Last time, I talked about my equine experience at Wind River Ranch. Now, I want to share about my time in the 4-H Horse Program. In More Than Puppy Love, I briefly discussed how 4-H got me interested in the scientific aspect of horses, but I learned so much more than equine anatomy and physiology over my nine years in 4-H.
First and foremost, 4-H taught me about caring for horses. In the Virginia 4-H Horse Project, all participants are required to declare their project horse in early May and qualify at district shows and clinics in May and June before they could show at the State Championship Show in September. If I had two horses and I wasn’t sure which one I wanted to show at State, then I could declare and qualify both horses and make the decision later in the summer, after I had more time to work each horse and see which one was more prepared. The qualification system also made sure that people weren’t just buying a horse a couple of weeks before State and bringing an unprepared horse to a large, hectic show. I had to care for my project horses by grooming them, making sure they got shod (hooves trimmed and shoes put on), devising a nutrition plan to keep them at an optimal weight, and cleaning the stalls so they stayed clean and healthy. A huge component of animal experience is simply becoming comfortable around different species; I know some people in my class that have almost exclusively small-animal experience, and thus they aren’t very comfortable around horses or other livestock. Gaining this comfort is not something that can be rushed, and one of the best ways to get comfortable is being around horses and grooming them. Read the rest of this entry
Along my pre-vet journey, I’ve done a lot of research in to the 30 veterinary medical schools across the United States. There are a lot of helpful websites and blogs out there on getting admitted to vet school and how to be the “perfect” applicant, like Student Doctor Network and this blog that post tips about the application and even offer coaching and personal statement proofing (for$200 an hour-what?!). If you compile all of this information, like I did, you would basically find the components of the perfect applicant, according to previous applicants (not admissions committees):
- >3.8 GPA
- >1000 hours of veterinary experience in ALL fields (small, large, farm, and zoo animals)
- >1000 hours of animal experience in several fields (small, large, and farm animals)
- 90th percentile GRE scores (verbal reasoning >162, quantitative reasoning >164, analytical writing >4.5)
- 1000’s of hours of community service & extracurricular activities, especially where you are in a leadership position