Internship Week 4: 4-H State Horse Show
The entire fourth week of my internship, I was staying in Jackson, working at the 4-H State Horse Show. It was an interesting experience to say the least. It was a long week as I worked many hours. The highlight for me though, was meeting so many different people, meeting different extension agents and also meeting a woman from the Animal Board of Health. My tasks varied throughout the week, although a majority of my days were spent working in the office, doing check-in for all the kids who were participating. Monday, when we arrived at the coliseum, many people including myself, helped unload the trailer with everything we needed for the office. After everything was unloaded, I went and labeled horse stalls by county.
The first morning of the horse show, I helped some agents that were upstairs in the coliseum, by making grading keys for the hippopology contest. I also entered the scores for the kids participating in each competition that morning. The hippopology contest tested these participants knowledge on horses, tack, and different horse events. After I finished helping with this, I went downstairs and learned the ropes for working in the office to help with check-in. For the rest of the afternoon I worked check-in with three other agents.
Another task I helped with was setting up tables and unpacking artwork from 4-H students that entered their work in the art contest. There were many talented students who entered amazing pieces of work, from sculpture to home décor pieces, that all had to have an image of a horse or be revolved around the horse.
Every morning there were little things that had to be done in the office before the day started, such as, draining and filling coolers with water, Gatorade, and other drinks. When I began the day and was preparing for people to come in and check-in for the show, I and the other women had to get the binders out with contestant’s names and have the envelopes with the back numbers by county out. When people would come to get checked-in we had to see their grade/registration papers on their horse and their coggins papers on each horse. Ms. Angeliki Polles from the Animal Health Department was there working with us to verify and check people’s coggins papers on their horses. After the competitor was clear on their papers, we had to give them their back numbers, a program if they wanted it, and a pattern book for the different events. When I was done at night with check-in I would go upstairs and get to watch some of the kids compete while I was at the regional table with some of the agents. I saw the jumping class one night, reining, and then on Saturday I saw a few barrel runs. On Saturday, my last day there, I went to look at a horse someone was giving away for an agent who was interested. To my surprise the animal was in need of attention physically. After I returned to the office to let the agent who was interested know about the horse, she and I spoke for a while and I expressed my concern for the horse. I also expressed my concern that I felt if no one took the horse, that it would be left behind. After quickly realizing that this could end badly for this horse, I decided the right thing to do was to call Ms. Angeliki Polles and let her know about the horse that way it would get taken care of, if it was left behind.
Overall, I enjoyed my week working with so many wonderful, dedicated people. I enjoyed meeting and speaking with everyone I came into contact with, and also learning from them, the odds and ends of the horse show and other events that extension agents help put on. I feel my skills in communication, as an achiever, and in being futuristically oriented have been strengthened this week by having so many new things thrown at me. I also feel my skill in ethical reasoning was enhanced by dealing with the horse that was in need of attention. I worked, learned, and planned with the other agents to keep everything running smoothly for other workers and the participants involved with this horse show. All in all it also helped me to appreciate a hard day’s work and how much effort these agents give to make so many events possible.