Teach the 3 Different Ways that People Learn


Tack Room

A good reminder for instructors, as we approach the busy teaching season, comes directly from the newly released CHA Instructor’s Manual. People learn in three different ways: auditory, visual, and kinesthetic. The auditory learner will benefit most from the explanations that accompany any effective lesson, while the visual learner will learn more from the demonstration. A kinesthetic learner will learn best from actually practicing the motor skills. All of us learn in all three ways, but typically individuals will favor one method over the other two. For this reason, it is important to make sure all of your lessons present information in all three ways. Remember, that for a visual learner, a poor demonstration may leave a lasting impression of the wrong thing. For this reason, it important for the demonstration to be very good and you should avoid demonstrating the wrong thing or how not to do something. (The new Instructor’s Manual is now available by calling the CHA office; it is a valuable tool for instructors and trail guides).

A bit frequently seen in tack rooms everywhere is the “Tom Thumb snaffle” or western snaffle. This is a shanked bit with a jointed mouthpiece. This bit is commonly misunderstood and believed to be a very mild bit, because of its jointed mouthpiece. In fact, the bit can be quite harsh since the jointed mouthpiece allows the bit to squeeze the chin of the horse, an action referred to as the “nutcracker effect.” Additionally, when the shanks come together from a pull on both reins, the jointed part pushes up into the roof of the horse’s mouth, which is a highly sensitive area. This bit is definitely a leverage bit and is not a direct pressure bit like a snaffle. Horses using this bit will frequently open their mouth to try and escape the pressure. The bit definitely has its use, but if it is a mild bit you are looking for, this isn’t it.

Herd Management

Horse Lingo

Funguses and skin disorders are common problems in the summer, especially when the same grooming equipment is used for a large herd. Brushes and grooming tools should be disinfected regularly through out the season. Place the brushes in a five-gallon bucket and soak in a mix of bleach, detergent and water. Allow the brushes to soak for at least an hour, rinse VERY thoroughly (to avoid skin irritation caused by the bleach and detergent) and allow the brushes to dry in the sun. Disinfect brushes and grooming tools every time a horse shows signs of a skin disorder or on a routine basis, weekly or monthly. Whenever a horse shows signs of a skin disorder, be sure to disinfect and isolate his brushes and tack, so that it does not come in contact with any other horses.

Stride Vs. Step: a stride refers to one complete cycle of all four feet during the gait. For instance, the canter (or lope) is a three beat gait and one stride of the canter includes all three beats (the outside hind, then the inside hind and outside fore as a diagonal pair, then finally the inside fore). A step is the action of one beat during the stride. So one step in the canter stride would be when the leading fore leg moves forward as the final beat of the canter stride.