Emily Terao's list of things to bring to college was a bit bigger than most.
That's because the biology major brought her 19-year-old Thoroughbred horse Spencer to college with her each of her four years.
"Having Spencer here so close was definitely a good balance to the academic side of things," Terao says. "When I was riding or at the barn, I was in a whole different state of mind. I was much more relaxed, and he helped me keep the stress level down."
Depending on her academic workload, Terao rode two or three times each week and has been known to indulge in midnight rides to destress. Throughout her four years she was extremely active in the equestrian program. This year she was co-captain of the equestrian team and won High-Point Rider during two competitions. She was a member of the equestrian co-op each year completing the assistants courses as a first-year student and is now instructing riding lessons.
While she's been riding for 13 years, her involvement in barn staff and co-op gave her a different perspective. Earlham's equestrian program is entirely student-run. Complete care of the horses and facilities, and the teaching and scheduling of lessons, are taken care of by students - five barn staff members and 40 or so co-op members.
"Being on the barn staff you get a behind the scenes look at how to run a facility in the business sense," she says. "Being involved in the barn program is a huge time commitment, so I have learned effective time management. I have also learned more about basic horse care like how much Spencer should eat and what type of feed is best.
"All of this will stay with me because I will always want to be involved with horses as a hobby. It's not something I want as a career because I know then that stress will be introduced, and I like it as a stress-reliever."
Terao, who recently received Earlham's Millard S. Markle Award in Biology, says she will take time off after graduation to travel in Europe for fun and will visit a friend in Palestine. She hopes to find a field study in wildlife conservation, ornithology or animal behavior before going on to graduate school.