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Bringing my horse to college??

Hi everyone!
So the thing is that I would like to bring my horse with me when I go away to college (yes I’m aware it could end up costing a lot I’m willing to spend the money) My main concern is if this is a smart decision for me and my horse. This is going to be my first year of university so I don’t really know what to expect. I love her to death and I really don’t want to sell her (leasing her out isn’t really an option either because she’s very green and i fear that someone might fry her because she’s just come off the track and everything is so new to her). I also just don’t want to bring her down just for her to sit in a barn all day because I’m too busy to spend time with her, I want to do what’s best for her, even if that turns out to be selling her.

Also if anyone knows of any good boarding stables in the Burnaby area please let me know!!

One thing to remember is you may not have a ton of time, between work, school and homework. I found time to ride between classes and before/after work. During midterms and finals, I hardly made it out to the barn. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. My horse definitely kept me sane during college and gave me a escape.

I took my horse to school with me (caveat that it was an equestrian college in part and I could board the horse on campus). I had no trouble staying on the deans list for a double major and being at the barn everyday. Of course, I also wasn’t a party girl, etc and the horse was what was most important to me.

I also went to an equestrian focused college and have several points of view on this.

My roommate: brought her horse but boarded off campus
A friend: boarded on campus
And I: Left my horse at home

Each had some benefits. But there was many different goals for each of us.
My roommate was (and is) and eventer and was scrupulous about keeping her horse fit regardless of whether or not they were actually showing.

My friend just wanted her horse with her I think. She mainly only rode him in lessons.

I knew that with my overloaded course load I would have very little time to visit my horse during the week, but had to go home very other weekend for my job. So I just went with that and road every other weekend. No harm came of it.

If you’re worried about her sitting in a stall, I imagine she would end up doing some of that wherever she went. If she’s just coming off the track some downtime wouldn’t hurt her either.

But, there’s something to be said for having your horse right where you can get to them if necessary.

If you’re not worried about cost and she’s a good traveler it might be worth it to just bring her on because she won’t get worked sitting at home so if you don’t get to the barn as much as you want, it wouldn’t be any worse.

I think you’ll find people who had every type of experience possible with this. (I did not own a horse when I was in college and only rode occasionally when I was home. But I think I would have had time to ride several times per week if I had had a horse at a barn near school.) A lot of it depends on your time management, how driven you are, what other activities you might want to get into, etc. If you have a full course load plus a job and want to join a sorority and also play basketball and go out to party with friends AND bring your horse, it might be too much. If your horse is your top priority after schoolwork and possibly a job, or you can accept riding less often in order to add another activity, then things might work out great.

Seeing how things go the first semester without the horse and then deciding if you want to bring her over for the rest of college might not be a bad idea. Also consider how flexible the scheduling is at your school. For example, I was able to schedule every semester but one with no classes on Friday, or some people would cluster all their classes in the morning in order to have the whole afternoon available. It will be more difficult to get to the barn if you have classes spread out all day and no big block of open time.

I’m in the midst of a situation with very close friends whose daughter decided to go to college in Kentucky (we live in New England). She took a recently acquired horse to college and it turned out to be a mistake. She’s found the time to ride, take lessons, and do a few shows. But much of that came at the expense of her academic work and she’s paying a big price now. Her barn is 10 minutes from her dorm room which also has it pluses and minuses.

When they went to an orientation and first met the b/o she advised against having a horse during first semester. Her advice was to build your campus life first and then bring the horse down and build a barn life. The opposite has happened. Loves the barn family but doesn’t like college and campus life. A lot of it has to do with her making it through high school somewhat successfully, but she didn’t build the level of academic and study skills along with the self-discipline that it takes to be successful at college while having a time-intensive hobby. It looks like she and the dearly-loved horse will be home at the end of the semester. And they have invested quite a bit of money in that one semester, and she will have little to show for it.

So I would say if you have confidence in your ability to manage your academic life efficiently and effectively and that you can get your homework done and maintain good grades, it can work. I think what this young woman has learned is that hitting 18 and heading off to college is a much bigger life transition than she anticipated.

It’s really hard to give advice on this because everyone is different but I will tell you my experience.

My freshman year my horse stayed home with my trainer. He was recovering from an injury so he wouldn’t have been rideable that whole time anyway. My parents thought and I agreed that I should adapt to college life first without any extra commitments. I was fortunate that they could afford to board him with the trainer though. I too would hate to give a greenie a year off, though that would be preferable to leasing them out while you’re hundreds of miles away.

I adapted quickly but ended up a bit depressed that first year, mostly for lack of riding. My sophomore year I brought my horse down and kept him there until I graduated. I managed my time well and scheduled classes so I could ride in the early afternoon before traffic got awful (he was boarded 30-45 min away, outside Houston where traffic can be atrocious). I would say I rode 5 days a week. I still graduated with a good GPA and a triple major. I also kept competing and won a regional championship or two. So it worked for me, which isn’t to say that it will work for you or anyone else.

I also did keep riding and competing while working full-time and going to a top-tier law school part-time. Most people would say that’s impossible. I say it’s about good time management and prioritizing.

As I recall, DD did first freshman semester horseless --then we took one of her two eventing horses to her school. If her grades had dropped, the horse would have come home. They didn’t. She alternated the horses (one each semester) and continued to ride 3 day until she finished law school six years later. She often said it was the only thing that kept her sane.

I started off horseless and very unexpectedly ended up with my mare again half way through my sophomore year. I loved it but it was a ton of work. Working to pay her bills, my bills, school work, and basic life really wore me down at times. If I’d been in a situation where my parents were covering my horse and I had a number of full-care options nearby, it would have been very different. Mucking stalls in 20 degree weather, handling dangerous horses in the rain, doing 4 am eye meds for another boarder, etc. to cover an unexpected vet bill or necessary saddle reflocking can be a lot when you also have an exam that morning or a term paper due the next day.

Things to potentially consider:

  1. Do you have reliable transportation in the form of a personal car? Relying on friends can get dicey in an emergency.

  2. Are there several quality barns around the college? If there is only one “good barn” then you may get stuck on a waiting list or be SOL if it doesn’t work for your needs.

  3. Are there competent vets, farriers, saddle fitters, chiropractors, and whatever else around the school? If not, do you have a trailer and the ability to independently access those resources if needed.

I did it and it worked out okay.

Freshman year: brought gelding, boarded him on campus. In March bought a new mare, and planned to swap out for the gelding. College loved the gelding and asked if one of their students could lease him for the rest of the year and summer. I found I had enough time to ride, and being at the barn in addition to lessons gave me a chance to make friends with the other horsey kids.

Sophmore year: mare was leased, kept gelding at school. I had adequate time to ride, but wasn’t really happy there.

Jr year: brought two horses to school but boarded off campus. I still had enough time to ride, and also enjoyed my new barn.

Sr year: started the year with no horses. I took lessons off campus (different place than jr yr) and it helped but wasn’t enough. Bought a horse mid way through the school year and was much happier having my own.

I was lucky that while my family isn’t wealthy, grandparents both had started college funds, which were able to fund most of horse board in addition to school. I did work PT all 4 years.

Hi everyone!
So the thing is that I would like to bring my horse with me when I go away to college (yes I’m aware it could end up costing a lot I’m willing to spend the money) My main concern is if this is a smart decision for me and my horse. This is going to be my first year of university so I don’t really know what to expect. I love her to death and I really don’t want to sell her (leasing her out isn’t really an option either because she’s very green and i fear that someone might fry her because she’s just come off the track and everything is so new to her). I also just don’t want to bring her down just for her to sit in a barn all day because I’m too busy to spend time with her, I want to do what’s best for her, even if that turns out to be selling her.

Also if anyone knows of any good boarding stables in the Burnaby area please let me know!![/QUOTE]You just got a green horse off the track, knowing you were going away to college? You are willing to spend the money–you really have the money to spend? Not your parents?

If you are for real, the first thing I would do is see if there are any boarding stables a reasonable distance away. Are you taking a car to school? I went to college in a rural town, yet the stable our team practiced at was at least 20 min away by car. I didn’t have a car, most of my friends didn’t either, at least freshman year.

Both daughters kept riding throughout college. They were commuter students during their first years, so the horses lived at home, as did they. If you are committed to working hard and being efficient with your academics, you will have plenty of time to ride. Horses will help you make friends and feel like you are a part of the school community. You will have to avoid a lot of the late night partying and drinking if you want to ride.

Select a college that has good academics, a good horse community and lots of students who ride. My daughters went to the University of Maryland, College Park. It was a great school for them.

I brought mine to college. I double majored and was pre med, and was a member of a sorority. I took 20 hrs of class every semester and never had an issue of being too busy for the barn; I also competed often. I’m in medical school now and I still have time for the barn regularly. If you want to make it work, you can! I would be a very depressed person if I didn’t have the horse outlet, so for me I knew it wasn’t an option to not bring him along :slight_smile:

ETA: my mom funded the horse habit throughout college (she still does). Without her help I wouldn’t have been able to do it.

Are you talking about Burnaby, BC? There is only the one facility there - the Burnaby Equestrian Center. City bylaws require preference be given to Burnaby residents - not sure if you would be one as a student? - so you should look into it well ahead of time.

If you have a car and time to commute, your other options are the Southlands area in Vancouver (most expensive), Coquitlam, Delta, Surrey, or Langley. I live in Vancouver and work in Burnaby, and I commute from both to Delta and Langley a few times a week to ride. From Burnaby to Delta during rush hour takes me 1.5 hours on a bad day. Vancouver to Delta in non-rush hour traffic is 30 mins, Vancouver to my barn in Langley - an hour. So figure out when you would be travelling and how far you are willing to go.

Also, I’m not sure where you’re coming from, but full board rates are quite pricey here.

Pluses and minuses but most boil down to if you have to work to pay for school, the horse and your transportation or if your parents will be paying some or all if it. It works much better for those not trying to shoulder the entire financial burden and keep the academics up.

I kept the horse but lived, rent free, at home and went to a much less expensive state school. Worked 20-30 hours a week to fund the horse (which I bought) and car (which I bought) expenses. Took me about 6 years to get through and that was just a Liberal Arts BA. I leased the horse the last two years so I could finish with less distraction and participate in degree related outside classroom activities. That turned out to be a very wise decision.

Everybody is different but not always because they understand the hard realities of their specific situation. Be careful about that and assuming what it will actually cost and who pays how much for what. Get that worked out before making the decision.

This is really entirely within your control.

There are very few surprises in college.

You have your classes at prescheduled times in the week.
Your assignments are given in advance.
Exams do not appear out of nowhere, they are scheduled well in advance.

It is not like being a lawyer or ER doctor, where you have no idea at 1 in the afternoon if you are going to be stuck at work until 2AM or not.

So when you are picking your classes and choosing activities (and again, this is not out of your control: YOU GET TO PICK) look at an overall weekly schedule, block off the time you need for classes and the horse, and don’t schedule stuff during that time. Don’t write your papers in the last minute and you can go riding the morning a paper is due. Take responsibility for your schedule and your horse and work it out.

Then she will not sit in the barn.

I also wonder how you came to have yourself a horse that “just” came off the track and now you …seem to be surprised…? that you’re going to college and …all of a sudden…? need to ask the internet what to do with this horse…??

So I assume you are looking ahead to Fall 2017 semester? So I’d create a very specific 6-month training plan that lists what he needs to learn in order to be a candidate for lease. Assess him against that training plan each month, and if by 4-5 months he’s not close to being on track, then put him up for sale. Because if you can’t bring him along even before you go to university, you’re not likely to do well by him once you’re there. And those 6 months of training you did sh set him up for a better price.

If and only if he’s doing great and completely on track to your 6-mo plan, then you can start recruiting a proper lessee or maybe researching stables near school. I see this as a test for you-- can you put the time and organize yourself to achieve those goals? Then that bodes well for having the skills to succeed at school.

Because right now? On the surface and just based on this one post (which is not a fair way to judge a whole person!!), you seem a bit unprepared and I’d advise against bringing the horse. Your goal needs to be do well-enough at college to stand out among your peers, and your peers will be a lot of smart, hard-working kids with fewer distractions than a horse. It will require planning, organization, and skills in research and critical thinking. So, you have a window here to put all of that to the test, and see how you fare. Good luck!!

I took my mare to college (and med school). I was able to work off board/expenses until my 3rd year in med school than had to lease her for a year because of time constraints. If you have the discipline and aptitude it can work very well. Good luck.

I took my horse my first year and my last semester. I went to a school with an equine program but boarded off site for 2 of those semester (and hauled in for “class” once a week). My last semester was with a young horse, so he only required actual riding 3 times a week.

I found plenty of time to ride while taking extra credits and graduating a semester early. However, compared to my high school the general core classes at this college were not very challenging so I wasn’t overwhelmed by the academics.

I paid board out of my savings, and in the summers I worked a full time job. I did work in the writing lab during the school year, but it was minimal pay.

If you pick a barn that has plenty of turnout (like 12+ hours), the horse won’t mind if you only ride occasionally. Checking on overall welfare (weight, condition of skin/coat, etc.) would be needed more frequently but should take less time.

I brought my horse to college, and it was the best thing I could have ever done. I would have been miserable without horses in my life, and going to the barn and riding is a treat for me after a day full of classes.

Besides just riding my horse, I lease another gelding off property at another farm, work three days a week at both farms, and still get to show on some weekends. It honestly hasn’t been too stressful for me. I take 15 hours of classes each semester and have found plenty of time to do it all. In fact, I have found that it gives me more structure.

However, there have been times during midterms and finals that my barn time was limited, but my horse didn’t mind too much. :slight_smile:

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