Animal Crackers & Drip Drying

If you’ve never experienced a clinical rotation in some kind of medically related college it’s hard to explain to the uninitiated the complete circle of hell that is involved.

My clinical rotations in vet school are a blur of sleep deprivation, massive stressors, and intense starvation. I’ve never been so skinny before or since.

A typical day started at 4:30AM and ended at midnight. Next day repeat. It wasn’t unusual to get less than 3 hours of sleep per night for weeks straight. Some nights it never ended….. with emergencies & surgeries & critical care. There was one week in particular I still have dreams about where I worked from 5:00am Monday until 8:00pm Wednesday…… without a break. That’s 63 hours…..but who’s counting?

I had an exam Thursday morning……..guess what? I slept through my alarm and missed it.  

In addition to the out and out sleep deprivation there was little to no opportunity to obtain food. Seriously, was I going to the grocery store at midnight and interrupting my coveted 3 hours of sleep? I think not.

The pharmacist at the school always kept a large bowl of animal crackers on the pharmacy counter, and I’m certain that I’m not the only vet student who only survived clinics thanks to those animal crackers.

It’s a funny coincidence that while stocking up on food before I headed off to my working student adventure, I bought a large jar of animal crackers……………..For some reason this last week made me think about that bowl at the pharmacy.

I’ve officially, or perhaps unofficially survived my first week. I’ve decided there are stages of “working student training” and the first stage is the “Not-worth-the-air-they-breathe” stage.

That’s where you can’t remember the easiest thing……like put the horse in the stall & turn the fan ON. Take the horse out, fan OFF.

Seems simple.

Wasn’t simple for Bad Eventer…….

I am hopeful, as I’m finishing day 10…….that I’ve passed that first stage where you are worse than useless……….

More on the stages of working-student-training later……

It’s been an interesting week and I thought I’d share a few working student tidbits.

1. Electrolytes in hay cuts is a really really really bad thing.

2. Getting to ride more than just your horses is awesome. Hours in the saddle baby, that’s what it’s all about.

3. Even if you’re on your 4th large bottle of water……. it’s not enough.

Pee that looks like coffee is not ok.

4. Just as I was thinking that maybe I’ll survive without dying of heat stroke, I find someone who just mucked an entire barn, in a blistering hot metal shed, lifting weights. 

At that point Bad Eventer was certain she’d entered the twilight zone.

5. Dubarrys aren’t waterproof when the water is running into them from the sky. It took 5 days for them to dry out from a summer thunderstorm.

6. Always look before you sit. I hooked up the water to my new-to-me horse trailer, and the first night at 2:00AM I sat in a cold bowl of overflowing water.

Hello – rude – awakening.

7. When people ask you what you’re doing here & you tell people you’re the “oldest working student in history” they think you’re kidding.

“No really, I’m a working student. Really. Yes. Yes, I’m serious.”

8. When you’ve finished your 5th day in a row working 11 hour days in the heat and you’ve walked the 73 steps to the shower…..and you realize you forgot your towel. It’s just not worth it to walk back and get it.

Drip drying was how I ended the day.

9. Riding your own horses during work hours is just awesome.

It doesn’t matter how many stall walls you’ve scrubbed or polo wraps you’ve rolled, getting to ride during your work day makes it all worth it.

Stay tuned for more on Bad Eventer’s Working Student adventure.

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3 thoughts on “Animal Crackers & Drip Drying

  1. Jess

    Ha! A couple weeks ago my coach and I were doing gallop sets on two asshole horses. It was a gorgeous day and we were having a blast. As she passed me, she yelled, "We're at work right now!!!"

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