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aerie 05-19-2011 12:43 PM

Staying Horsey in College?
Hey, I was wondering if you guys had any tips for staying horsey in college? I really haven't been able to truly ride in about a year due to school. My horse is getting on in years and can't really be ridden anymore due to an old injury (before I got him) that had turned to arthritis. I still love him to bits and pieces and bring him loverly treats on a daily, but overly fattening, basis. My trainer, sadly, passed away back in 2009 and I haven't found a new trainer. On top of it all, I am a broke college student struggling to pay my student loans and study so I can graduate! I wanted to join the equestrian team up at my school but it cost upwards of 2000 dollars! While horses are my passion and I want to ride for as long as my body will allow me and have them even longer, I just cannot dole out 2000 dollars a year to ride up at school... So i am stuck at the moment with no rideable mount and cut off completely from horses when I am at school, any suggestions? :(

Zeke 05-19-2011 01:54 PM

Im, or was, in the same boat! It sucks! My mare had to be retired not long before college and since my parents are paying for college they said I could pay for my next horse. As totally harsh as that seems I think its pretty fair. I took a job and paid for lessons while I could, when money ran out I rode a friends horse once in awhile but the drive and the deserted barn (I don't like being *watched* but I get a little weary of falling off when no one is around) killed me.

I've recently gotten lucky and found a job giving lessons to beginner riders, mostly young kids just starting out. While I don't actually ride for my job, being around the ponies and horses is really nice anyways. I also get to ride once in awhile when I'm not working. Is there anyway you could dabble in some lessons somewhere for fun or even find a barn to help out with?
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equinecollege 05-19-2011 04:18 PM

I think this is a problem that many horsey college students face, unfortunately. I know of several students in your same boat but who have found ways to continue riding. They get jobs - whether at barns, as waitresses, or whatever they can get - in order to pay for their equine hobby. They then lead very self-disciplined lives, fitting in a rigorous liberal arts education, maintaining GPA's above 2.65, keeping a job, and riding. I don't know what opportunities are available to you, but I would suggest using some time this summer to explore those options and then do your best to save money. If you're unable to purchase your own horse right now, you can at least take lessons on another horse.

countercanter 05-21-2011 12:53 PM

Even though you can't afford riding on the team, go talk to the coach and ask if she needs horses ridden or knows of anyone that needs horses hacked. She might be able to put you in touch with the right people that dont have time to ride their own horses and need someone that will. I ride on my schools team, our dues are MUCH cheaper that what yours are, and we are always welcome to go out and ride more than our usual lessons. There is always a horse that needs to be ridden. Definitely just approach the coach an ask. They are a horse person too, they understand that you just need to at least be around horses. I am lucky enough to be able to have my horses with me but I am going to be selling my project horse soon because it is a struggle to have horses and be in school.

aerie 05-21-2011 02:03 PM

Hey thanks for all of the great advice guys, I really appreciate it :) I will definately take all of the advice given here and put it into effect. I think there is a stable only like fifteen minutes away from my school that I may be able to work at, or at least volunteer. I never really thought about asking the riding coach about exercising the horses without being on the team, that is a really good idea that I am definately going to check into :) Again thanks guys, I really appreciate the input.

paintluver 05-21-2011 02:11 PM

I am in the same boat. I am going to be working my butt off this summer,and then during the school year still working, school, and riding. I can't get rid of my horse, he is my life so for me that is out of the question. =]

equinecollege 05-23-2011 11:18 AM

I'm not sure where you're thinking about going to school, but there are 8 colleges in Ky with equine-related programs. At Georgetown College in central Ky (just 10 min from Ky Horse Park), lots of students ride and work on their own but are able to major in anything they want and then apply it to the equine industry if they desire. The central Ky area has limitless horse opportunities - for all kinds of breeds and disciplines. If you're interested check out Georgetown College | Georgetown, KY

aerie 05-23-2011 11:30 AM

Awww I am nowhere ner Kentucky otherwise I would have looked into it (out of state tuition is killer :/ ). I live in Michigan and am attending Central Michigan Univeristy (fire up chips!) going on my second year there :D I am majoring in special education with a concentration on emotional disabilities. I hope to one day open a farm for emotionally abused or troubled teens and use horses to help with emotional therapy. Although I really do appreicate the suggestion! :D

What are your guy's thoughts on apprenticeships to learn more about horsemanship and training? I want to learn as much as I can from both aspects of my career of choice; ; and I would love to train, give lessons, be a 4-H/ponyclub/equestrian team leader someday as well and just want to continue to learn and give back that knowlege. Any suggestions on where to find an opportunity like that? I would have to be during the summer so I could graduate on time, special education degrees take at least five years of studies and while I love school I would love to get out into the real world sooner than later :-P

IslandWave 05-23-2011 10:30 PM

If/When I go to college, I'm pretty sure I'd only have time to study and work. Which sucks. Unless I do some community college at home.

But anyways, I'm all for internships. I've been doing one for a year now and NOTHING beats the hands on instruction from experienced and knowledgeable people. The farm is not far (compared to KY) from where you are. So PM me if you want more info!

Horsesdontlie 05-23-2011 11:47 PM

I did the bad thing and brought my horse with me. So I'm pretty work to break even.

I know quiet a few schools have Intercollegiate Show Teams. Which is a great way to get involved, but if thats not offered sometimes you can look on classifieds in your area and look for people wanting some extra free help with their horses. If it is a horsey area you should be to find something.

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