Horsemanship Lessons at Allison Acres
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Cindi Long

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Cindi Scoleri (previously Cindi Long):  I'm the senior instructor and owner of Allison Acres. Here is a little bit (OK, OK, so it's really more than you ever wanted to know) about my education and experience:

My BA is in biological psychology. As an undergraduate I was a MARC Scholar and worked as a research assistant for a neuroscience professor. I was actually a double major for a while, biology (pre-med) and psychology, with hopes to go on to a PhD/DVM, but it's difficult to undertake such a rigorous course of study when you already have kids! After completing my BA, I entered graduate school and wound up about 6 units short of a Master's degree in education. We moved out here to Galt and I never did my thesis... I also completed the multiple subjects teaching credential program with a special authorization to teach science in the single subject classroom to any age.

I have done a lot of substitute teaching, and I really adore the challenge of having a very limited amount of time to get to know a group of kids and make a difference to them. I've had several classes tell me they never really considered subs actual teachers until they met me, and there is nothing cooler than hearing something like that! One of the best things about subbing is that I get a chance to show the kids that they should take advantage of their time in the classroom to learn -- not just because they will get in trouble with their regular teacher if they don't pay attention and stay on task, but because it's important for them and for their lives. 

I have worked at Sylvan Learning Center, a national after-school private education company, both as a teacher and as the director of education. As director of education I tested children, devised curriculum for enrichment or remediation, conferred with parents and regular school teachers, and best of all, worked directly with the kids in a teacher/coach capacity.

I have also tutored privately, both for free and for pay, since the time I was old enough to notice a fellow student struggling. People have different talents and it sure takes all kinds, but my particular talent is academics, and I really enjoy helping others *at least* come to view it as a potentially fun thing. I really view education as empowerment, and so far I've been successful in helping kids see it that way also.

Some stuff that I hope would go without saying: I don't swear around students, I don't belittle students or humiliate them, I don't call names, and I don't tolerate any of the above from any student toward any other student. I do not yell, and I actually really enjoy kids - even if they are afraid, rebellious, bored, or bubbly non-stop talkers.  My biggest goal is to help kids see that some adult (other than a parent who's obligated) can see value and worth in them. I know it sounds kind of goofy to say everybody is special, and we're not going to start singing the Barney songs or anything, but really, it's true, and kids need to know it.

I especially enjoy adult beginners also.  And I've had the few adult riders who are way above beginner status but who've still managed to learn a few things from me.  ;-)

I am very grateful to my students, from whom I have learned a LOT, and who make it possible for me to stay at home and take care of my kids and my horses and do what I love. 

I am grateful also to my greatest teachers, the horses.

You can see pics of me working horses at the Extreme Ranch Trials here:

Extreme Ranch Trials 1: A lot of Tarzan and I working obstacles including a written description of how I train the horses to negotiage obstacles, in this case a water obstacle

Extreme Ranch Trials 2: Pics of Forrest, Pluto and I working obstacles

There are also some videos of me on Youtube.  I haven't done any yet that are meant to showcase me, but I have a few that I put up to show the horse, where you can watch me work.  Click here.

Here are some pictures of me during a lesson on working with a foal:

Teaching the foal to circle:

 

Teaching the foal to lower his head:

Teaching the foal lateral flexion:

Working with his hind feet:

Desensitizing him to the rope over and on him:

Handling his ears:

Letting him play with the big green ball:

Working with a young headshy two year old:

Teaching tacking up:

Giving a lunge line lesson:

A semi-private lesson:

Here are some newer pictures from early 2007:

Obstacle work with Tarzan:

Round pen work with Tarzan, after the "join up":

Yo-Yo-ing Tarzan back out of my hula hoop (to borrow phrases from both Parelli and Clinton Anderson! :-)

Catching horses in the "pasture" - I try to teach them all to at least turn and face me when I ask them to, and some know how to walk to me on command:

Haltering with a soft feel: