Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Horsing Around

I was scrolling through photos of my summer internship at Manassas National Battlefield Park and came across several photos of the horses at the park that I had a chance to work with. At MANA, a Law Enforcement ranger runs the mounted patrol program. He works closely with the horses day in and day out. He trains, cares for, and maintains the horses and their stables. As well as training volunteers that go out on rides to get the horses some exercise. 
I personally have never worked with horses. I had never ridden one, fed one, or knew any sort a caring techniques for a horse. Well, that all changed this past summer. When I first arrived at the park a ranger met me at the law enforcement office, which happened to be attached to the horse stables. The ranger I was meeting was going to show me where I would be staying for the summer, but before we left the Law Enforcement office he gave me a quick tour, which led to the stables and began introducing me to each of the four horses MANA has. He handed me a snack to give the horse and I stared at him with a wide-eyed expression and he gave me my first lesson of how to feed a horse.
My Chief made it my duty to feed the horses each morning whenever I arrived at the Law Enforcement office. It was an interesting experience learning how to work around such a large animal of that size, and learning to control any signs of being nervous around them. I helped "muck stales"with my Chief, disposing the animal waste and placing down new straw for the horses. Taking care of these horses and keeping the program running takes a lot of work and dedication. Manassas is not just a place for lovers of history to visit and enjoy, but a place of recreation that many local residents go to run, walk, hike, and even go on rides with their horses. 
Frankie the Horse
Ginny the Horse

Can't forget Sadie the Cat, the mascot of Manassas!

To the new ProRanger Cohort, welcome and remember to take on every new experience you can get out of your summer internships and the classes at Temple. This program has a lot to offer, it is up to you what you make of it.

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