Does your child have a sudden fascination in horses? Ready to use this interest to spur investigation, exploration, creativity and develop his skills? Remember, the one doing the research learns the most — so, as much as possible, leave the researching to your child!
They have carried armored knights, and saddle-less native Americans. They have pulled chariots and elegant coaches. They have carried pony express riders and munitions. They have been used as cabs in the cities and plow horses in the country; for waging military campaigns and leading parades.
These versatile animals have been used by man throughout history in a relationship that continues today, in uses more inclined to recreation and sport than war.
Practical Horse Psychology
Don’t let the word “psychology” throw you. This 10-page download teaches the basics of horse behavior, what makes horses act like they do, and what their body language means. A nice worksheet with answers is included at the end.
4-H Horse Project Manual: Parts of the Horse
Extensive in scope! Many of the illustrations would work well for a horse notebook.
The four natural gaits of a horse and what they look like.
Colors and Markings
Dun, roan, bay and others.
Learn the parts of a horse in this interactive encyclopedia from the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture. (The rather annoying music can be turned off….)
4-H Horseless Project Member Handbook
Created specifically for those who do not own or have access to a horse, this 26-page download covers the parts of a horse, types of horses, coat colors, markings, gaits, horse care, equipment, styles of riding, and tips for finding a horse of your own. Several of the pages showing diagrams would be perfect for a notebook.
Martingale and Breastplate Quiz
Test your bridle knowledge.
How to Draw Horses
Wonderful video from Jan Brett.
Horse Height Conversion
From hands to feet and inches, or vice versa.
Wonderful Art of Drawing Horses by Barry Stebbing
“One learns to draw horses. Just like everything else in life it takes time, practice, understanding, and determination.” 81 lessons that include learning to draw facial features, anatomy, markings, and horses in various forms of movement; along with flip-books, journals, examinations, and art appreciation. From How Great Thou Art Publications.
- Justin Morgan’s horse, the first Morgan horse,
- Pacing White Mustang, a horse no one could catch,
- Misty of Chincoteague,
- Clever Hans, a horse who could read people’s minds, and
- Brighty, a Grand Canyon donkey.
Black Beauty: The Autobiography of a Horse by Anna Sewell
Written in the late 1800s, this classic has certainly withstood the test of time. Young and old will be captivated as they follow Black Beauty, from pleasant meadows, through difficulties and hard life, and on into retirement. Available as an original and unabridged free download or in the Young Folks’ Edition.
Units & Lesson Plans
Creating a Lapbook About Horses
An article by Katie Kubesh, from In the Hands of A Child, that originally appeared in the Old Schoolhouse Magazine. This how-to covers scientific classification, anatomy, diet, life cycle, horse senses, gaits, size, breeds, use and care. You’ll also find a recommended reading list to round out the study.
History of the Horse by Hilary Severson
If you are looking for something even more formal, perhaps at a bit higher level, you might enjoy this study guide from Beautiful Feet Books. Using great literature as a base and incorporating many ideas from the Principle Approach to homeschooling, History of the Horse is written for the 3rd-7th grade level and covers horse anatomy, breed identification, basic sketching of horses, charting blood lines, Bible memory verses regarding the horse, and other activities in 92 lessons. The study guide includes thought-provoking discussion questions, map work, and notebooking instructions. Highly recommended.
Anatomy of a Hoof
Foldable for hoof-labeling diagram.
How to Shoe a Horse Foldable
Accordion book showing how to shoe a horse.
Facial Markings Foldable
Horse Color Chart
Scroll down for an identification chart that can be included in a notebook.
Horse Gaits Notebooking pages
Four different pages for each of four different gaits.