Pandemic Profs: Barn Hand Alli Pontano

Horses on a field at a farm.

Welcome to our series to give you a glimpse into Rowan University, our campus culture, and the lives of our students, while we’re practicing social distancing to protect society from the spread of coronavirus. Today’s story features Alli Pontano, a freshman Sports Communication and Media major social distancing from her home in Camden County, NJ. 

Alli Pontano is a barn hand at Home on God’s Range Stables in Alli riding a horse backwards!Sicklerville, NJ. Her job is to muck out the horse stalls, ride the horses, take care of the horses if they are hurt and feed the horses. She still goes to work at the stables five times a week to check on and take care of the horses. She says that although the Coronavirus has made things a little bit different, she maintains her normal duties. “The virus mainly affected our airsoft field in the back. We would have airsoft every weekend, but now we don’t [Airsoft is a game where you shoot plastic bbs. The game is very similar to paintball. The farm has a field in the woods where players can play]. Instead of working 6 days a week, I have been working 5 days a week due to the virus. I continue to do my normal routine and pay attention to the 15 horses.”

Alli feels a connection to the horses because of her family background. Horses eating from a bucket.“It’s in my DNA. I come from a horse family, and my aunts are 4H royalty. My one aunt was the Appaloosa Queen and the other was the Barrel Racing Queen. My family used to have racehorses, and I work at the same farm my family used to keep our racehorses at. In my family, you have to know about horses because it is in our DNA. Since I was seven, I have been working on farms. To many, farm work is stressful because there is so much to do in such little time. Personally, I find farm work to be the best work. It is relaxing to be with the horses because they are majestic creatures and it brings me so much joy to be with them.” She finds working with the horses to be relaxing during this time of uncertainty. 

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Story by:
Rachel Rumsby, freshman communication studies and public relations double major
Alli Pontano, freshman sports communication major

Photography by:
Alli Pontano, freshman sports communication major