Recently a local group known as American Heritage Girls scheduled an appointment with Corral Connections. What a lovely group of amazing learners. What was intended to be a one hour session turned into two hours as the students’ interests kept igniting the teacher and lover of horses in me!
The students came clothed with their hats, gloves, and coats. Not even a cool breezy day would interfere with this event. Each student built their own book as paper was handed out. The classroom was benches and hay bales in the twelve-foot alley way inside the barn. Horses leaned their chests against their stall guards as they enjoyed the enthusiasm and energy these students brought with them, generated by their love of horses.
The goal was to teach storytelling, creating a take home book and provide hands on information in haltering, leading, and grooming.
A play area was set up in the round pen with 2 equine balls for gaming and fun filled laughter. The mounting block provided some needed rest for a moment. By the north entrance, a couple of hay horses with their wooden horsey heads that contained reins and a horse blanket under a saddle carried some of the younger students across plains and over all imaginable terrains.
The equine family was discussed. The mare is called a ______. She is the mother of the foal. A boy foal is called a ______. A girl foal is called a _____. A stallion is called the ____when he is the father of the foal. A female horse ages three and under is called a _____. A female horse age three and older is called a ______. How are you doing with your answers?
We identified five different markings on a horse’s face: star, snip, blaze, stripe and bald. Can you describe each of these markings?
We covered ten equine safety rules, haltering, and grooming. Here at Corral Connections we groom in a seven step rhythm.
(1) We begin with a curry comb starting at the horses’ poll and work to his hindquarters. We do not apply this step to the horses’ legs.
(2) Repeat with a stiff brush (flick, flick, and flick with your wrists. Brush legs.
(3) Now it’s time to brush with a soft or “finisher” brush; both sides and legs. Remember to brush in girth area every time you groom your horse.
(4) Brush mane with soft brush, fingers or comb. Be careful not to pull out mane.
(5) Brush tail; remember proper stance and to hold tail below tailbone, applying pressure to your arm, not the horse’s tail.
(6) Clean the horse’s face; use a facial (soft) brush. Remember proper strokes: Above eyes, inside ears, under jaw and gently on muzzle. This is where the class on “The Parts of the Horse” comes in handy.
(7) Pick out horse’s feet using a hoof pick.
In conclusion, when measuring a horse the term “hands” is mentioned. Let’s say, “This horse is 15.1 hands.” A “Hand” equals how many inches? If a horse measures at 15.1 hands, how many inches does he measure from the ground to his withers? Again, the class on “The Parts of a Horse” comes in handy here.
Out of curiosity I looked up the word “heritage”. Words such as inheritance, birthright and bequest appeared on my computer screen. From the word bequest comes the word gift.
In honor of the American Heritage Girls, Corral Connections would like to offer a gift to you, the reader, of the Horse Whispering column. Answer the six questions about the equine family, describe the five different equine facial markings, list the Corral Connections 7 steps of grooming a horse, and answer the two questions about measuring a horse. How many inches in a “hand,” and how tall in inches would a 15.1 hand horse measure?
Email your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org. The first responder with the correct answers will receive an equine gift. Let’s have some fun!
In a few days many will be celebrating a birthday! When Mary gave birth to Jesus, the only Begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth, each of us was given a Gift, the Gift of a Savior! When we choose to believe and receive (unwrap,) we are forgiven, reconciled, redeemed; blessed beyond measure. Upon receiving these “immeasurable gifts” we become ‘gifts’ to everyone we meet; our “NEIGHbor”.
By: Deb Kitchenmaster