Bold Turquoise

Sep 18 2014

Equine Science from Winter Promise- Review

Thank You to Winter Promise for supplying us with this curriculum in exchange for honest reviews!  I was not otherwise compensated for my reviews and there are no affiliate links within this post.

If you have a hores-lover in your family who really wants to know the science behind how horses move, think and behave, as well as great info about becoming a better rider, then Equine Science from Winter Promise is just the thing for your 3rd-7th graders!

I have waited until we are at the completion of our 7th week of school (seems impossible!) to write the review for our Equine Science unit that we are working on this year from Winter Promise because I wanted to be as thorough as possible in giving you an idea of what it includes and how we are using it.  You will quickly see, based on the length, that that is exactly what I did!  Haha! I hope it is helpful to you in your decision to use Equine Science or in how you can use it in your own home.  So let’s get right down to business and discuss what the curriculum looks like!

What Equine Science from Winter Promise includes-

I first want to start off by saying that this program has a TON to offer!  If you wanted to you could easily make this curriculum the core for your entire year!  While it is scheduled to be done in just 1-2 days a week, if you took advantage of all the history, literature recommendations, writing assignments and the full spectrum of craft, art and experiential activities you could fill up a full year of learning with very little else added and feel like you really accomplished something!

The program is designed for 3rd-7th graders but I believe it is in-depth enough that you could easily expand on it to use beyond those years as well.  The program is also written so that you do not have to own a horse in order to complete the study, although field trip opportunities are noted and encouraged.

So let me show you what comes with the curriculum-

  • The Equine Science Guide that contains all the lesson plans broken down into units that can be accomplished in 1 or 2 days a week.  I like that having the ebook version allowed me to print out what I needed and include it right into my personal teaching planner for the year so I didn’t have one more book to keep track of.
  • The Horse: My Horse Notebook– a positively MASSIVE 350+ page notebooking journal that contains notebooking pages, extra information about both science and history, plus has opportunities to dive into horse related art.  I have the ebook version and have gone through and selectively printed off which pages I want Roman to actually complete and the rest we either use as a catalyst for narration or we simply read off of the iPad if they are primarily informational.  Winter Promise has also provided an easy option to print off the entire Notebook (and teacher’s manual) at Staples or you can purchase them pre-printed from the company.  I like being able to print out our selected pages in color, so the notebook was the best option for us.

There are also other recommended book suggestions for literature and so forth, if you would like to tie in that option.

The Equine Science program is broken into 6 units, varying from 4-8 weeks in length, if used as the program outlines.  These are the units covered:

Equine Science- the 6 units

 

  • The Physical Horse
  • The Horse in Motion
  • Caring for Your Horse
  • The Healthy Horse
  • Experiencing the Life of a Horse
  • Communicating in Horse

What Equine Science Looks Like in Our House

At the beginning of our school year I quickly realized that we were getting bogged down with our school work in a way that I hadn’t expected.  Since we are also completing a History of the Horse curriculum from another company and are primarily using Equine Science just for science, I found that the two programs weren’t marrying together as seamlessly as I had hoped.  You see, our history study is largely literature based and Roman would get frustrated when we had to take a 4 day break (including the weekend) each week from reading the novel he was caught up in to switch gears and hop over to science.

So, after our first unit I made the executive decision to restructure our year and the way we completed each study.  Now we go through the study of one entire novel for History of the Horse followed by a two-week science-intensive where we cover a whole unit from Equine Science using their 1-day a week model but doing 3-5 of those days in one week, and it is working so much better for us.  Doing the units all together as a whole has allowed Roman to more quickly make the connections between the material and not forget things from week to week.

Notebooking with Equine Science

Following this intensive schedule and using the 1-day model for each topic within the over-arching unit theme I believe has also been more conducive for him as a 3rd grader.  As I mentioned above, this program is designed for 3rd-7th grades and, as such, is incredibly in-depth!  Seeing as how Roman is on the early end of that spectrum and many of the reading passages are very technical, I have regularly taken to skimming the passages myself and summarizing a lot of the information for him in order to meet him on his level.

For some of the material we have skipped the larger reading passages in the books and just used the information in The Horse: My Horse Notebook as it is just a better fit for a 3rd grader’s attention span and comprehension.  Even so, I am glad to have these other books to reference and I know that as horse owners these books will make a wonderful addition to our library over time.  More than once I have caught the Bold Husband reading these reference books and I am sure we will come back to them again and again.

Bringing Equine Science to Life

As I also mentioned above, it is definitely not necessary to be horse owners in order to get a ton out of this program but I would be lying to say that it hasn’t been a huge perk!  Since my husband is also highly interested in learning as much as he can about horses and horsemanship he often enjoys being able to help Roman with his Equine Science study for the day.  We have also had the opportunity to have lots of hands-on examples of the things we are learning, such as being able to go outside and observe our own horses’ conformation or gates and movement.  We have had the opportunities to observe our vet come out and give our horses the once-over, including checking and grinding their teeth, and see how our farrier trims their hooves and chestnuts- all incredibly valuable learning experiences!

vet visit

Aside from our own horses though, we have found many other ways to observe horses as well that have helped make the topics we have been learning about much more tangible.  The recent county fair was PRICELESS!!  We got to go observe different breeds and spot their differences, as well as making distinctions in conformation and the variances in different gates.  Watching the different gaits and transitions was especially interesting on the night that we attended the rodeo!  The videos from YouTube that were recommended in the Equine Science curriculum were very helpful in allowing us to spot such things in real life.

eq youtube

Both of my boys have also enjoyed the art and hands on projects outlined in the curriculum- everything from balance experiments to see how hard it would be to have a rider on your back to drawing horses.  Their particular favorite was when we hung up large pieces of butcher paper and they each got to draw their own war murals!  They literally sat there for hours and were so excited to show the Bold Husband when he got home!

eq art

Closing Thoughts

All-in-all, even in the times when I find all of the information to be a bit overwhelming (this horse business is its whole own world and an entirely new thing for me to learn), I am very glad that we are completing Equine Science this year.  This program is laying a foundation for our knowledge of horses that is going to help our entire family as we move forward into more horsemanship for us all.  I so appreciate the flexibility of the program and the thoroughness of it.  We very much look forward to the remaining 4 units we will accomplish this year and how we will be able to apply them to our riding and lives with horses.

I think this would make a great study for any child or family who is interested in horses- you will not come away lacking!

2 thoughts on “Equine Science from Winter Promise- Review

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