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Anyone take a horse to college/university?

This is a discussion on Anyone take a horse to college/university? within the Horse Talk forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

     
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        05-10-2012, 03:56 AM
      #11
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MeLikesUke    
    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?
    Don't get me wrong, it's doable - you're right, the time commitment is manageable if you manage your time. However, think about the comparison you make to an athlete: what do they give up of their uni experience to make that work? That kind of time commitment means that they miss out on a lot of the typical spontaneous social stuff, and it restricts when and what they can do in their free time. The main difference between an athlete and yourself would be that, instead of being on a team and at least sharing in that social team atmosphere to make up for that, it's just you and your horse.

    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!
         
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        05-10-2012, 05:45 AM
      #12
    Yearling
    Would the horse be on self or full care? That may make a difference. Mine was on full care and I spent about two hours per day, five or six days per week, at the barn. While I did not have time to do any other committing team sports (but then, I didn't have much inclination to) or try out being in a zillion different uni clubs, I still had time for socializing, spontaneous and planned, and plenty of wild partying. I was happy with this arrangement and don't feel as if I missed out on anything. I wasn't out getting panelled every night, as some students seem to manage, but then, why would you want to?

    As I said in my earlier post, it depends on what you want at uni. There are people who feel the need to really try and change themselves and join every vaguely interesting club and society and drink like fish every weekend. Others don't. In the uni mountaineering club, we get a cohort of first-years every year who have never been on a mountain before and figure out pretty quickly that being cold and wet on a Scottish mountain isn't for them. They're the "try everything" type, who soon realize that mountaineering requires a certain level of commitment, like investing in gear that prevents hypothermia. Eventually everyone becomes more settled into just doing the things they like anyway.

    My current university also has a riding club, which I'm not at all involved in, but I know that it's there. They get discounted lessons at one of the local yards. I think many UK unis have such arrangements. My undergrad (US) uni had its own barn, and all the other boarders were students and a couple staff. So the barn was very much tied into the social experience. Riders were known for their particularly drunk and wild parties.
         
        05-10-2012, 05:55 AM
      #13
    Yearling
    So to put it more succinctly, do you think there is a good chance you will find something else you'd rather be doing?
         

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    college, school, taking a horse to college, university

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