Gah. I keep trying to tell myself this, but the truth is, I love her with all of my heart and every horse I ever ride or eventually own will be compared in some way to her. I've known her since she was born, and I've ridden her grandmother and leased her mother. Her mother was put down last year after a bad bought of colic, so she is pretty much the last of this wonderful line after the grandmother dies (she's 30). She's honestly the sweetest horse I've ever met, so willing to learn, so excited to work, and always full of love and cuddles. I've known her for her whole life and the thought of never seeing her again is almost unreal
That being said, again, I would never, ever want to neglect her in any way. However, when you crunch numbers, is owning and riding a horse a HUGELY different time commitment from playing a varsity sport in college? With time management, I can spend 2 hours or less at the barn, including travel time. Sports practices and games are 2-3 hours or more 6 days a week. Athletes make it work. Why can't I? I'm well aware that a horse is a LIVING creature for which I'm responsible, but given that she's at a full-care facility and I can see her every day, the TYPICAL day/week/month should see a fairly even schedule, barring any major emergencies. Right? Or am I just kidding myself here?
This isn't designed to put you off completely, it works for some people and it may be right up your street: lets face it, I don't know you from Adam. But you have to seriously consider that it will majorly affect your uni experience, and at the end of the day you don't want to look back later in life and say that you missed out because of an animal that will only live 25 years or so. And yes, you love her to bits now: I loved my horse to bits that I sold before going to uni, and yet I now have one that I love even more and is even better for me. You do a lot of growing up and changing at uni, and whilst your love of horses probably won't go away, having that responsibility and time constraint there whilst you're trying to have the experience could end up making you resent it.
Just my tuppence. Don't be offended!