I had noticed that one of the Outdoor Hour's nature studies at The Handbook of Nature Study blog was horses, so when I saw that a local stable was having a open house, I noted Barbara and Anna Comstock's suggestions.
"Begin this study of the horse with the stories of wild horses...
The Pacing Mustang in Wild Animals I Have Known is an excellent story to show the habits of herds of wild horses."
"After the interest has been thus aroused the following observations may be suggested, a few at a time...in the stable...
" Look at the mouth and nose. Are the nostrils large and flaring? Are the lips thick or thin?"
"...in the wild stage scent was one of the horse's chief aids in detecting the enemy..."
"What is the color of the horse's eyes? The shape of the pupil?"
"The eyes are placed so that the horse can see in front, at the side and behind..."
"What is the nature of the horse's coat in summer? What is the use of the horse's mane, forelock and tail?"
"The length of neck and head are necessary in order that an animal with such length of leg as the horse may be able to graze."
We watched them shake their manes and eat hay.
We saw all different kinds of horses.
We even fed some of them (and made a friend in the process.)
We took a ride on one.
There was even a pony so we could compare the two.
Besides the technical fact that ponies are less than 14 hands high, we could see that they have
There was even a donkey and some goats there.
The donkey compared to the pony and horse...
ears are longer
neck is either straighter or shorter (some debate there)
And then we colored pictures of horses and talked about the parts of a horse.
The legend is that a Spanish Galleon wrecked off of Assateague Island and the surviving ponies swam to the island. However, there is little evidence supporting this theory, and the more likely origin of the ponies is that early 17th century colonists let their animals loose on the island to avoid fencing laws and livestock taxes. This is a good story about them.
Katie and Alex also are very familiar with horses and ponies from horse back riding, where they learned horse care from grooming to giving them a bath.
|Alex grooming horses with Ms Elizabeth|