Students observe the anatomy and demeanor of horses and the physics relating to their abilities.
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.
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 WONDERQuestions 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-UPDiscuss 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.