Animal Science senior Kelsey Chatigny completed a four-month internship as a foaling and breeding attendant with McQuay Stables, a state-of-the-art Reining and Hunter & Jumper training, sales and breeding facility, located in Tioga, TX. Before she returns to SFA for the fall semester, we caught up with her to learn more about her time at McQuay Stables, as well as her future plans in the equine industry.
What where your duties as an intern?
As an intern I handled basic feeding in grooming for the 100 head of mares that were bred last year. Many were recipient mares and others were owned by the McQuays. Day in and day out I would feed, do turnouts and then give medications to mares. Every other day was labeled as a collection day, and the remaining days the reproduction veterinarian came out to check the mares. I began on midnight shifts after a couple of days and helped foal out 34 mares over the course of the internship. I was lucky and had an amazing boss who allowed me to shadow a bladder surgery, as well as give Amikacin infusions on mares we just bred. I collected almost all of the studs on property, assisted the farrier and taught a 2-year-old stud colt how to mount a dummy. I even collected a stallion and successfully bred it to a mare hours later. Once foals were born I got them started off right with imprinting and halter breaking. It is definitely a wonderful and engaging learning experience.
How has this experience benefitted your undergraduate career?
It gave me a hands-on view of how the equine industry works, allowing me to apply the knowledge I obtained taking equine reproduction classes at SFA. It also opened my eyes to the management of a breeding farm and helped me see that there are plenty of routes to go about getting into this line of business. Getting the hands-on experiences that internships provide really puts you ahead of the game and gives you a foothold into the industry you want to work in after college.
What was your favorite part about the internship?
I would have to say that my favorite part of the internship was all of the different experiences. It was all extremely valuable knowledge that I had learned about in the classroom, but the skills were solidified when I got to do it all myself. I also became aware of how every single animal I handled behaved differently and how their individual experiences shaped their personalities.