I do a lot of self-directed study. And you know, I wish I'd had the confidence to follow my curiosity when I was at actual university, I think I'd have gotten a lot more out of it! Anyway.
Since 2007 the study has been primarily corset-based. Plus business strategy and the like. These days, I spend my free time learning about horses. Trying to fill in gaps in my knowledge. Basic things like practicing tail bandages, since it's the sort of thing that when you're a teenage happy hacker you just never really do! But also trying to learn more detailed stuff so as to be useful to the animals I volunteer with. Or at the very least, to know enough to do no harm, if you see what I mean. Anatomy and biomechanics are very interesting to me, for example, I'm very keen to know more.
Anyway, there is no shortage of equine information available for free on the internet. The information is of varying soundness and quality of course, and a lot of the time I'm watching or reading things completely without judgement just to see what is said. I know at least 50% of it is going to be incorrect or include a touch of faulty thinking, but I also know that I'm not yet knowledgeable enough to make quick judgements. Just let everything wash through your mind, then slowly tease out the common threads, the things that make sense, the failings in logic, the examples where the results and the ideas don't match and the times when they do... And when in doubt, look to the horses themselves. They do communicate such a lot, and I want to be able to pick up on more of it. Plus you know, human beings can get very passionate about horses... which is fair enough, but sometimes excess emotion muddies communication or we let our own biases get in the way of finding truth. When ultimately, I'd like to think that most of us simply want to enjoy horses in a way that's also good for them, and so our number one priority has to be to return to the reality of the horse. The way it functions and the way it sees the world.
Anyway, back to letting information wash over... Even stuff that is mostly just about memory (eg: learning the points, skeleton, and muscles) is approached in the same way by me. If I try to learn or memorise something I struggle. If I just study and follow connections to satisfy my curiosity, I do okay. Eventually stuff clicks together.
At any rate, I am often bookmarking things, making notes, saving youtube videos... But I know from experiencing the same with corsetry that I will easily lose those bookmarks, forget about the videos, etc. etc. and then years later not be able to find the thing I want. And I know that quite a few of my corsetry people are actually also into horses. So I'm thinking about how to collate everything for easy reference, without totally overwhelming my corsetry website with horsey stuff, haha!
Just blog using the equestrian tag? Repeatedly update one blog post? Have a separate blog or page or word doc? I'll think on.
In the meantime, I must link the website of a horsey friend in the Netherlands! Signe and I have been emailing about both corsets and horses and it's an absolute pleasure talking with her. She and her gypsy cob Blizz have a beautiful relationship. I love that they play with all sorts of disciplines and that Blizz is in splendid health and living an active life as an older horse. That's what good care and horsemanship can do. Also, he has a very cool haircut, haha! Anyway, they do some teaching, clinics, and workshops which look incredible. Definitely worth taking a look :-)
And I mean, come on... how much fun does is this?!