The veterinary program at West Broward High School has a new star. She’s 95 pounds of nock-kneed, fluffy equine charm, a foal named Wishes, who was born Tuesday morning.
“She’s really cute!” exclaimed Melinda Hooton, speaking for every student who sees Wishes.
A group of students in the program have been waiting for the foal’s birth since her mom, a mare named Lizzie, was artificially inseminated 372 days ago.
“I’m thinking it’s unreal, it’s so amazing to be able to work with her,” said Jaclyn Cross, a junior at West Broward High. “We’ve been talking about the foal for so long, we’ve been waiting for her and everyone’s so excited.”
The school’s principal agrees Wishes is an adorable horse, of course, but also sees an extraordinary learning opportunity here for her students.
“Just to see what they’ve learned in the classroom, for them to be able to experience it, that’s hands-on, and that’s what we want to do here,” said Principal Teresa Hall.
It can’t get much more hands-on. The kids in the vet program have taken part in the entire process, from breeding Lizzie, through her pregnancy, to the birth at 4 AM.
“We have had a couple of difficulties throughout and they’ve gotten to use that as a learning opportunity, different things that can happen, how do we prevent those? How do we treat those? And they’ve been so involved,” said Tara Terribile, the lead teacher in the veterinary program.
We watched students taking turns brushing and walking Wishes, giving Lizzie medicine, and generally champing at the bit to get involved.
“We’re extremely excited to work with her and see how she grows,” said student Carly Mandel. “This is actually a really big deal because we’ve never had anything like this before.”
The kids already know the basics of how to care for mares and stallions. Now they’re seeing the full horse life cycle.
“Born yesterday, so the kids have gotten to come in and start learning how to handle a newborn foal and what it takes to get that newborn foal healthy,” Terribile said.
One day, she’ll be an equestrian show horse, like her mom and dad. In the meantime, she’s charming everyone.
“It’s a pretty cute horse!” Terribile said, laughing, knowing she sounds like her students.
We at NBC6 would just like to say best Wishes to Lizzie and all the humans involved.