Just Horsin’ Around

A few weeks ago, Texas A&M’s Student Chapter of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (EP, for short), hosted our annual wet lab. It is a huge endeavor, with student participants from more than 20 different veterinary schools participating and more than 100 clinicians, technicians, and volunteers helping make the event possible.

I serve as the logistics co-chair for the wet lab, and getting to see everything come together after nearly a year of working to host the event was incredible.

We had more than 20 labs for students to choose from, with topics ranging from dentistry to hindlimb lameness evaluation.

Sponsors generously provided resources for these labs, and clinics from across the country came to speak with students during the job fair that is part of the event. We always fill everyone up with Texas barbecue and offer a keynote speaker after a morning packed with equine medicine.

I got involved with EP when I was in my second semester of veterinary school. I had made a ton of new friends and they convinced me to join, despite the fact that I am in no way a horse person.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I think horses are fascinating creatures; their athletic abilities are absolutely remarkable and their digestive system is possibly even more impressive. However, I never had any intention of working specifically with horses.

So, there I was, a little first-year student, in a room full of horse people in a meeting all about horse medicine. And I was fascinated.

A few weeks into my EP club membership, my new friends were telling me that I should apply to be a wet lab co-chair, a two-year position in which you serve on the planning committee for the largest wet lab on campus.


I think my initial response was to laugh because I knew that the wet lab was a huge event all about horses and that my knowledge of horses and horse medicine was slim to none.

Despite all of that, with the encouragement of my friends who had applied, I decided to take on the logistics co-chair role because that seemed like the job that required the least amount of horse knowledge.

Fast forward to this year’s event, during which we ran around like crazy all day but had an incredible turnout and wonderful feedback from participants. I even got to spend considerable time with some really sweet horses, and I have to say, they are growing on me.

I am already looking forward to next year’s wet lab and putting in even more work to continue making this event a huge success.


The people I work with on the planning committee and all of the incredible clinicians who assist us in making this event a reality are what make this position enjoyable. Getting to know each of them, knowing all of the hours they spent perfecting their individual areas of the wet lab, and then watching everyone shine on wet lab day was one of my favorite veterinary school experiences thus far.

What I’ve learned is that when an opportunity presents itself to step outside of your comfort zone and you have trusted friends and colleagues supporting you, do it!

You never know when you might happen upon something that you truly love.

Beginning 2020 with Passion

Over winter break, I was given the opportunity to attend Passion Conference 2020, a gathering of Christians ages 18-25, in Atlanta, Georgia. It was the trip of a lifetime, allowing me to meet new people, experience a new environment, and come into closer contact with my faith than I had been in quite some time.

We left at 5 a.m. on Dec. 30. My group had decided we were going to pull an all-nighter, figuring that since we would be enduring a 13-hour drive in a van, we could catch up on sleep then.

Here enters the first challenge of the trip. I am 6 feet, 2 inches tall. I was stuffed into a cramped 15-passenger van with 12 other people. By hour four, I couldn’t feel my knees, and by hour eight, I was having trouble walking.

But the pain and boredom were completely worth it once we laid eyes on Mercedes-Benz Stadium! The home of the Atlanta Falcons, and the location of Passion 2020, was truly a sight to behold.

Seating close to 80,000 people, with fan-friendly concession prices and parking lots easy to access and not far from the building, it was a great choice of venue for the conference.

Did I already mention that the stadium could seat close to 80,000 people? Because it did!

And Passion 2020 was a sold-out event. Nearly every seat in the building was filled with people eager to be filled with the spirit and come into connection with their faith. It was fantastic to see, and breathtaking to be a part of.

The lineup was just as great. Christian music staples like Crowder, Passion band, and Hillsong UNITED topped the marquee but were supported by acts such as Elevation Worship, Sean Curran, and a rap medley featuring Tedashi, Lecrae, Trip Lee, and Andy Mineo.

The jump in energy was enough to shock you, but it was an experience I’m glad to have witnessed and been a part of.

The lineup of great acts didn’t stop at the musical performers, however. Messages were given by some pretty popular names.

Of course, there were sermons given by Louie Giglio, the founder of Passion Conference, and Christine Caine, one of the loudest and best speakers I’ve ever heard. There were also messages given by Tim Tebow and Sadie Robertson, both of whom gave fantastic messages that resonated better with me than those given by some of the more established pastors.

All of this pales in comparison to the highlight of the entire event.

The first night of Passion 2020 started on Dec. 31. There was a sermon given, music, and worship, a really amazing ceremony during which a flame that had been transported from Jerusalem, Israel, all the way to Atlanta, was put on display.

Then, finally, the new year rolled in. While the crowd was led in worship by Hillsong UNITED, 2019 came to a close and 2020 was ushered in. Fireworks exploded above the stadium, and it was simultaneously a fantastic end to 2019 and a wonderful beginning to 202