Stephanie Canon

Horses have been a part of Stephanie Canon’s life since she was eight years old. At the age of twelve, she received her first horse from her parents.
      Stephanie drew away from horses when she pursued a healthcare degree at Shadyside Hospital School of Nursing in Pittsburgh, Pa., where she grew up. However, she didn’t enjoy working inside all the time; her passion was working outdoors, among the animals.
      Stephanie moved to Lexington, Ky., to attend the Kentucky Equine Institute. She worked at a therapeutic center specifically for race horses, and was a free-lance rider exercising the race horses. Afterwards she attended a veterinary technology school. She gained even more experience working with different kinds of animals when she did an externship at the Pittsburgh Zoo for one month.
      She moved to Western New York with her husband about 15 years ago and became an equestrian youth counselor at Randolph Children’s Home. She later became assistant supervisor; she is now a supervisor.
      “I have the best job in Western New York,” Stephanie said. “Watching the kids succeed and seeing them enjoy the horses as much as I do” has been the most rewarding thing about being with the Equestrian Program.
      A typical day on the job starts at noon and ends at 8 p.m. Stephanie takes care of the horses’ needs first. Then she catches up on paperwork, such as keeping records of horses and residents. Stephanie then rides, trains, and evaluates horses. All these tasks are done before the youth are finished with school and get to the barn at 3 p.m.
      Once the youth arrive, Stephanie assists them with basic horsemanship skills. She teaches them how to care for a horse and how to ride them, and does trust and bonding exercises.
      “There are very little behavioral problems with the kids, because the kids are where they want to be— with the horses,” she said.
      The most challenging part about Stephanie’s job is not having enough time in the day to give the kids as many opportunities as they’d like to work with the horses.   
            Stephanie currently lives on a small farm with her husband, twelve-year-old son, two dogs and cat in Frewsburg.

Stephanie’s Favorite Things

Color: Pink

Food: Pizza

Movie: Secondhand Lions

Animal: Horses, of course!

Place to be: Western New York


April 2008

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