WINSTED Growing up in Winsted, Jayde Proffitt enjoyed trail riding with friends but never owned a horse of her own. That fact hasn’t stopped her from pursuing a degree in equine science at the University of Minnesota Crookston.
Proffitt, the daughter of David and Kari Proffitt, loves horses. She also finds time for her other passion reading and has worked for a number of years for the Winsted Public Library.
“For me and for a lot of other kids, the library was our first step of independence,” she said. “Visiting the library on your own and having a library card gave us the power to make our own decisions on what to read. I liked that feeling of independence.”
Her library experience led to a job in the library as a high school student and beyond. Last summer, Proffitt was in charge of the summer reading program for children. As a work study student at the U of M Crookston, it was a natural fit for Proffitt to find a position in the library on campus.
Along with her major in equine science, Proffitt is minoring in both horticulture and agricultural business. She is a member of the Horticulture Club and competes for the Golden Eagles as a member of the Western Equestrian team.
“I am in my second year riding and was excited to point out during our home show this fall,” Proffitt said. “When you point out, you move to the next level and automatically go to regionals. I am really looking forward to the opportunity to compete at a new level.”
When Proffitt arrived on campus, she immediately fell in love with the arena and was impressed with the depth of the equine program at the U of M Crookston. “I benefit from the hands-on learning here,” she said. “And, someday I hope to be a barn manager of my own barn ideally somewhere out West.”
It isn’t a surprise to find that Proffitt considers Lisa Ebert, the librarian at the Winsted Public Library, to be one of her greatest influences. “She is so much fun, and everyone who works with her knows she is in charge, but also knows she isn’t afraid to come down to their level,” Proffitt said. “I admire that ability.”
She is also quick to answer when asked to name one of her favorite reads. “Growing up, I loved the book ‘Inkheart,’” she said. “It’s the story of a father and daughter who are able to bring storybook characters to life just by reading aloud.”
Proffitt enjoys vicariously experiencing adventure through a great book, but what she really loves is the learning-by-doing she experiences when she is in the classroom or in the saddle. “I like to be challenged,” Proffitt said. “For me, challenges are the perfect opportunity to improve and to grow as a rider and as a person.”