Horse Keeping 101

As part of our homeschool curriculum this fall, we are volunteering at a local stable. This morning marked our first visit and we are so thankful for the opportunity to learn the value of hard yet rewarding work! Hauling, feeding, mucking, leading, grooming… all in a day’s work. The kids were truly tuckered after completing their chores, but in a good way. A good way that means heading home for warm showers, cozy towels, fresh clothes, a nourishing meal, and settling in to some grounding work like finger-knitting.

The kids are also seeing first hand that there truly is no such thing as a free horse, even if kijiji leads you to believe otherwise. The costs and labour are large, they are learning – yet so are the rewards.

So, what can a 6 year old and 10 year old learn from one morning at a stable? If they have a great facilitator, a lot. Aside from general safety rules, some of the things they recall include:

  • If you make two fists and hold them together, with your thumbs along the bridge of your nose, you’ll have the same sight field as a horse.
  • Hay is for eating; straw is for sleeping.
  • The slice of a bale that is fed to the horses is called a flake (there are 3 flakes on the wagon in the photo).
  • The special rake used for mucking is called a poop fork (at this stable, at least).
  • After a stall is mucked, it has to be aired out to prevent mould, before adding straw bedding.
  • To lead the horse, stand by his or her ear and keep your head up and eyes ahead.
  • The plastic or rubber grooming brush that is used first, is called a curry brush.
  • Horses have elbows! They are located right at the top of their front legs.

The kids both agree that this is their favourite class so far, and they are eagerly awaiting next week’s visit with our new friends.

feedingfeeding 2muckingleading 2leading grooming


This post has been shared as a part of Simple Lives Thursday at My Humble Home.

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