About Melinda Freckleton
Dr. Melinda Freckleton is the founder and owner of Firestar Veterinary Services, LLC. She is a 2002 graduate of Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. After an equine medicine and reproduction internship, she practiced equine ambulatory medicine for 15 years in Northern Virginia. While gaining experience with pleasure horses, athletic sport horses of all types, trail horses, and loved equine pets—Dr. Freckleton gained a reputation for being practical, kind and informative. During these years in practice, she often thought about ways that she could improve the health of her patients and give their owners more personalized information about their horses’ health. To do this she needs to perform systematic exams of the horses, with ample time to discuss the findings, the day to day management, and owner concerns. This is even more true for some of her favorite types of patients; the beloved older horses, and those with endocrine diseases. The unique needs of these horses can get complicated, so the creation of a systematic framework for an ideal plan of action has been compiled into the Concierge Wellness Subscriptions you see here (with a link to that page). Many people seek a higher level of knowledge of their horse’s overall health needs, and Dr. Freckleton is delighted to meet that need! Whether for preventive medicine, or the unexpected problems that come with horses, she founded Firestar Veterinary Services to provide the comprehensive care your horses need.
Dr. Freckleton has worked on several American Association of Equine Practitioner's task forces; is a past president of the Virginia Association of Equine Practitioners, a past board member of the Virginia Veterinary Medical Association, and has served several other organizations. In the course of that work she was involved in the development of the state’s equine dentistry regulations. Dr. Freckleton is a co-author on a peer reviewed paper characterizing Fall Panicum toxicosis, a serious liver disease caused by this common native grass. She is a regular contributor to EQUUS Magazine and occasionally writes for other publications. As a passionate advocate for the horse, she loves sharing her enthusiasm and knowledge, and has presented to national and regional audiences on a variety of equine health care subjects. These audiences, both live and via webinar, have included veterinarians as well as professional and amateur horse owners, animal control officers, 4-H, and Pony Club. She volunteers regularly for therapeutic riding—most frequently with Simple Changes, and on a state level with TRAV(Therapeutic Riding Association of Virginia).
Growing up riding, there are few disciplines or breeds that Dr. Freckleton hasn’t been exposed to. Starting in her hometown outside Rochester NY, she rode her mother’s Quarter Horses starting at age 3! She went on to ride Morgans, Arabs and others in hunt seat, saddle seat and western pleasure. Eventing was her teenage passion, which lead to retraining horses off the track for other careers. There was a year with a Standardbred breeding operation, which lead to a few driving lessons. But dressage has been her deepest personal riding love from the time she first read about it as a teenager. Currently she still rides regularly and occasionally competes in dressage. Melinda and her wife, Jenny Spain, own and operate Firestar Farm in Catlett, VA, where they hold clinics, board horses, and train off the track thoroughbreds and a variety of other breeds of horses for dressage. They live on their busy horse farm with their daughter, as well as an assortment of dogs, cats and horses.