My LINK experience was one I'm glad that I got. As you can see above it wasn't my first choice but I'm happy that I got to experience those special three weeks. My skills and abilities coming into LINK were being able to follow directions and do as I'm told, being able to listen, being able to keep calm and be patient with animals, and being able to learn new things. For example, when I would feed buckets for three horses that we would feed at the same time, I had to make sure with Jennifer if the amount was correct because if it wasn't it could cause the horses to have ulcers and get sick. When I had to be calm and patient with one of the horses is when I was with a stallion named Clemens. He is blind in one eye, fairly young, and isn't used to people besides Jennifer. He also isn't used to being groomed or lead. So, when I went into his stall to groom him, I was a new person that scared him. I had to consistently talk to him to let him know where I was so that I didn't spook him. Skills I learned over LINK was how to problem solve on a farm. I learned how I needed to depend on myself because there are times when there's only you and just need that skill to be able to handle things yourself. For example, finding the right tools to do the job when those tools were broken. When I had to clean out a little sheltered area that is used for food when it's raining or snowing, I needed to use a pitchfork to get manure out instead of a rake. So I found a broken pitchfork and shoved the pitchfork end into the handle and used that until the job was done. Then Jennifer glued it together again and used wire to hold together a different pitchfork that wasn't able to be glued. Another skill I also learned was some good old-fashioned hard work. I learned about having to do jobs that can be difficult and sucking it up because it's what's best for the animals you own. For example, again, cleaning stalls and taking out the manure or picking and trimming hooves. It might be tiresome at the moment but it's in the animals best interest. I challenge I learned from was a mistake I made at the end of my LINK. I accidentally didn't open a gate correctly when I was letting a stallion out of this indoor arena into its stall and it went into a small space that the gate was supposed to close. Jennifer said that he would probably cut itself because there was a small tractor in that space. She tried to back him up out of the space while I was leading a different stallion into a smaller stall while we rearranged the other stallions. Then the stallion Jennifer was working with spooked and he spooked the horse I was leading so he bolted and when that happens you have to let go of the rope that you're leading with. Then both the stallions ran into the open stall and the one I was leading wasn't supposed to go in there because all the stallions get very superiority so they try to attack each other. That's why there are very specific spots for each of the stallions because certain horses will try to kill each other. After the two horses ran into the stall Jennifer pushed me against the wall for my own safety and told me to stand back while she walked into the stall with a lunge whip. The whip is never used to hit horses, they are used for the sound that they make to make the horses listen to whoever needs to be listened to. After Jennifer went in there Bons (the horse that wasn't supposed to be in there) came running out back into the arena. That's when I had to take a second to calm down so that Bons calmed down and I had to reassure him that it wasn't his fault, it was mine. After that situation was sorted out Jennifer said that it was O.K, and she was glad no one got hurt. Then she kept saying that because I made that mistake, I would never make it again. Jennifer has accepted interns in the past and enjoys the help around the farm. She told me she trusts me and she proved it by leaving me by myself while she would take care of other things on the farm. One time she even left the farm for a few hours while she had to go to a very important meeting. I had a list of fairly easy things to do like feed the horses out south, she calls them the "bridge club" because they are either old and retired, recovering from an injury, or they were injured from birth and could never live a normal life help teach kids how to ride. Then I watered the upper barn where the stallions are, I mucked a stall, groomed Dakota, etc. I think having an intern is really helpful and can be a good very to pass down important information. For example, I learned a lot about the horse world that I didn't know before. The old western ways of training horses were brutal, people would put special chains around horses hooves that were designed to cut into their hooves every time they take a step so that they would raise their feet for show. People would put weights on fouls feet when after they're born so that their bones would grow in a way to make the horses feet look longer for show. They would also break the fouls tails so that they would stick straight up, or if you didn't want to do that you could put cayenne pepper in the horses anus before shows to make it so painful they wouldn't want to lower their tails. Things like that that I think are evil, should be known to everyone that is in the horse world. Jennifer kept mentioning that she wants me to come back this summer to help her with a new horse that she is going to bring back to a normal, healthy mental state. His name is Bulls-eye and he has previously been abused, so Jennifer is going to help heal him and she wants me to help her as well. She also wants me to keep being a persistent person in Clemens life so that he has a person to trust, so I will also be doing that. This internship experience has helped me plan for my next steps in college and/or readiness by helping me realize that a future that has to do with animals could be one that would fit me. Like I said in my LINK panel, I love animals but I don't know if it's something that I could do for 10 years or something like that. I know that it's an option for me but I'm really not 100% sure on what I want. Saying that, I am very glad I got this experience because it did help me realize everything that goes into taking care of horses and how it can be challenging but rewarding.