Crossing the finish line…

Hi Everyone,

My Thesis is complete and now it’s just a matter of waiting for the assessment grade. I can’t believe this part of my journey is finished and how quickly it went by. As promised I want to share some brief thoughts on the MSc Equine Science program and the measures I took to complete this course of study.

I really enjoyed every aspect of The University of Edinburgh. Everyone from the finance office to the library were always extremely helpful and patient…..this especially includes the IS Helpline! The Blackboard platform was easy to use and access. I was also amazed that there were never any extra fees or charges!

The course subject matter and the evidence based scientific approach are what initially attracted me to begin my studies at Edinburgh. I wasn’t disappointed. I found the courses to be very well organized and always covered an array of topics. The workload was demanding, but so worth the effort. While I almost talked myself out of starting these classes, the dream of pursuing a higher degree in Equine Science eventually took precedence.  I’m glad I stuck with it! What an experience!

If I could do it over, I would begin my assessments earlier and cultivate them as the course proceeded…I did that towards the final courses and that seemed to propel my scientific writing to a better level.  Everyone has their own individual methods for bringing out their best work, you just have to find what works for you. I also took many of the extra academic study courses to help in powerpoint production and scientific writing. As usual, what you put into the work determines what you get out of it.

At any rate, it all worked out and I hope to be graduating with my MSc! What a ride it’s been!

Now for some pics…Our 3 year old Thoroughbred, High Powered, broke a track record a couple of weeks ago at Belterra Race Track in Ohio. He seems to like the turf as this was his first try on the grass! The distance was 1 mile (1.6 km). This is his 2nd career win.

Of course, one of the first things I did after submitting my thesis is to saddle up this little lady and go for a ride around the farm.

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Thank you for following my experiences at Edinburgh…I’ve enjoyed sharing my thoughts with you!

Blessings Always,

Nancy

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The setting sun on our farm in the Midwest USA.
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The light at the end of the tunnel.

Hi Everyone,

In eighteen days my Dissertation will be completed and turned in for assessment. The past year has gone by so quickly. In one regard I don’t want to see it end because the research has become a part of me and my daily routine. I go to bed thinking about the content and structure. I wake up pondering whether I need to include more or delete some ideas! It’s so much more than just a report…it’s my time and energy wrapped up with creativity and science….all leading down a path to arrive at a conclusion.

On the other hand,  I’m ready to pursue a variety of research topics and subject matter. For me learning is a life long endeavor.  That’s the beauty of this program of study, I was able to get a taste of many topics in equine science, and now I can pursue the areas of interests, that beckon to me, to learn more.

I’ll touch base in eighteen days to let you know how it feels to complete this course of study…what I would do different or what I would do the same. One thing for certain, I’ll have more time to write some final thoughts! Now for some pics….

Here in the States, we are approaching the summer season with full foliage and warm temperatures…enjoy the pics!

 

 

  1. (Top Left) Flying across Illinois Farmland in a Cessna 172. (I prefer horseback riding over planes, but I do enjoy getting a birds eye view once in a while.)
  2. Storm Temple Pilot (6 year old Thoroughbred mare) winning at Gulfstream Park, Florida . 3. Taking a mental break, from studies, and riding around the farm…

 

Until next time,

Nancy

Keep on writing and researching…..

Hi Everyone!

I realized today that it had been awhile since my last post. It’s been a whirlwind of activity during my dissertation winter module and I look forward to my final spring unit of study in the MSc Equine Science program at Edinburgh. I did very well on my power point presentation yet I continue to tweak and improve it according to my assessment critique and the new research I have uncovered for my thesis.

My thesis Intro and Lit Review are almost finished as I move into the evaluation of my data. One thing is for sure, I am always slightly making improvements and adjustments to my writing!  Reading and rereading seems to always lead to writing and rewriting the dissertation.  Sometimes I feel like I will not finish on time, other days it flows like a river and I think I’ll be finished a month early!!

I am also a Program Rep and that involved participating in a Student Staff Liaison Meeting in February. This is my third year of being a rep and I would encourage current students to consider this role as it has enabled me to form relationships with other students from all over the world. This has led to other opportunities in collaborative research and I am looking forward to co-presenting a paper at Edinburgh in September!

Well…I’ve said enough! Enjoy some springtime pics from midwest USA.

 

 

Until next time,

Nancy

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

With my Dissertation Presentation completed, I can take a couple of weeks off and enjoy the holidays. Here in the States, at this point in December, it already looks a lot like Christmas with light displays, shopping and of course parties and get togethers occurring almost every night.  As I finish my Christmas decorating,  I can’t believe 2018 is almost over. It’s time to begin making plans for 2019 and begin the process of writing down my initial hopes and goals for the new year.  One list will be for what worked great last year and another for what skills/traits/habits I need to improve upon or even get rid of.

My Dissertation Project is at the top of my “accomplishments to do” for 2019. Surprisingly I’m not anxious about it as, so far, it has been such a great experience. With timeline in place, it will be a one step at a time process.

I’ve included some holiday pics, from my farm and local town, although the Christmas Lights of Edinburgh are hard to top!  Enjoy!

 

Ethical Approval Confirmed!

Hi Everyone!

On November 14, I received a letter of Ethical Approval for my research from the University. Yes! Now my research can begin.

The first step is making sure my survey will be a good fit for the statistical program I intend to use. I imported a sampling of my Pilot Survey into rStudio and all went very well. Now it’s onto my PowerPoint Presentation. In retrospect, I really am glad that I spent the time waiting for approval, doing research and reading about my chosen topic. That time well spent is paying off ! Now it’s just a matter of putting my thoughts together to tell administrators how my project will proceed via a slide presentation. It’s kind of like selling the idea of your research to explain why the data uncovered may be important. I can’t say enough about the program support I received during this process.

Fall racing recap:

High Powered won his Maiden Special Weight race at Belterra Racetrack and is currently training at the Fairgrounds in New Orleans, Louisiana. We are anticipating another race for him sometime in December.

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Storm Temple Pilot won two in a row on the Turf course at Canterbury and is also in New Orleans awaiting another Turf sprint opportunity.

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As Always…ending with a pony pic….

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Have a great weekend!

Nancy

So far so good!

I realize it has been awhile since I posted anything pertaining to my dissertation experience. I am still awaiting ethical approval, however I believe I am very close to obtaining it. The process is very detail oriented and precise. I have been spending my time reading about epidemiology, survey science and rStudio applications so when the approval is granted I can hit the ground running! I’ve got a survey to pilot and a slide presentation to prepare!

My project is a survey of iron amounts fed to racing Thoroughbreds. I am hoping to get 250 U.S. Thoroughbred Trainer responses. The “dearth” occurrence of Insulin Resistance and Equine Metabolic Syndrome in the racing Thoroughbred will be discussed and the survey will also answer questions that deal with feeding practices in U.S. Thoroughbred racehorse management.  I am very excited to get started on the “real” research.

It’s already our Autumn season here in the midwest USA and the trees have changed to vibrant colors. One windy day and all that color will blow away so I aim to ride my Welsh pony throughout the farm today and see the last of the Fall colors.

Our Thanksgiving Holiday is just around the corner (November 22) and I have very much to be thankful for including my association with the University of  Edinburgh Community. I am very grateful for their Equine Science program and look forward to serving another year as  one of the Program Representatives. Well, that’s all for now…enjoy the farm pics.

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As soon as my ethical approval process is complete…I’ll let everyone know! 🙂

 

Until next time,

Nancy

 

Onto the ethics approval process…

Wow! Crazy how mid August is already upon us! Here in the States, this time of year is sometimes referred to as “High Summer”. The season when humidity, bugs and heat all combine, in an overwhelming fashion, to make us look forward to the coming cooler autumn weather. It has been so humid here in the midwest I am actually looking forward to the colder temps of winter!! Todays humidity is an oppressive 74% and the bugs seem to be loving it. Not so much enjoyment, though, for me or my horses.

As far as the Equine Science update goes, I have passed my last module (Research Methods Data Analysis for Equine Science) and now wait for ethical approval on my research project. I am really excited to partner with Professor Brian Nielsen, of Michigan State University, as my Project Supervisor. His Equine Physiology and Nutrition knowledge will be an asset to my research. He also was one of my lecturers during my Equine Nutrition and Equine Physiology courses through Edinburgh. This program of study has enabled me to hook up with researchers and scientist that are far beyond my own level of study. I am grateful and humbled to be able to contribute, even in a small way, to their ongoing research. Once my ethical approval is granted, I’ll begin my dissertation year September 17th! This program of study has been a lot of hard work, but it has also been fun and enjoyable! If Edinburgh continues these postgraduate blogs, I’ll continue to keep you informed!

Racing update: Storm Temple Pilot won last night at Canterbury Park going 5 furlongs (approximately 1 km) on the turf in 56.92 seconds. She broke out of the gate, ahead of the pack, by 4 lengths and maintained her position to win by 2 lengths. We were extremely happy with her effort, but she always has a lot of “try” in her. She is a hard working mare!

Well, I better go get on some horses…the bugs and humidity are waiting.  🙂

Until next time,

Nancy

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Storm Temple Pilot (5 year old mare by Temple City (Sire) out of Launchastorm (broodmare); Launchastorm is by Capetown.)