2015 Equine Business Grad Finds Success in Multiple Career Paths
“Equine business management allowed me to experience a different aspect of the horse industry that wasn’t just about training horses,” said Emily Bomgardner (’15).
When Emily Bomgardner graduated from the University of Findlay in May 2015 with a Bachelor’s in Equine Business Management and Animal Science and an Associate’s in Equestrian Studies – Western Emphasis she knew she wanted to work in the horse industry, but she didn’t realize at that time that she’d find herself involved in so many different aspects of the industry. Emily took some time to speak with us about her journey from UF student to a successful recent graduate with many career path options.
Please tell us about your career.
Currently I am working for MarQueen Animal Clinic, as well as interning for Kimes Ranch Jeans. However, I am returning to the equine industry to work for Wagner Performance Horses.
The horse industry has always felt like home and I am excited to return to working full-time with horses. But I am also excited for another aspect of the horse industry I recently entered into. Recently, I began blogging for Kimes Ranch Jeans. My responsibilities thus far include, submitting a weekly blog for publishing, posting to the Pinterest page and attending equine events and looking for new ways to spotlight Kimes Ranch Jeans.
What do you like best about your career?
I like that every day is different. Different dynamics present themselves every day and I get to vary what I do. I get to have a “day job”, but also allow myself enough time to follow my passion of working with horses.
What is your most memorable moment thus far in your career?
Right after graduation I moved to Southern California to work for Roberts Ranch. I enjoyed working with such an established pair of trainers and attending local shows where I got to see some extremely talented horses being shown.
How do you think your education at UF prepared you for your career?
I think mastering the art of excelling on campus and at the barn helped me to prepare for my current career. I work at the veterinary clinic, but I also work with horses when I am not at the clinic. UF taught me to balance both aspects of my life and to excel in both areas. The University of Findlay gave me a drive and a confidence to chase my dreams to make them into a career that I did not have before.
Equine business management allowed me to experience a different aspect of the horse industry that wasn’t just about training horses. I participated in both the software and marketing classes and got a very unique experience from both. I got to learn about where the industry is going and how I could get involved and make a career out of things such as blogging. I would’ve never thought to look into or even apply for a position like blogging before taking these classes. I greatly enjoyed the marketing class where we put on the spring horse show. I got to be on both sides of the experience. I was able to learn about all the different aspects of marketing and putting together a horse sale but also I was able to ride one of the colts I broke out through the sale. It was really amazing to learn about the entire process from both aspects.
Equine business management prepares you by having you take courses about actually managing and running your own business and the important aspects of that. Rusty Miller taught the farm and stable class, which I feel everyone should take. It made me realize there’s more to just getting clients and horses. There are things like balancing the books, buying shavings, and even insurance that you don’t realize the true cost of it all until someone helps you go through it step by step and that class specifically has helped me obtain the position in Washington managing the barn for Wagner Performance Horses.
What made you choose UF over other schools?
I had tried another equine school in California but it only offered a two-year program and I really disliked living in the snow of all things, so how I ended up living in Findlay is quite comical! After moving home with a severe distaste for the snow, I attended a local community college and looked into other equine programs but none of them peaked my interest. At the time I was working with a trainer who was a student of Tami Thurston’s, Beth Wagner. Tami had also attended The University of Findlay, which is why Beth pointed me in the direction of UF. I knew I wanted to work with horses, and when I learned about the riding programs and how often we got to ride, along with the caliber of horses provided to the students, I was sold. Soon after being accepted when I was deciding on a major, my advisors Dr. Whitaker and Robin Koehler helped me to create a plan to enable me to graduate with three degrees. I wanted the best of both worlds, going to college and continuing my education with horses, and UF gave me that and so much more.
The University of Findlay did not provide me with the typical college experience. Double majoring in Animal Science and the Equine programs allowed me more hands-on time, than classroom time. I spent a majority of my time learning skills that did carry me into my career. I feel that sometimes as college students we worry more about getting a grade rather than actually learning the skills that were taught, but The University of Findlay Western Farm ensured that we learned the skills, not just earned a grade. There’s something to be said about the late nights and early weekends spent at the barn, it became our home away from home. The instructors watching over us riding our colts like nervous parents, knowing when to let us fall and when to step in and save the day. I can never repay the instructors for everything they gave me, but I can thank them and help other prospective students to find a college that gave them more than just an education.