This month's volunteer spotlight is Emily Wessinger, a sophomore in the Animal and Veterinary Sciences program at Clemson University. Originally from Gray Court, SC, Emily grew up riding with Sherry Traynham, the owner of Cross-Country Farm near Greenville, SC where Changing Leads sends many of the horses who require significant turnout time for rehabilitation. While home over the summer, Emily began volunteering with Changing Leads at Cross-Country Farm, lunging, riding, holding horses for the farrier, and helping with general maintenance around the farm.
Emily began three-day-eventing under Traynham's instruction as an eight-year-old and continued riding and competing through high school. Now she enjoys working with green horses especially, and she plans to continue volunteering a few days per week through the Fall as her class schedule allows.
"Working with Changing Leads has been an awesome experience for me personally and professionally as I learn more about the veterinary profession. I love helping prepare these horses for second careers and being part of the rehabilitation phase. Learning how Changing Leads approaches retraining with each horse given a variety of backgrounds, racing injuries, and original experiences in the racing industry has been very educational."
Emily plans to graduate from Clemson in the spring of 2019 and hopes to attend veterinary school at the University of Georgia to ultimately become an equine veterinarian, perhaps specializing in racehorses.
Thank you, Emily, for all your help over the last few months! Our Changing Leads volunteers are crucial to helping prepare our horses for successful second careers - we are so thankful for each and every one.