A very wise manager and professor at UConn always tells me, “UConn is the land of opportunity.” This is true, UConn has many opportunities and so many connections. It’s up to us as students to see the endless possibilities that UConn offers and to take advantage of them.
The spring semester of my sophomore year I took an independent study with a professor at UConn. The independent study was an extension outreach with 4H in which I ran stations at different 4H events. I mainly worked with kids 8 to 18 years old. I taught the kids about the pricing of different horse related items and the different markings on the horses’ legs. I really enjoyed teaching them. It was also very rewarding to see how much the kids loved learning. In this independent study I also got to help run and prepare for different shows at UConn, for example the FFA judging show and the horse symposium. I got to personally work with students and 4H members.
From this internship I reconnected with my past 4H Trails and Tails club. Through my independent study experience I learned that I really enjoy teaching kids about horses. This drove me to contact others to get further involved in 4H and 4H summer camps. After reaching out to 4H I was sent an application and was soon called for an interview. I am proud to say I was hired as the horse director of a 12 horse stable. It was an eight week summer camp where I and the two workers who worked under me taught three lessons a day. Each week we had about 20 new kids; most were green riders. Being a green rider is a beginner, someone who hasn’t rode much before. We had about 6 kids in each lesson. In addition to the fun part of teaching the kids how to ride, the director job taught me how to manage a stable and delegate jobs to those underneath me. I also was responsible for prioritizing and making the schedule for the day which consisted of what time we needed to wake up, what tasks needed to be done, and which horses were going to be used for each lesson. I was also in charge of pairing each kid to the horse that would best fit them based on their capabilities. We worked with the horses and took care of them every day for the full two months. Among the many things we taught the kids, the most important thing was safety. I learned a lot this past summer, not only about running and managing a horse stable and a lesson program, but also about myself.