Alburnett senior logs thousands of hours training horse while maintaining near-perfect GPA

Published: Jan. 28, 2020 at 5:31 AM CST
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An eastern Iowa teenager has spent more than 3,000 hours training her horses. She did so while maintaining a near-perfect grade point average all through high school.

Emily Armstrong, a senior at Alburnett High School, is KCRG-TV9's Student of the Month for January.

Armstrong describes herself as a perfectionist and she's committed to her animals. The Future Farmers of America has even recognized her for this work.

"I actually have an SAE, that's a supervised agriculture experience for FFA. So I have over 3,000 hours logged with my horse," she said.

Those are just recorded times during high school and doesn't account for every hour Emily has ever spent with her animals.

She has a connection with horses.

"They tell you how they feel in other ways," she said. "But because they don't talk they're easy to get along with."

Emily's relationship with this horse led to another title. Last summer, she won Senior Cowgirl Queen at the Iowa State Fair.

"We went to a special trainer to work on our queen run, our stopping, just a lot of prep and making sure he's shiny and clean," she said.

That's not all her work with animals.

Emily trained her dog, Turtle, to do dozens of tricks, despite the fact that little Turtle is blind in one eye. She says it just takes patience as she used with any other animal.

"I've shown llamas at the fair. I've shown a skunk," she said. "We did pigeon rolling when I was younger. We had a pet squirrel once."

She'll likely use her compassion in her future career. She plans to become a registered nurse.

"I enjoy school so college isn't too nerve-wracking."

She'll graduate from high school this spring.