M-State Equine Apprenticeship: Haley Sell

Rapid City, SD

“I want to do something that I love to do,” said Haley Sell, M-State Equine student. “I have always had a passion for horses and one day it hit me that I wanted to work with horses for a living.”

While touring different campuses, Haley wasn’t able to get an idea of what her education would be like. It wasn’t until she came to M-State that her passion for horses was reignited and she found herself at home.

“When I toured other campuses, I felt like I missed a lot. But when I came to M-State, I got to meet Dr. Thomas Prieve, Equine Science Instructor, tour Red Horse Ranch, and got answers to my questions. They really helped me through the process of picking a school.”

Haley pursed the M-State 2 year AAS Degree in Equine Science. As part of the M-State, program Haley was required to complete an apprenticeship, where she could put the knowledge and skills she learned into practice.  M-State partnered with CAEP to provide Haley with her apprenticeship at LRS Performance Horses in Rice Lake, Wisconsin.

CAEP Scholarship

During her apprenticeship, Haley served as the Barn Manager, where she gained hands on experience with feedings, mucking stalls, saddling horses, and riding.

“I love anything to do with horses!” said Haley. “Some people might not like to spend all day in a barn but I loved every chance I got to spend time in the barn and with the horses.”

During her apprenticeship, Haley kept a weekly log for her Equine internship class. The log was a detailed description of everything that Haley did on a daily basis, which was used to show what she learned and gained hands-on experience with.

“One of my favorite things about my apprenticeship was that I learned how to work a cow. You pick one cow out of the herd and try to separate that cow. It’s all about control of the horse and keeping pace with the cow. My experience showed me that I like working with cows on my horse and I want to incorporate that in my future.”

In addition to gaining hands-on experience, her apprenticeship also forced her to overcome some of her anxieties.

“Before my apprenticeship, I was really shy and had a phobia of calling people on the phone. But a horse would get sick and it would be my responsibility to call the vet. I still don’t like to call people on the phone but it’s much better than it was.”

Her apprenticeship gave her a clear idea about what it would be like to manage her own barn. Someday, Haley wants to own her own ranch, focusing on breeding and training Arabians.

“Arabians can be crazy but they are beautiful when they move and can have nice temperaments. I like the kind of horse that you have to pull back versus the type that you have to push forward,” said Haley. “My experience definitely put into perspective how much time, money, and effort go into starting and maintaining a barn.”

Haley has one semester left to complete and then she will receive her 2 year AAS Degree in Equine Science from M-State!


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