4-H Horse Showing
Mercer County, PA
I started riding horses when I was six years old. I was so in love with the smell of hay, the feel of the reins, and the sound of hooves on the ground, that I did everything I could to be at the barn as long as possible. I started as a volunteer working on the hay fields and eventually progressed to stall cleaner and then trainer. My first stubborn paint pony was replaced by a brilliant sorrel quarter horse mare, Flash, who despite her mare attitude always took care of me. After many, many years of trail rides and riding lessons, we finally ventured into the show arena.
Flash and I worked together in the Pennsylvania frost and summer humidity until we made it to (and placed in) our state 4-H horse show several years in a row. At this point, my family had invested in our own land and barn which required me to clean stalls before homeroom and do chores after last period. I spent a million hours on that farm cleaning tack, organizing the tack room, braiding horses, and sweeping cobwebs away.
For me, showing was never the ultimate goal. I loved everything else associated with horses, though. I loved teaching my horse new skills and helping other people fall in love with horses in lessons. For over 15 years, horses taught me responsibility, accountability, dedication, and passion. Now that I am in vet school, I spend more time learning about equine joint injections than I do about perfecting cavalettis, but the impact of horses on my character is permanent.
Kentucky Equine Sports Medicine and Rehabiliation Center (KESMARC),
During the summer after second year of undergrad, I interned at KESMARC in Kentucky. I lived on-site and worked all hours administering and preparing daily medications and supplements, helping visiting veterinarians with endoscopy, radiography, ultrasounds, and wound treatment, and bandaging horses with sweats, poultices, post-surgical wraps, and shipping wraps.
I was also able to assist with Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber and aquatreadmill treatments.