your education is the most important thing right now, and horses will be there once you're out of school.

Instead of worrying and stressing over selling your current horse and trying to find the perfect eventer, concentrate on your studies. Take lessons, and if you get the opportunity to ride an eventer, go for it.

You have enough on your plate already, and any extra money you make can be put away to buy that perfect horse once you're out of school.
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post #3 of 17 Old 08-28-2011, 03:26 PM
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I am sorry but I worked full time and went to college and I did not have time for a horse. If you are clearing that much after taxes it sounds like you are working quite a bit for a college student. I hate to be a downer but I agree with your mom at least about the lessons part. You'd be better off taking lessons during school. Its only 2 years if you are a junior and part of adulthood is sometimes waiting to get what you want. It sounds like your parents are paying for your school? I had to pay on my own. If your parents are paying, you should be grateful for that and concentrate on your studies as they want you to.

If you truly love horses that much, then take lessons. You don't have to own your own horse to be around them. Maybe even lease one. But I agree with your parents. It is time now for getting an education and for growing up. Plenty of time to own a horse later. They are paying for your education. That gives them some say in how things go. With work and school it sounds like you are spread too thin already. I don't know your gpa but if its already slipping they may be concerned it will fall further if you add even more responsibility.

Edited to add: I was typing when SR posted but agree with that advice as well.
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Last edited by Dresden; 08-28-2011 at 03:29 PM.
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post #4 of 17 Old 08-28-2011, 03:37 PM Thread Starter
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It's a vicious circle...I can't take more lessons till I have a horse, but I cant have a horse to take the it goes on and on. And i cant lease a horse, because this is a small town that apparently has nothing decent FOR lease. I've checked.

My GPA is darnnnn GOOD. I've never given my parents any reason to believe I'm not a good student. When MY MOTHER was my age, she was dating my father (and many other..young men), a college cheerleader and soriority girl. SHe never had a job. My father, meanwhile, was taking SIX YEARS to get a bachelors degree (all of which my grandparents paid for), and living in a house that his dad paid rent on. Oh, and winning drinking contests and hanging out with friends. I dont do any of that. They would be mortified.

It just makes me want to cry. It's like I got all the harsh aspects of college transitioning into adulthood--heavy courseload, working constantly, and paying for everything and anything i get, my drs appointments and going to the dentist and fillings and eye dr apptns and car insurance and gas--and none of the fun, privledges (ie partying, friends, social life, coming or going as I please, a boyfriend or dating. I never got any of that.)

Im just depressed. Really, really getting depressed.

I cant stand to look at my mare anymore either. It's almost like she's mocking me--she'll gladly take and waste my feed money, and farrier bills and vet bills just the same as any other horse--but I get nothing out of it. She just stands there as a reminder of what I cant have. I hate her. And it's not even her fault.

I'm at the point Im almost desperate enough to GIVE her away, or to a thearauputic program, just so I dont have to see her, or hear abotu her, or have my parents blackmail me about her ever again.
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post #5 of 17 Old 08-28-2011, 03:43 PM
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Make that a third person who agrees with what Speed Racer said. If your parents pay for your education, then you have to hear what they say about how you utilize the money they put down for you.

YOu are so lucky to have all that. The horse, or one just as good, will be there for you when you graduate. I really think you are letting too much of your heart and soul and mind get out of your control by wanting something that is really not wise at this point. It is a lot of stress and heartache that you are heaping on yoursefl. Life will heap on that sort of demands all on its' own, so don't go looking for it too soon.

Besides, if you work so much, study all the time, go to school, when will you have time to ride?
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post #6 of 17 Old 08-28-2011, 03:44 PM Thread Starter
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Liny you do have a point, but I thought about that too--my classes dont start til 10:00. That gives me from 7-9 to ride. Every day.
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post #7 of 17 Old 08-28-2011, 03:45 PM
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You very well may have to give her away, since she has physical limitations for what she can and can't be used.

Plus, if you hate the very sight of her, it'd be better for her to go to another home. Better for both of you, since the toxicity of your dislike is also a stressor on you at the moment.

It doesn't matter what your parents did or didn't do in college, since this is your life about which we're talking. I still say you have more than enough to worry about, and adding a horse on top of that is only going to make things worse.
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post #8 of 17 Old 08-28-2011, 03:46 PM
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Plenty of lesson programs have school horses. Drive a little farther and take some at a different barn.

Your horse can be ridden, just not jumped correct? Your attitude towards her is showing a serious lack of empathy. I'm not sure you are ready for a horse at all with the venom you are spewing at a horse that cannot help that they've been hurt. Any horse can get injured or end up not able to do what you want it to. That's no reason to hate the horse.

If you want a social life, get one. You don't have to party but you can certainly have friends and a boyfriend. Sounds like you need friends more than a horse.

You aren't paying for everything you get either. Your parents pay for school. That's a huge deal. Trust those of us who have monster student loans and HAD to work to live including rent during school. Stop being resentful and enjoy what you do have. You have way too much anger for no reason toward people who are trying to help you and a horse who did nothing wrong. Maybe you need to take your extra money and invest in therapy.

ETA: Tiny and SR said it much more diplomatically than me. Kudos to them :)
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Last edited by Dresden; 08-28-2011 at 03:54 PM.
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post #9 of 17 Old 08-28-2011, 04:20 PM
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If your parents are paying for your school and you are living with them, I would appreciate what you have. I agree with the above: the new horse and eventing can wait. You have a horse already.

I am 19 and a sophomore in college. I have had my own apartment for a year and am..lucky?..enough to have FAFSA pay my entire tuition (I'm not sure if lucky is the correct word there.. I appreciate not having to have all sorts of loans, but coming from a lower middle-class, single-parent family isn't exactly paradise), but I also go to a small college with a low tuition. Last year, I bought Abby shortly after I moved here because I, too, had the money at the time. I had a temporary job shortly after and could pay everything. I couldn't get a job for 8 months after that one ended and wasted away all of my savings.

I did get a job in March, but had to quit to go to my job at a summer camp, but was told I would be rehired when I returned because they liked me so much. I turned in my application and have yet to be called. I don't have a job yet. My boyfriend that I live with just lost his job on Friday. We both have cars we're paying for because he totaled his 2 years ago and mine died. What little bit of savings I have left will go to bills this month and probably next. I started working off my board, which is a part-time job itself. I pray we get jobs immediately.

I also can't even take a semester off and go home to work there (many more jobs in my hometown) because I would be stuck in a camper with my mom and brothers because we lost our house to flooding in June. And if my financial problems get worse, the first thing going is Abby, as much as it pains me to say, because she was purchased against my better judgment and I, as much as I love her and she keeps me sane most of the time, rather regret my decision.

Appreciate what you have right now and listen to your parents.
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post #10 of 17 Old 08-28-2011, 04:30 PM
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I bet you worked just as hard at getting your parents to allow you to get the horse you already have. I'm sure you convinced them of how much you love horses and that you will take great care of it. They gave in. Now the horse makes you sick to even look at. Why...because you changed your mind and decided you want to event and your horse isn't up for it. What would give your parents any reason to believe that you won't do that same thing to the next horse you get.

Also, I hear you saying how you love horses so much, but what about the horse in your own pasture. You say you hate her and can't stand to look at her. That does not sound like a horse lover to me at all. You have the money to buy and board another horse, but can't be bothered to put up a shelter for the poor horse you already own. That is just neglect.

I definitely think you need to do your current horse a favor and find her a new home. I also think you don't deserve another horse. You need to grow up and learn that animals are not disposable before you get another. I think a more suitable pet for you would be a pet rock. That way when you get sick of it you can just throw it out.
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