Horses – A Mini Unit
Horses are a fascination for many children and adults, and have been through out history. This mini unit will help explore horses and horseback riding in a high-interest, hands-on approach.
1. Find out where you can ride in your community. Ask each facility how much it charges for riding or riding lessons. Find out whether its specialty is English or Western riding and which groups provide instruction, which require you to own your own horse, which have indoor and outdoor rings, and which have riding trails.
2. Visit a stable. Find out from the owner or manager what is involved I nthe care of a horse. Find out how much and what kind of food a horse needs daily, acceptable treats for horses, everyday care for a stable, how often a horse needs to be shod and why.
3. Examine the tools used to groom a horse. Discover the purpose of each. Learn to use the brush and currycomb. Practice safe stall and barn behavior. Find out how to cool a horse after riding.
4. Learn the parts of a saddle and a bridle. Find out how each part contributes to the comfort of the horse and rider. Learn how to take care of a saddle and bridle for long wear and good repair.
5. Watch or assist with the saddling and bridling of a horse. Be able to explain to someone else what is being done and the use of each piece of equipment.
6. Try and learn the basics of ring riding, how to mount and dismount, ride at a walk, back up, trot, guide a horse while riding, and lead a horse to the stable.
7. Groom and take care of a horse after exercising.
8. Learn how to dismount abruptly at a walk and a trot, for safety. Explain regulations for riding and good ring manners.
9. Know how to dress for Western or English riding.
10. Find out how to use your natural aids – your hands, your legs, your weight, and your voice – to tell your horse what to do. Know how to get along with horses in the stable and in the ring or pasture.
11. Collect or take photographs of four horse breeds that interest you. Tell or write about their distinctive features and use.
12. Make an illustrated booklet about the history and development of the horse.
13. Be able to point out and name the principal parts of a horse.
14. Read one or more books about horses. These might include books on horsemanship, information on related careers, stories about famous horses, or stories of adventure on horseback.
15. Take a trip to a state or county fair to see the horse show.
16. Visit a harness or tack shop or obtain a harness catalog and become acquainted with different styles of saddles, bridles and bits. Find out the advantages of each type and know the approximate cost.
17. Find out about the breeding and training of horses such as police horses, cavalry horse, race horses, or dry horses.
18. Explain the safety regulations for riding and equestrian etiquette. Show how to give proper hand signals when riding on public roadways.
19. Tell what to do if your horse rears, bucks, stops, or bolts.
20. Find out from a veterinarian or horse trainer what can be done to prevent the common ailments or diseases of horses.
21. Collect cowboy ballads and teach one to a younger group of children.
22. Learn about famous or legendary horses.