Grace Walker '25

Preparing for a career in the equine industry
Grace Walker with a horse

Grace Walker is an equine industry and management major and a member of the UNH Intercollegiate Dressage Association (IDA) team. She is from Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

While the equine industry and management major is no longer accepting students, COLSA has launched a new equine-focused option with our animal sciences major, animal science: equine studies. The college encourages anyone interested in working with horses to learn more.

COLSA: Why did you choose UNH?

Grace Walker: UNH was a natural choice for me, given it's a family tradition. My four siblings, mom, uncle and grandparents all walked these halls, and I'm proud to continue our legacy.

COLSA: What's your major and why did you choose it?

Grace: My major is equine industry and management. I chose it because I have found a very special love for horses ever since I started riding thanks to a Groupon in sixth grade. I decided to go in the business direction because I have always been intrigued by the business industry. I have my dad to thank for this since growing up I watched him run multiple successful businesses.

COLSA: During your time at UNH, what are you most proud of?

Grace: I am proud of two accomplishments while being here at UNH. Both of them involve stepping outside my comfort zone. The first one was trying out for the IDA team. My freshman year I had absolutely no interest in trying out for the team because I didn’t feel ready. With this being said, I interned in Ocala Florida with USDF Bronze, Silver, and Gold medal dressage trainer Lisa Hellmer. She gave me the confidence in the saddle I needed in just one summer.

I returned my sophomore year and tried out for fun since I didn’t want to get my hopes up. The next day I got an email that I made the team and I was overjoyed with excitement. Not only did I make the team when I had no idea if I ever would, it’s one of the best things that’s ever happened to me. Everyone on the team is family and we all love to joke around and be goofy. Most importantly, we love to support each other in any way possible.

My second accomplishment is regarding the team as well. I have always been into video making and photography but never posted my work anywhere because I had no reason to, and I was shy. The IDA team has given me opportunities to make videos at our shows and post them on our social media platforms. The videos instantly gained traction and everybody enjoyed watching our show days. It’s also a fun memory for all of us to look back on, and that’s one of the reasons why I love doing it.

COLSA: What are you planning to do after graduation?

Grace: After graduation, I plan to work in the equine industry. I am still trying to figure out exactly what I want to do, but what I do know is that I most definitely want to work with horses in one way or another.

COLSA: How is UNH preparing you to achieve your goals?

Grace: UNH is preparing me for my goals in so many fantastic ways. I have taken so many incredible and beneficial classes that will help me excel after graduation. There are many opportunities for hands-on experience in and out of the barn. We are so lucky to have professors with such a knowledgeable background in the equine industry who are always more than happy to sit and talk to you about your goals and how to get you there.

COLSA: What do you love most about UNH?

Grace: I love how UNH has such a good sense of community. I have always felt welcomed and that there’s constantly something to do! For example, I thoroughly enjoy going to sporting events with my friends during the year. Nothing can beat how amazing our student sections are.

COLSA: Please share one unique or interesting fact about yourself.

Grace: Despite my learning disability, my dedication to schoolwork has consistently earned me a strong academic standing.

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