September – The Fall New Year

Most veterinarians spend the first quarter of their lives as students. High school is followed by 4 years of a university undergraduate degree, followed for some by a masters degree, others by entering directly into veterinary college, and others by taking a short break from schooling only to discover that we aren’t done with it yet. When you spend that much time in school, September starts to feel like the real “New Year”. September is when something changes, a new challenge presents itself, and we clean out the old and get ready for the new. Horse people feel this on a similar level, the end of the summer and beginning of the fall is when we start thinking about new pursuits. A new horse to train, a new level or discipline to conquer, a new area of knowledge about horses to explore. We have to do something to keep busy during those winter nights when it is too cold to ride, right?

I was one of those students that took a break after my undergraduate degree. I finished my Bachelor of Science in Animal Biology at the University of Guelph and moved to Calgary with a friend. We had lived there for 3 months of the summer when suddenly September hit and we WERENT going back to school! Something had to change! I promptly dyed my hair and for a time this satisfied a craving for change. I soon moved back to Ontario and started a new job (the next September, 2009) as a veterinary assistant, working for McKee-Pownall Equine Services. Since then I have continued to base my life around the need to change something in the transition from summer to fall. Last year I got married in late September!

So what is changing this year? I’m going back to school(kind of)!! Summer is a very busy time for all horse people, see my previous post “Horse Season”. This means that it is the busiest time for horse-vets too. Therefore, we use the fall and winter to learn new things, what we call ‘Continuing Education’. This year I am lucky enough to be learning the science of veterinary spinal manipulation at the Veterinary Chiropractic Learning Centre. This course is spread over five modules, taking seven months to complete, followed by mentorship from experienced veterinarians, including my wonderful teammate Dr. Tovah Caldwell who also happens to be one of the course instructors. I am so excited!!! I’ll admit that I’m a bit of a nerd, I truly love school and learning! Veterinary spinal manipulation has shown a lot of promise in improving quality of life and athletic performance in horses and I can’t wait to learn more about it. As I write this I am surrounded by textbooks describing the history of chiropractics, the anatomy of animals, and neurology.

So what change is September bringing for the rest of you? A new horse to train? A step up in your discipline? One of the many courses available on Equine health, nutrition, or behaviour?

If you are interested in learning more about your horse this winter here are some great links:

I will try to keep everyone up to date on what I learn through my studies this fall, but if you don’t hear from me it is because I’m curled up with a tea and my textbooks trying to learn the science of chiropractics.

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