I love taking Continuing Education classes of all kinds and I don’t think I’ll ever be too old for school. These classes have come in many different forms from college seminars, to night classes, to online classes.
A little list of classes I’ve taken since I graduated from college in 2010:
- Cake Decorating
- How to Make Goat Milk Soap
- How to Knit Cables
- NW Graziers Conference
- Coffee and Canvas Painting
- Creative Journaling
- Conflict Resolution
- Minority Relations Workshop
- Tree Medicine
- Grammar Refresher
- Making Medicine From Backyard Plants
- Guided Reading: Strategies for the Differentiated Classroom
- Response to Intervention: Strategies that Work
- WI Responsible Beverage Server Training
- Introduction to Internet Writing Markets
- Knit Spinner’s Mitts with a Latvian Braid
A majority of the classes are education related with a smattering of randomness in the mix. I know the list is not complete as it is missing various webinars and other in-school professional development events. Looking back on this list I feel I need a cooking class or two to round it out.
Horses have been on my mind lately so I decided to look around the internet for any interesting classes that pop up. I found an online course called HALTER (Horse Adult Leader Training and Educational Resource) Level One. This class is to help understand horse behavior, develop safe horse handling practices, and to use the horse as a learning tool to foster positive youth development. It sounded perfect to help improve my skills of teaching with horses so I signed up for it. I am still on the first section which is devoted to horse behavior but it has been a great review so far.
Three years ago I supervised a group of students who were involved in an Equine Therapy Program. It was definitely my favorite time of the day. I was able to help teach students about horses and watch them become both physically and mentally stronger. I think about that experience often because while it had it’s challenges it was amazing. I am taking this new online course because it is similar to the program I was assisting with before and I would like to become skilled at using the horse as a learning tool.
For the last two summers I have been giving my niece, Aurora, horse lessons because she is interested in riding and loves horses. This last August we acquired another horse, Melody, a Halflinger pony who supposedly knows how to ride and drive. I didn’t have a chance to try her out last summer as Penelope was a brand new baby and my time away from her was very limited. This summer is going to be a completely different story. The goal for this year is to help Aurora be confident enough to ride on her own so we can take both horses out on a little trail ride.
The beginning of April will mark the start of my time to work the horses in. Starting in April will give me roughly two months to remind both horses and myself of how to behave properly. I’m going to develop an actual written program and scheduled days this year so I make time to spend in the saddle. I’m looking forward to it!