Managing college and horses? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 11-13-2013, 07:02 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Small town in Kansas
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Managing college and horses?

It's senior year, and stress has hit overload. I lay awake overthinking life and the choices I'll be making in a year. So, the question has hit me. How am I going to afford my horses, AND college. How did you guys manage it?
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post #2 of 6 Old 11-13-2013, 07:11 PM
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Location: Minnesota
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Originally Posted by EthanQ View Post
It's senior year, and stress has hit overload. I lay awake overthinking life and the choices I'll be making in a year. So, the question has hit me. How am I going to afford my horses, AND college. How did you guys manage it?
It is not easy. I am lucky that I'm not the one paying for my horses of I wouldn't be able to own them.

That being said, it's not impossible. Plenty of people do it - it's just a matter of precise time management, fund management (No getting that pair of shoes you really want or going out to see a movie every weekend!) and common sense. Horses are money eaters and time consuming. College is a money eater and is time consuming. It's just a matter of planning for the future. Can you get a job? Will someone support you if your horses need a vet and you have to pay tuition and can't afford it? What about when you have to choose between the farrier or your textbooks?

Start managing your money. Look at how much you have/ make each month. Look at your current expenses and what you can cut out. Look at how much college costs and how much financial aid you can get. Count it out carefully and learn to budget.
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post #3 of 6 Old 11-13-2013, 07:44 PM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Georgia
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You definitely have to learn to budget. Currently I'm working off part of my board, but will soon be moving to a stable that is cheaper, although further away. For me, I've had to give up most of my riding time. I'm now a junior in college and it's kicking my butt more than it has before; it gets hard and there's a lot of time you have to put into school.

If possible, get a job now rather than later, and try to get settled in to a routine. It's when my work schedule is all over the place that I stress out more. The hardest part for me is managing school, schoolwork, work, and barn time. Barn time is always most appealing :)

Different scholarships and such are out there, so it's definitely worth a try to apply for some. Classes and textbooks are not cheap.

One thing I also did for a few months was lease out my horse; if this is an option for you, it would get you a little extra money and your horse(s) would be worked. Although this can also be a big PITA lol, it can be worth it.

Good luck, it's not easy!
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post #4 of 6 Old 11-13-2013, 07:47 PM
Join Date: Jan 2013
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What shoebox said. I'm heading to college next semester and when I get my next horse (my mom pays for our two now) it will be after a lot of financial planning, support from my mom, and scholarships. Personally I like my horses out 24/7 so the barest minimum board will get me what I want/need, and I have no problem doing college work AND rough board (I consider it a nice reprieve and work better). I'm going to work my butt off at the barn I've chosen AND work to make money and have a horse, and be sure to have a financial game plan for when I have to chose between a farrier or text books. (Just imparting what my farrier told me to do which was ride my horses down a concrete road for three and a half hours every day for a week, works and saves money till the next trim.) It's hard, but doable in my experience.
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post #5 of 6 Old 11-13-2013, 07:52 PM
Join Date: Oct 2011
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Make a budget.
Stick to it.
Don't eat out...etc.
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post #6 of 6 Old 11-13-2013, 09:59 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2009
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The big thing is choosing what to spend your time and money on. I afforded a horse through most of university, however I couldn't afford to drink, or go out often, go to the movies, eat out. I couldn't afford to live on campus housing, I cut costs by not using a heater all winter.

I also cut costs with horses. There was a great boarding stable with an indoor and outdoor, but I met someone through volunteering at pony club who offered me free agistment, in exchange I'd help out when they needed it. It mean less facilities and of course self care, but it saved me a lot a money.

Actually in many places I have lived there have been very affordable agistment options that aren't advertised. Private properties with a paddock to rent, or to share the paddock with them in exchange for a small fee, or perhaps an offer to help with their horse care when they're away.

Another aspect was the horse itself. My TB cost me at least $150 extra a money in feed, in comparison to my stock horse. Also, trimming hooves vs. shoeing is cheaper.

When you combine it all, you can often get by with horses quite cheaply, and as many students spend a lot of their time socialising etc, you can use some of that time for horse stuff. It's all about the choices you make.
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