Not many people can say that they knew exactly what their future job would be at a young age. This doesn’t apply to Kate Hodson, veterinarian and Owner of Hodson Veterinary Services, LLC, who knew since she was little that she wanted to work with horses.
“I’ve had a passion for horses since I was born,” Hodson said. “I knew I wanted to be a veterinarian, but specifically a horse vet. It’s my life.”
Born in Crown Point, Hodson went on to study at Purdue University. From there she moved to Grand Cayman to attend St. Matthew’s University and studied veterinary medicine—an incredible experience where she met a diverse group of people and one who showed her just how small this world is.
“My neighbor in Grand Cayman was actually from Carmel, Indiana!” she said. “She asked me one day where I was from, and of course, I said, ‘Chicago,’ because that’s easiest when someone doesn’t know the area. Then she mentioned she was from Carmel, and we connected over how crazy it was that we both were on the island.”
After graduating from veterinary school, Hodson came back to Purdue to complete her clinical year, finishing her academic career in 2013. Two years later, she opened her practice in Hebron, where she now spends her long days working with horses from around the Region.
“I have help at my practice from my veterinarian assistant, Cate, so between the two of us, we are pulled in every direction,” Hodson said. “Equine veterinary is a dying profession—it’s long hours and you’re basically on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The closest referral center for emergency services is Purdue in West Layfette.”
But this has never deterred Hodson from the profession. Equine veterinarians are truly the jack-of-all-trades, doing everything from dentistry to labor and delivery.
“In this field, your job is your life. It’s not only your job; it’s your hobby, it’s your passion, it’s who you are,” Hodson said passionately. “So, if you’re not willing to give this job everything, then it’s not for you.”
“There are bad days, of course,” she said. “There are days when things go really badly and you’re not able to fix everything. I tell people that horses are a thousand pounds of fragile. And I’ll be the first to say when a referral is needed when there isn’t anything else I can do to help, when someone else may need to step in. Because my first and last priority is to help these animals and make sure they get the care they need.”
Along with her passion for horses, Hodson’s clients that make the job worth it.
“They really keep you going every day,” she said. “They are always so appreciative of everything we do, so it keeps you going through the good and the bad.”
From working with horses that live on small farms to helping show horses that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, Hodson’s drive to help these animals has taken her around the Region.
“I work with everything from backyard ponies to Grand Prix horses,” she said. “There are even times when we are called to a location that does not have a barn, so we’re working by headlamp or by headlight from our truck.”
Of course, Hodson’s love for horses wouldn’t be complete without her own. She has an American Quarter Horse named Hillbilly, along with several miniature horses and donkeys.
Check out Hodson Veterinary Services, LLC on their website: https://hodsonveterinaryservicesllc.weebly.com/ and their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/hodsonveterinaryservicesllc/.