Of the top five businesses in Talbot County, three are in health care, one is Walmart and one is a producer of “No Antibiotic Ever” chicken. How can a young person remain on the Eastern Shore and support themselves after they complete their education if their passion is something else? A great example is Chloe Meyerhoff, Equine Physiotherapist and Personal Trainer for Riders. One of my young friends introduced me to Chloe Meyerhoff, who began riding horses at age three. While many girls her age wanted Barbie dolls, she and her father built a wooden barn together and filled it with toy horses. She still has this wonderful memento of how her early childhood passion for horses led to her riding competitively and how caring for her horses led to her career.
Throughout high school, riding and fitness were top priorities for Chloe. She rode as much as she could and enjoyed taking care of her and her grandmother’s horses. Chloe’s beloved grandmother passed away when Chloe was eighteen; at that point she chose to defer a semester from college to dedicate time to caring for the horses and the barn. When she did begin her studies, Chloe chose Exercise Science as her field of study and after graduation obtained her license as an Exercise Physiologist. She was especially interested in the athletic side of training for both horses and their riders to maintain endurance and minimize injuries. Both horse and rider must be constantly attuned to each other’s physical and mental state as well as be in perfect unison and balance at all times.
During her senior year, she traveled to a competition but after the long drive, she unloaded her horse from the trailer and immediately realized something was wrong with him. He seemed stiff and uncomfortable and clearly they could not compete. When she returned home, her vet took x-rays and ultrasound to discover her horse had sustained a back injury several years ago and the long trailer ride had exacerbated the old injury.
After the horse’s vet had diagnosed Sago with a torn “Psoas Major” muscle in his back, Chloe focused on finding the best therapy for her horse, all the while not knowing if he would make a full recovery and regain strength to go back to the demands of training and competition. After treatments of shock wave therapy and vibrating devices similar to those used by chiropractors and other deep massage techniques, coupled with cross training intervals; Chloe’s horse rebounded and Chloe realized she had found her calling.
Her success with her own horse further piqued her interest in Equine Physiotherapy and she began an internship in Equine Physical Therapy and searched for colleges to continue her education in this specialized field. At that time, local colleges were difficult to find. With her responsibilities of barn maintenance and caring for her horses, she enrolled in an accelerated full time eighteen month online program with a month of hands on classes and clinicals based out of California.
Upon her return, word of her success spread in the Eastern Shore equine community and she found clients through the best marketing, word of mouth referrals from satisfied clients. Her therapeutic program emphasizes massage, body work, stretching, muscle activation, vibration therapy and myofascial release on the horses as well as personal training, stretching, balance training and target strength training for the riders. Her keen observation skills keeps hers and her clients horses and riders working at a top level.
Her equine companions now include her own horse, two miniature ponies she rescued as well as six boarders and she revels in caring for them all.
After my self-quarantine period is over, I look forward to meeting the Eastern Shore’s “Horse Therapist” who has found her calling and career. I hope Chloe’s story helps other young people to pursue their dreams.
For more information about Chloe Meyerhoff’s services, please call or text 410-443-8450. Jennifer Martella has pursued her dual careers in architecture and real estate since she moved to the Eastern Shore in 2004. Her award winning work has ranged from revitalization projects to a collaboration with the Maya Lin Studio for the Children’s Defense Fund’s corporate retreat in her home state of Tennessee.