Adolfo Arenas Experience at the Kentucky Equine Management Internship
Kentucky Equine Management Internship (KEMI) is a 22-week internship with a spring and fall session. I did the fall session which is the yearling sales-prep/breaking and training. This is a very hands-on internship allowing one to get a lot of handling experience. During my time in Kentucky I learned how to prepare yearlings for the sales including everything feeding the proper diet, proper grooming, and daily exercise routines. After the sales the breaking of yearlings begins.
The horse industry in Iowa is growing faster than ever before. From activities surrounding horse breeding, showing, racing, housing, training, riding and care, it employs more than 2,100 people and accounts for millions in revenue each year. The economic impact from horse breeding and owning is doing much to support our state’s ag-centric economy, and we need you to play an important part in making this message heard.
Lecturer, Nikki Ferwerda, teaches Animal Science 317B, Equine Behavior and Training - Yearlings. Part of the class includes a trip to Lexington, Kentucky to observe the November Fasig-Tipton sale. Fasig Tipton is an auction house for Thoroughbred horses founded in 1898. It is the oldest auction company of its kind in North America and the November sale is the world's premier breeding stock event.
The class also had an opportunity to see the opening day/book one of the Keeneland sale, another American thoroughbred auction house in Lexington, founded in 1935 as a nonprofit racing/auction entity on 147 acres of farmland west of Lexington. The November sale focuses on Breeding stock and features broodmares and weanlings with some stallions.
Students were able to explore career opportunities, visit the Kentucky Horse Park, Kentucky Equine Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Center, New Vocations and connect with some ISU alums in the industry. They also had the opportunity to go to several stallion farms to evaluate stallions for future breedings that will be sires of some future Iowa-breds that will touch the lives of more students through ISU’s equine classes.
The thoroughbred stallion, Stroll, was purchased by a partnership in Iowa and ISU was honored as the stallion owners felt our central location and facilities would be ideal for mare owners. Stroll is a multiple graded stakes winner of $795,000 and is the sire of 24 stakes horses including 5 in 2017! He has sired progeny with earnings of over $10 million with nearly $1.5 million in 2017 alone, making him Iowa’s top stallion in a runaway! He stands for $2000 Live Foal Stands and Nurses.
Formidable, a graded stakes placed earner of over $200,000 was purchased by ISU and his first small crop of foals who were 3 year olds of 2017 are 100% winners. He is available for $1500 Live Foal Stands and Nurses.
The freshman Quarter Horse racing stallion, Racy Casanova, also found ISU as an ideal location to begin his stallion career. This promising young gray stallion is a three----quarters sibling to leading sire Big Daddy Cartel. He hails from one of the most successful female families of Quarter Horse racing. His pedigree and a 101-speed index suggest he will be a successful sire and his much-anticipated foals will begin arriving in 2018.
The ISU Horse Farm is looking forward to 2018 – the excitement of new students, new foals, and new opportunities is just around the corner.
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.
The Equine Science program is within the Department of Animal Science at Iowa State University. Equine Science emphasizes management issues related to the care of a horse. Students have the opportunity to be involved with horses from conception to sale. Student learn the science of breeding mares, foaling out mares and preparing the yearlings for sale. The senior capstone course teaches the business of horses as well as nutritional management of a herd.
The most recent issue of the Iowa State Daily highlights what the students are working on at the Iowa State University Horse Barn.
Almost everyone has seen or heard of the Horse Barn on the north side of campus, however most don’t know what goes into running it. They have both mares and stallions as well as multiple foals at the barn.
Many workers have to come in at 6 a.m. to start their chores or come in late at night to help the mares go through labor. Some of the horses that are kept at the barn are not owned by Iowa State itself but by others who want their horses cared for temporarily.
“Lots of owners like to bring their pregnant mares in so that we can see them through the labor and the aftercare.” said Nikki Ferwerda who is a lecturer, an adviser and manager of the barn. “We have been doing this for awhile so the owners tend to trust us to take care of them.” Ferwerda manages the barn and is also an adviser and lecturer who teaches classes from the barn with AnS 332E starting at 7:30 a.m.
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This summer I spent 3 months living in Kodiak, Alaska where I worked as the Summer Barn Director. I was in charge of running and planning horse camps, general horse care, and group events at the barn. I thought it would be another camp counselor job, but I was challenged every day by new tasks appointed to me. We had 5 horses, 1 pony, and the 1 and only mule on Kodiak Island that I was responsible for retraining, maintaining, and every day. Of course coming from the Midwest and working with competition level horses, I had a lot to learn when it came to Kodiak.