"Horse-crazy kid" now providing the animals with veterinary care

“I was one of those horse-crazy kids,” said Dr. Kate Robinson. “I started riding when I was about eight years old and continued all the way through my undergrad university.”

Robinson is an assistant professor in the Large Animal Clinical Sciences Department at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine. Growing up in Ontario's cottage country, she pestered her parents for riding lessons, then worked cleaning the stables to earn more riding time. She also honed her golf skills enough to earn a scholarship to St. Francis University in Pennsylvania. It was there she chose her profession.

"One of the horses I was riding colicked and had to be euthanized, so that's what prompted me to want to become a veterinarian," she said.

She applied to St. George's University in Grenada "as a backup plan," she said. "I thought, ‘three years in the Caribbean wouldn't be so bad.'" She returned to Canada for her fourth year of clinical work and then a residency at the WCVM, chosen for its superior large animal veterinary program. She joined the faculty in August 2013.

Robinson now works in the college's Equine Field Service Division, providing primary care to horses in Saskatoon and surrounding area. Her truck is also her classroom where she quizzes fourth year students before and after their time with patients, working to build a solid knowledge base and independent thought.

"I want them to develop the instinct or ability to come up with their own questions regardless of the topic and then investigate it for themselves."

Robinson's research is just getting started, with initial projects looking at equine metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance (similar to Type II diabetes in humans), and the effectiveness of acupuncture for heel pain.

"To be able to care for them (horses) and provide care for both the patients and the clients, like I do here, it's – I can't even describe it. I've got the best job in the world. I completely love what I do."

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