Happy Fall! This past week at our barn was “Horsemanship Week”, which meant no one rode in order to give the horses a break, and everyone did some sort of unmounted horsemanship lesson instead. Here are a few of the activities!
Each horse’s grooming bucket has a laminated paper with the order of the grooming tools, including the tool’s name, a picture of it, and its use. The riders groom their horses in the appropriate order.
Height & Weight
Explain how we measure a horse using hands. Use the measuring stick and weight tape to measure the horse’s height and weight together. You can do this as a group, or while riders are grooming with volunteers the TRI can visit each pair and help them take measurements individually. Discuss why it’s important to know a horse’s height and weight.
Horse Info Sheet
- Horse Height Measuring Stick
- Weight Tape
- Stall Cards (our horses each have a clipboard in front of their stalls, the top sheet of which is a laminated info sheet about each horse including picture, birth date, breed, color, height, and informative paragraph – we also use the clip board for holding records such as medication application)
- Horse Info Sheet (see below)
- Pens, crayons, markers
- Glue stick
- Printed photos of their horses
- While grooming, the instructor helps the rider take the horse’s height and weight, and the rider’s own height (how many hands high are they?). Instructor records info on a paper.
- After grooming the riders take their horse’s stall cards to the class room with them.
- Fill out the Horse Info Sheet together with volunteers, using the info the instructor recorded earlier, and the horses’ stall cards. Use the glue stick to attach the horse’s picture in the designated box. Use the crayons and markers to make it colorful.
Horse Info Sheet:
- Square for picture
- Age: _______________________
- Breed: _______________________
- Gender: _______________________
- Color: _______________________
- Horse’s Height:
- My Height:
- Horse’s Weight:
- What I like to do with my horse:
- What I hope to do with my horse:
- Scavenger hunt sheets
Riders work with volunteers to find the items on the scavenger hunt sheet. They write down something about each item (instead of collecting it).
Barn Scavenger Hunt:
- Find a horseshoe.
- Where or what horse is wearing them? _______________________
- Find horse treats.
- Feed your favorite horse.
- Horse’s name: _______________________
- Find a fly mask.
- Where? _______________________
- Find the PALS logo.
- Where? _______________________
- How many paint horses does PALS have? _______________________
- Who are they? _______________________
- Find a vet supply.
- What is it? _______________________
- Find the oldest and youngest horse.
- Oldest horse and their age? _______________________
- Youngest horse and their age? _______________________
- Ask someone their name and their favorite horse.
- Name? _______________________
- Favorite horse? _______________________
- How many horses wear grazing muzzles? _______________________
- How many barn cats does PALS have? _______________________
- What are their names? _______________________
Note: For the horses’ ages the kids looked on their stall cards, which said the horses’ birth dates. It was a bit tricky because they had to do the math to figure out how old each horse was, but a good incorporation of math!
Horse & Tack Parts
This new addition to our barn is great – a chalk wall for horse and tack parts! There are sticky labels kept in a manila envelope by the board of all the horse parts. Use the wall to review the parts as riders pick one from a bag and put them in the right place.
Do you have any fun unmounted activities to add?
Note: This is not professional advice, this is a blog. I am not liable for what you do with or how you use this information. The activities explained in this blog may not be fit for every rider, riding instructor, or riding center depending on their current condition and resources. Use your best personal judgment!