Student - 26 januari 2012

Training horses in Texas

Who? Annika Seefeld, BSc Animal and Livestock Science, VHL
What? Training and looking after horses, organizing summer camps
Where? Waxahachie, Texas
Why? Texas is the best place to work with horses. It feels just like the Wild West

'I did my internship at the 4Cs stables in Waxahachie, a suburb of Dallas, one of the biggest cities in Texas. The company stables the horses, feeds and looks after them and keeps an eye on their medical needs. It also runs summer camps, training sessions and seminars. No two days were the same. Of course there were some daily duties, such as mucking out and feeding in the mornings. But after that I had all sorts of jobs to do. Sometimes I helped out with the summer camps and riding lessons. And the next day I might be taking care of injured horses. 'The best bit was getting the chance to take part in rodeos. You had to gallop in teams around a couple of barrels as fast as possible, sticking to a clover leaf formation all the time. That was really cool! 'The cultural differences between Texas and Germany, where I come from, were enormous. In Texas they eat incredible amounts of fast food and sweets. Stacey, the owner of the stables, hated cooking, so we ate out every evening. Always fast food. The weather is very different too. It's very hot and humid in Texas. The temperature was often about 38 degrees Celsius. I was sweating all the time. 'What struck me about the people I met was that they never seemed to have their own opinion. You could tell them anything you liked, and they wouldn't question anything you said. The Texans say they treat everyone the same, but I didn't notice that at all. They are very narrow-minded in fact. I heard all sorts of racist and homophobic remarks. I guess they can't all be racists; I think they just don't think about what they are saying. 'When I came back from my internship I really wanted to go back again. In the end, I did go, but it was a disappointment. There were too many things that got on my nerves. It is not a place where I could live all my life.'

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