Science Sunday: Horse activities




We finally reached Princess’ favorite chapter, and I had a bunch of fun planning some horse activities.

Hands on horse activities when you don't own a horse

First we read the section in the Land Animals book, and then I pulled out some of my Breyer horses from when I was a kid.

We compared head shapes.  The horse on the left is an Arabian, they have a wedge shaped head with a very refined nose.  By contrast the Thoroughbred on the right has a much broader face.

horse activities
Horse activities: comparing tails

Then we compared the way the horses carried their tails.  From left to right: Thoroughbred, Thoroughbred, Arabian, Morgan.  If you notice they each carry their tails a different way, and we talked about why they might carry their tails those ways.  Most of the breeds were bred to act and carry themselves a certain way.  A few, like Morgans, are a happy accident with no long breeding history (ha, didn’t mean to link to those posts).  But Thoroughbreds and Arabians have a very long history that is well documented what they were striving for.  Thoroughbreds have even been somewhat subdivided into bred for racing versus long riding.


After we spent a good amount of time studying the models, they got some time to play with them.  If you don’t have models, you can do a quick Google search or find a good library book on horse breeds.

horse activities, moving like a horse

Then I had a brilliant idea, that was actually a perfectly horrid idea.  I had us paint our hands and feet and try to move like horses.  I THOUGHT, this would let them see the prints of us moving like that.


In actuality, they were more obsessed with getting paint on them, than learning about it, so they remembered not a thing from the activity.  When I repeated it without the paint, they got it.

horse activities
Now I know, do not use paint, just have them try it

Because I really wanted them to get the different gaits, not because they needed to, but because I was obsessed with horses as a kid, and it’s a point of pride my kids know about this.  I did a YouTube search and found some great videos about the different gaits.


I’ll use as my excuse, Princess’ extreme fondness for horses.  I was really doing this to make her happy, and it had nothing to do with my obsession.




The kids really enjoyed watching them, and from there we watched videos on giraffes and zebras, but that’s a post for another week, you know when we’re actually studying giraffes or zebras…….


Our final activity was going to be measuring how many hands high we are ( a hand is a unit of measurement for measuring a horse, it is 4.2 inches, or the span of a man’s hand when this was standardized).  Horses are measured at their withers, so our equivalent would have been our shoulders.  But, the day after we had our marathon gait lesson, it rained.  Then it rained all the rest of the week.


We needed the rain, so I’m not going to complain.  Too much.



Let’s see what others did this week:

Each week I’m spotlighting a few posts that were shared previously.  Many posts get linked up later in the week and they don’t always get as many clicks as they deserve, so I’m trying to spotlight a few every week.


Frugal Fun 4 Boys shared a fun way to make the size of dinosaurs more real.  I’m going to have remember this for when we get to the dinosaur chapter.





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14 responses to “Science Sunday: Horse activities”

  1. I had to laugh at the paint activity! Sammy would have been the same way! Glad they got it the 2nd time! 🙂 Sounds like they had fun learning about horses!

    1. It was a lot of fun, but at the end the boys were ready to move on to another topic, now Princess………

  2. Thanks for hosting. The horse activities look so much fun, especially the paint. Oh yeah, my guys would have loved that!

    1. It was a lot of fun! I only wish they’d actually learned anything with the paint activity, other than to be massively messy.

  3. Homeschool Pond Study

    […] see what other homeschoolers have been doing this week, visit Adventures In Mommydom’s Science Sunday link […]

  4. Lula B Avatar
    Lula B

    I love all your horse activities, Ticia! LOL about the paint – my kids would be just the same 😀 I must watch those videos, I had riding lessons for a while as an adult but I never did properly get to grips with cantering “maths”!

    Thanks for hosting Science Sunday and for highlighting our crayon fun.

    1. It took MANY years of learning to get it as a kid, so I quite understand your dilemma. Now of course it seems second hand.

  5. I had to giggle about your comment on using paint, and then not using paint…kids… ;0)

    1. Oh there was SO much eye-rolling on my part as they sat there not getting it.

  6. You know A LOT about horses – no wonder Princess has inherited your passion 🙂 It must be a “must have” knowledge in Texas 🙂

    1. I thought that too when I moved to Texas, it’s amazing how everyone thinks before moving to Texas that everyone has horses, and knows about them. I was kinda disappointed that I wasn’t handed one for moving here. 🙂

  7. maryanne @ mama smiles Avatar
    maryanne @ mama smiles

    I think the way horses move is fascinating – and counter-intuitive, at least to me.

  8. […] Act it out- if you are studying anything in zoology act out the animals.  Try to move like a turtle, try imitating the gait of the horse. […]

  9. Horses: Unit Study Resources | Stacy Sews and Schools

    […] Activities and Videos – Adventures in Mommydom […]

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