Horses In College? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 05-04-2015, 04:13 AM Thread Starter
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Horses In College?

First off, I am most definitely not new to horses. While my riding could definitely use some improvement, I have been around horses and done 4-H for 8+ years. I've done a bit of training, just started roping, and I've worked with a variety of horses. I know (mostly) what I'm doing.

That being said, I've never actually owned a horse. I've cared for my 4-H horses (fed, watered, exercised, dewormed, etc.), but I've never officially owned any of them. I know what owning a horse would entail, I do practically own my 4-H horses, I have just never had to actually care for them financially.

I currently am in no place to own a horse, but I have considered buying one in two or three years after I've started vet school, mainly so I can have a chance at college rodeo before I age out. I would be buying a horse after vet school anyways, but I'm wondering about the feasibility of having a horse while in school, particularly something as challenging and time consuming as vet school. I know how much time horses require, and I have goats back home that I am caring for and working with right now while in school to prep for 4-H shows, so I have experience caring for animals while in school.

My main question is, has anyone had horses, particularly their first horses while in grad school? How did it work out? Would you recommend it? What was the hardest part? Is it worth it? I feel like I would get a lot more out of my brief stint in Texas for vet school if I had a horse and I feel that it would help advance my career goals, but I want to hear people's opinions on it. Also, how did you balance the financial part of horses and school? As I'm currently not dating anyone, I'm not planning on having a family, and I probably won't have any other animals except for maybe a dog or some show goats. I would try to find an easy keeper that would do well on just pasture/hay, and while I would try to rodeo, I wouldn't be spending too much money competing and I would mostly be working on improving my own skills. Thoughts?
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post #2 of 18 Old 05-04-2015, 04:35 AM
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I have a horse right now and am in university. The only way I can manage it, and the only way I believe is possible for me to manage it, is because I am on full scholarship for the next three years and don't need to pay a cent for school. I also made the decision to go to my local university so that I could continue living at home, so don't need to pay for those expenses either. My horse is an easy keeper, I board at a very cheap facility, and I STILL fine it very challenging to pay for him even though he is all I have to pay for at the moment. Between school (need good enough grades to keep up the scholarships, I do either 4 or 5 courses a semester) and work (I work one 4 hour shift a week, next year I will have to work two), I find I can only go out to the barn twice a week.

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post #3 of 18 Old 05-04-2015, 07:19 AM
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The vet I had when I lived in PA, hauled her horse to school the last two or three years she was in school.

I want to say she hauled him clear to Utah but I could be wrong on the state

A Good Horseman Doesn't Have To Tell Anyone; The Horse Already Knows.

I CAN'T ride 'em n slide 'em. I HAVE to lead 'em n feed 'em Thnx cowchick77.
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post #4 of 18 Old 05-04-2015, 09:32 AM
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Didn't read through your whole thread as I'm trying to get to bed after working all night... But...

You may think you know what it's like to own a horse... but you have no idea until you actually do. I was in the same boat as you, 18 lesson horses and made dicisions all the time regarding their care/management, 10 year experience and rode several disciples, you get it!..... I just got my first horse and I feel like a total nincompoop! Decision making and care is different when it comes to you very own horse. Very different.
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post #5 of 18 Old 05-04-2015, 11:56 AM Thread Starter
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Interesting point. I can see how that would be an issue, but I currently have a herd of show goats at home and I've had to make lots of decisions concerning their care, and while I know they aren't horses, a lot of it is similar. What kind of decisions are you talking about? Like deciding what/when to feed or when to shoe or where to board type decisions?
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post #6 of 18 Old 05-04-2015, 06:34 PM
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There is a heavy weight of responsibility that comes with ownership, and its not quite replicated with leasing etc.

Saying that owning horses in university is certainly doable and possible. Being competitive too is a lot harder though.

Its a matter of time management and financial management and planning. I had a horse all through study but there were certainly sacrifices. You just have to prioritize what is important to you. And its not just cut and dry. You might want to study, do volunteer work or internships or perhaps you want an active social life, or be active in uni clubs or have a part time job, or own and compete a horse, or perhaps go on exchange overseas. There are so many options and while you can achieve any of them, you can't do them all, or do them all well.
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post #7 of 18 Old 05-04-2015, 08:33 PM
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im in my second year of college (going the medical route, EMT or Surgical Tech). While my college is online until the fall when ill be going an hour away for school. right now i have absolutley no extra time for myself. i own four horses right now, two are still unstarted and sitting in the pasture since i have no extra time after working my two horses i intend to show this year. I work a 5 day a week job in the morning, get off at 2 pm, go to the barn work horses for a little bit then study until 10 pm and do it all over again tommorow. it sucks! the only way i know that i can show this year is that i requested saturdays off so then its horse show and then studying.
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post #8 of 18 Old 05-05-2015, 04:20 PM Thread Starter
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Location: South Eastern Idaho
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I have a herd of show goats at home, four hours away, and while they're out on pasture right now and I often have to have other people take care of them because of the distance, I do work with them and I have been showing and training them since coming to college. I know horses are a bit more work, especially if they're close and I have to provide all of their care. I probably won't be working too much either. I just worry about balancing it with the workload of vet school. Is there anyone on here who's a vet or in vet school who could provide some input?
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post #9 of 18 Old 05-05-2015, 04:55 PM
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Look into your colleges collegiate program
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post #10 of 18 Old 05-05-2015, 05:09 PM
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I am just finishing up my first year of school and I have taken over all expenses for my horse (my parents paid most of his expenses while I was in high school). It can be quite difficult. I'm lucky that I don't have to pay too much for school at the moment, but even so ALL of his expenses can be quite a responsibility. I'm also going to school out of state and he's back at home so for me there is the added problem of distance (my friend is caring for him) which makes decision making much harder.
I had originally planned to lease him out while I'm away, but I've had 4 people flake out on me within the first 3 months so now I have him listed for sale.
I would say definitely think about whether or not you have the time and financial ability to really commit. It is quite a responsibility! If you really want to have a horse though it is doable.
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