Owning a horse while in the military?
   

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Owning a horse while in the military?

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  • Keeping a horse in the army
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    11-14-2011, 11:28 PM
  #1
Yearling
Owning a horse while in the military?

Has anyone here owned horses while enlisted or being an officer? Or while in the NROTC?

I'm heavily considering the military and I was wondering if it was or is possible.

Also, if there are any retired or active military/navy personnel, I would LOVE to hear how it is for you!
I still haven't worked up to talking to a recruiter but I want to be somewhat knowledgeable before I commit.
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    11-15-2011, 12:02 AM
  #2
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by BarrelWannabe    
Has anyone here owned horses while enlisted or being an officer? Or while in the NROTC?

I'm heavily considering the military and I was wondering if it was or is possible.

Also, if there are any retired or active military/navy personnel, I would LOVE to hear how it is for you!
I still haven't worked up to talking to a recruiter but I want to be somewhat knowledgeable before I commit.
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Well of course it's possible. It's a matter of how much you want it and how much work you're willing to put into it. I know a lot of military families who will "have to get rid of the cat" when they move...it doesn't have to be like that. We moved from the West Coast to the East coast with pets... I'd imagine that you'd have to finance the moves for your animal same as we did, but it would be a little more to consider. Plus you may not always have the option of going where you want...which means that board may end up being more, less...further than you'd want, or right next door. XD And then if you deploy, of course you'd want full board if you don't usually do that. Some things to consider. I'm going to end up being half the country away from my husband for a year or three, but either way, the horse will be moving with us.
     
    11-15-2011, 12:14 AM
  #3
Weanling
I got my mare because her previous owner was stationed in another state and was unable to take their horses. I keep in contact with them, they were heartbroken to have had to sell her. I don't know the details, but I imagine if they were able to keep them that they would have.
     
    11-15-2011, 12:16 AM
  #4
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duren    
I got my mare because her previous owner was stationed in another state and was unable to take their horses. I keep in contact with them, they were heartbroken to have had to sell her. I don't know the details, but I imagine if they were able to keep them that they would have.
They pay for your move and they pay for your household belongings to move. They don't pay for your horse to move or extras like that. If they didn't have the spare money to pay for that plus a non base housing place to live (which comes with deposit, other costs), it would make shipping a horse prohibitive.
     
    11-15-2011, 12:20 AM
  #5
Green Broke
I was in the USN for 6yrs and while I wasn't into horses at the time I can give you some insight.

First of all, no horses while in boot camp. While in boot camp you are not allowed out except right at the end but that's only a couple of months.

Next comes your schooling and that all depends on what rate you are. Schools can be extremely short or up to two years in length. It wouldn't be worth moving your horse down for a short school and stabling but for a longer one it can be. Personally my school lasted 20 months. Spent 13 months in Orlando, FL and another 7 in Idaho. I could of easily had a horse in both locations.

Next comes your duty station after graduating school. The last 4+ years I spent in one location so once again, having a horse was doable. Here comes the big BUT. OF the 4+ years stationed in Bremerton, WA I spent over 2 actually at sea. I had two 6 month deployments (WESTPAC) over in the Gulf (was there for the first Gulf war). The rest of my at sea time can in junks of 2 weeks to 2 months. That left 2+ yrs in home port where riding could of happened.

So owning a horse in the Navy is possible but not an easy course and probably no easier in the other branches. Something else, there are not a lot of rates that will guarantee you to be based in the US where you can keep your horse. If you were stationed in Japan I have no clue if you could find a stable for your horse if you could afford to transport them there to begin with.

All that said, I highly recommend joining the armed forces. Choose the right rate and you can get a ****ed fine education that will keep you working the rest of your life. You'll also learn a lot of lifes lessons, have a chance to see the world and meet friends that will last a lifetime. Even better, that education will help you own horses after getting out.
     
    11-15-2011, 12:28 AM
  #6
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by demonwolfmoon    
They pay for your move and they pay for your household belongings to move. They don't pay for your horse to move or extras like that. If they didn't have the spare money to pay for that plus a non base housing place to live (which comes with deposit, other costs), it would make shipping a horse prohibitive.
You also have the option of moving yourself if you can afford the initial up front cost. I did that a couple times and came out money ahead when they paid me. If you have a horse trailer and stay lean enough on belongings that they all fit in the back of your pickup you'll be fine. Problem comes in when you try to move a family and a house full of goods at the same time. That gets way to expensive to do on military pay so you have them do it for you. That's when moving the horse will come 100% out of your pocket.
     
    11-15-2011, 02:06 AM
  #7
Weanling
I was active duty navy for ten years, and owned horses the whole time. It really depends on how much you want it. I sacrificed a lot to keep horses On active duty. You need to set up care and exercise for when you are dePloyed. I also did not have a nice new car. My extra money went to my equine addiction.
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    11-15-2011, 06:40 AM
  #8
Green Broke
Gonna depend on your job and your duty station. Before you get a horse you need to make sure you have permanent full board home lined up. SOmewhere that will care for a couple years at a time if you get stationed overseas. Generally stateside you could keep it with you, but still need a plan to get the horse to a boarding place with little to no notice.
     
    11-15-2011, 07:50 AM
  #9
Trained
In many cases, the answer is "Absolutely not!"

What you do in the military influences it, but for many in the military, the reality is that you frequently leave for 3-12 months to a remote location. I spent much of my 25 years in the military deployed to places like Saudi Arabia for 6 months of each year.

I also spent 8 years overseas. The Philippines, England and Korea. It would have been prohibitively expensive to buy & keep horses there.

Further, I was mostly in fighter squadrons. I worked 12 hour days or more. 5-6 days/week. During the 20 years I spent in fighter squadrons, it was so rare for me to leave after 11 hours that I felt guilty if I did.

If you go into the Navy, sea duty will interfere. Think 6-9 months spent at sea. No horses on the boat!

The Air Force, Army and Marines deploy a lot. During the 90s, the Air Force deployed the most. Over the last 10 years, the Army has. Even when you are not deployed, there are field exercises (Marines, Army) and flying exercises that will occupy much of your time.

If you are independently wealthy, you can pay full board for your horse and just deal with sometimes not seeing your horse for 1-12 months. But unless you go in as a senior officer (just joking), the military won't pay you enough to keep horses on full board.

There are jobs in the military that deploy less than others. If you are stationed at a place like D-M in Arizona, there is a stable on base - although full board isn't an option there, I don't think.

But consider this: the Commander of the US Marine Corps once tried to ban first-term enlisted from getting married. Congress overruled him, probably because most members of Congress neither know nor care anything about the military.

My last deployment was to Afghanistan in 2007. I volunteered for it, and had warning. One of the guys on my crew was told on a Friday that he had plane tickets for Sunday...then he spent 2 of the next 3 months in training, then to Afghanistan for 6 months (that turned into 7). That was not uncommon.
     
    11-15-2011, 09:23 AM
  #10
Weanling
Agree with bsms for similar reasons. I am also ex-military and I wouldn't try to own a horse in the military. I would probably take lessons etc when possible.

Here is why- I got injured during a training exercise. Because of the injury I could not leave that base to return home or go onto my scheduled duty station. I spent almost a year at that base in the middle of nowhere recovering. There was no set timeline for when I would recover and move on. Thus no way to make a plan. I ended up having to beg people to watch my dogs because they hadn't anticipated having them so long. It was hard just with dogs. I cannot imagine what I would have done with a horse. Also I was ultimately medically discharged before my term of service was up. Into this economy... and had to scramble around to find a job that my injury didn't hinder. I couldn't have afforded a horse at that time.

I would wait until you are out of the military to purchase a horse. Spend those years learning everything about horses so you are ready when you get out.
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