“Mom, can I have a horse?”
I’ve been hearing this question on a regular basis for the past 8 years. I don’t mind. Each time it is asked, a new conversation begins and we explore a different aspects of horse ownership. The Adventurer (now 13) started riding seriously at 4. Yes, she does most everything seriously. Her sister followed soon after (with a little less intensity). The Princess has ridden, but currently prefers to hang around the barn visiting with the horses, barn cats and other animals, rather than ride.
I’ve explained why Santa can’t fit a horse down the chimney to a 5 year-old. I’ve explained why the expense of horse ownership goes far beyond the purchase price or the boarding bill. We’ve discussed monthly expenses,vet and farrier costs and the time commitment involved with owning and caring for a horse.
Over the years, we’ve learned as much as possible about horses. We’ve read countless books (both fiction and non-fiction) to feed the passion that has only grown over time.
This study came about naturally for us because horses are a big part of our lives. We’re still learning! Below you will find our favorite books and resources that can easily be added to your homeschool studies.
Horse Books for Homeschool Studies
- Midnight Rider, by Joan Harlow. Follow young Hannah and her horse in Boston at the start of the American Revolution. Ideal for ages 9-14.
- Meet Felicity, An American Girl Story. The story of Felicity will take your child on a wild ride during the early days of the American Revolution as seen through the eyes of an 11 year-old girl in Williamsburg, Virginia.
- Meet Kaya, An American Girl Story. Follow Kaya, a young Native American girl as she navigates through her life with her beloved horse.
- Justin Morgan Had A Horse, by Marguerite Henry. The story of how the world famous horse breed “the Morgan” can to be.
- Black Beauty, by Anna Sewell. This classic story is told through the eyes of the horse and carefully addresses the issues of animal cruelty. Also available on audio, this is a terrific story to listen to on long trips.
- My Friend Flicka, by Mary Ohara. The story of a young girl and the wild horse she tames.
- The Misty Treasury, by Marguerite Henry. This collection contains three favorites: Misty of Chincoteague, Stormy, Misty’s Foal and King of the Wind.
- The Handbook of Horse Breeds, Maria Costantino. Get to know the horse breeds of the world.
- The Complete Book of Horses and Riding, by Judith Draper. Perfect for the beginning ride to understand the various styles of riding, saddles and techniques that they will encounter in their riding career.
- How to Draw Horses, by Lucy Smith. A clear guide to get your student started drawing horses.
Horse Books for Young Readers
- Fritz and the Beautiful Horses, by Jan Brett. A beautifully illustrated and sweet story about a sure footed pony learning to love himself.
- Magic Hoofbeats: Horse Tales from Many Lands, retold by Josepha Sherman. This book is truly loved in our house! It contains fascinating myths and stories from around the world.
- Wild Horses, by Jim Arnosky. This book tells the story of the wild ponies of Assateague Island. Beautifully illustrated and perfectly suited for young readers.
- The Wild Horses of Sweetbriar, by Natalie Kinsey-Warnok.
In riding a horse, we borrow freedom.
Unit Studies and Homeschool Resources for Horse Lovers:
- Free Horse Coloring Pages
- Free All About Horses Lapbook
- The Anatomy of a Horse
- Equine Anatomy in 3D on your iphone or iPad
- How to Draw a Horse – simple instructions that you and your student can easily follow.
- Create an acrostic poem about horses! Design your own template here.
- Free Literature Study for Misty of Chincoteague
- Veterinarian Unit Study – although this is a general veterinarian unit study, it contains an depth study of the anatomy of the horse and guidelines on conducting a health examination. This could easily be used in a field trip if you have a horse farm in your area that is willing to help out!
To see the wind’s power, the rain’s cleansing and the sun’s radiant life, one need only to look at the horse.
Expand your Horse Study to Include Math!
Riding and caring for horses involves much more math than you think! While your child may not be thrilled to hear about this (my daughter was not), Horse Lovers Math can help your child expand her math skills and apply them to horse care and riding. They also have an extensive video library to learn from (and it’s all free). Be sure to read the section on how to use the site before getting started.
When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk. He trots the air, the earth sings when he touches it.
Do you have any favorite horse books or resources that I missed? Tell me in the comments!