“I want to have a horse,” my daughter said a while back. “We can keep it at the vacant lot near us… pretty please with cheese on top?” Yes. She’s planned it all.
Though the only horse we can afford to buy for her is of the papier mache kind, I was challenged by how we could learn about the beautiful animals even if we live in the city. I kept hemming and hawing about doing a unit study on it, until, as usual, things fell into place!
Months ago, when I was telling Sanne about T wanting to learn about horses and how I could possibly make the lessons exciting, relatable and relevant, she mentioned that there’s a riding stable in Quezon City. What?!
But still, I wasn’t very much convinced, until I saw an ad for Trumpet’s upcoming production of The Horse and His Boy. It’s based on the book with the same title from The Chronicles of Narnia, which we are reading every night for our family read aloud time. How serendipitous, right?
Having the universe tell me to get on it already, I got to work and embarked on a learning adventure with my kids. Here’s the rundown of the things we did and resources we used.
About three years ago, I found a copy of the rare The Wild Horses of Sweet Briar, a book that’s part of Five in a Row. Sadly, it got lost due to a mix-up. (But I’ve moved on, sniff!) We’re also done with The Finest Horse in Town, another FIAR book, and I don’t know why I didn’t do this whole she-bang for it.
So, anyway, for this unit study, we used Fritz and the Beautiful Horses as our main book. It’s a wonderful book that taught us about the meaning of beauty, being different, teasing, God’s Ten Commandments, etc.! We used the comprehensive unit study on Homeschool Share. It has components about horses, so even if you don’t have the book Fritz and the Beautiful Horses, you can still use some of its parts.
We, of course, had a lot of go-along books about horses, pictured above and listed below:
- References – Usborne Horses and Ponies / Cat in the Hat’s If I Ran the Horse Show
- Picture books – Mrs. Mack by Patricia Polacco / Little Black, A Pony by Walter Farley / The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses by Paul Goble
- Chapter books – Black Beauty by Anna Sewell / The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis
I was excited to read aloud Black Beauty as I’ve never read it before. I shared my amazement with my kids about the book being published in 1877! (I got our copy at Fully Booked.)
Since my kids are already almost-five and almost-eight, we use online sources when needed. Here are some pages that we used:
- Usborne – We have the Usborne Horses and Ponies and we checked out the link indicated in the book. There are several links to videos, download pages and games about horses. Have fun!
- Youtube – We love the National Geographic videos, so we just searched for “National Geographic horses”
Scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed everyday has some benefits. I remembered seeing interesting papier mache horses a while back, and I tracked the store selling them.
Mommies, go check out The Common Room in Katipunan. It’s a drool-worthy craft store that carries Takatak Project’s taka. I bought the beauties below for P80 each, and went to National Bookstore for acrylic paints. The Common Room also sells small kits for P150; the horse is already primed and there are several small pots of acrylic paint.
Do I have to tell you that it’s been fun painting the horses?
Well, well, well. Who would have thought that there’s a stable/riding school in Quezon City? It’s called Pook Ligaya and it’s in the Don Antonio area behind Shopwise Commonwealth. (Call 9315643 to inquire.)
There are just about four horses in the stable and a large corral. You can bet that my kids were excited to see what we’ve been reading about for real: a stable, a corral and all of those horse-riding things. We even got the stable hand to demonstrate to us how he dresses up the horses.
My daughter was begging for riding lessons – but was too afraid to even pet the pony! Good thing, because riding lessons are P1500 per hour, haha! You can just ride the horse around the corral, though, for P300 per hour.
I searched for other riding stables and found one in Marikina. And of course, there’s Manila Polo Club.
We’re excited to watch the musical by Trumpets at the Meralco Theater. We’re reading a chapter (or two, depending on our wonderful Papa-reader) every night from our special edition Chronicles of Narnia, and we can’t wait for our family date!