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March 8, 2018: The Horse Life: The Talented and Gifted Homeschooling Program

I used to think that talented and gifted programs were an elitist proposition because I harbored ill will about not getting into one when I was in the fourth grade. I was clumped (and I do mean clumped) with the slightly above average students. And I noticed when I was a freshman in high school that I was clumped (again) with the slightly above average students.

The gifted and talented program was not called such then. They were just the “smart kids” and as such, we were in our own classes. They hung out together, ate lunch together, and did extra-curricular activities together. I did not have a single conversation with any of them until my Junior year when I infiltrated their ranks. It wasn’t intentional – I was just a really

good writer, or so others thought, so I found myself in their classes. None of them were happy about this – and they became unhappy when I outshone them.

My experience did lead me to believe that this supposed intellectually superior form of grouping was unfair to those who couldn’t cut the mustard. And well, I still think this way when it comes to educating human beings. Far better to have a mix and find ways in which everyone is intellectually challenged. It can and should be done.

Oddly enough, I am now in charge of a gifted and talented program. My class size consists of four very smart horses. If they were in a larger herd, they would not get this opportunity. This is simply circumstantial. I have a small number on the premises and they just happen to all be brighter than average. So I do have a responsibility to them, which is to give them the best education possible. Tyra is destined to study theology and philosophy (as indicated by her metaphysically-related questions), Raudi to study environmental engineering (as indicated by her interest in, and ability to, open gates), Hrimmi to study earth science (loves to check out the compost pile), and Tinni to study homeopathic medicine (what’s in today’s slurpee he frequently asks?).

They are all a ways from realizing their career-related dreams, which is why I am spending so much time on the basics, the basics being walk nicely beside me, wait at the gate for me to open it, step back when I am doling out hay. I do agility with at least one horse a day. And each gets individual lessons – I’ve been taking Tyra out with Hestar the bicycle, ground driving Hrimmi, and working with Raudi on lengthening her stride. I’ve also been working with Tinni on walking at a brisker pace when under saddle.

It’s amazing how receptive they all are to their collective and individual lessons. I am sure that I have indirectly promoted what on their part now has to be an elitist attitude. But then, I believe it – they are all equine Mensa material and therefore deserve the best educations that I can possibly provide for them. And in this way, I am (at least) making the horse world a better place. Whinny whinny neigh neigh.

Next: 69. 3/10/18: Deferred Poop

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