The last of our off-horse activities will be a 2-part post since there’s so much to cover! We’ve discussed lots of ideas for off-horse activities, but today I want to bring the horse back into the activity. Colors are one of the first things our students will notice about the horse so it’s a great place to start teaching students about horses.
I find the best way to teach horse colors and breeds is to use the horses in the program. This makes it tangible for students and gets them more invested in their own horse. Take pictures of the real horses and compare to online photos of that horse’s breed and color. For example, we have a gray Quarter Horse in our program so for her riders, I would introduce them to characteristics of the Quarter Horse breed and what makes her a gray horse vs. a white horse. We could look at pictures of other Quarter Horses or other gray horses and see where she is similar and where she is different. I may even have them go through the barn to find another gray horse.
Teaching students to differentiate between similar features by focusing on small details can have long term impacts. They can learn how to identify what makes each horse unique, even if that horse is the same color as another horse, then apply that to themselves or other people. What makes them unique? What makes their parent, sibling, teacher, friend unique?
If you need to brush up on your horse color or breed knowledge, there are plenty of online resources. Research the specific breeds in your herd so you can answer questions that may come up from your students. Breed specific websites are a good place to start, but so is Google! Your veterinarian also might have printouts for breed characteristics or color characteristics.
Let me know if this works for you in your sessions or if you have any questions!