Emma Armstrong going to Florida Next Semester for Internship


Joan Davis

Emma Armstong competing on her horse. The horse she is on is running through a course. “I would like to make a name for myself through competing and continuing my riding education,” said Armstong ‘21.

Abigail Brown, Op-Ed Editor

Next semester, Emma Armstrong, a senior at Hollis-Brookline High school, will move down to Florida to continue learning about riding, training, competing and much more through a hands-on internship. 


The internship she will take part in was introduced to her junior year by her family friend Lisa Hellmer, who had bought a farm in Dunnellon, Florida, with her sister to start a business. Hellmer had been based in Virginia for a while, and Emma had traveled there once a year to work with her at the barn she was working at. Hellmer wanted to create a business of her own, so she bought the farm in Florida and runs a training farm where she takes in horses for training and board, restarting younger horses coming off the racetrack. She resells horses and is a competitor herself. 


For the longest time, Armstong wanted to travel down to Florida to ride, because in New Hampshire, the competition season is on and off because of the winter weather. So when the opportunity came up, and Hellmer needed some help, she had made it a priority to go down there this winter. Throughout the next semester, she will create a research paper or presentation based on what she will be doing during the internship. She has been working hard with her family and school counselors to figure out what her next semester will like. “Now everything is just being finalized,” said Armstrong. 


Amanda Gardiner ‘22, another student at HB, has also been an equestrian her whole life. She started horseback riding because her mother had done so her whole life. Gardiner competes with her horses, hoping to have a future in the horse world. “I take riding very seriously and would like to be a professional and have my own business buying and selling horses,” said Gardiner. 


Catherine MacDonough ‘22, another student at HB, participates in horseback riding. Her mother rides and got her into it when she was only three and she started competing at six years old. She explained that equine is different for everyone; some people compete, breed, or just own horses for fun. MacDonough competes with her horse, Shelby, in  jumping competitions. “That’s where you are given a course of jumps and the goal is to complete the course as fast as possible without knocking any rails or having any stops,” said MacDonough.


Armstrong is looking forward to being in a more professional environment and business that revolves around what she loves to do. “I will be able to learn about what it takes to run a successful equestrian business as well make a name for myself through competing.” She mentioned that it is a unique experience because she will be living on her own but will have the support of the people she is working with. If all goes well, Armstrong plans to become a working student during her gap year where she hopes to continue riding, competing, and learning. 


Overall, Emma loves to ride and is passionate about what she does. over the next semester, she will continue learning and have a great experience under her belt. To learn more about horses and what they do visit  What is Equine Assisted Learning.”