Let’s Get Planning: Equine Studies Unit

Cowgirl, as her nickname suggests, is a horse lover.  She eats, sleeps, breathes horses.  We have read about them and learned about them, but this year, I decided to design an entire curriculum.  Cowgirl is entering middle school, but this curriculum could be adapted for younger students, as well.

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Horse Literature- This part of the curriculum I am leaving open ended.  There is so much out there to read.  We have read a number of Margurite Henry books–although, quite honestly, she wrote enough books to fill a couple school years of reading–and I would like Cowgirl to re-read some of our favorites and explore a few additional titles by Ms. Henry.  Black Beauty by Anna Sewell has always been a favorite in our home, and we will revisit it for other parts of this unit study.  Ii am focusing on two other authors as well, Kathleen Duey for her historical fiction Hoofbeats series and Patricia Hermes Horse Diaries series.  Historical fiction is a family favorite genre, but I think it also adds richness to the horse studies.  All of these are available at our local library, although I plan on purchasing a few as audiobooks.  The literature component supports all the other components of this unit study.  We will keep a log of books read.  I am hoping to cover quite a bit of ground through the literature but I am allowing this section to be self-paced.
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http://www.openisbn.com/isbn/1577790219/
Horse Anatomy- I purchased Horse Anatomy: A Coloring Atlas.  It was expensive, and I apparently purchased it without realizing that it cost over $30.  However, this will be an ongoing project.  It is not a coloring book designed for children but a real in-depth study of horse anatomy presented as a coloring project.  If you are looking for a significantly cheaper coloring book designed for younger people, check out Dover Horse Anatomy.  (I think that was the one I really planned to order, this is what happens when I over multi-task!)
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http://www.openisbn.com/price/1929164424/
Equine Science- We purchased this book second hand for $5.  Which is a real bargain.  I like that it is comprehensive, yet accessible to young learners.  I would definitely place this as a middle school level book, however it could be completed with assistance by younger students.  The 4-H mall carries very nice equine science workbooks.  They were my original plan, until we found this beautiful book.  You can get both books for less than half the price of the book above. 
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The Role of Horses in History- The legacy of the horse spans centuries and continents.  Horses were an integral part of history for generation, long before they became pets and competitors.  I think to truly appreciate the horse’s nature, we need to study what it has contributed to mankind as one of God’s most beautiful creatures.  I purchased this e-book for $2.99.  I was unable to find it in print anywhere.  I also have several books about the Pony Express.  Learn about Horses has a nice little summary of the horse’s role in history.  Horse Talk has an extensive list of articles about different horses through history, as well.  We can’t forget the role that race horses have played in recent history, check out The Top Tens for short biographies of the top ten greatest race horses of all time.
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In-depth Breed Study- Cowgirl will be choosing two horse breeds to research.  She is familiar with many breeds, but I want her to dig a bit deeper.  This will count as her research and writing portion of the unit study.  For each breed, she will be writing a 3-5 paragraph essay (based on the system she learned from IEW Writing Intensive).  Topics to be covered in the essay:
  1. Origin of the breed including country of origin
  2. Strengths of the breed
  3. Breed weaknesses
  4. Markings and characteristics
  5. Modern uses for the breed
  6. Historical uses for the breed
  7. Any special care or maintenance that is specific to each breed
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My Horse University
Barn Management and Safety- Cowgirl will be completing the Youth Safety course through My Horse University.  It is a free on-line course that includes a certificate of completion.  We are also using the resources at Think Like a Horse.  In addition, we found a local 4-H horse club and I plan to set up a “shadow” day at the barn where Cowgirl rides so that she can experience an entire day of running a barn and caring for horses.
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Currclick Resources- Have you tried Currclick?  It is an online source for curriculum, clubs, and classes.  The prices range start from free, and right now there is a huge back to homeschool sale going on with up to 60% off.  I had already planned on using a number of resources from them, but picked up even more through the sale.  Here is a list of what we are using.{These are affiliate links}
  1. 9 Great Horse Stories (now only $0.10!)
  2. All About Horses Bundle (on sale for only $0.45–incredible!)
  3. Horse Lapbook/Mini Study (on sale for $0.50–that’s why I picked it up!)
I have been using Currclick for as long as I have been homeschooling. They have amazing, low cost resources.  I like them so much, I decided to become an affiliate, which means that if you click on any of my Currclick links and purchase any item, I receive a small percentage back in credit to purchase more curriculum for my homeschool.  Thanks.

I will be posting additional resources on my Pinterest boards, please check them out soon!
 God bless!

I’m linking up with Kelly who is just wrapping up an amazing series on SMA, please click over and show her some love!  She says she isn’t a superhero, but I have met Kelly and she is one special person and an incredible mom!

    4 thoughts on “Let’s Get Planning: Equine Studies Unit

    1. My daughter really likes 'The Encyclopedia of the Horse' by Elwyn Hartley-Edwards for horse breed info, which is a DK book, the 2006 Ed. I made a mistake getting an earlier version and it is very different.
      She thought this looked good: the 'International Encyclopedia of Horse Breeds by Hendricks and Dent' but hasn't had a chance to have a look at it yet. We live in Australia and we'd have to order this book to see it.
      Happy horse studies! Do read the Silver Brumby series by Elyne Mitchell, they are a fantastic Australian horse series. They seem to have them on kindle now. I loved them as a girl đŸ™‚

    2. I will have to check that out. Thanks for the recommendation. She has an encyclopedia of horse breeds and care, but I will check out the other one too. She actually begged me to buy it for her at the age of three and still reads it.

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