In just a few short weeks, I will be starting the last fall semester of my college career. Thank God. Unfortunately this semester is full of upper level History, Anthropology, and Religion classes….which means I’ll be reading and writing papers pretty much non stop from the end of August to sometime in December.
I’ve already started formulating a plan so I can keep up with riding this fall and winter (I’m just dreaming about cooler weather right now). It’s going to be an exhausting semester and the horses are probably not going to be to happy with me.
Here’s what going back to school with horses means to me:
- Long, Long Days: I try to plan riding to the days where my classes get done early and not the day before exams! But, sometimes it’s still going to be a long day!
- Working on basics: I know my rides are going to be sporadic so I try not to get too much into teaching something new to my ponies. Instead, I focus on basics as well as what I can do to improve myself (which is a lot!)
- Stress & a Short Temper: School stresses me out, so does work…so do the horses sometimes. While I always feel better after a ride, during the school year I have to really remind myself not to lose my patience during a bad ride.
- Beer, Books & Bareback: Sometimes, I just want to be around my horses but studying gets in the way. A few years ago I learned what a relaxing place the barn can be to read for class. I like to grab a cooler and throw a couple of beers in it, grab a book for class and just hop on one of the horses bareback and sit in the arena. It’s nice but it’s also really important to make sure your horse is feeling lazy too!
- Early Saturday Morning Rides: Going back to school coincides with the start of football season, which means many saturday afternoons I have to be at home to watch a game. It also means I get to spend crisp fall mornings out at the barn. It’s a glorious time to ride.
- Fall Horse Shows: some of the best horse shows take place from September through November. They are always something to look forward to.
These are just a few things I think about when fall rolls around and school starts back up. Being in school and having horses means something different to everybody though. In my case, I am lucky I live just a few minutes from the barn even during the school year. For others they have to leave their horses behind for school or pay even more to bring them with. I also can’t compare the fun or stress of being on an equestrian team. Since I’ve attended school only full-time a few semesters I was never qualified to join, plus my school doesn’t have an active team!
Let me know how you plan to keep up, get involved, or just stay connected with your horse life this school year! I would love to share your stories and survival tips! Comment below, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org