Gap year and horses.

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Gap year and horses.

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    12-04-2010, 10:52 PM
Question Gap year and horses.

I'm taking a gap year before I go to university because quite frankly my brain needs a rest before I enter the education system for the next round and I have been debating over what I want to do during my gap year. I've already decided against doing one of those placements because quite frankly the amount it would cost is more than I could raise for a lump sum then to add in flights, visas and insurance I would be looking at 2000 at least. I've applied for BSc Equine Sports Science/Performance at three universities, BSc Equine Science and Management (Physiology) at one (I have an interview for this place next month) and a FdSc in Sporthorse Management and Training at another university so obviously I want to spend the year gaining more experience with horses. I have thought of a few options which I am mulling over:

Option one- I go abroad to work on a yard for the year and gain experience working on a busy yard as well as living in a foreign country. This would be within the EU as I wouldn't have to worry about a visa then unless the UK pulled out or the country I choose pulled out of the EU.
Option two- I stay at home, go full time in my job (this would be a few extra shifts a week) and buy a project to bring on and get as far in showing as I can with the idea of selling it before I go to university, not to make money as I know I would still making a loss but I would have a nice lump sum to take with me. The other variation on this option is to loan one of my friend's mares once they've foaled and bring it on then send it back before I go to university. This would work out nicely for both of us.
Option three- I remain in the UK, buy a more experienced horse earlier (by this I mean during study leave which would save around 2 months), find a yard in England that lets you bring your own horse as well as accomadation and a wage and do a variation on option one and gain competition experience. This isn't impossible, I have done a bit of looking into this and found several yards advertising for working students with my wanted requirements.

Obviously with option three the problem of what to do with the horse when I go to university crops up again but at the same time this would be more in line with what I'm going to do at university. With option one I lack confidence in my own skills and when I look at some of them, even the ones with less requirements, I still have doubts in myself. Option two is the least worrying as I have done bringing on before and if I go in with resale as the outcome then I am not going to be crushed if I can't take it with me.

This is just bounce ideas off people or gain some new ideas and just to see if I sound half crazy. It's quite hard to bring this up at home because although my mum is happy I love everything to do with horses she isn't happy I want to work with them because as she says I will always be poor and I think she is disappointed I didn't choose pyschology instead but I just can't do it as it hits close to home and I don't want to have a career where I hear more stories like I've already heard or experienced myself.

So thoughts? Feel free to tell me I'm insane, trust me you won't be the first.
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    12-04-2010, 10:58 PM
Before I start offering advice, what do you mean by a gap year? Is it where you wait a year after graduating High School (I think its Secondary school in England?) and then go to college? The whole applying to schools thing has me confused. In America, you don't apply to schools until the year before you attend them. Maybe its different in England?
    12-04-2010, 11:10 PM
Kind of. In England it goes high school from 11-16 years old and get GCSEs, college from 16-18 years old for A-Levels then university from 18 years old + for foundation degrees and honours degrees. We apply for university in the start of the last year of college. If you're going to take a year out like me then you put on your application you're deferring for a year but you do all the application stuff as though you weren't so your place is secure for the following September. So when I've got all the offers and done all the interviews then accept a place I do it at the same time as people applying for places in 2011 but my place is for 2012. Does that make sense?
    12-04-2010, 11:27 PM
Well I live in Canada and we have highschool from 15-18 depending on when you were born and such. Uni and College some people go in to right after high school. I am going to do one of your options. I'm in my second last year of High school and when i'm done I plan to take a year off and go be a working student at a high end, very eventing oriented facility. I plan to do at least 6 month's there so I can figure out what the horse world is like outside of my province. If you love horses and love working with them, don't mind being worked like a dog and want a break from school I suggest doing a working student position for at least a couple month's.
    12-04-2010, 11:36 PM
I understand now. In America, you aren't allowed to apply to colleges/universities until the year before you plan to attend.

In my opinion, if you are really looking into going into training/showing, I would choose option two (with leasing the mare), since it would mean you have the least risk of ending up with the first day of university the next day and still have a hrose sitting around.

On the other hand, if you are looking to run a stable after college, I would go with option 1. You would have great experience working with horses, and have some guideance if you needed it.

Good luck!
    12-04-2010, 11:40 PM
I work at Mcdonalds so already worked like a dog. I'm not afraid of hard work and I'm working hard on my fitness since I let it slack for a year or so but I'm getting very fit again and working on my strength although thanks to my college bag at least my right shoulder is very strong.

My thought about going somewhere abroad is if I find I'm deeply unhappy with where I am then it's a lot harder to get home than if I stayed in the UK but then I think sun and it goes away.

I'd like to own or loan because then I have my own horse to practice things like clipping or plaiting or pulling which I have low experience in due to all the showing experience I has been with native breeds so I've never learnt or took advantage of when I had a loan to practice on which I should have done as quite a few places have it as a required skill. I do plan to use one of my lessons to ask my instructor instead of riding one or two weeks if I can be shown how to plait a mane and tail and how to pull.
    12-04-2010, 11:49 PM
We're an odd little country and with all the changes to fees it's even harder to make sense of than it was before.

My first choice is the FdSc, it's more vocational and would put me more in line with what I want to do as I want to be hands on. I know it seems odd going to university to learn that but at university I'd be taught by highly experienced people, for example at that university one of the tutors has had a horse she's trained selected for the 2012 Olympics. Two of the universities I've applied for have been selected as 2012 Olympic training camps. So I think I'd get more out of going to university than not going.

I'm going to draw up a list of pros and cons later as well as work out how much roughly each would cost me.
    12-04-2010, 11:50 PM
Just a note Lis, if you do become a working student at a show barn you'll definitely get experiance in braiding and they will teach you. Especially if you go to a barn where they show dressage and eventing as you HAVE to be braided for dressage.
    12-05-2010, 12:09 AM
Originally Posted by A knack for horses    
I understand now. In America, you aren't allowed to apply to colleges/universities until the year before you plan to attend.
Actually, you can do the same thing in America as well, it's called deferring. You apply/ask for it and most schools will give it to you if you tell them what you are doing. I know a girl who took a year off to join an acrobatic group in South Africa.

Anyway I agree that option 2 sounds good. Taking on a project pony is always fun ad give you a lot of experience.
    12-05-2010, 02:39 AM
Green Broke
The system you are in sounds similar to Australia. We apply in our last year of school, get accepted and then defer if you want.

Gap years can be good - but not always. Many, many people go off for their gap year and never come back, because being a student is kind of terrible. You have no food, no money, no nothing.

Do you really want to take a gap year? You should have a big break between end of school and uni anyway...why don't you just go straight on?

In reality, a student has basically no uni, not with holidays, study breaks, days off etc.

To me, none of your options sound wonderful.

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