A few years ago we got very involved in educating new and aspiring endurance riders.
Education is kind of in my blood. My mom was a teacher, and my safety consulting business — 18 years old last month — focuses on providing creative, engaging and interactive training about OSHA regulations to the employees of my clients.
So back a few years ago, while planning to teach a clinic for new folks at our farm, creating an Endurance 101 Powerpoint presentation felt a bit like falling off a log. It’s the sort of thing we do all of the time.
We shared that Powerpoint with AERC and other aspiring 101 clinic facilitators and held lots and lots of Endurance 101 Clinics all over our region.
In the mean time our consulting business evolved and started to catch up with the tech age. (Please understand that this has been a massive leap for me, she who still keeps a paper calendar and who can use her SmartPhone to do only a few basic things.)
We started a spin-off business, creating web-based training services to our clients who preferred to have their employees take their training in front of a computer instead of in a classroom.
Ahoy, PCS Custom Training Solutions LLC!
Then, this summer, we got inspired and involved in a little “passion project” as I like to call it …
We decided to take the Endurance 101 Clinics and bring them to the web via HorseLearningOnLine.com.
For aspiring and new (and maybe not so new) distance riders who prefer to take a self-paced online course, or who do not have a live local 101 clinic happening in their neighborhood, it would provide an opportunity get both INSPIRED and EDUCATED about what it takes to successfully prepare for that first competition.
- Module 1
- You Can Do This!
- The Distance Riding Sports
- The Horse
- Module 2
- The Rider
- The “Stuff”
- Module 3
- The Feed
- The Conditioning
- Module 4
- The First Competition
- Getting to the Ride Camp
- Vetting In
- Module 5
- On Ride Day
- After the Ride
- Mentors and Resources
And what a project it has been!
While working our ‘day jobs’ and keeping our clients on schedule, we’ve used weekends, evenings, vacation time and early mornings to plug along on the creation of Endurance Essentials. Do not ask. For a while we kept track of the number of hours, and then it just got too depressing.
But I have to say, now that we are doing the final editing and audio voice over, I’m pretty chuffed with how it has turned out.
Of course, we couldn’t have done it without the generous help and photos and videos from so many of our endurance friends! Their contributions make this course the practical, amusing, illustrative and insightful project we set out to create. (So thank you! You know who you are … )
In the event you don’t know about the wonderful world of web-based training, it involves a monster cloud of technical and administrative goodness called a Learning Management System, or LMS.
Training programs that are created through various software programs — we use Adobe Captivate because it allows for the most creative and fun interactions — get uploaded to the LMS and then there is a charge for logging in to access the training course based on the data usage over a period of time.
There are issues with copyrights and insurance and incorporation to protect your training assets and of course, like anything worth doing in business it seems, time with an attorney or two.
It’s been our goal, however, to keep the cost for the course roughly the same as our live Endurance 101 Clinics.
So the cost for a 30-day log in of Endurance Essentials is $29.99. [Some marketing genius told us to round things down by a penny or two. For me, the part of my brain where marketing knowledge should reside is consumed by information about horse electrolytes.]
As anyone knows in our sport, there can be a steep learning curve to success.
Our vision for the course was to keep the content fundamental, to focus on the basics for assisting you in preparing to make it to your first competition — whether it be an AERC ride, or a Competitive Trail Ride, or a Ride and Tie — with the building blocks in place to have a successful ride. The course consists of five modules, each about 45 minutes long, which means that you can spend a rainy day learning all about the sport — invite some friends over, launch the course, and enjoy! (You’ll learn dozens of things we had to learn the hard way. By making mistakes.)
We also know that sometimes learners like to delve deeper, so along with the training comes a Resources PDF, with links to in-depth information — everything from blogs to books to endurance tack websites to more information about balanced hooves and electrolytes.
So if this sounds of interest to you, or someone you know, please spread the word.
We’re so excited to share this with you!
Happy trails …