Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Viva Carlos: What's in Your Name?

Because L of Viva Carlos wins at equine blogging, and because I can't get enough of this weird-ass unicorn.
Everyone has a story to tell and in blog land, most of us have stumbled upon each other mid-sentence, so to speak.  
What is the story behind your blogname/url?

I started this blog as part of a blogging class I took my final semester of college. I wanted an easy class I would have fun with, and that would hopefully keep me in the habit of writing even after I was done with school. At the time I had just started to pay for lessons again after several years of just riding on breaks from school, and it had just dawned on me that if I just told people my situation--that I was a poor college student--then they were willing to help me figure out ways to ride, or work off lessons and things like that.

The name Collegial Equestrian was sort of spurred by that gratitude for others, the collegial atmosphere of the class, and also the fact that I was involved in horse rescue through Gentle Giants and I exercised horses for a therapeutic riding center--hence "collegial" to invoke a sort of volunteer community. And what better way to become a better horseman than to come together and share our knowledge?

Truth be told, though, I sort of wish I chose something that wasn't so simultaneously dorky and ostentatious. But why fix it if it ain't broke?

For giggles I looked up my final assessment from my blogging class professor...would you give me the same grade?

Presentations, In-Class Assignments, and Blog Community-Building: 30%

You performed exceptionally well in this category. You attended class 27 times (in a 3-way tie for first in the class) and did all four of the in-class writing assignments. You got an A- (blog tracking), an A (blog roots), and a B (blog theorization) on the group presentation. You were also an exemplary citizen of the class blogging community, through comments left on other students’ blogs, posts to the class blog, participation in blog challenges, and conducting a tutorial for the class on Photoshop. You went above and beyond the call of duty and so earned an A+ in this category.

Learning Analysis: 20%

Your learning analysis essay is also exemplary of the genre. It’s a well-designed essay and an incredibly thoughtful reflection on the practical and theoretical components of the work we did throughout the semester. You never strain to make the connections between those two realms, as writers of such essays tend to do. You make them smoothly and purposefully. Excellent work. A.

Blog Building: 50%

You came into the class with a clear sense of what you wanted to do, and you set about doing it with considerable skill and discipline. You set the class record for quantity of posts and a very high standard for quality as well. Collegial Equestrian is well-written, well-designed, knowledgeable about its subject, and savvy and generous in its efforts to make connections with like-minded others. You prove well Blood’s claim that great blogging is fueled by passionate interest. You also prove that writing about oneself doesn’t have to seem self-involved or self-aggrandizing. In your case, precisely the opposite is true. You draw upon your own experiences as a way of informing and connecting with your audience. You do it very well. I look forward to seeing where you and the blog will go from here. Thanks for your hard work and your generous participation in the class. Keep riding, and keep blogging! A.


Not like it's that hard to get an A in blogging class if you just do the assignments!


  1. It's not that hard to get an A in a blogging class if you're as good a writer and as disciplined a student as you were, Carla. I suspect other students found it much more daunting than you did, but I know they all learned a lot from your example. Glad to see you are still blogging here, though not as regularly as you used to. Oh, and, yes, I'd probably still give you an A and reiterate the encouragement to keep riding and blogging.

    1. Ha! Thank you Dr. Lindemann. It's so nice to see you still follow the blog! And just so you know, I am blogging 3x/week at another site called The personal blog had to be lower-priority for a while while I figured out how to work full-time, ride and freelance. I was also having a lot of frustrations with my horse I didn't want to complain about in a public sphere...but your point is well taken!

      Re: the course, I guess I just never understood why people would throw away "gimme" points by not showing up, or not blogging once a week (the bare minimum!). It's like, if you signed up for a blogging class, don't you want to blog? I felt the same way though for a class entirely focused on Anna Karenina where a bunch of people didn't read the book. I mean, if Anna Karenina is in the name of the course, I would assume you had some interest in reading it. Just does not compute for me.