Horseback Riding Lesson Plan

Throughout history horses have been useful for a variety of reasons. Mankind has used them for transportation, work, recreation, sport, and therapy. Despite the introduction of other modes of transportation and work vehicles like trains, cars, and tractors, horses are still currently being used around the world as primary means of transportation and aid in farming. Find out why horses are such strong, reliable, beautiful creatures.

OVERVIEW

Students observe the anatomy and demeanor of horses and the physics relating to their abilities.
 
FUN FACTS

– Horses can sleep both lying down and standing up.

– Horses can run shortly after birth.

– Domestic horses have a lifespan of around 25 years.

– A 19th century horse named ‘Old Billy’ is said to have lived 62 years.

– Horses have around 205 bones in their skeleton.

– Horses have been domesticated for over 5000 years.

– Horses are herbivores (plant eaters).

– Horses have bigger eyes than any other mammal that lives on land.

– Because horse’s eyes are on the side of their head they are capable of seeing nearly 360 degrees at one time.

 

BEFORE YOU GO

• Review relevant vocabulary and key terms: therapy, recreation, breed
• Read any relevant and available literature about horses before the class trip. Encourage the students to become familiar with horses to entice questions about them and to ease their interactions with the animals.

 
WHAT TO WONDER

Questions to ask staff: What are the uses of a horse’s body parts? Tail? Whiskers?
Describe how the demeanor of a horse is calmed during grooming?
Observe how riders balance themselves while riding a horse. What do they look like? What are they doing to maintain their balance?
Opinion: What is a horse’s greatest attribute? Why?
Compare two horses from the stable. What are the similarities between their appearances, speed, ability, demeanor, etc.?
Challenge: Using observation, predict which horses will jump the farthest? Run the fastest? Support your predictions.

FOLLOW-UP

Discuss the ways that horses are taken advantage of and how they are helped by humans.
Project: Use the following physics formulas to determine the force of impact when a rider falls from a horse and the centripetal force that helps keep a rider on a horse: force = mass x acceleration AND force = mass x velocity squared/radius.
Research the horses that are bred for different purposes.
Social Impact: Horseback riding is fun but can be a dangerous pastime. Create a public service announcement that encourages use of protective gear while horseback riding.

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