College nerves

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  • DRSGRider9 Original Poster
    Topics Started: 1Replies Posted: 1

    Hi everyone, so I’m a senior in High school and will be graduating in early June. I’m excited to be starting the next part of my journey in higher education, but at the same time I’m absolutely terrified. Setting aside the normal nervousness about freshman year of College (i.e textbook costs, roommate problems, being away from home etc), I also have a horse as part of my equation here.

    Jester is my first horse who I purchased back in June (leasing since December, best Christmas present ever) and he’s a star. I adore him with all my heart but I’m a little unsure about the transition into college for him. Obviously I want to take him with me as I haven’t gone nearly a day without him for the past year, but no one in my family has any experience with horses or taking one to college for that matter. I’m sure plenty of you guys have gone to college and taken your buddy with you, so how was the transition? Did you ship your horse to college or trailer them their yourself? Was it hard on your horse? How did you manage class vs practice time vs social life? Did your horse settle in with the “herd” at the college barn okay?

    Joe-Joe Joe-Joe
    Topics Started: 17Replies Posted: 1205

    It shouldn’t be any different from changing from one boarding facility to another. The adjustment will probably be a lot easier on him than on you. If possible, I’d suggest using your own trailer, if you can keep it there. It would make it easier if you want to take him with you for long vacations from school. Bring your own hay to transition, and also (if he is picky), start flavoring his water so he will accept the water at the new place readily. Hydration is important.

    It is never the horse's fault

    wyoenglishrider wyoenglishrider
    Topics Started: 4Replies Posted: 101

    Hi! I took my horse to college—actually to 2 different colleges (this was *gulp* 30 years ago) & like Joe Joe said, it really is just like moving from one boarding barn to another, as far as that transition goes. I was able to haul him myself as I was only 3 hours from home the first time, & an hour & a half the second time. As far as finding time to ride—it really wasn’t hard. College classes are set up so that you aren’t actually in class all day–like in High School—so I found that it was not hard to get out to the barn just about every day. You just have to make a commitment to spend time with your horse-which sounds like won’t be an issue for you; some of your new friends may not understand that you *perhaps* would rather go see your horse than go out with them, but I really didn’t find it hard to manage studying, having friends, & seeing my horse—-it’s just all about your priorities. If your parents are supportive of you bringing your horse to college–hooray! Plus, it will be good therapy for you to get away from studying for a while, if need be. What a fun new adventure–you will love having him with you at college!

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 5

    As both the other posts said, it probably will be harder on you than your horse. If you can take your own trailer and have it there for the flexibility, than that would be better as your horse is familiar with it. If it is a long trip, consider layovers or having a reputable shipping company transport him/her. Always use travel bandages or boots. Which ever college you are going to has done this year after year with horses coming and going with new and returning students. They will be able to “introduce” your horse into the new herd with as little stress as possible. Try to relax and be there for him at the beginning as he will be making the adjustment too, so you can both help each other through the transition. You will find that you make new friends and will be able to balance your classes, friends and horse once you get into a routine. You will possibly find that your new friends are also those who love horses, which will be great and you won’t have to do as much balancing with time manage.
    Try to take the stuff your horse is used to and comfortable with for example, rugs, buckets, headcollar, lead rope etc, don’t go buy all new, the facility will supply a lot of that stuff. Take a supply of the hard feed (grain) that he/she is on and a supply of hay from where he/she is now so that you can make the transition to the new hay/feed less drastic on his system. You may want to take some large containers of water that he has at his current stable and mix it with the new water — they do not all taste the same. If he/she is generally a stress horse or may have ulsers, you might consider starting him/her on UlcerGaurd or something to coat and protect the GI tract. This can be started a couple days before you transport him and then continue for 5-7 days post arrival depending on how he/she is adjusting. You may consider some electrolytes to encourage drinking to assist with keeping him/her hydrated, also start this before you leave. Since you see him/her almost everyday, you know the normal behavior and his/her habits, so you will be able to make sure that he/she is doing all the normal things like eating, drinking, peeing, pooping, loving, annoyed, aggressive, calm, hyper etc….all those things that you have already figured out is his/her “normal” behavior. Good Luck and have FUN — this is a GREAT time in your life.

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