by Megan Ulrich
What does the life of an average, 21-year-old college student look like? Stereotypically, it’s sleeping late, attending class, and working a part-time job to pay for a week’s worth of Ramen noodles, but 21-year-old, Ohio native Mallory Wachob is far from typical. With equal parts determination and passion, Wachob is pursuing a double major in business and marketing, plus an equine minor. She works anywhere from 10-30 hour a week, serves as captain of Lake Erie’s western equestrian team, and spends enough hours in the saddle to be a major contender in the AQHA show ring.
Recently, she and her six-year-old gelding, How Bout at Midnight (a.k.a. “Jack”), proved just that by winning the Amateur All-Around title at the AQHA L1 Championship East Show in 2018. The team has only been together for two years, yet they still have managed to be named the Champion or Reserve Champion in every class they entered at the show; a testament to Wachob’s hard work, determination, and time-management skills.
“It’s hard; working, showing, and going to school. It’s hard to get the practice in that I need,” Wachob says, “But, I’m the kind of person who likes to perfect things, so I do what I need to do. I get up at 5 a.m. (if I need to), drive an hour to the barn, schedule my lessons for 6:30, and go to class when I’m done.” It’s a system that she’s clearly making work, but it’s not one that has always been supported by those around her. Many voiced concern about the possibility of burnout or about responsibilities falling to the wayside amidst the daily hustle and bustle.
“At first, I really struggled,” she says. “Everyone in my family and my friends would say that I just couldn’t do it all. For a while, I believed them. Finally, I just asked myself ‘Why not?’ I’m not like everyone else. It’s been a struggle, but at the end of the day, you’re kind of glad you did it.” Wachob has her grandfather to thank for her introduction to the horse industry. At the age of five, he took her to Connie Vasileff’s nearby barn for her first lesson. “It all started there. I had just seen the movie Spirit, so I told the lady at the barn that I wanted to ride a buckskin horse just like Spirit,” Wachob laughs. That’s all it took. It wasn’t long after that when Wachob would get her first horse–a bay Quarter Horse pony named Roxy–to show in allaround classes at local open and 4-H events. “We were out there every weekend, and she’s the reason I do all-around classes,” explains Wachob. Though still her loving owner, Wachob has leased now 15-year-old Roxy to some young 4-H riders. The pony is still cruising around the same pens where Wachob got her start.Click here to read the complete article