Most students at Iowa State walk by the beautiful horse barns to admire the animals. Only few get to experience a part of what it takes to run an equine facility. One of the many equine specific courses students are able to take in conjecture with our Domestic Animal Reproduction Course (An S 331) is an Equine Reproduction Lab, 332E, taught by the Horse Barn Manager, Nikki Ferwerda. This course provides incredible hands on experience unlike any other university. Topics discussed and demonstrated include every aspect of reproduction from breeding both thoroughbreds and quarter horses to foaling. In an average class, we might watch a few palpations, assist in a live cover, and collect a quarter horse stud to ship semen.
Kristen Reno has joined the team in the horse barns at Iowa State University and will serve as the new equine operations assistant along with manager, Nikki Ferwerda. She will be assisting with all aspects of mare, stallion and foal care, as well as breeding work and preparing horses for sales.
“Kristen has an abundance of experience working in the horse industry and will bring so much knowledge to our students and facilities,” said Ferwerda. Reno received her B.S. in animal science from Iowa State in 2018, with an emphasis in equine management.
Reno grew up in Fredericksburg, Iowa, and had a passion for horses from a young age. While she was attending Iowa State, Reno was a student worker at the horse barns and also served as a teaching assistant for the equine breeding and foaling lab. She gained additional experience working at Prairie Meadows Racetrack as a lab technician and as a veterinarian assistant during the 2017 quarter horse race season.
Most recently, Reno has worked in Nevada managing a private farm of thirty Straight Egyptian Arabian horses. Prior to that full-time position, Reno completed a one-year internship at the Colorado State University Equine Reproduction Lab.
“I am so excited to be back in the horse barns at Iowa State where I became passionate about a career in equine reproduction. I can’t wait to help other students discover their goals in the equine industry and help the program continue to grow,” said Reno.