The Horse: A Mini Unit Study

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Does your child have a sudden fascination in horses?  Ready to use this interest to spur investigation, exploration, and creativity, while developing his skills? Remember, the one doing the research learns the most — so, as much as possible, leave the researching to your child!

 

The Horse: A Mini Unit StudyThey 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.

 

Further Investigation

Basic Horse Terminology
Vocabulary for the beginner.

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.

Horse Gaits
The four natural gaits of a horse and what they look like.

Colors and Markings
Dun, roan, bay, and others.

Horse Grooming
Tools and basic instructions.

 

Activities

Interactive Horse
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.

4-H Horse Project Manual
On the other hand, if you own or have access to a horse, you may prefer this manual covering all of the basics of riding, and caring for your horse.  There are many illustrations that will be helpful to anyone interested in horses.

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.

 

Books

Album of Horses by Marguerite Henry
Beautifully illustrated reference by beloved author. This book provides a wonderful place to start in learning about the different breeds of horses.

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.

Billy and Blaze by C.W. Anderson
First book in a classic easy-to-read series about a boy and his horse.

Five True Horse Stories by Margaret Davidson
Also for young readers, these true stories cover:

  • 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.
  • Brighty, a Grand Canyon donkey.

Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry
Classic Newberry Honor book from beloved author about Pony Penning Day on the island of Chincoteague and the wild ponies brought into captivity.

Justin Morgan Had a Horse by Marguerite Henry
Another Newberry Honor book from the same author. The story of the small horse who became the father of the Morgan horse.

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.

The Black Stallion by Walter Farley
Classic story of a wild Arabian stallion and the boy who adopts him.

 

Units & Lesson Plans

Free Nature Studies: Our Wonderful World – XXIV: A Faithful Servant
Part of our free nature studies covering the horse.

Horsemanship
8-page Boy Scout Merit Badge workbook, but can be completed by anyone with a horse interest.

“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 HorseHistory 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 levels and covers horse anatomy, breed identification, basic sketching of horses, charting bloodlines, 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.

 

Notebooking Helps

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
From HomeschoolShare.

Skeleton of a Horse Notebooking Page
Diagram for notebook.  Also available with blanks to fill in.

Horse Color Chart
Identification chart that can be included in a notebook.

Horse Gaits Notebooking Pages
Four different pages for each of four different gaits.

Western Saddle
Diagram for notebook.

The Horse Notebooking Pages
Simple notebooking pages for copywork, narrations, or wrapping up.

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