Life of an Equine Science College Student - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 07-01-2013, 10:58 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Vancouver Island, B.C., Canada
Posts: 223
• Horses: 4
Life of an Equine Science College Student

Hi all! I'm Melissa. I've been a forum member for a few years, but I'm more of a silent stalker type member, where I don't post much, but I do check in almost every day! I figured it was about time to fix that, and let everyone get to know me a little better.

So first things first, I guess you could say that I'm the little girl that fell in love with horses, and never really outgrew the phase like my parents expected me to. When I was 16 I started looking at colleges, and found Olds College, and their Equine Science program. I went down for a tour, and fell in love with the campus, the horses, and the instructors. I went on to apply, and got accepted into the testing, and then into the western horsemanship program. I spent my last two years learning all I could on how to train western, starting from foals, to yearlings, on ground manners, starting the two and three year olds, and finishing the older horses.
I ended up loving all our practical classes, and theory classes enough, that at the end of my two year western horsemanship diploma, I decided to take on a second major in breeding and production, and stay an extra year.
It is now the summer before my third and final year at the college, and I couldn't be more excited for school! Just in my first semester of breeding (4th semester of western horsemanship) we got to take an artificial breeding techniques class, where we not only got to sit in on an embryo transfer, we got to participate in freezing semen, cooling semen, and inseminating a mare. It has been the most amazing experience of my life, and I hope you all enjoy following my progress in my final year at an Equine College.

PS - this video was made by Ryan, he finished a year before me at Olds, and was a breeding and production student. He went on from his diploma of equine science to get his masters in equine science at Hartpury College in England.
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post #2 of 11 Old 08-16-2013, 08:54 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Vancouver Island, B.C., Canada
Posts: 223
• Horses: 4
Don't mind me...just letting off some steam

So I still have a couple weeks left until I head back to college, but I thought I would post in here again (more to let off some steam than anything). So I was planning to bring my filly Sadie to college with me this upcoming year, and I couldn't have been more excited about it, until this last few days...
So being in College, we are given a 4 month summer break. In the four months, I had planned to get a ton of work done on Sadie, so that she was ready to go when school started up in the fall. Unfortunately three and a half of those months have passed and I think I have ridden my filly 4 or 5 times. Because of the lack of work on Sadie, I had planned to use the last three weeks as "crunch time" and get some things done with her. Thanks to some jerk in the city on Monday, it doesn't look like we're going to get much done the next few weeks...Driving in St. Albert, on my way home from West Edmonton Mall with two friends, we stopped at a stop light, and the guy following behind us decided that we shouldn't have stopped, and slammed into the back of my car and plowed us through an intersection. It was probably the most terrifying thing I have ever experienced. Needless to say all three of us have mild-severe whiplash, and I was told to take the next few weeks off of the horses. Along with having to take time away from my animals, I also have to get things figured out with the insurance companies, and figure out if my car is going to survive or not, and whether or not I need to start looking for a new car. Unfortunately with less than three weeks left until I go to school, it doesn't seem too realistic that I will be going to school with a car... On the bright side, I got an email this week to confirm my board spot at the college for Sadie, and that has just made everything seem that much more realistic!! I also got to talking with one of my best friends from school, and I've realized how much I have truly missed spending time with her.
And yet another happy note: I only have 17 days 14 hours and 9 minutes until I move back to school!
So just a few pictures of the little princess' progress over the 4-5 rides she's had this summer:
Attached Images
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File Type: jpg BAH.jpg (35.6 KB, 66 views)
File Type: jpg purdy pony.jpg (85.5 KB, 68 views)
File Type: jpg saddled like a boss.jpg (67.6 KB, 66 views)
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post #3 of 11 Old 08-16-2013, 09:18 PM
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: North Dakota
Posts: 5,582
• Horses: 2
Subscribing. I am an equine science major also, but at a different university. I'm finally taking classes for it this year so we'll see how it goes. I have no idea what I'm going to do with it.
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post #4 of 11 Old 08-16-2013, 09:27 PM
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: OK
Posts: 1,228
• Horses: 5
Sorry about the accident, I hope everything works out. Your school sounds so exciting, keep us posted!
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post #5 of 11 Old 08-17-2013, 10:00 PM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Calgary, AB
Posts: 740
• Horses: 2
Oh wow, I've been thinking of applying to the Olds College equine science program for next September! You're living my dream, haha.

Was the testing difficult? I'm curious just how competitive it is!
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post #6 of 11 Old 08-18-2013, 10:58 PM
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 58
• Horses: 0
I'm no where near going into college, but just because of this I want to check out Olds. Actually, I just want to go to any college that has a good equine science program. Subbing, definitely.
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post #7 of 11 Old 09-08-2013, 06:45 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Vancouver Island, B.C., Canada
Posts: 223
• Horses: 4
We Made It!

Hey everyone! Hope all is well!
We got all my car troubles figured out and I got a new one just in time to head back to school, so I can finally breathe again, as all the stress is gone!

So on Tuesday, I headed back to college with my horse. I wasn't really expecting too much of her for the first week, as this is her first time away from home in 2 years, and for a 3 year old, that's a pretty big deal.
Anyways, we arrived at the college at about 10:00am, and unloaded my other mare that is going to be used in the 1st year English program, and put her away in the barn, unloaded Sadie, and brought her to the indoor arena to have a little rip around and get a little leg stretch after her 4 hour trailer ride before putting her in with a new and strange horse. She seemed pretty leery of being inside at first, but once she figured out she had so much room to move, and decided no giant monsters were going to come out of the bucking chutes and eat her, she settled right in, and started trotting around and playing. We then took her down to the board pens where she would be staying, and found one horse who didn't have back shoes on (just incase), and introduced them over the fence. They seemed to get along great, which was awesome, so turned her out with him, and no major fights broke out, so I was pretty happy.
I went back out the next day and let her play in the arena again, and she was much bolder right from the get go, and didn't seem to worry about the automatic garage doors or anything. Lunged her a little bit, and other than being a little distracted she did pretty good.
I gave her Thursday off, as it was a pretty busy day for me, and I needed to get my books and everything figured out.
Friday I went down, and brought her up to the arena. Unfortunately the tractor and harrow were broke down in the middle of the arena, so I just tacked her up and took her to the outdoor. Shortly after arriving a bunch of rodeo club students (on my campus, they're very known for their lack of rider/arena etiquette), came into the outdoor aswell, and while we were grounddriving around, got passed at a gallop very closely and threw a major tantrum. After a few of those crazy passes, she settled down and got over it. When we finished, all the other riders were pretty much done, so I got on for just a few minutes and walked around.
Fortunately for us, on Friday we had the indoor arena to ourselves, so I got on, walked around a little, and trotted a couple of little 10 meter circles each way, just to be sure I had control, then called it a day.
Saturday, I woke up at 7:30am and headed straight out for my horse. We had the arena to ourselves again, and I managed to trot around the entire length of the arena, and do some figure 8s, which was pretty awesome considering she only went out of the roundpen once this summer to walk around the yard.
Today we didn't have the arena to ourselves for the ground work, which was fine as we both need to get used to other riders anyways, and they left just before I got on. We did a lot of trot work again today, and Sadie felt balanced enough to offer more impulsion and forwardness, so hopefully after a few more days of getting more consistency in our new "big girl" trot, we can try for a lope.
So none the less, it has been an extremely successful first week for me an my horse! Unfortunately we haven't gotten into much class wise yet, only gone over course outlines and got our books and what not, so hopefully there will be more to report next week as far as classes go. Either way, it looks like it's shaping up to be one excellent year!
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post #8 of 11 Old 09-16-2013, 02:38 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Vancouver Island, B.C., Canada
Posts: 223
• Horses: 4
Survived the First Two Weeks!

So I have survived my first two weeks of classes. They have been going really well. In our nutrition class, we went out and gathered tame pasture and native weed species to press and keep for our books, which I really have enjoyed. We also got assigned a project in breeding class. I need to do a 30 minute presentation on induction of lactation in dry mares, due in the first week of November. I'm really excited for that one, but pretty nervous at the same time, as we are expected to go pretty deep into it. Hopefully some of the people on the breeding section can give me a little hand on where to find some info on that.
As far as Sadie has been doing, she was doing great for a while. She loped for the first time the other day, and did absolutely awesome. No offer to buck, or refuse, or anything. Unfortunately, the boarder pens on campus are extremely small, so on days where I didn't work with her, she would get a fair amount of edema in her lower leg, so yesterday I ended up moving her to a ranch off campus.
Within 5 minutes of getting her there, I knew I had done the exact right thing by her. She is in full view of the owners at all times (security has been a little lacking at the college the past year, just google olds college stallion incident, and you should find out a fair bit). Plus my girl is on 4 acres of pasture during the day, but is cut off from it at night, and has access to some low quality (dust and mold free, but just a little over mature) at night. This hay will be replaced with better quality hay when the cold sets in, but since their on some pretty lush pasture for about 12 hours, they don't need rich hay at night.
The only downside is the lack of indoor arena, but the owner plows trails with a tractor in the winter, so there should be plenty of room to ride still.
Hopefully I can upload some new pictures of her in her new place sometime tonight!
Take care!
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post #9 of 11 Old 09-17-2013, 10:24 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Vancouver Island, B.C., Canada
Posts: 223
• Horses: 4
Ok a few quick photos from when I went out to visit the ranch. She seemed pretty happy. Only lunged her, but she did great, maybe ill hop on tonight.

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post #10 of 11 Old 10-05-2013, 08:56 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Vancouver Island, B.C., Canada
Posts: 223
• Horses: 4
One Month In!

Well, I have survived the first month! Yay! Classes have been going quite well, nutrition being fairly easy, since I have taken such an interest in it. Breeding Management, is a little more difficult, as that instructor is fairly notorious for being more difficult. We just had our first exam in the class, and it was 21 pages! Did I mention that the instructor does not believe in multiple choice? She prefers the exams to be all short and long answer. I guess in the long run it's going to be more helpful, but still it took me close to 2 hours to complete, and it wasn't even a final or midterm!! It is still pretty interesting though, we've been studying hormones, and how to use them to manipulate the estrus cycle, as well as deviations of the estrus cycle, mare and stallion anatomy, and spermatogenesis.

On the horsie end of things, my one mare, Breezy, is in the program as a first year English horse for the first year students to learn off of. She was going really well for her rider the first few weeks, but on Monday, someone opened the overhead garage door into the arena, and she spooked, and the rider came off. I think in the process, she may have hurt her back, because she's been pretty sore, and very unwilling to pick up her right lead. I intend to spend the weekend massaging her (took an equine massage course through the college last year), and lunge her a little, and then we'll see how she does, and hopefully Sunday evening, I can get on her.

Sadie on the other hand has been excellent!! She's getting more consistant at the lope in the round pen, and started working in the big arena. She also had her first bareback ride the other day, and was a complete star!! And, she went for her first off property ride by herself today. We didn't go very far, because there was a big bull moose nearby, but she still did great! Tomorrow hopefully myself and my roommate Avery can take both of our three year olds out for a bigger off property trail ride, to do something different with them!

First Bareback Ride
Sadie - Bareback.jpg

Sadie and Chaz (my roommate Avery's colt)
Sadie and Chaz.jpg

And my favorite from the other day
Sadie looking pretty.jpg
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