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Giving God Free Rein



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The smell of dirt mixed with manure may cause some to cover their noses, but LETU Senior Business student Alicia Griscom would likely tell them to get off their high horse - as she mounts her actual horse and sails over a cross rail jump. No stranger to hard work, family values, or the variety of smells that come with horses, Alicia’s time in college has been a “game-changer” in many areas of her life.

After training horses most of her life, Alicia believed her decision to study at LeTourneau meant that she would need to reign in her love for horses. To her surprise, as she looked during her Junior year for an internship for her business degree, she discovered Triple Creek Ranch, and decided to start volunteering at this equine training facility in nearby Hallsville Texas. “I provide a variety of training to horses that need ‘tune-ups’, advanced training, or have not been worked with at all and need to be started from scratch.” She immediately loved being back in the saddle and also enjoyed “making connections in the community and using my passions to help fulfill a need at this ranch.”

Alicia and her brother (Chandler Griscom, LETU Computer Science Engineering Graduate 2016) grew up Coatsville, PA, where she was around horses from an early age. Raised in the Homeschooling community, her family was a part of Generation Home Scholars and Echo Christian Academy, where Alicia developed a true enjoyment of family focused community partnered with her education, and the close relationships which followed. Alicia felt that same community closeness at LeTourneau University when she came on her first visit to spend time with her brother (who was a current student at that time) during her Junior year of high school. “When I came to visit him I fell in love with the community here. I also met some of the business professors on that visit, and I have since become great friends with many of them during my time here.”

Her choice of major had unexpected benefits in her work with the horses at Triple Creek Ranch, as she found connections in her work with what she had learned in her business leadership courses. “My leadership courses have actually been a game-changer. I’ve learned to have a certain approach to manage or motivate people, and I’ve found that I need to have a similar approach with horses, to seek to understand them more as I attempt to evaluate them.”

The journey to better ‘understand’ the horses she works with is not easy, and on occasion, she came close to tasting the dirt in the training ring, even with Gorgeous, an ‘off the track’ Thoroughbred who Alicia describes as her ‘favorite’ with ‘lots of potential’. She remembers a time when “I was riding and Gorgeous almost did a somersault with me on her. Thankfully she popped back up and we made it. She is very smart, and she picks up on things very fast.”

No doubt her work with horses requires both mental awareness and understanding of each horse, and clearly this work calls for physical strength as well, which makes Alicia thankful for her LeTourneau athletics experiences. “My time in LETU Track and Field and also my experience over the past few years with powerlifting, has helped build my overall physical strength in ways I didn’t expect, and is very helpful when riding.”

Spring 2020 is Alicia’s last semester as a LeTourneau student. Although she was unable to finish out the semester on campus due to the global pandemic, she is grateful for three distinct lessons learned. “1) Value the friendships you have and make time for them, even when life gets crazy. 2) Horses are a major part of who I am, and I want to continue in the equine world. 3) God’s plan is greater than mine, even if I can’t see it.”

2 Corinthians 2:15 says that the body of Christ is a pleasing aroma to the world. While the smells associated with horses may not be pleasing to all people, these lessons learned by Senior business student Alicia Griscom serve as pleasant reminders that our global community is united through God’s divine plans - and that even horses have bad days every once in a while. No matter what circumstances we find ourselves in, if we learn from Alicia, we'll find the strength in Christ to get back up on the horse.