Riding in College? Feasible? Hustle.

There are usually two major issues the college student who wants to ride may face: time and funding. I’ll share a few useful habits and decisions I made while in school. I could really write a novel on balancing work, horses, and a social life. But, here’s a few habits you can instill.

Take Care of Yourself First

This is the adult version of me stepping in. But, I was always told that you can’t do it all. Either school, social life, or riding would suffer. But, take care of your body. It’s amazing what a hydrated, fit, and healthy person can accomplish. If you desire to just do it all without inputting good things, you will crash. I didn’t do this so well in college where I would throw in junk food at the horse-show before crashing on Sunday night with no energy to study. But in my work life, I feel better and can do more if I put in my body what I need and stay fit. The horse-show hangover does not have to be a continued factor in your life if you take care of your fitness and nutrition . So stay hydrated all-day, literally eat your fruits and vegetables, and lay low on the soda.

Make the Most of Your Class Time

This is the most under-rated college tip. Sit in the front row. At least in my experience I spent much less time studying outside of the class, if I input the effort while in the class. In the front row, I’m attentive, I’m not on my phone, and this professor who knows my face will be more inclined to curve my grade when I did bomb that one final because I went to a horse show instead of studying.

Funding on Your Own Schedule

There are lots of part-time gigs for the college student looking. However, there are two things, as a young-rider we can’t sacrifice: funding and time. The goal of us all? Make funds as quickly as possible. But, it was very important for me to work jobs on my own time, or times that didn’t interfere with classes and the barn and provided a nice return. My most beneficial college gigs: tutoring, training rides, and Morning Barn Shifts. By contacting my professors directly that I was available to their future students, I could charge my own fee and schedule on my own timing. I tutored courses I hardly knew myself and made more tutoring four to five hours a week, than I did teach 10 students at a local-barn! Training rides could take place where I rode, and the morning barn shifts while manual labor could be done while I was still in pajamas, maybe dizzy from a late-night, and complete before most of my peers were even awake!

You Can’t Be Successful Alone

I’m the last person that every wanted to ask for help. But, if the right people hadn’t sold me that trailer discounted, or the beneficial sponsor hadn’t funded a trip to Virginia, or my parents hadn’t believed in me, the horse hobby would have been a lot more difficult to keep going. That’s present today. So, no, I’m not encouraging you to use people to your own end. But, realize that the continuance of your riding career whether lessons once a week or maintaining multiple competitions does affect the people around you. When I realized that, not only could I change some of my own habits to make lives of who I was affecting more enjoyable, but I found more people wanting to jump in my boat! My parents have been one some of my biggest benefactors, financially when they could, but also my constant allies. But, I can pinpoint times when some of my goals were a bit slanted or insincere that they backed off! It can be easy to flush out your frustrations on the people who support you the most or who’ve you’ve known the longest, but these can be the people who also know you the most and are an essential part of your team.

Over the past decade my parents have raised and bred Connemaras and Connemara Sport Horses. I now have their stallion in full-training with me!

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