Online Theory Courses.
This picture is a small portion of what makes up the bulk of my earthly belongings – notes. Boxes of them. For 20 odd years I have lectured again, again, again to Pony Clubbers, Brownies, Girl guides, boy scouts, grooms, pony campers, ABRS student, and professional students – the young instructors to be, getting ready for their British Horse Society and South African federation teaching exams. And, during that time, I have written an awful lot of course handouts, lesson plans, test sheets, diagrams (ya, I really can’t draw) and and and…. Vet notes for people who suddenly say Help, my horse has ringbone, what is it and what do I do about it? And for clients saying help – I have bought land and am building a stable – where do I start.
My awesome students have managed to average a 97% pass rate (I did say they were awesome) so maybe there is something useful in all these piles of notes. Now, my problem is – I travel around the globe (you may have noticed this?) And those irritating airlines don’t like me taking 500kg of paper notes with me on my flights, so all this resource was, temporarily, unavailable. Which is crazy, considering how many of my pupils want to learn more about horse care, are thinking of taking the plunge and buying a horse, dealing with an unsoundness or are biting their finger nails, getting ready to take an exam. And, considering the hours I put in researching, developing and putting all that knowledge into a user friendly, compact format that made an almost fail proof resource for my students.
So, a big part of my current job, is putting all of this onto my laptop – making those 20 odd years of research and studying available again – and you know, it’s pretty cool! Reminds me of some of the simple things I have forgotten to teach because they are such ingrained habits, made me look for new illustrations, made me research new information about things that I haven’t updated in all these years. And yes, my mother is very happy that she has one less box in her house already! Only about 10 to go….
There are lots of people doing this now – teaching online, so what makes this different? Well two things – for starters, not only was I a lecturer, but I was an examiner. So yes, I got all the daft, confused and non-thinking answers. And every time I got a really daft answer, the whole problem got included in the notes relevant to that exam, meaning that when my pupils went and sat it, they didn’t say the same thing. And the other? Well, having worked full time with horses, teaching and running yards on 5 continents, in a huge diversity of countries, climates, conditions and cultures, I got to see the good things and not so good in each place – what worked really well in a certain place, that wasn’t thought of somewhere else, so we can put a different spin on the same problem.
Anything useful for you? That depends… Are you keen to learn? Do you have a horse who you want to do the best for? Do you have a specific problem? Well then yes, there is something there for you. Every day more is getting added to my laptop and weekly there is more appearing online… Some is free, sadly some isn’t since I need to earn my airfares. And, another thing I love about it? Read it, learn it, think about it, and when I appear at your yard, we can do all the practical stuff, quickly, easily, saving you money in not having to cover the theory in lesson time and passing tests first time – a pretty good deal I think… Who is in?