Education of the Equestrian: Learning Resources for Horse People

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    Mandee Widrick | February 7, 2012 |

    browse-150x150People learn in different ways. Some prefer to access their information online, some prefer to learn from a book or magazine, and some prefer one-on-one training. This week, we asked #HorseChat participants what they felt were the best educational resources currently in existence and how they acquired most of their horse-related knowledge.Q1) Name 3 equine related websites that you visit regularly and why?

    @LadyBugBlvd: “SmartPak, CANTER, and my own barn’s website for shopping, horses, and b.c I’m my barn’s webmaster.”

    @HorseWhizpererA: “Thehorse.com is one that I visit a lot b/c of the great information that can be found on there.”

    Interestingly enough, several chat participants also reported that they frequented Facebook groups for much of their information, saying that group members seemed to maintain more of an “expert” level of knowledge.

    Forums, however, seem to be losing their popularity on the web.

    @hunterjudge said, “I tried to get into forums but they are too all over the place and vague.” Some voiced concerns that the forums they once frequented seemed to offer misinformation. Liv Gude of @proequinegrooms also added, “Facebook groups tend to be invites to proven experts.”

    “If you want advice go to LinkedIn horse groups. Very helpful and professional,” said Laura Kelland-May, @hunterjudge.

    Q2) Do you prefer to access your information online, in books or in printed publications?

    @sierrasweets: “I try to use every source. But mostly on line. I find I can get Info that is more up to date and current.”

    @LadyBugBlvd answered, “I love online for the ease of access but print to be able to keep particularly useful/important pieces.”

    @hunterjudge: ”I’m old school – prefer printed material, slowly converting to online and direct info.”

    @afmarcom: “Magazines get harder to read every year! Since photos are important for horse mags, iPad is better for reading.”

    @HorseWhizpererA: “I find it hard to trust some online material b/c you just don’t know if it’s trustworthy or not.”

    Q3) Which printed publications do you subscribe to? Which is the most informative for you?

    @PassionateHorse: “I’m subscribed to the Paisley Pony and Seasoned Rider.”

    Some of the more popular responses included Horse Illustrated, Blood Horse and Equus. Others shared that they aren’t subscribing to printed materials much anymore:

    @ilovehorsesnet: “Prefer online these days – printed publications get expensive, online is more up-to-date.”

    Q4) In what ways do you utilize social media to gather information? 

    Natalie Reinert (@nataliegallops) responded, “I favorite a lot of tweets for future reference.. things I want to read more about, links I don’t have time for.”

    @hunterjudge also said, “I use social media to find experts in the areas I want information. Then ask them for the information that I would like.”

    Q5) How often do you attend a live event or conference for the purpose of learning?

    Cheryl Harless of The Equine Admin (@CherylHarless) said, “Seldom (I just went to Pomona Equine Expo and sat in on a few talks) but would like to do a lot more!”

    @LadyBugBlvd: “As often as possible. Next week will mark the second for this year, but I think it will probably die down after that.”

    @PassionateHorse: “I’ve not attended one in quite awhile because there are none regarding horses in my area.”

    @InfoHorse: “I use to attend all the bigger US horse expo events but now am very selective.”

    Q6) What method of learning is most effective for YOU? Examples: One on one, videos, reading, seminars etc.

    @LadyBugBlvd: “One-on-one, clinics, etc. I’m a major visual learner so having the image then an explanation is very effective for me.”

    @CherylHarless: “I’m a kinesthetic learner… meaning let me do ‘whatever’ while you explain. Visual is second for me.”

    @Phalaris7: “Hands on experience for me…”

    Many chat participants agreed that they were visual learners and preferred to learn things through visual instruction. Additional questions of the evening as the chat went overtime included:

    • Who has been the most influential in your areas of interest? (Can be a family member, friend, horse professional…)
    • What do you feel are the hottest trends for education sources in the horse world? What could be the new big thing?
    • Are you currently using any kind of horse-related application on your smart phone? If yes, which ones?
    • If you could see more resources for a particular area within the horse world, what topics would most interest you?

    How about you? What educational resources and methods do you find most effective?

    To learn more about our weekly #HorseChat, please visit https://www.horsefamilymagazine.com/horsechat. Thumbnail image credit: Peter Mazurek

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