April 20, 2017

So Much to Learn

This summer, I will reach a remarkable milestone: it will be two years since I wrote my first Youth Members Blog for the Maryland Horse Council. As my very first internship, this experience has been profoundly special to me. I have received extraordinary mentoring while exploring and reporting on horse-related topics that I think will be of interest to MHC’s youth members and other horse enthusiasts. It was through research for this blog that I learned about the American Horse Council’s new Student Membership category and their Student Internship Program (you can read my earlier blog post here). I was thrilled to be selected to serve as AHC’s first student intern and think you should apply too!

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American Horse Council headquarters in Washington, DC
(photo by Ashley Furst, American Horse Council)

The application can be found here, and it isn’t hard to complete. I was able to get it done in a couple of days. If your application interests AHC, they will contact you for an interview. I had a video conference with Julie Broadway, AHC President, and Ashley Furst, AHC Director of Communications. I was nervous and a little worried about the technology working, but everything went smoothly and everyone was so nice. The interview went well, and we decided that I could intern during my school’s spring break.


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Earlier this month, I had a fantastic week interning at AHC. I learned so much about the horse industry and legislation during my week in the AHC office. I also spent time learning about programs associated with AHC including the Unwanted Horse Coalition and the Time to Ride Program. I spoke with Christie Schulte, Director of Time to Ride, and learned how the program engages new riders and promotes the industry’s growth. I spent one day working with Jennifer Purcell, Director of the Unwanted Horse Coalition, and helped research articles for their Media Roundup.


AHC FB Post 
(from https://www.facebook.com/AmericanHorseCouncil/)

I was extremely lucky to attend a meeting on Capitol Hill at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office. This meeting really showed me how hard the horse industry works to make its voice heard, and to make sure it is fairly represented. I was also privileged to listen to the National Equine Conference Call, where various equine issues and disease-related updates were discussed. I learned a lot of fascinating information regarding equine health and industry standards from this call.

My time at AHC was filled with great experiences, and I am very grateful to have had this amazing opportunity to explore my interests and learn more about how national horse industry advocacy works. This is a fantastic complement to my work with the Maryland Horse Council, and I am excited to use these internships to inform my college planning over the next few months!



 Holden Rafey Bio Pic

My name is Holden Rafey, and I am honored to be serving as the Maryland Horse Council’s Youth Correspondent. As the MHC Youth Correspondent, I will be posting monthly to this blog about horse-related topics in the state of Maryland to give a youth perspective and share information of interest to MHC youth members and young readers. I live in Montgomery County and attend Walter Johnson High School, where I play softball and field hockey. My equestrian trainer is Melinda Cohen, and I ride at her barn, Dream Catcher Farm, in Frederick County. In addition to being the Youth Correspondent for the MHC, I have served two terms on the Washington International Horse Show Junior Committee and have served as an intern for the American Horse Council.

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