Site: Nash Academy
Nash Approved Online Instructor
Location: Lexington, Kentucky
Roberta Smoodin's unique background in both education and animal care makes her the ideal person for Director of Online Education at the Nash Academy. Before her work at Nash, she was an award-winning university professor in Southern California, where she taught literature, composition, and fiction and screenwriting. But she is a lifelong animal lover, and particularly a student of animal psychology, and she has devoted her life with animals to fine-tuning her understanding of why dogs, cats and horses behave as they do, and how this understanding can help us to work with these animals to keep them healthy and happy.
Since 1990, she has had a horse farm which she runs as a successful business, at which she cares for Thoroughbred horses, foaling, breeding, vaccinating, worming, feeding and doing anything and everything horses need. She has dogs and cats as well on her farm, and her study of all three of these species of companion animals informs all her teaching. She believes that the first step to working successfully with animals is an understanding of their behavior, psychology and motivations, and being able to "read" their language and communicate with them. "Animals will tell you what they want and need," she says. "It's just a matter of whether or not you're listening." People should be able to "listen" to dogs, cats and horses and learn how to work with them safely and compassionately. Roberta is also a novelist, who has published four novels, and a journalist who has had articles published in such publications as Esquire, Redbook, Mademoiselle, Playgirl, and the New York Times, including a horse-related travel piece in the New York Times Travel Magazine.