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How to Tackle a Horse in 5 Rounds and Come out on Top

Published on January 28, 2013 by Tiffany Coleman

veterinary technology program

Say cheese! First-year veterinary technology student Zack Zanders gives horse deworming his best shot.

(NAMPA) Alright, let’s see a show of hands. Who remembers their first experience around a horse? For those of you who did and did not raise your hands, you all have a lot in common with some students in Broadview University’s veterinary technology program. Two first-timers around large animals recently stepped up into the ring with not just one—but several horses at nearby Blazing Hope Youth Ranch. The duo was timid at first, but quickly learned how to tackle a horse and come out on top.

Blazing Hope is a nonprofit, faith-based organization that owner Mike Howard and his 28 horses call home. Many of the horses were donated by people who could no longer care for them. For the past two years, the ranch has been a classroom extension for Broadview University’s hands-on and applied learning projects.

Zack Zanders and Hollyann Faulkner are first-year students. The applied learning project for their Intro to Veterinary Technology class took them to the Nampa ranch. A day before the visit, they were nervous about what was to become their first real experience with large animals of any kind. Zack says he rode a horse once when he was about six or seven years old, but Hollyann—never.

veterinary technology program

This is Hollyann Faulkner’s first experience with a horse.

“Book learning is so different from real, hands-on experience,” she says. “Right now, I don’t think I am prepared. In fact, I am kind of afraid.”

Zack says he is excited, but a little bit nervous as well. One thing he is positive about—he knows the experience will take him knee deep into manure.

Blazing Hope, which gets around 4,500 visits a year, depends on community volunteers. On this day, the students and their instructor, Heather Williams, are tasked with feeding horses, cleaning pens, loading hay bales, vaccinating the ranch dogs, and deworming the horses, which gives each student a turn at putting one hand into a horse’s mouth and shooting a thick white goo through a syringe with the other. One by one, the students take turns until they get it right. Determined to succeed, Hollyann stepped up to the challenge five different times before coming out victorious.

“Yay! I finally did it,” she says with a big smile.

veterinary technology program

Everyone who visits Blazing Hope Youth Ranch is offered the opportunity to ride, but there is one catch—one must “work” first.

Once the work is done, everyone who pitches in to help is offered the chance to ride. One by one the students take their turn, including Zack and Hollyann—who ultimately prove it is possible to go five rounds with a horse and literally come out on top of one in the end.

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