Monday, October 4, 2010

Autumn Series #3 Mammal Study: The Horse

Outdoor Hour button Our boys have been itching for this study. Finally the day came that we were scheduled to head across the street to visit our neighbor's three horses.   We began our study by reading Gail Gibbons book "Horses!"  It gave a good overview of the breeds and care of horses.  If you are Christian, beware of the two pages that have an evolutionary slant.  We just skipped those.

Then we then made a list of questions we wanted to ask our neighbor about her horses.
I frantically chopped up some apples and fresh carrots from the garden and threw them into a bag for the boys to feed the horses.  We packed up the baby into the stroller, rolled up our questions and (finally) remembered to tote along the camera.  As we made our way over we saw all three horses grazing in the field.  
First the boys insisted on checking out the horse trailer.  We always have to check out the vehicles first...
  As we approached the hot wire, which thankfully was not on, one of the quarter horses made his way over to greet us.  It was Corona, a gentle retired 4H horse purchased as a companion for the others.  He was quite excited to see that we had treats for him.
As we fed Corona, his older companion Bear came over as well for a few nibbles.  We were able to observe and discuss much of the anatomy of a horse.  
mouth,lips, and teeth
We also were able to get the answers to our questions that the boys had prepared earlier.

Here is what we learned:

Horses eat grain such as corn and oats, grass, and hay
Corona is 15 1/2 hands tall
Corona is a quarter horse
Corona sleeps in a stall in the barn
Our neighbor uses brushes and combs for his hair and a pick to clean his shoes

Even though I was not planning on doing the compare and contrast with dogs, our neighbor happened to have brought out her three dogs as she answered our questions.      It was one of those "teachable moments" that was too good to pass up.  We were able to complete a nice verbal Venn diagram pointing out many similarities and differences.
As we were walking back we spied the winter supply of hay in the barn.  This prompted some nice play when we got home with our wooden barn.
 We also played with our toy horses, jeep, and trailer practicing some of the very information we learned across the street.

 Lastly we worked in our customized field study books and colored the horse page.

I was very pleased with the day and felt like we covered much ground.  I thought we were done, but the good Lord had other plans.   I left the boys to play with their horses and barn and went to make lunch.  When we were finished I began to clean up.  I had the lunch dishes and the remnants of my frantic cutting and chopping for the horses earlier.  As I was on the phone shoving carrot tops down the garbage disposal, I noticed a fleshy body hooked to the greenery.  It turns out it was a caterpillar.  This time it was one appropriate for study - the Black Swallowtail caterpillar.  
This wonderful caterpillar turns into one of these....

What a blessing after the Tussock moth experience!


Barb-Harmony Art Mom said...

I think this was an excellent age-appropriate horse study. Once again your homemade field guide is a great tool and I love that you made a list of questions before you went on your visit.

Thank you for sharing your study this week!

Phyllis said...

Wow, this is such a thorough study. I really enjoyed seeing it. I especially loved the photos of the parts of a hoof. One just doesn't think to look at hoofs, face, tail close up. Great post.

sarah said...

Great job tailoring this study to the younger crowd:) I love the pics!

Caseybumpinalong said...

Looks like a great study! I love that the boys had to check out the vehicle first :) Sounds just like my son.