For some reason I came to school under the impression that everything that I needed for my Fundamental Horsemanship class was on this list, but I was wrong. I ended up having to purchase all of the required materials, plus ones that were not on the list. it is not that I do not think that they will go unused, only that I was not aware of them. If I had known I would have experienced less sticker shock at least. There also seemed to be a resounding opinion among the girls that what they had brought with them was inadequate to the eyes of the teachers. I can see both sides of the issue; for the teachers: they know what works best, for the students: they (and their debit cards) are perfectly happy with adequate opposed to ideal. Even the girls who brought their personal horses had to buy things that were the type equivalent of what they knew already worked for their horse.
One of the students was also concerned about the “humane” aspect of some of the gear. Her views I found to be under-informed, but valid given what she did know. And it did make me question a little too. I have very little knowledge on bits and their purpose, but I am uneasy with the idea of riding a horse in a correction bit for three months, 6 days every week. When I think of a correction bit I imagine that we are trying to correct something the horse is doing by using it. But it is hard for me to comprehend finding so many things technically wrong with a horse that I know some girls will be expected to ride, even though they have had less than 5 hours on a horse in their entire life. Though, I do also know that my knowledge is very limited and that my teachers have years of experience. So at this point all I can really do is go with the flow and learn what they have to teach.
It is my hope that I can gain enough knowledge during the next year to be able to build a small business. At home there are a ton of things for sale that freshmen will need. The upside is that a lot of it can be bought used (ie. saddles, bridles, blankets, etc). I could buy some of these items, bring them back with me the coming fall, and offer them to the freshmen at a lower price than they could get here, but still make a little money myself. I will have to buy some (or possibly all) of the required English tack for my Sophomore year, which means that I will have to earn/save more money for that as well as tuition.
Another thing to keep in mind is that most of the equipment will probably last at least the entire four years, if not longer. And, therefore, I will not have to buy that item again in the coming years. It is an investment.