A Horse is a Horse Unless. . .

Posted on October 28, 2009


This morning I saw the three year old classes from preschool as a special treat.  Since they are studying the letter “H”, I decided to share some activities with them on Horses.

We started out with a rhyme on riding a horse:

Goin’ Ridin’

Get up in the morning, at the break of day, (Yawn and stretch)

Go and feed my horse his hay. (Throw hay with pitchfork)

Put on the saddle (Pretend to lift with both hands)

And cinch it to stay. (Pull cinch tight)

Jump on his back (Jump)

And gallop away! (Gallop in place)

(Rhyme courtesy of the King County Library System’s “Books to Grow On” website.)

The students enjoyed this, but weren’t too sure about pitchforking the hay, or pulling the cinch tight.  So I explained to them what a pitchfork was, and showed them how to use it. I then told them to story of how my pony, Cracker, would hold his breath and stick out his tummy when I was tightening his cinch.  Whenever he did that, I’d get on his back and the saddle would turn to the side as I fell off since he had let his breath out.  They found this hilarious.

After the fingerplay I asked them to put their horses in the barn (sit down in our story area) and give themselves some pretend hay, oats and water.  I then read Syd Hoff’s The Horse in Harry’s Room.  If you’ve never read this classic, please add it to your reading list. Hoff’s book tells the story of Harry, a little boy with a horse in his room that only he can see.

After the story I passed around a genuine horseshoe, and told them about the horse who had worn it:

“This horseshoe came all the way across the ocean from a country called Ireland.  It belonged to a big black daddy horse named Stylish Stepper.  A good friend of mine rode him, and always sent me pictures of him.  Because she knew I liked him so much, she saved one of his shoes for me.”

I also showed them how it went on the horse’s hoof, and emphasized that it didn’t cause the horse any pain.  As they passed the horseshoe around, we talked about how many shoes each of us wears, and how many a horse wears.  One little girl thought it was so funny that a horse wears four shoes. 🙂

Afterwards we sang “I’m a Little Cowboy/Cowgirl” to the tune of “I’m a Little Teapot”:

I’m a little cowboy/cowgirl.

Here is my hat.  (Point to self, then hat.)

Here are my spurs (Point to your heels)

And here are my chaps.  (Pat both legs)

As soon as I get up, (Stretch, pretend to wake up)

I work all day.  (Pretend to lasso a cow)

I get on my horse (Pretend to get on a horse)

And ride away.  (Pretend to gallop on  horse.)

(Song courtesy of King County Library Systems’s “Books to Grown On.”  Library website.)

I was quite glad I had taught them “whoa” at that point!

As they left the library, each received a horse coloring page.  When I asked them what color there horse was going to be, one little girl piped up with, “Pink!”  I  love the imagination and creativity these children display.

For more information on Syd Hoff, check out his website at:


Posted in: Lesson Plans