Olivia Merrell Boysel
Hillard, Ohio 43023
University of Toledo
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Planned Graduation: June 2021
Hello, my name is Livy Boysel and I have been around horses all my life. I started riding horses with my parents when I was three years old. We would go for trail rides and they would put me on the buddy seat behind them as they rode. I have loved horses since then. My mom and dad bought me my first pony when I was nine and I have been riding horses ever since.
I have been in 4H showing horses for 9 years and have won many awards and riding competitions at our Franklin County Fair and horse shows in Central Ohio. I have been selected to participate at the Ohio State Fair several times, riding in both Western contest and English hunter hack classes. I really love the contesting classes the best though. I have held several offices in our local 4H club, including secretary and vice president.
Having many 4-H project animal projects over the years enabled me to learn so many things including working with my hands to build shelters and fencing. The first year I took a project lamb I did not have anywhere to house it. My family had just finished building an addition to our house and had a lot of building materials left over. I really enjoyed the process of taking the scrap materials to build a shelter for my lamb. Since then I have built two more shelters, the last one I built completely out of discarded pallets, which cost nothing except the screws to hold it together.
I love to show my horse at 4H horse shows and jumping classes are my favorite to compete in. To practice at home I needed to get some jumps, however buying them was very expensive, so I learned how to use pneumatic tools and built my own jumps. Each jump I made had different heights and materials. I love the process of conceptualizing the project, gathering the materials to build it and making the idea come to life. I enjoyed the engineering process of these projects as much as using them for their purpose.
I have learned a great work ethic through all of the animals I have cared for, including maintaining the farm. When you own horses it is caring for them every day, twice a day, 365 days a year. It’s also unloading hay, usually when its 90 degrees outside and unloading 50 lbs. of grain when it’s below zero. This work helped make me strong and confident so that I feel can do anything. 4H taught me how to manage money as well. I had to budget for money to buy my market animals: managing the feed cost, bedding cost, show supplies and vet bills for all the animals I took to fair. I also learned how to talk to people and learned how to sell as I was marketing to buyers to come and support the livestock kids at fair by buying our market animals.
With the work ethic I have learned by living on a farm and my 4H experiences I will be a valuable engineer someday by solving problems and making operations more efficient both physically and economically. I also learned that I love mentoring the younger kids on how to care for their projects from how to tie knots to how to break and train horses. It’s very rewarding to watch others grow in their confidence and skills.
4H also taught me leadership and also how to be a team player. When we started a new club we started from scratch and had to pick meeting dates, meeting times, a name, club colors, a logo, stall decorations and officers. We had to set goals and rules for the club and come up with a schedule for what fits into everybody’s busy lives. We all worked together and each of us took the lead on a project or area to make our club great. I feel it was very similar to starting a business and feel like that experience has helped me have the confidence to maybe start one someday.
I plan on studying Mechanical Engineering at the University of Toledo starting in the fall of 2017. I am a very detail driven person and I love to observe and watch my horse and how she reacts and recovers from contesting classes and other high speed high agility activity. I think it would be great to use my engineering skills to develop better ways to monitor the health of horses to minimize soreness and lameness due to being overworked especially during long weeks at the fair. There is nothing worse than not being able to ride your horse after you have spent all year working to get them ready for the fair and having them come up hurt or lame.
One of the greatest obstacles for the horse trailer industry is the fact that trailers have become so durable due to the change to aluminum construction that people do not see a need to upgrade to the next trailer. I think there needs to be more of a “smart” trailer approach similar to what is going on in the car industry that uses technology to give people a reason upgrade, maybe a small portable generator or other sensors than measure the heat in the trailer or the tire pressure and quality.
I think the industry should also look into a redesign of the tires that are meant to be specifically installed on trailers. Since trailers aren’t used often and the tires go bad (side walls blow out, tire pressure gets low) that is a big problem with reliability. Also maybe include a tire pump in the trailer as well
Thanks again for your consideration with this scholarship.