When you don’t own your own horse the next best thing is finding a way to be around horses owned by other people. Mallory Canaday (photo left) grew up in a town just outside of Dallas, Texas. Like most working in the horse industry, she has loved horses since she was a little girl. She was the only one in her immediate family interested in horses. However, the majority of her extended family was involved in agriculture so finding her way to the horses was pretty easy. All these years later she is now the Stallion Reproduction and Freeze Technician at the 6666 Ranch in Guthrie, TX.
Throughout her childhood Mallory occasionally owned her own horse and grew up doing playdays and running barrels. In high school she got involved assisting a Western Pleasure trainer. She didn’t show the horses but rather enjoyed riding outside the show pen more than riding for ribbons. Even when she attended college at Colorado State University (CSU) she found a way to work with horses by becoming the teacher’s assistant for the “colt starting” class. This class at CSU offers students a chance to work with and train young horses from different ranches throughout the United States. The culmination of the class is preparing the young horses for sale and then selling them at CSU’s Legends of Ranching Sale. Mallory said, “It was a really great experience. I even did my Master’s project for the class. I wrote a lab manual for future students to follow which is still in use today.”
At CSU, Mallory had the privilege to work with a young horse from the 6666 Ranch during the training class. As she trained the horse she became more familiar with the 6666 Ranch which was established in West Texas in 1870 and is approximately 350,000 acres. The history and the horses are what drew Mallory to complete a summer internship with the 6666 Ranch in 2007.
After her internship Mallory returned to CSU to complete her Bachelor of Science degree in Equine Sciences in 2008. She remained at CSU for the next few years to complete her Master’s degree in Equine Industry and Leadership which she achieved in 2010. Her experience during her training class and internship led her back to working at the 6666 Ranch full time in 2011.
“I was working as a vet tech at the ranch. I really didn’t expect that I’d have the opportunity to work with the stallions and the SBS aspect of the ranch. However, I jumped at the opportunity when Dr. Blodgett offered it to me.”
Mallory’s main responsibilities at the 6666 Ranch are to handle anything related to their affiliation with Select Breeders Services. This includes semen freezing, frozen semen storage/distribution, stallion collections, export testing on the stallions, the vaccination schedules of the stallions, etc. However, at the 6666 Ranch you can be asked to help with anything. When asked what a typical day looks like for Mallory she said, “My days can vary greatly in what I do. As an example, just the other day I collected five stallions, did export testing on three stallions, helped train our new interns, then scrubbed in to help with an emergency abdominal exploratory surgery on a puppy. That’s what I love about working here. I’m able to do such a wide variety of things and I try to help out in all areas of the breeding operation and vet clinic.” As an intern Mallory learned a lot at the ranch. Which is why she enjoys working with and teaching other interns. “It’s been very rewarding to work with and teach interns because they want to soak up everything. They are our up and coming colleagues whether they want to go to vet school or be involved in the industry in any way.”
When Mallory isn’t working with the horses or helping with small animal surgeries she enjoys spending time in the outdoors. Her and her husband, Nathan (photo above middle), like to explore the ranch with their two Australian Shepherds (Trip and Dash). They like to visit the historical spots on the ranch which include old homesteads, Indian sites and old cattle working areas. Mallory also used the pastures of the ranch to train for her first half marathon she finished about a year ago. When it’s raining or too hot to be outside you’ll find her either cooking in the kitchen or curling up with a good book.