Being an equestrian in college can be both extremely hectic and rewarding. I am a full-time equine science student at Colorado State University and find that although my classes take up most of my time they help me become a better equestrian. I can now tell you all about the anatomy and physiology of horses and other livestock along with being able to carry out a dissection with ease. When I entered college I thought that classes like my anatomy and physiology lecture were just a waste of time as opposed to hands on classes. I couldn’t have been more wrong, all of the base classes for the major have helped me better understand what is happening inside and outside of my horse that contribute to his responses to stimuli. When I began college my horse Wilson was stressed out and found every excuse he could to be what I considered naughty. Wilson is now a horse that I feel comfortable putting anyone on. In the time I have spent in college Wilson and I have learned much more about each other.
While I have fifteen hours of classes every week, about five hours of homework and five hours of studying I have always found a way to balance my school life with work, friends, horses and my puppy. Some days I go to the barn and only have time to halter my horse, hop on him bareback and ride around in the fields. These moments I share with my horse are the most important to me. In this time we truly bond and enjoy each others company and it is a huge stress reliever when school is on my mind. I used to ride Wilson six days a week and when school and work took my time away from him I was worried that we would lose all progress that was made. I couldn’t have been more wrong, our time together and our rides have been much more valuable and Wilson has finally gotten the chance to live like a horse.
Many people ask for my opinion on whether of not they should bring their horse to school with them, and here’s my answer: I find that having my horse at school with me is my one true way to relieve stress and if you are passionate enough about riding and being around your horse then you should bring them along. I know it can be expensive but if you are able to hold a part time job like I do, paying for board and vet/farrier work is easy.
If you don't have a horse many trainers will let you exchange barn chores for riding lessons or the lease of a horse.
Author: Meghan Christianson
Junior equine science student at Colorado State University and owner of "Castaway" aka Wilson. Instagram: @meghan_christianson