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Ranch helped FFA student find career path

Jenna Oliver recently placed second in the Virginia State Fair’s Virtual Horse Hippology Contest.

The rising 10th grader at Buckingham County High School and a member of the Buckingham County Sr. FFA. has been on the Horse Hippology Team for four years.

The team from Buckingham County High School placed second overall as well.

Oliver works at Sprouse’s Corner Ranch in Dillwyn. She started caring for her horse that she boards, Sandman, about eight years ago.

Last summer, Oliver began working for the ranch, caring for more than just her horse. When asked about her responsibilities, she said she is responsible for feeding and daily care for about 20 horses.

“I have to do chores from cleaning stalls to making sure the horses are healthy,” she said.

Oliver has also volunteered with Sprouse’s Corner Ranch’s camps. During the camps, she helped teach the campers about safety around the horses, led the horses, and taught them about the information about horses. While grooming her horse, Sandman, she talked about her favorite part of the job.

“My favorite part of my job is spending time with the horses and being able to bond with them. It is the highlight of my day,” she said.

Working on a horse farm isn’t for everyone. Stalls have to be cleaned, horses have to be groomed, and you must be able to work in any weather condition.

“You have to work in any type of weather imaginable,” Oliver said. “The horses have to be taken care of in good and bad weather.”

When asked if her work at the ranch helped her to find a career path, she said, “Yes, I want to be an Equine Chiropractor. I have watched a horse get adjusted and seen how much it helped them, and I want to help as many as I can.”

Being an Equine Chiropractor requires a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine or Doctor of Chiropractic Degree and then certification by the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association (AVCA).

LaRue Sprouse Dowd is the owner of Sprouse’s Corner Ranch and oversees the workers and facility.

“Jenna is a hard-working, self-motivated young lady who always has a positive attitude and follows instructions readily,” she said.