Haydon shows he takes care of animals | Tuesday teen

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When not focused on her studies or extracurricular activities at Central Hardin High School, Caroline Haydon often interacts with animals.

A senior riding at Central Hardin, Haydon is employed at the Wild Rose Equestrian Center in Elizabethtown and a volunteer at the Nolin River Wildlife Sanctuary in Glendale.

“I truly believe that working with animals is good for the soul,” said Haydon. “The animals are so smart. They know what you are doing is good for them and they appreciate it. It’s so easy to be surrounded by animals; you never feel alone but you don’t have to work to keep them entertained. They are just happy to be with you.

Haydon has been riding through Wild Rose since the age of 10. Growing up around her late grandfather’s horses, Haydon said she found a personal connection to equestrian activities early on.

“When my grandfather passed away the horses felt like a piece of him that I could hold onto,” she said. “I really like being around horses. I am so lucky to have been able to find one of my passions at such a young age.

Haydon not only rides a horse through Wild Rose, but also serves as a stirrup instructor for the center. Teaching young children the skills to groom, harness and ride horses, Haydon said she averages about 12 lessons per week.

“I’ve always loved being with kids so when I get the opportunity to be with kids and horses at the same time it’s pretty awesome,” said Haydon. “I think it’s amazing to have a job that I love as a high school student so much because most teenagers don’t get it.”

Haydon said the only difficult part of his job is seeing his students move on to more advanced classes.

“The lessons I teach help prepare small children for group lessons,” she said. “When the kids come up, it’s very bittersweet. I’m so proud of them, but it’s hard to see them go.

Tiffany Schroeder, owner of the Wild Rose Equestrian Center, said Haydon always demonstrates a professional attitude in his work with students.

“She is very motivated and dedicated to her students and to her work here at Wild Rose,” said Schroeder. “Working with younger children, Caroline also has to be very patient. Although their one-on-one lessons are only 30 minutes long at a time, the attention span can be quite taxing at times. Caroline takes pride in her work and is a very reliable and determined employee.

Haydon’s work experience also includes his volunteer service at the Nolin River Wildlife Sanctuary. The sanctuary allows the rehabilitation of wild animals such as raccoons, opossums and deer.

A volunteer with the sanctuary for the past two years, Haydon said she helps by feeding the animals, cleaning the cages and occasionally walking animals. She also helped create social media content for the shrine and recently hosted the shrine’s “Raccoon Beauty Contest” on Instagram.

Haydon said one of his favorite experiences at the sanctuary so far has been witnessing the growth of Boone, one of the rescued raccoons. Diagnosed with cerebellar hypoplasia, Boone was given a wheelchair built by engineering students at Central Hardin earlier this year.

“It has been amazing to watch it thrive at Nolin River Wildlife when I know how well it would have had it in the wild,” said Haydon.

At Central Hardin High School, Haydon is involved with a variety of clubs, including Beta Club, Young Democrats, and FFA. Last year, she was enrolled in the Academy program at Hardin County Schools Early College and Career Center (EC3). She was also involved in the iLead student group while she was at EC3.

Through EC3, Haydon is currently working on his Associate of Arts degree at Elizabethtown Community and Technical College while graduating from high school. After graduation, she said she planned to attend Midway University or Georgetown College to major in psychology or communication.

Haydon said that whatever school she attends, she hopes to be involved in college-level equestrian activities.

Schroeder said Haydon’s desire to learn and positive attitude will be a valuable asset in whatever she chooses to pursue.

“We are constantly in awe of Caroline, watching her growth and her willingness to be responsible to us,” she said.


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