New Drill

This week for my independent learning project I chose to explore a new drill that I can practice with my horse. I wanted to do this because I my horse has been getting very anxious before our runs. When he gets anxious he likes to get tight in is muscle and become pretty unresponsive to the commands I am telling him. This in the end is a recipe for disaster.

When I am coming in to my run Reno, (my gray horse) is running very tight. He is not very free when he comes into his turns which result in us either hitting the barrel, or blowing by it and not turning it well. Below I have attached a photo of the notes that I took while learning this drill from a friend that went to a Ryan Lovendal clinic. Even though I was not at the clinic she explained this drill that she learned to the best of her ability.


This drill is to be used to free up a horses shoulder and to help them come into their turns freely and smoothly, which is exactly what my horse needs.

I this drill you need 3 barrels and they need to be set about 30 feet apart.

When doing this drill you approach the first barrel to the right after turning the first barrel smoothly you go to the next barrel and also turn it to the right. You turn each barrel as many times as it takes for your horse to relax and freely follow his nose around the barrel. After repeating the turns around each barrel successfully to the right then go to the left. During this drill you need to make sure that when you are approaching the next barrel you keep the horse’s front end up and moving forward and not ever letting them drop their shoulder on the back side. When I say “not letting them drop their shoulder on the backside” I mean keep the same distance around the entire barrel. Do not let the horse cut off or anticipate the turn.

When I first learned of this drill I really thought it sounded pretty simply. It really was not as easy for me to perform as I thought it was. It took me several times turning each barrel each way before my horse got smooth turns. In the future I hope to get videos of myself practicing these drills to upload to my blog if possible. Thanks for reading!


This was Reno after the drill getting his feet done!



Passion Based Learning

The two articles that I really enjoyed on passion based learning were “3 Questions To Drive Passion Based Learning,” by George Couros and “25 Ways to Institute Passion Based Learning,” by Sara Briggs.

I really enjoyed George’s article for many reasons. The three questions that he narrows it down to are absolutely excellent.

In the article it talks about:

“What will I learn?”

“What will I solve?”

“What will I create?”

These are the three questions that George talks about in his writing.

In the “What will I learn?” part of things George talks about his research on the importance of content in learning. He uses an example of learning to play the guitar and how basically not knowing how to play the chords would actually lead to simply mimicking playing the air guitar. You may know how to play the chords, but eventually creating music could be the goal.  What is important in this process is having the opportunity to learn something that you are interested in. If you are learning something that you are interested in you are creating passion. Content is much more engaging to explore when we are actually interested in the topic.

In the “What will I solve?” section of things George includes a very powerful quote, “Currently, the world’s education systems are crazy about problem-based learning, but they’re obsessed with the wrong bit of it. While everyone looks at how we could help young people become better problem-solvers, we’re not thinking how we could create a generation of problem finders.” This really hit home for me because it is so true. When students have the chance to try and see problems from the perspective of others, that does not help them develop as learners, but also as better people.

Lastly in the “What will I create?” section George also includes another quote ““When school leaders tell me “our school is building a $25 million Makerspace,” I am concerned that Makerspaces may exacerbate educational iniquity. While there are expensive pieces of hardware that may need to be secured, I want the bulk of making to permeate every corner of a school building and every minute of the school day. Teachers whose Makerspace is in a few cardboard boxes are doing brilliant work. Making across the curriculum means students as novelists, mathematicians, historians, composers, artists, engineers–rather than being the recipient of instruction.” Gary Stage

In conclusion after reading each section of the three questions I think students should have the opportunity something of interest to them and share it. I love that we get to do that in this class with our independent learning project, and I will definitely use the same type of activity in my future classroom. I love everything about this idea.

Image result for after school no one tells kids what to learn or do

cc-Ken Whytock

The second article that really interested me in the passion based learning section was “25 Ways to Institute Passion Based Learning,” by Sara Briggs.  There are obviously 25 ways that she includes in her article, however there are a few that i chose of my favorite.

The most important one to me is letting students share their passions. Passion is contagious. Sharing passions with each other will spread the drive to learn and excite everyone in a way to help them drive on with their passion.

Another important one to me that she listed was to view passions equally. Try not to let any bias creep into the picture when it comes to student passions. Though you may harbor a secret fondness for the student who pores over Shakespeare during your 7th grade reading period, encourage the student who brings a fly-fishing guide to class as well. Students also need to remember this when they are sharing their passions with each other.

The last one that I found important was to surround your students with passionate people. This is important for encouragement. All together I really enjoyed all of the reading on passion based learning.