USPC is proud of our Alumni. In this new series we will be highlighting some Alumni who have been successful after they have graduated from Pony Club. Do you know an Alumni who should be highlighted? Submit ideas to Mandy@ponyclub.org!
Katy Barglow is an H-A graduate (2001) of Crossroads Pony Club in the Middle California Region. Currently she is the Analytical Lab Managaer at Grifols Diagnostic Solutions. She has her PhD in Biochemistry.
What drew you to your current profession?
I wanted an opportunity to use my biochemistry research skills in an area that could have a direct impact on human health– the discovery and safe manufacture of proteins used as drugs and for medical testing.
Are you still active with horses, if so, how does this affect your life?
Yes, very much so! I am a USPC National Examiner, a dressage trainer, and judge. I have a small 8-horse dressage training business (teaching and riding evenings and weekends). This makes me very busy, but I love it– and the fact that I don’t depend on the horse business for my income means that I get to only work with horses/riders whom I really enjoy!
If you had one thing to choose not to miss experiencing in Pony Club, what would it be?
Rallies and ratings (now called certifications) were an invaluable experience for me, in terms of really preparing and working towards something then getting to demonstrate skills and knowledge under pressure on the day. This is a major life skill I learned in PC. Probably my fondest memories, however, would be the Camps. I made some of my very best friends (to this day) at those events.
Can you share a fun memory of your Pony Club days?
So many: here are a few:
1996 Championships West in Odgen, Utah. I was on a games team, and we all caravanned our ponies from CA to Utah together, stopping to overnight in the middle of nowhere, Nevada. We listened to audio books and sang songs and napped across the country. At champs, games was a small division. Games teams are 5 members and no stable managers, and all 5 tack up at the same time to go play, leaving no one left in the barn aisle. I remember that after we left our HM judges would sweep our aisleway for us, saying that we were all doing a fabulous job and it wasn’t our fault there was no one left in the barn to sweep up! In the evenings at the hotel we played giant games of water polo at the pool that I’m pretty sure involved the entire MidCal contingent. We had matching shirts (a different color for each day!) and really felt like a big team.
MidCal C-Camp, Eventful Acres: it was super hot, so we got up and rode very early in the morning, then headed to a local lake for the afternoon. The lake charged admission by the carload, so we piled 17 people in one of the parent’s giant conversion vans and paid the single entry fee. The following year we returned and noticed that the lake had changed their admission policy to be by the car “up to 4 people” with an additional charge for each person, which we believed we were responsible for! After an afternoon at the lake, we came back and rode again in the evening, then played blob tag and capture the flag on the cross country course. That may have been the same camp that I brought my FEI dressage horse to, just for fun. We ended up jumping around the beginner novice course on the last day with everyone laughing at us for our very uphill and round “gallop.”
What would you like to tell active Pony Club members to encourage them to look at your chosen field?
What can they do now to prepare for that field?
For people interested in the biotech/pharmaceutical industry, the most important thing is research experience–to learn to do actually do science. Many universities have terrific undergraduate research programs. For younger people, take all the math and science courses you can, and ask your parents/teachers to help you explore not only what is known (ie antibiotics kill bacteria), but how (ie, by interfering with proteins in the bacterial cell wall), and also the process by which that was discovered.
What skill learned in Pony Club helped you with your chosen field? What event in your Pony Club experience brought that skill home to you? What other skills did you learn in Pony Club that are useful to you as an adult? Is there a specific project or incident where this skill helped you at work?
Primarily, Pony Club taught me leadership, how to speak up and give my thoughts/opinions while still being respectful, and how to organize and motivate a group. Those are all skills I use daily. As a 14 year old D-3 I was already asked (with support) to teach others D’s at Knowdown (now Quiz) practice. As a shy kid, the experience of teaching others (and actually having them listen!) was huge for me. This progressed into teaching riding lessons, and stable managing and then HM judging at rallies, and being an examiner for certifications. Teaching, as well as being a judge and examiner, served me very well in my career, first as a teaching assistant in graduate school, and now as a team leader at my company. Knowing when to push a student and when to back off, how to read people to see if they are understanding you or not and explaining in different ways, enforcing a rule (even if maybe I personally would not have made that rule!) without being domineering, and motivating people to work smarter and harder, even when they are maybe hot/tired/disappointed, are all skills I attribute to my time in PC.