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Congratulations To The Graduates Of 2020

A while back I was reading an advertisement on the Marketplace in Facebook. A young woman was looking for someone to keep her horse until she could save enough money to buy her own place. Well, I just bought my first horse property at the age of 55. I lived in a beautiful historic home in the city and one day the boarding barn, where I boarded my horses, was going to be sold to a not-for-profit and things were going to change. This had happened multiple times during my 15 years at the same barn, so I decided to look for my own place.

My point, and I have one, is going to be directed to the new high school grads. With the Pandemic effecting so many things, I want to give the graduates of 2020 some advice for the fall of 2020. Some of you will be going off to college, trade school, work or maybe you are undecided what to do with your lives. Most of you had or have a hobby or interest you grew up with and your parents were involved in some way. What I’m getting at is, those of you who grew up with expensive hobbies, horses, being one, need to look at those areas of employment, which continued working during the Pandemic. So, when things got rough, financially, and they have for some, it’s a great time to evaluate your interests and future studies. After your graduation you may be able to afford the luxuries of owning a horse on your own.  

I’m a nurse. I started working in an Intensive Care Unit and, looking back I was able to afford some luxuries my friends who choose other routes couldn’t. If you grew up with horses and your senior year in high school has or is approaching, your parents are probably looking to sell your beloved horse, because you won’t be needing a horse while you’re in college. Sad times. If you choose not to further your education, it makes things difficult to continue with the things you love. A 4-year college degree is not for everyone. There are so many other directions a person can take. Yes, it takes all the fun out of being 18, but at 18 you can’t legally drink and won’t be clubbing until your 21, with nothing better to do, you should go to school.  

Interesting enough, there are many areas of employment that continued to work. Let’s start with health care workers. From registered nurses, respiratory therapist, physical therapy and doctors. Anyone working in a hospital, at the bedside, continued to work. Engineers specializing in medical products and technology. Pharmacists, computer programmers, electricians, plumbers, maintenance people are all needed and make good money. This is a bad time to bring up the law enforcement area, but they are needed, with all the rioting and problems 2020 has brought to the United States, there will always be need. These are just some ideas to make things you want easier to obtain.

I can remember a couple of high school age girls talking about their plans, or should I say dreams for college. One saying, “I’m going to go to college to ride dressage.” The other “barn management.” Okay, success can happen from dreams. Right? I don’t know how your going to eat or buy toilet paper, but it can happen. (Rolling my eyes). Of course, I can’t keep my mouth shut. I excused myself, apologized and said, “if you’re going to college, get a degree you’ll be able to afford your horse and everything that comes with it. Trailer, pick-up, saddle, feed, show fees. You know the necessities. Do you want to be mucking stalls every Saturday for the rest of your life? I mean it’s a good start when you’re in school. It’s also a great way to work off the cost of lessons. Sadly, we get older and don’t want to clean stalls for a living. Age happens.  Our parents want their children to move on and out eventually. So think hard this summer and make good choices.  

Susan Fabina
Published on 16-07-2020
I started riding when I was 30 years old. So, it's never too late to get started. I decided to take riding lessons after seeing an ad in the newspaper. They happened to be an English barn full of hunters. Yeah, new terminology. What a great time! I met other people there my age. I continued lessons for 2 years and was jumping. Soon a friend talked me into buying my own horse. This was all before the internet. I found a beautiful 3-year-old quarter horse. Green broke, probably not the best decision, but I loved him. Since I couldn't afford board at the barn I was lessoning, for was offered a stall at a friend's house. Again, not the best decision. After boarding there for 9 months or so, I moved to a boarding barn closer to home. I started taking lessons with someone who used to ride my horse. Chance meeting. Great experience. We lessoned together for about a year, she went off to college. I found another trainer and started where I left off. The rest is yet to be revealed.