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My name is Ashlin Dohler, and I participated in the Maryland Horse Foundation’s Maryland Thoroughbred Career Program in 2022. I am also currently a senior at Delaware Valley University with a major in equine science with a pre-vet track. I am scheduled to graduate in the fall of 2023 with my Bachelor of Science.

I grew up riding horses starting at age eight. I have been involved with several aspects of the racing industry including fox hunting for several years with the River Hills Foxhounds, assisting the starter at steeplechase races, working as a groom and exercise rider, and foaling out Thoroughbred mares at the breeding center at my school. In my free time, I help to train some of the horses that come off the track to fox hunt. I knew when I was a kid that I wanted to do something in the medical field. After I fell in love with horses, especially the Thoroughbred breed, I knew I wanted to be an equine veterinarian. I am currently applying for vet school, and I plan to become an equine veterinarian with a focus on emergency medicine.

In the summer of 2023, I was able to participate in a five-week externship with Dr. Kathy Anderson at Fair Hill, MD. I was hoping to obtain more equine veterinary experience before attending vet school, and my school requires hands-on experience before graduating. Earlier in the year, one of my friends that I met during the MTCP reached out to me to see if I wanted to join her in participating in an externship at Fair Hill over the summer. We both loved it there when we visited during the program, and I live in Port Deposit, MD, which is about 25 minutes away. It made a lot of sense for me to get an experience there, and through the Work Experience program I was connected with Dr. Anderson for an externship at her practice.

During my experience with Dr. Anderson, I was able to obtain a plethora of information and hands-on experience that will help me in my future. I was able to see a variety of cases on and off the track that allowed me to see what it takes to be a professional in this industry. I was able to witness and practice essential skills such as communication, problem solving, professionalism, and more. Dr. Anderson was an amazing teacher, and she always made sure I knew not just what they were doing but also why. I gained valuable knowledge, experience, and skills that I know will benefit me when I go on to attend vet school. I learned how to use the equipment such as x-rays, ultrasounds, and more. I was also able to practice essential skills in restraint, handling, and safety. This valuable experience will help me to become a more well-rounded applicant for vet schools.

Shadowing an equine veterinarian has reinforced my commitment to becoming a veterinarian and working in the thoroughbred industry. My goal is to return to Maryland after completing vet school, and possibly help to combat the issue of the lack of equine veterinarians in the area. By using the knowledge and experience gained during this experience I can go on to pursue my goal of becoming an equine veterinarian in the racing industry.

This externship was an amazing experience for me, and I am so incredibly grateful to the Maryland Horse Foundation for setting me up with this opportunity. I also want to thank Dr. Anderson for allowing me to shadow her and learn from her expertise. This experience benefited me greatly as a student, and it has pushed me academically. I know that with this newly gained knowledge I have a better understanding of veterinary medicine and a better chance of being accepted into vet school and achieving my dreams.