bern

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I'd like to try to get some clinical experience with an equine vet (or large animals in general) to help boost my application. There is a local equine practice that I am going to call this week, but does anyone have any suggestions as to how to find this if this practice doesn't work out? I'm thinking the local racetrack might be a possibility as well (I live in New Orleans). I do have experience with horses, so I'm hoping that will make me more appealing.

Also, what is the best way to approach people when you're looking for this sort of thing? I volunteered at a small animal clinic, but it was my dog's vet so they knew who I was. Other clinics that I called didn't seem to keen on the idea of volunteers. Shelters are always in need of help, but that seems like it would look pretty generic on an application.

I have a magician friend in Vegas who has a bunch of big cats (they're in his show), so I'm going to try to make it out there this summer so I can help out and learn about about that, possibly get a chance to observe some routine veterinary care and speak to the vet. That should be something most students won't have on their applications, but it does bring up the issue about animals being involved in the entertainment business, which is controversial - thoughts? FYI, the cats are all extremely well cared for with all the requisite licenses.
 

Darla3

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To gain some equine experience I volunteered at my local Polo stables - so I helped groom and care for their polo ponies and other boarders. Another thing to look into could be the Police equine unit - their animals need care as well.


It would be awesome to gain big cat experience - talk about standing out!
 

southerncomfort

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Hi Bern!

You would probably have the best luck shadowing an equine doc on the Northshore, just because that's where most of the horse community is centered. PM me if you'd like more specific ideas. There are a few in NO, too.

You may also want to look into volunteering at a therapeutic riding center. There's at least one on the southshore (in St. Rose), and a few on the northshore. I volunteered at one and had a blast! Great experience. :)

Hope that helps!
 
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bern

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Thanks, southerncomfort - I will definitely check out the Northshore if I can't get anything with one of the NO vets (in which case I will probably PM you for specific ideas). I used to work in a stable when I was growing up, so my manure-shoveling skills have been pretty much perfected. It's the clinical stuff that I'd really like to observe (though of course I'd be willing to put the aforementioned skills to work in exchange for that).

Darla3 - I always wanted to try polo. Did you ever get a chance to play?
 

Darla3

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Darla3 - I always wanted to try polo. Did you ever get a chance to play?[/QUOTE]

Nope, I never got to play. But it was a great experience to work with the ponies and meet the owners. It is amazing, and disappointing, to see how little some of the know or care about their horses and only care about the game. But a great opportunity to give the horse some attention and care that they need.

Darla
 

CoffeeCrazy

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Your best approach might be finding a stable and working there or at least getting to know the stable owner. Usually practices aren't too keen on volunteers because of the liability issues, so it helps to have an "in". A racetrack would probably have higher security and more expensive horses... a pleasure/leisure stable might have more willing owners and vets. I used to work and ride at an A show stable, so I helped the vet out some with the owner's horses, because she knew me. But if I was just Joe off the street, that never would've flown.

If you have any friends or friends of friends that have horses, have them put you in touch with their vet. It's all about the networking.
 

HopefulUGACVM

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I have ridden witha few vets, and was in the know, but vets are usually very open to helping you out! They know how much experience you have to have and how hard it can be to get it. I don't think there should be a problem if you ask for a ride along from some local equine vets. Hey, its free labor for them ;) Just remember to ask a lot of questions and make yourself useful (carry stuff etc.). They probably won't let you do a whole lot, but won't mind you being there. There is a lot of down time in the truck to ask a lot of questions.

The fact that you have some experience with horses may or may not really matter. The vets I have ridden with and talked to have all told me about students that rode with them who had zero experience. So experience level really isn't necessary in a shadowing experience (although it will help with you getting to hold horses etc)

Good luck!