Horse Unit Study

School work or play?

Why use a horse unit study? Because it is to your advantage!

If your child is horse crazy you can utilize her/his natural thirst for knowledge about horses and incorporate it into a horse unit study.

Where do you begin? Start with the horse first. Breeds of horses, colors of horses, horsemen terminology, horse anatomy and gaits.

Where horses live and what they eat. The care and feeding of a horse. You will have a good start on natural science here!

There will also be the added benefit of gently reminding a child that any animal becomes a commitment in responsibility.

From ancient history to current times, the hoof print of the horse has been besides man’s own foot print. History has been made from the backs of horses in war and peace.

Each country has its own tale to tell of horses, and of their influence of that country’s development.

The Spanish Conquistadors are credited with bringing the modern horse to the Americas. The American Indian’s culture quickly adapted to horses. Then came the large cattle ranches and cowboys.

See how easily you have added social studies, history and geography to your curriculum?

Renowned educator Charlotte Mason believed in using what she called living books rather than dry textbooks.

Living books are usually written in story form by an author who has a passion for the subject, thereby making the subject “come alive.” Living books are fictional books that take place in a historically correct setting or have accurate science, art or other backgrounds.

Living books allow the reader to “be there” and gain a better feel for the era or topic that they are studying.

So you may start a unit study with some good books on horses. Then what?

• Keep a journal or diary. Your child could “adopt an imaginary” horse and write of what her daily activities with the horse might be. That would add creative writing to your curriculum.

• Spelling lists can be made of horsemen terminology adding English to your curriculum.

• Write and act plays or puppet shows adding more writing, plus performance art to your curriculum.

• Create costumes and sets adding designing and mechanical arts, too.

• Watch rented videos of The Black Stallion, Black Beauty and Flicka.

• Field trips to museums, a local stable or barn are all part of a horse unit study guide

• Make mobiles, sculptures, posters, adding creative art to your curriculum.

• Start a collection of model horses and a scrapbook of horse pictures from calendars and magazines.

• Write and give reports to other home schooled kids about horses,adding public speaking.

• Submit a book review to

• If age appropriate, volunteer at a hippotherapy riding program. Your child will be around horses while helping others. Many students need three helpers while they are riding. One to lead the horses and a supporter on each side of the horse.

Amanda Bennette has done much of the work for you with her horse unit study guide.

Penzance Equine homeschooling Center.

Go to homeschool page and check out Believing in Horses