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June 1, 2015: Moving Forward

Yesterday, as we were eating lunch, out of the blue, my sister Eleanor asked me why I was so interested in teaching, this after my telling her a bit about Katie Long, my first teacher. She then added “at some point, don’t you just know it all? (Referring of course to being able to ride a horse.)

It was one of the few times in my life in which I was dumbfounded. I was at first wondrous about the fact that El asked me this question, but I ought not have been. It occurred to me that I might have done too good a job of holding my horse-related cards to my chest, well knowing that horses and horsey doings are not that big a deal to her.

I also have been working hard at being attentive to her concerns and interest. She had a very rough spring in assisting my mother with her transition to assisted living, and in continuing to teach in a school where problem kids seem to be the norm. I of course realized that she would not have been so stressed if she wasn’t such a kind and caring person.

Another reason why I didn’t say anything was that her very astute question needed considerably more

thought. Furthermore, I needed to come up with an answer to it for myself. This is because learning and teaching are central to my being. I exist in order to do both.

I have always enjoyed learning and I have always enjoyed teaching. I come by the latter honestly. My parents both valued education and my mother, father, and sister are teachers. I followed in their footsteps. I went all the way to the top, got a Ph.D. And I taught college writing. I presumed that this was something that I’d keep on doing, but this was not to be. If it was, I’d still be doing it. Instead, I got a horse, and began teaching her to be a good citizen. She and all the horses we have owned and still own have been excellent students and even better teachers. Learning has been reciprocal.

About a year ago I inadvertently began extending my teaching-related boundaries. I began reading back issues of magazines provided to me by Katie Long – and made note of the fact that I was interested in centered riding related topics. Then I somehow realized that I was interested in teaching others. Enter Dick Stoffel. I began working with him. This led to my decision, to go to CA and get my centered riding instruction certification.

Doors have since been opening. I so much enjoy seeing things click for horses and riders. In fact, I live for those moments in which in which there are ahh haa moments. And I enjoy experiencing that click of recognition myself.

I have a strong interest in cognition and specifically in how horses and riders think. And I am interested in learning more about centered riding, and the application of differing learning styles. I know from first-hand experience that visual learning works well for me. Give me an image when I’m on a horse, and I’ll undoubtedly internalize it and then draw upon it in making specific physical adjustments. I do not yet know why this is – I have to do more reading and research.

As for the second part of Eleanor’s question, that is, the more finite nature of learning – Yep, there are some riders who are quite content after they reach a stopping point, to just let things be. They simply get out on the trail and take in the scenery. Yes, I acknowledge that this is important. Me, I like putting theory to practice – this with the knowledge that I feel more at one with the horse that I’m riding when I do this.

I also know that the beauty of learning lies in the fact that it is a lifelong process. I continue to live for those clicks of recognition, that this is those moments when the horse and rider get what it is that they are supposed to get. Right now I’m following the path of least resistance and fully enjoying the process.

Next: 136. 6/2/15: The Speed of Light

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