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July 28, 2020: Once a Teacher, Always a Teacher

For sure, teaching is in my DNA. Both my parents and my sister were teachers. I taught for some years, writing, and I thought that it was my chosen profession. I would not call it a calling -- but the powers that be tapped me on the shoulder and said “hey you, you need to be teaching.”

The academic world chewed me up and spit me out and left me feeling a mite bruised. I would have gladly again joined ranks, but no job materialized here after we came north. Pete was the lucky one, and I have since been riding on his shirt-tails.

Alys and Tyra doing agility

I acquired Raudi, and shortly thereafter I became interested in teaching horseback riding. I became interested in Centered Riding Instructor and have followed that particular path. It’s been an up and down process certification wise. And it has not helped that there are no upper level Centered Riding instructors in Alaska.

I have just waited for doors to open. This is all, ultimately, that I could do. Today a door did swing open and I walked right through it. My friend Sarah told two mutual friends that I would be willing to give them lessons, so I did this this afternoon, at Saddle Up Arena.

Amy rode her gelding Whiskey and Jessica rode her mare Scout. I had, beforehand come up with a plan, and I still think in retrospect that it was a good one. I prepared a brief talk on the subject of horse/human observation/eyesight and set up an agility course with obstacles from home.

I talked, and then took Jessica and Amy through the course, individually and then with their horses. They then rode their horses in a lesson.

I learned more than they did, I am sure. I think that the lecture and on the ground agility work was a wash. They most likely thought they could do this on their own. The lesson, well, it was quite interesting because I had to work with the lowest common denominator. Amy was lacking in confidence and therefore needed more time and attention than did Jessica, who I suspect got a little bored.

Sarah appeared at one point – she got what she wanted out of the lesson, the good bits – that is the riding portion. And at the end, I provided her with her own lesson, the focus being on first riding through the obstacles and then on cantering. To hell with the lecture and on-ground agility stuff.

Jessica and Amy said that they’d be up for a lesson next week, so it wasn’t a complete bust. And so, for next time, I am going to move things along much faster. I’ll have the horses and riders check out the obstacles then have everyone saddle up. My focus next time will be on breathing. I’ll do research on this subject this week.

I returned home and did agility on the home front. It interests me that from what I can see, so few are interested in doing agility. Well, I do take great joy in teaching my horses.

Next: 209. 7/29/20: Making the Best of the Best

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