There are different degrees of knowledge and you can get these from life experiences, book learning, or at an institution.
Learning is continuous and lifelong:
My grandmother always used to say it’s been a good day if you’ve learned something new. She was right.
One way of learning is simple experience.
Remember the “School of Hard Knocks” or the “University of Life”
The idiomatic phrase said, “Much of your education is to be obtained only in the school of hard knocks. There is no age limit and the sooner we are graduated the better for us.” Meaning that sometimes you need to learn from negative experiences in life rather than only from a book.
Even people that have their Master’s degree in Engineering may not know how to drive a car as well as a chauffeur.
We are continually learning to update our information as well.
Imagine you go to a new doctor for a routine checkup, but instead of using current techniques, like a stethoscope, to test your health, they put their ear to your chest.
Would you go back to that doctor, or would you look for a doctor that uses at least a stethoscope and is up to date with modern medicine?
You can also learn a few things at the same time. It doesn’t just have to be one discipline. A chef is always looking for new recipes to keep their food fresh and interesting. But at the same time, they may also be reading a book on childbirth because they recently became pregnant.
You see, there are many different facets of life that you can improve through learning. In fact, there should be a degree for everything in life.
A degree in Life Experience.
Choosing what’s important:
Okay, so it’s great to keep learning every day, but if we just go around learning about whatever crosses our path, we’ll never become masters of an art.
A good way to make sure that we excel is to focus our attention on the things we need to know in order to succeed.
For example, if you want to start your own business it might be worth investing in an online business course.
In the same way that you need a teaching degree to become a teacher, you also need at least some knowledge of the business if you want to start your own business.
You also need to start small and grow from each learning experience.
You can’t expect to know as much as Bill Gates did in Computer Software when you finish your first course in computer basics 101. But it’s good to have a goal.
The same goes for horses.
Getting a horse is sometimes the first step, before riding lessons. However, for me it was lessons first, then a horse.
But then where do you go?
You can’t know EVERYTHING about horses in a month, a year, or even a few years. But you can learn as much as you can in one thing and grow from there.
Focus on the fundamentals, the basics of your horse’s health and welfare so he is around for years to come.
Remember you can learn more than one thing at a time. So, add lessons in whatever discipline you and your horse enjoy. Then move on from there, depending on what you and your horse do well together.
Degrees of Knowledge:
Luckily you don’t necessarily need a degree in something to be good at it. If you’re willing to put in the effort and keep learning as you go, even the littlest bits of knowledge collected over time can be equivalent to, if not more useful than an actual degree.
You can combine them as I did, using my Psychology degrees to blend in with my horse knowledge and experience to create my own unique way of training.
Nothing is overnight, so be ready to spend quality time learning and blending and enjoying what life has to offer as you go. You are even allowed to change your mind part way through and try something new and exciting.
For example: You have been taking riding lessons in dressage and you and your horse are doing well, but “something” is still missing. You go to a rodeo and get excited to watch the barrel racers or the trick riding.
Nothing says you can’t try that if you want. So, try it. If you like it, great. If not, that’s ok too and you can continue your dressage lessons.
You don’t have to go down a certain path, but you do have to do it in appropriate steps. Don’t run up behind your horse and try to jump on him bareback without warning.
This is very important in today’s climate.
You are being asked to take a look at which areas of your life that require more study. It could be anything, from getting an actual degree, to learning new hacks to declutter your cupboards, or trick training with your horse.
The key is to make sure that you have the knowledge you need to make the best of your life and your horse’s life.
I strongly feel that you are responsible for the care, welfare, and protection of any animal in your care.
A great way to figure out which areas of your life you need a degree in is to take a look at the areas of your life you aren’t happy with.
You could be having a lot of trouble managing a work-social balance and you find yourself craving social contact so much that you aren’t putting a lot of effort into your work.
To remedy this, you could look for social groups that share your interests and meet up in your area regularly. Whether it’s a book club or a sports team, you’re bound to learn of an event that will meet your social needs.
Or if you feel you may have missed something in your learning of horsemanship skills, do some research. Check out what the latest trends are. Do a “taste test” and see what tickles your fancy and excites your senses.
There are lots of different levels of programs (beginner/intermediate/advanced), different types of learning (groundwork/foundational/riding), and different degrees you can reach (certifications/program completions/university).
Knowledge comes in many forms, and learning doesn’t need to be tied to formal education. Any area of your life can be improved through the right type of learning.
Today’s take-away lesson:
Once you’ve done some self-study and identified the areas of your life that can be improved it’s time to prioritize. Which areas are most in need of improvement?
Focus on the areas that present the biggest obstacles to your happiness and work your way down the list.
And don’t be afraid to ask for help. Learning needs to come from someone else, whether that is a book, an online program, a 1-to-1 teacher, or your horse.
If you are searching for a degree of learning, I have many different programs and levels of teaching on my website.
I love teaching open-minded, heart driven people how to push the easy button with horses because they are open to new ideas and only want the best for their horse.