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  • Halley Moak: Horses and Learning

January 01, 2024

By Jenna Young

 

The biggest decision of a teenager's life: where to go to college. For some, this is simple. For others, a lot of time and thought goes into this decision. Halley Moak was one who took her time and wanted to pick the best school for her and her future. Midway University in Kentucky was the college Halley found to be her best fit. Though her journey through Midway has not always been easy or simple, Halley has loved every second.

 

The Buildup

Growing up with horses in her backyard, Halley has known nothing else. Her grandfather is an equine veterinarian, who has been a massive influence throughout Halley's life. "He is what fueled my love for horses," Halley explained when asked about her grandfather.

Throughout her childhood into her teenage years, Halley rode competitively in all disciplines. This foundation made Halley realize she wanted to keep competing in college. Schools with equestrian teams are hard to find, but schools with equestrian degrees are even harder to find. Yet, Halley was determined to find the best school for her.

Halley lost her beloved horse in a freak accident before coming to college. That day, Halley swore to pursue a career that would help horses that are recovering from injuries or illnesses. But she didn't want to go to vet school. This is why she chose to look for an equine rehabilitation degree.

 

The Decision

All of the colleges Halley looked at were far east from her home in Colorado. One school was Emory and Henry in Virginia, and another was St. Andrews University in North Carolina. But the one Halley settled on was Midway University in Kentucky. "I chose Midway because of the horses!" Halley exclaimed. "Though the other schools I looked at had what I wanted, Midway was more appealing and had more options when it came to equine."

Midway is a long way from Halley's home in Colorado, but she wasn't too nervous about making the move. "I absolutely loved going to a stay-away camp as a kid. At 12, I was traveling from Colorado to California to stay at a summer camp for a month. This summer camp was where I was introduced to the English riding discipline, which is what I do now in college," Halley said. "Because of these experiences, I wasn't terribly worried about moving far away from home for college."

Though Halley didn't do a full campus tour, she fell in love with the school as soon as she stepped foot onto campus. Coming to campus to try out for the hunt-seat team, Halley saw some of what Midway life was like. She was able to see even more after solidifying her decision to attend Midway and coming for Eagle Prep.

 

The Journey

Halley choose her major of Equine Rehabilitation because of the horses and her personal experiences with them. Now, at Midway, she gets to have hands on experience almost every day with the campus horses. "They are fascinating creatures! I love learning all of their different personalities and just more about them in general," Halley said.

Midway has some amazing connections in the equine world. Many of which are tied to the racing side. "I have a huge soft spot for racehorses," Halley said. "Midway's association to the racing industry has helped me learn more about the horses' care and maintenance."

Not only does Halley interact with horses through her major, but she is also on Midway's hunt-seat team. "It's a lot of fun!" Halley said. "You get to ride a lot of different horses, which is the best part in my opinion." Even if she has never been on that specific horse before, Halley still enjoys the ride and thinks it adds to the fun.

 

The Lessons

Throughout Halley's college journey, she has learned more than just academics. "Not everything is smooth sailing," Halley said. "Your ship will take some damage. But if you stick to it, eventually the water will smooth out and you can keep sailing."

One of Halley's biggest struggles since coming to Midway has been living with other people. This is something that many college students relate to, especially those that are introverted. Yet, just like every other struggle in her life, Halley has found a way to overcome. "I enjoy my solitude but that looks a bit different now." Halley said. "I have found ways to have my alone time without leaving the room or kicking my roommates out. I find my solitude in reading or taking a nice cat nap."

 

The Future

The point of going to college for most people is to prepare for their future. This was the case with Halley. With her goal of rehabilitating horses, she needed a college degree. And she found the perfect one at Midway! For Halley, her education has been more than worth it. "With horses, you're always learning," Halley said. "Learning in an environment that allows you to make mistakes and is willing to help you learn from your mistakes is well worth it." Through her next year and a half at Midway, Halley plans on learning everything she can and enjoying every step of the way.