KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- Online learning has become the only option for some teachers, including one horse riding instructor.
Michelle Mangold with the Horses of Hope Riding Academy gives lessons on Facebook Live. She teaches people how to put on a saddle, groom and catch a horse.
“It’s a totally different way to teach because you have to understand if they can’t see it well, you know, you have to get as close and personal as you can to make it feel or seem like they’re right there,” she said.
There are about 23 students from all over the country tuning in to horsemanship classes online. That’s more than double a normal sized class, but they say it still feels personal. Students can ask any question in the comments.
Mangold says there’s something for everyone to learn, even experienced horse owners.
“So like taking a subject like grooming. People who have their own horses, they know how to groom. So I’m adding details about the equipment, the different techniques you can use and stuff like that. And I have a lot of people that have their own horses that are saying, ‘I never knew that before,'" Mangold said.
She uses a retired racehorse, Joe, to teach the class. He does not always behave according to plan.
“So we stop what we’re doing and we interact with the horse and I explain what the horse is doing and why he’s doing it and why I’m responding the way that I am,” Mangold said. “So really the horse delegates how the lesson goes, because in real life the horse delegates how the lesson goes.”
Some students have taken initiative with their learning.
“I’ve had other people that don’t have horses, because I’m showing them some of the treats, look up recipes and actually make treats for Joey and do research on what horses like to eat,” Mangold said.
Mangold says she wants to empower people and make them feel more confident once they can get around horses again.