HORSES AROUND THE WORLD
Social Studies Through the Lens of Horses
Learn about a new breed plus social studies every week! There are so many special horse breeds in the world. This is a fantastic way to discover more about horses! The teacher will screen-share to help kids follow their curiosity and learn in real time.
(This class is for ages 12 and up, but we teach the same class for other age groups as well!)
We will blend core-curriculum with horse knowledge as much as possible, incorporating geography and history every day. Horse behavior, anatomy, movement, riding techniques, and conformation will be key points of discussion. Whenever possible, we will reference literature that mentions the breeds and do a little math related to horse height, weight, speed, etc.
Students are encouraged to bring colored pencils or water color pens to draw during class!
This is an ongoing class where students can stop or start at any time. Class runs year-around, though, so students can make friends. We currently have several kids that have been in the same cohort for 3 months.
If you prefer a class that focuses specifically on horse training vs horses and social studies, check out our profile and you will find an ongoing hunter/jumper class and an ongoing colt starting class.
An optional worksheet and links are provided after every class. The worksheet can easily be done verbally with parents. A few drawing prompts are included for kids who love art.
Please see the Parental Guidance section of this class listing for more info on classroom rules. We like to be proactive about classroom etiquette.
Did you know there are about 350 horse breeds in the world? Here are some breeds we will cover:
British Riding Pony
Irish Sport Horse
National Show Horse
Rocky Mountain Horse
As homeschool moms ourselves, we have children with dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia and feel like this is a good class for students like ours because there is no reading or writing. Instead, we watch many videos of horses, about 10-20 per class, and discuss while the videos are playing. We talk about the breed standard and make observations about the riding and horse movement while the videos are playing.
Our teaching methods are compatible with different learning styles.
Example Class 1:
This week we learned about arguably the most famous white horses in the world, Lipizzaners! Lipizzaners are famous for doing special leaps and performing with the Spanish Riding School. The Spanish Riding School is based out of Vienna, Austria, but called the Spanish Riding School because the Lipizzaner breed was formed out of Spanish horses. The breed was started during the Renaissance. Great emphasis was placed on having a well-balanced horse with beautiful geometry. We watched a video of the Spanish Riding School performing, then a video of Lipizzaner foals (noting their color changing from dark to white), then a video of the famous Lipizzaner breeding farm in Lipizza from where the horses get their name. We then looked at Lipizza (Lipica, Slovenia) and Vienna, Austria on a map and talked about how the breed wasn’t a breed until two royal brothers decided to make it. The breed was formed out of 8 stallions of various breeds (Spanish, French, Italian, Arabian…). The royal brothers preferred white horses so eventually the Lipizzaners became all white, although its considered good luck to have one bay stallion performing with the Spanish Riding School. We learned about how the various airs above the ground are trained, honing in on levade and capriole. Next, we looked at some drone footage of Vienna. We learned about the famous composer Haydn and his surprise symphony and Ignaz Semmelwies who “invented” hand washing barely more than 150 years ago. As class ended, we watched a video showing various foods around Austria and learned how to make the famously Austrian dish, Apple Strudel.
Example Class 2:
Summary: This week we learned about Camargue (“Comog”) horses from the south of France. We began class by learning about the herdsmen responsible for managing the semi-feral herd of Camargue. They are called guardians. The guardians round up semi-feral bulls and horses as needed. Camargue horses became famous partly from the liberty show of Lorenzo the Flying Frenchman. Lorenzo has an act where he rides Camargue horses standing up with no tack whatsoever. He does an act with 12 gray mares and sometimes incorporates 12 black horses of another breed. The Camargue horses are native to a marshlands near Arles, France. We took a look at France on a map, talked about the countries and bodies of water nearby, and looked at the French flag. The marshland is also home to flamingos. We learned some fun flamingo facts then dove into comparing the skeletons of horses, flamingos, and humans. We learned that the apparent “knee” on flamingos is equivalent to a horse’s hind knee, which is equivalent to a human’s heel.
Example Class 3:
Summary: This week we learned about the Kladruber horse breed. We saw horses jumping, doing dressage, pulling carriages, as well as doing more unique things like mounted police training and push ball, which is like soccer on horses. A favorite for many kids was the Czech ‘You’ve Got Talent’ performance where a Kladruber stallion danced on stage. We took a closer look at the graying process of horses, seeing newborn foals, a week old foal playing in the snow, 3-month, 8-month, yearling, 2-year-old, 3-year-old, and 4-year-old horses. We then learned about the Czech Republic, Czechia for short. We saw the library in Prague, the Bone Church, glassmaking, and then looked at mountain biking, hiking, white water kayaking, bouldering, and rock climbing depending on the class. We finished with a recipe on Traditional Czech Buns with Chocolate.
Example Class 4:
ummary: This week we learned about Paso Fino horses. Paso Finos are the ‘smoothest horse breed in the world’. Paso Finos move their legs very evenly and symmetrically, which causes the least disruption for the rider. There are two types of Paso Finos that move a little differently - Paso Finos from Puerto Rico and Paso Finos from Colombia. We learned about Paso Finos from Puerto Rico. Columbus brought 25 Spanish Horses from Spain to Dominica and the horses were then brought to Puerto Rico. The horses were Spanish Barbs, Jennets, and Andalusians. The Jennets gave the Pasos their smooth gaits. When you watch Bomba dancing, the national dance of Puerto Rico, you can see why the Puerto Ricans might have valued these horse so much. The horses have a beautiful rhythm and style that is reminiscent of bomb dancing. We looked at some footage from the Paso Fino world show then saw Pasos in 5 different colors. We noted the difference between the classic fino and the largo. We saw Pasos riding on the beach, in the rainforest, and at Puerto Rican haciendas. We then learned about Puerto Rico. We saw the El Yunque rainforest with its natural water slides and water falls. We saw tropical sea life via go-pro video from snorkeling and scuba diving in the Carribean Sea. We looked at shark eyes and compared them to the Tiger Eye of the Paso Fino, the only breed to have this type of eye coloration. We noted that celebrities have been doing episodes in Puerto Rico to help raise money for relief from Hurricane Maria. We saw Jimmy Fallon ziplining in Puerto Rico and watched a music video of a song sung by Latino/Latina artists. The song was put together by Lin-Manuel Miranda who wrote Hamilton and has family in Puerto Rico. The song was a very successful fundraiser for relief efforts.