As I eluded to in my previous post, I am now hear to reveal yet another project I have been working on! For the past couple of weeks, I have been helping a good friend of mine and newly acquired grad student, Ms. Cassie O’Hara. To start off with, I recently had an informal interview with Cassie herself, asking a few questions about her project and allowing her to shed some insight on what she has been cooking up in the lab.
“You always have to worry about and deal with parasite and deworming to keep your horse healthy and safe.”
Although this is not my project, somehow I have been bribed into helping her out….being a good friend that I am. I guess you could graciously call me the “pooper scooper”! On one of my endeavors accompanying her to Poplar Bluff, MO to go to the Three Rivers Community College rodeo, I helper her coordinate the filling out of the surveys, the numbering of the samples, and the picking up of the samples of themselves. In addition, I also helped her actually process and analyze the fecal samples in the lab. I helped her prepare the samples, so that Cassie could analyze each and every sample under the microscope to count parasites, eggs, etc. Good thing horse poop isn’t that unappealing to me!
Believe it or not, it is quite entertaining coming up with ways to approach people asking for fecal samples from their horses. After all, it’s usually not something gets asked everyday, right? A few of our surveyors were even caught off guard asking what a fecal sample is, but to each it’s own. But after a few awkward, shy approaches we found that just being relevant, straightforward, and maybe using a few smaller vocabulary words and allowing the asking for poop itself to be heard, we found that it tends to be a pretty humorous ice breaker. Even though it was a long van ride there and back and several long hours on our feet in between, we were able to meet college aged rodeo competitors from all over the mid south and see several nice, competitive level horses.
Keep an eye out for Cassie and her research findings as she finds ways to encourage deworming in the equine world and how a simple practice can affect performance horses in many ways. Thanks Cassie!