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Thread: Agistment - Newcastle University NSW

  1. #1

    Default Agistment - Newcastle University NSW

    Hello

    I am a year 12 student, looking to study at Newcastle Uni next year. I have been umming and ahhing over going straight into uni for quite a while as I am also very serious about my horses and dressage competition. I have just purchased a gorgeous young warmblood and the thought of going off to uni and having to stop riding is terrifying me and I know there is no chance I could do it. I have considered taking up a working pupil position for a year... but I would still have to go to uni if I did this anyway. I am keen to study and very interested in academics.

    Anyway... getting to the point! If I were to be at uni does anyone know of any good/affordable agistment near by? I really need to look into options in order to understand just how I am going to be afford such a venture. I was also thinking I may be able to pick up some work at a stables in return for partial agistment also? Any ideas/experiences.

    I know most people won't live in the area, but would be very interested to hear experiences regarding studying/living away from home and still maintaining a riding life. (If that is even possible!?) I am willing to work and prepared to do so.

    Thanks for your help,

  2. #2
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    Okay. Dressage is an expensive sport. You will need a good income to realise your dressage ambitions. I know many riders who were on squads and state teams in their young rider days but in their early 30s can no longer afford to compete, can barely afford lessons because their jobs don't pay enough and they are chronically struggling to get better paid work because of a lack of work skills and qualifications.

    3-4 years spent studying now will allow you that lifetime with horses. (Unless your parents are mining magnates with a fortune in the hundreds of millions of dollars, then you are welcome to skip uni and go straight to training in Europe)

    You can do the Europe thing during uni holidays, you can do it later in life, it will be easier when you have the transportable skills that allow you to get work anywhere.

    Newcastle Uni is well serviced by public transport so you could keep your horse with a trainer and travel to uni every day. If you manage your time well with riding and enshrining you keep up with the reading and homework each week you will do well.

    Think about study and qualifications as a means to an end, you are setting up your income stream for life so that you can afford to pursue your equine dreams rather than getting to 30, being stuck in a poorly paid job and watching your equine dreams disappear out the window because you spent the last 10 years riding other peoples horses and don't have skills that people will pay money for. Talk to the women who went the horse training route, for every trainer making a crust there are hundreds of girls who worked hard, had some talent but are living on the poverty lime. Do you really want to be one of them?
    ______________________________________________
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  3. #3
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    Depending on your course it is worth looking at distance or online options for your units, it's more flexible in that you often don't have to be there at a set time but does require more self discipline.

    Uni doesn't always set you up for life anymore, when jobs start disappearing many people have to start from scratch again, so while I agree that it's important to make uni one of your priorities I think that if riding is really important to you then you will make it work as well. I evented while I was at uni, things were tight but I am glad I did as much as I could while I was still young enough to cope with the workload.

  4. #4
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    I've sent you a pm, justdressage.

  5. #5
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    While I agree that uni "doesn't always set you up for life", it does give you a range of skills that you can transfer between fields and across continents. I trained as a scientist, but now run a business looking after people with disabilities. What do they have in common? A lot (for all sorts of reasons!), but most importantly, that scientific career means that I have the skills to nut out problems, find solutions blah de blah. Cliche'd but true. LisaL is right.

    Personally, I would always put education before horses - a basic solid degree doesn't just give you knowledge in that topic, but a range of other skills, connections etc. You may love dressage right now, but what happens to your dressage career if your horse gets himself caught in some wire and that's the end of his career; who pays for the vet bills; how do you get another good horse when they cost many thousands of dollars? Horse people generally struggle to make ends meet, and for women, when they then have children etc, it's even harder. Horses cost a lot, and unless you marry into serious money, your desires may be in conflict with your partners pay packet.

    My husband is not horsey. It's wrong of me to therefore expect that a large proportion of the household income go to those horses - it's selfish. So I have always put our marriage and our lives together first. Then the horses... but now the house is a bit more established and I have taught him a few basic neddy skills (the halter goes on it's hook by the headpiece, not the nosepiece etc) then it is not so alien to him (although The Big Unit is an alien, I'm sure of it).

    I would suggest that you do the degree, and do your best with your young fellow at the same time. Three years sounds like a long time, but he is not going to suffer if he only trains part time while you study full time.

    From an older woman's perspective... you must always have the skills to look after yourself. Personally, financially etc. Make sure that if push comes to shove, you can leave a relationship and know that you can stand on your own two feet, even if you have children to look after.

    Only good health and a good education will give you that advantage; a nice dressage pony is no consolation.

    All the best.

    It's OK to make your instructor laugh, just try not to make them cry...

  6. #6
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    I'm so with Linon on this ... If you want horses to be a serious part of your life you have to set yourself up so that competing at the level you want to is not a continual struggle or a series of nasty compromises that you come to resent.

    Being at uni is a really costly exercise, but it should also be a social exercise and the people you become friends with will be an important network later on. It's great to have horsey friends, but the opportunity to make non horsey friends is invaluable. Developing these friendships takes time, and if you have your horse with you, you won't have time to actually do the study required to pass, develop the friendships and possibly some part time work.....ditch the horse for the short term.

  7. #7
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    Do the study.

    If you want to be competitive you have picked an expensive hobby.

    People certainly do get by without a degree but it is getting harder and harder to find work that will pay for your competition aims. Having the degree will help maximise opportunities

    it is a trade off...time and no money v money and no time. Personally I would take the degree, money and no time...

    3-4 years seems such a long time at this end of the degree but that time will fly by.
    For I have sworn thee fair, and thought thee bright, who art as black as hell, as dark as night...

  8. #8
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    There are currently 3 girls who agist their horses where I agist, go to Newcastle Uni and manage to keep competing as well. Two of them do eventing and one does dressage. They travel home with their horses for the long holidays and come back during term time. It seems to work well for them The Centre is only about 15-20 mins away from the Uni (I know at least 2 of them live on Campus) and as there is also an undercover arena as well as an outdoor they are never restricted from riding even when they are short on time.

    http://huntervalleyequestriancentre.com.au/

  9. #9
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    The equestrian centre above is at the end of my road, i see horse floats driving past at various times that i assume are going there, not sure what it is like but havent heard anyhting bad either(cant imagine there is anyhting bad either).

    There are a couple of other agistment places right near me, but know nothing about them, do not have facilities like above though.

  10. #10
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    Do you have any idea what you are interested in studying? The career you choose could also have a huge impact on your ability to ride post-study, eg if you are forging a career in medicine, law or whatever. Dependant on what you choose to study, your uni years might be the *best* time you have available to ride horses on the side.

    One of the biggest regrets of my 20's was spending ALL my time and money on horses. Sure I had a great time, but what I missed out on was a couple of lengthy Europe trips with my closest girlfriends. While I've done several marvellous travels since, I will regret never going in my footloose and fancy-free 20's with the girls...
    "I am... a soul in your hands..."

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