Jasmine Godinez, first Equine Sciences intern at CSU Spur, reflects on impact of new campus

Young woman with brown hair taking a selfie with a horse

Growing up in Globeville on Denver’s northern side, the opportunity for Jasmine Godinez to make connections with horses simply did not exist. Now a graduating equine science student, Godinez is wrapping up the first-ever internship at the Colorado State University System’s new Spur Campus.

Not only was Godinez the first Spur intern, but she was also the first student resident at Spur’s Vida building and the first CSU student employee at Spur.

Over the spring semester, Godinez participated in an internship focusing on being an equine-assisted services provider at the Temple Grandin Equine Center’s Denver location on the CSU Spur campus. During this internship, she learned the difference between many types of EAS and the standards necessary for providing the various services.

She recognized how the movement of the horse can help improve a person’s gait and how it can benefit someone who uses a wheelchair. She learned about the business side of therapy sessions, including documentation required for therapy sessions, as well as evaluations, short and long- term goals, plans of care and discharge.

“Seeing the progress of the clients” is what Godinez likes best about her internship, she said. The experience has already help shape her professional career. “Keep an open mind. I thought I would really like the psychotherapy services, but turns out, I decided I like occupational therapy more, which helped me to decide my career path.”

Upon graduation, Godinez hopes to apply to the CSU Occupational Therapy Doctorate Degree program so she may someday return to the Temple Grandin Equine Center to provide occupational therapy utilizing the horse’s movement as a tool.

Living and working at Spur

During her internship, Godinez was able to finally connect with horses inside the Denver city limits. She was also hired part-time to support horse care and facility maintenance, caring for up to 10 horses who live on site at TGEC, utilizing her equine science degree. Godinez performed daily care, including equine dietary needs, exercising, preparing the horses for appointments and barn maintenance.

Amid her internship and for the remainder of this summer, Godinez is a full-time resident at the CSU Spur Vida building in an apartment on the third floor. She shares the third floor with other interns and Colorado FFA state officers who live in the dorms. She said she loves meeting other students and socializing on the patio, sharing cupcakes while enjoying a great view of downtown Denver and the entire front range.

The view of the Denver skyline is a familiar one for Godinez. She grew up in the Globeville neighborhood, graduating from Victory Preparatory Academy in 2018.

Seeing the Spur campus including the surrounding neighborhoods in improving animal and human health, agriculture and water is exciting for her. She said the Vida building inspired three of her cousins to apply to CSU to pursue educations in health and equine science. Recently, her grandparents visited from Mexico and were pleasantly surprised to see signage in both English and Spanish helping them to feel more welcome and included.

Godinez is beyond excited to blend her equine sciences bachelor’s degree with what she has learned about equine-assisted services during her internship at TGEC at CSU Spur. She encourages all equine sciences students to seek an internship at TGEC CSU Spur, whether they are interested in EAS, equine care, or any facet of the equine industry.