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My Statistic’s Course before the Dissertation Year….

“It’s great how the Equine Science students all keep in touch and communicate as we go through this program.”

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Well it finally began on April 16, my final module in “Research Methods Data Analysis (Equine Science)”. Maybe you’ve noticed I haven’t written a blog in a while. I have this crazy idea that once a course begins I have to keep up! That includes reading material, coursework and the discussion board. Any extra time after my normal work  hours, with the horses and farm, go toward completing the course material. So this week is revision week (kind of a catch up week) and I’m going to spend it preparing for my 2 final assessments that are due July 2nd. This includes clarifying my Dissertation Project and refreshing my blog.

I’ll admit that statistics is not a comfort zone for me, and after reading the material in the first week, I especially will not believe too many statistics, with unsupported data, that politicians and others spout out (especially in %’s) without revealing any foundational data or where the original numbers came from. I highly recommend everyone read the book “The tiger that isn’t: seeing through a world of numbers” by Michael Blastland and A.W. Dilnot. You’ll never look at data, especially when it’s being used to further an agenda, in a trustworthy way again.  Numbers don’t lie, but the way people put them together can! Surprisingly, I am enjoying this course, and looking forward to part two!

Here in the Midwest U.S.A. we are in late Spring where temps are rising to around 80 degrees F. Last week we had a dry spell with unusually high temps in the 90’s*F so we were able to cut and  bale our first hay cutting of the 2018 season, we’ll actually get 4 or 5 cuttings throughout the summer season. One of the other MSc Equine Science students lives near Calgary, Canada and told me they only get one summer cutting of hay! No wonder hay for horses is a premium product up North. It’s great how the Equine Science students all keep in touch and communicate as we go through this program.

One final thought, while horse racing season is in full swing which means early mornings and some late nights, today was a little different,  we all took time this morning to watch the beautiful wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Quite Amazing! Congratulations to all!

Until next time….

Nancy

 

Bringing in the hay!

Research Methods in Equine Science…my last module before the dissertation year.

“During my studies at Edinburgh I have always had good staff support”.

I am eagerly preparing for my last module which will help me proceed with my research project.I am taking the free course, “Research Methods and Statistics” to help me prepare for the “real” class “Research Methods in Equine Science”. I have thoroughly enjoyed each and every subject/topic that Edinburgh has presented to me in each module. This makes it difficult to choose what area of equine research to focus on for my dissertation. I have so many ideas and questions, swirling around in my mind, that I would love to be able to investigate them all.
In reflecting on my past courses, I wouldn’t have predicted that, Equine Reproduction ended up being my favorite module. I was hesitant to take that course as my areas of interest were always geared toward equine physiology and orthopedics. I thought I wouldn’t do well in the class due to not having a huge equine breeding background. However I found the topic fascinating and ended up learning so much more than I anticipated…I hated to see the module come to an end! I’m glad I took the opportunity to investigate a topic that was somewhat out of my comfort zone.
At the other end of the spectrum….I was very interested in taking Equine Nutrition and was not disappointed in the course. All instructors were very informative and approachable, especially when help was needed setting up caloric calculations, nutrient requirement equations and equine dietary analysis. During my studies at Edinburgh I have always had good staff support. All questions have been answered promptly.
I ended up taking five modules in a row (having begun my studies in January 2015) and this resulted in me not having to take Equine Orthopedics. I was a little disappointed but was thrilled to be able to take the orthopedics class as an auditor. The research papers, books and lectures were very interesting and useful…I highly recommend taking advantage of this service Edinburgh offers for that “one” module you don’t have to fully participate in with assessments. I also highly recommend especially for “equestrians and drivers” to take the Equitation Science module. I took Equine Behavior and Welfare as a precursor to Equitation Science. The research available and the tutors were extremely enlightening. These two modules complimented one another, giving me good training strategies. A wonderful website on the topic is at http://www.equitationscience.com .

Well I better go ride some horses and of course clean some stalls! Today is the first day of Spring which for me signals that the Kentucky Derby is a little over 6 weeks away. Warmer weather and more time in the saddle is on the way! Enjoy your day!

Keep smiling,

Nancy

Continue reading “Research Methods in Equine Science…my last module before the dissertation year.”

University of Edinburgh….fervent about Equine Science.

“Meeting up with others around the world and discussing the plight of horses in today’s modern world was, and continues to be, a humbling experience.”

January is the beginning of my 3rd research year at the University of Edinburgh. This entire adventure into academia has been, and continues to be, eye opening and thought provoking as evidence based research confirms ideal practices in Equine Management.
My first module was on Equine Welfare and Behavior (2015). Meeting up with others around the world and discussing the plight of horses in today’s modern world was, and continues to be, a humbling experience. Delving into the natural and ethological behaviors of equids left me amazed that this creature actually survives the constraints we, as humans, sometimes put on them. I highly recommend this coursework, or similar studies, to any and all horse enthusiasts.
My first evaluated assessment was to compose a summary of current Equine Headshaking Syndrome research. I have since shared this research with others that have horses experiencing similar symptoms,(with a veterinary diagnosis of Equine Headshaking Syndrome), with positive feedback. Putting the data and statistics together to arrive at factual evidence based conclusions is a true passion of mine, especially when the outcomes may help owners make knowledge based management decisions for their horses! Doing well on my first assessment inspired me to continue on. Four modules later and I am now approaching my statistical research methods module. After finishing this final class, I’ll be in my dissertation year. I am already formulating my topic and looking forward to what conclusions the data might suggest. One thing is a given…this program has boosted my confidence and desire to always be a life long learner. I am also thankful for all the hard work the staff does to encourage each student’s success.

Best,
Nancy