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Bismarck equine instructor uses technology to reconnect students with animals

Published: Nov. 21, 2020 at 3:06 PM CST
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Horses are social animals who stay in groups, or families, just as we do. But as the pandemic progressed, the agriculture profession and its livestock began feeling the effects of isolation. A Bismarck equine instructor tried new ways to connect her students with animals.

“Good morning,” said Harmony Stables owner, Cherie Sanstead.

This was a first for longtime equine instructor Cherie Sanstead.

“Harper, nice to meet you,” said Sanstead.

For ten years, Cherie taught children hands on horse lessons at her ranch, Harmony Stables. She logged into a new type of virtual learning so everyone can stay safe.

“The technology is not always the easiest piece but we have figured out how to make it work,” said Sanstead

Sanstead started the idea after her Facebook lives reached well beyond state lines.

“Horses teeth are a little different than ours. They keep growing,” Sanstead explained in her video.

“From UK, to California, down to Texas. People have [watched the Facebook live] from all over,” said Sanstead.

Hannah Jacobs was drawn to Harmony Stables over two years while she studied biology at the University of Mary.

“That’s gonna be a seal brown bay and we’ll get to see one of those later,” Jacobs taught to her students.

Jacobs said going virtual is symbolic of the very animal they’re teaching about.

“I’ve grown up with horses forever but I never realized the power [horses] have to connect people,” said Jacobs.

The virtual camp will last four weeks but Sanstead said she continues to look at other options so horses stay active and happy.

Cherie Sanstead posted Facebook lives since March as a way to de-stress and enjoy calming videos of horses in their natural habitat. For more information on virtual horse camps, go to the Harmony Stables website.

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