06 May 2013

Horses As Teachers

When I started teaching college composition, I realized that my pointed wit and abrupt comments, all too well known to my friends and spouse, would spook most college students. The answer came to me as I worked to calm a particularly insecure, over-reactive horse: treat my students as if they were horses--steady and encourage the insecure ones, use vigorous energy to get the sluggish ones going, and so forth.

Using the same body language and energy level I'd use in the arena or round pen worked even better than I'd hoped. The first few years, I used it consciously, but now it's automatic. Too few of us realize how knowing horses can be of help to those who must work with people.

Given that, I was delighted to see this article: "Open Up, Say 'Neigh': Horses Help Teach Med Students."