Miner Institute takes pride in the hands-on and applied knowledge that is built into all of our education programs. The Summer Experience in Equine Management Program is one of them. It is a 13-week paid internship for college undergraduates. The program will mark its 30th anniversary in 2017. The emphasis of the program is on management of a commercial equine facility, and also improving horse handling and training skills. Students learn ground training techniques such as halter breaking, lungeing, longlining, and ground driving. The program is a critical piece of the equine program as well – students help train our young stock, and alumni from the program are selected to return as year-long interns after completing their undergraduate coursework.
Shannon Heibeck was studying agriculture science at Truman State University in Missouri when she came to Miner in 2013 as a Summer Experience in Equine Management student. After earning her undergraduate degree in agriculture science, with an animal science emphasis and an equine science minor, she returned as the year-long equine intern in September 2015. Her experience at Miner emphasized her desire to have a career in the equine industry, she said. “I really enjoy taking care of horses on a daily basis and I want to continue that,” Shannon said. “I am so happy waking up every day and coming to work.” In late September, Shannon wrapped up her position at Miner and re-united with her fiancée in Missouri before moving together to Kentucky. She hopes to someday get a job working in equine rehab and sports medicine.
Samantha Dobbins was a student at Averett University in Virginia when she came to Miner in 2014 to participate in the Summer Experience in Equine Management program. She arrived to begin her post as the year-long equine intern in late August. Samantha is from Chesapeake Beach, MD. She has an undergraduate degree in equestrian studies and equine business management. She is also certified through an organization that uses equine therapy to help people with mental health issues.
The Summer Experience in Equine Management program allows students an opportunity to become proficient in stallion handling, semen collection and processing, as well as broodmare management. Students interested in careers in stable or breeding management, agricultural extension, and veterinary medicine have found the program to be particularly useful. Alumni from the program have gone on to careers in academia, equine reproduction laboratories, equine farm management, ultrasound, and nutrition.
Samantha is hoping to learn as much as possible while she is here. “I have lots of general knowledge. This is my opportunity to apply it,” she said of the coming year. Samantha got involved with horses when her three aunts purchased riding lessons for her seventh birthday. Eventually, Samantha hopes to find a job in equine reproduction.
Summer Experience in Equine Management program alumni get experience working with stallions, broodmares, and young stock; they learn various training techniques; as well as feed management and barn management. In addition, most – if not all alumni – walk away with a favorite Miner Morgan. For Shannon, that is 6-year-old HD Gabriels, or Gabby. Gabby was Shannon’s project horse during her summer internship. Each student chooses a project horse to evaluate, train, and market for sale during their summer internship. Samantha’s favorite Miner Morgan is 2-year-old HD Bliss, who was born during her summer internship. “There’s just something special about her,” Samantha said of Bliss.
Anyone interested in learning more about the Summer Experience in Equine Management should visit www.whminer.org.