Tuesday, March 25, 2008

College & horses


The costs are endless, the time-not enough and yet you still pick yourself up and keep on truckin'. This is my life. Horses, college, friends, family....the list goes on!

I am a 20 year old college student at UW-Stout...I have been here and there but now I am going to try and stick it out, get a degree and while doing all that STILL compete my event horse and train for other people.

I took a year off, did the "horse thing" and enjoyed it. I started college in September of 2006. I was excited to get out and meet new "non horsey" people because yes, I DO try to have a life outside of horses!

I read a similar blog on USEA Blog site, by Leslie Threlkeld, it is so true-I recommend reading it! Everyone has the "dream" of the Olympics and being the youngest to do so. Bad news-we are all too late! So whats the hurry? Slow down, its not the destination you are after, its the journey, so sit back and enjoy it while you can!

So back to my college life::::

I was assigned a random roommate in North Hall on South Campus of school. It was really fun living with a random, I highly recommend anyone who is going to college to at least give the dorms a try and live with someone new! My roommate, Kendra and I will be best friends for life and I am really glad I took that jump to live with a random. College is a blast. It is a lot of work, yes stressful, but it is a lot of fun too.

I signed up for 13 credits for my first semester, I didn't want too large of a load while I got back into the "school mode". I took just the basic general classes, a math, an English, sociology, a art class, and speech.

I was lucky to have an amazing farm only 25 minutes from campus, Otter Creek Farm (www.ottercreekfarm.com) Not only are the people great, it is a great facility that hosts two events a year up to the CIC** level, so talk about a great place to train! The footing is amazing, the XC course a dream, there are hills and trails that I still get lost in! I also had a client send a horse with me, Relentless (aka Lennie) so that I could continue training rides on him and try and get him sold (which he is still with me if anyone is interested in a JUMPER!). So I was lucky to have 2 horses to ride at school. Fall was busy of course with shows going into October and school. After my last show, I settled down to riding 4 times a week. Cold winters limit riding days too, I don't ride if it is under 15 degrees, it is just too miserable!

I took my horses home with me for a month over winter break so I could continue riding them, that is another plus about college, most colleges give you a month for break or have a Win-Term or J-Term or something similar where you can choose to take a short class. 2nd Semester brought around new classes and new challenges.

Of course spring to us northerners is a sign of hope that summer will be returning and with that comes FITNESS. Trot sets started in March. Through the snow and up and down the hills, I think it works better. Have you ever tried running in snow? It's hard! Not only do I have to remember when my homework is due and tests are, now I have opening dates for shows and clinics!

Shows coming into the picture means more expenses. I picked up another part time job ontop of my training ride at Applebee's. It was a lot of fun and I met a lot of great people!

It can all be done, with careful organization and planning!

As far as I go though, I am unsure of what I want to do. I have been playing around with different classes and even new things outside of college. I work at a Tack Store-giving me the business perspective of life, I am hoping to get a job this summer for Cargill as a Dog Food Nutritionist-giving me the science/health/nutrition part of life, I train horses-which is totally un-related to school but its where I would like to go in life, at least part time until I can afford to do it full time!

It is important to explore, even if you think you know what you might wanna do, you probably don't. Try new things, get your fingers dirty and dive in head first. You only live once, live it all while you can.

"Well ROUNDED"-Something my mom would tell me over and over "I want you to be well rounded"...I haven't really understood that until recent years. Horses are very important to me but like she said one needs to be well rounded. There is life outside of the horses too and it is just as enjoyable, just in a different way.

College is important, go to college, if you can't ride during college, you can after, but most likely if you are determined enough, you will find a way to do it.

So after a good year at Stout I returned home for the summer. I decided to stick around home until show season was over so I transferred from Stout to Augsburg College in Minneapolis and lived on a farm on the west side of the cities. It was great to be able to ride a lot since I was only taking two classes but I missed the social aspect of school and decided to return to Stout for 2nd semester, spring of 2008! I was glad I made the switch back and now I am here to stay! (hopefully, stay updated to follow my adventures!)

So here I am, typing on my blog instead of doing homework...well first I'm off to the barn to do a trot set and a few training rides, then I'll get to the books!

Hope you enjoyed reading about my life and my small words of inspiration for all you other horse crazy college students!

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