This page is designed for equine enthusiasts to come together and read about and share experiences they have had. The love of horses is one that is shared by many people so feel free to comment or just read about other peoples experiences and their favorite equine friend.

About Me

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I have been riding horses for 10 years and I am an active member of the United States Pony Club. I own 3 horses and I am an HB in the Pony Club rating system. I enjoy eventing, dressage, and instructing younger club members but love to do anything dealing with horses. Currently, I am studying animal sciences and hope to use this to increase my knowledge of horses.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Work...or Play?

My most recent equine adventure actually involves a study that is currently being run at Purdue's vet school. I was contacted in November about the possibility of me helping with this study because my name was given to them as someone who likes horses. Of course, I immediately jumped on the possibility to do what I love while making a little money on the side. I was interested and excited to learn more about this study and just exactly what I would be doing.

The study is testing a treatment for heaves which is a common problem in horses. It involves airway obstruction due to mucus build up in the esophagus. This problem is triggered by dusty environments with poor air circulation. We are testing one specific treatment for this to see if it is effective or not.

I was ready to get started even though I was not sure exactly what they needed me for. I attended the initial meeting and figured out they needed students to be in charge of feeding the horses, handling them for some of the testings, and shaking moldy hay to trigger the heaves to start. You are probably thinking that this sounds cruel because honestly, I thought that when I first heard about it. However, these horses are monitored so closely that if anything is not looking right, they are immediately pulled from the study.

Unfortunately, schedules did not work out for me to help in the first part of the study, so I had to wait until the horses were brought back for the second round of studies. This means that I only started helping this week. I was pretty excited that on my first day, I had already been shown how to pull blood. I think I failed to mention that I get very light headed at the sight of blood or needles. Somehow though, I managed to watch her show me how to do it and watch other people pull blood on six horses all together. By the end of this I was ready to sit down.

Thursday night was the first night that I was actually scheduled to go to the barn and feed and shake hay for the horses. Unfortunately, two of the six horses had already triggered after three days. This is a process that is supposed to take 2 weeks. So, they did not get any moldy hay, but the other four did.

I enjoyed seeing the horses, since I only get to see mine when I go home. Thursday night, I felt like I was back where I belonged, in a barn around horses. All of the horses in the study are very cute and I love being able to not only see them, but also groom them, pet them, and just be around them. I am definitely very happy that I was contacted about this study and I am hoping I learn something from being in this and helping out wherever I can.

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