I think there are pros and cons to both. A lot of if will depend on what kind of riding you plan on doing and what horses are available in your area that suit your riding level. The great thing about leasing is there's no long term commitment. As soon as you graduate you can stop the lease without worrying about a buyer for your horse. But then again, if you're paying a lease fee you're losing money instead of getting back when you sell your horse. But if you own there's always the risk of something happening to your horse and losing out that way. If you're into showing you can lease a really great show horse that you possibily wouldn't be able to afford to buy. But I've known some really obnoxious owners who were not the greatest to the people who leased their horses and there were some messy situations. What's great about owning is that you get to make all of the decisions yourself. Are you riding with a trainer at the moment? If so I think she/he's the one who is most capable of answering your question as they know your level and what's up for lease/sale in your area. This probably didn't help you out at all :) but i hope it did give you some things to think through!