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Horse Crazy!


 A book that’s an ideal supplement to summer horse camps is Jessie Haas’ Horse Crazy! (2009) This treasure chest of information, activities, games, and projects encourages kids ages 8 and up to express their passion for horses through a wide range of creative outlets. Jessie Haas offers, as the title claims, “1001 fun facts, craft projects, games, activities, and know-how for horse loving kids.”

The book begins with “In the Know,” describing the parts of the horse, tracing the history of the evolution of horses, describing the colors of horses, the uses of horses by humans, and more – interspersed with horsey craft ideas, like making a horseshoe picture frame.

Part two, “In the Saddle,” starts with horsemanship – how to halter and lead a horse, grooming, tacking up, basic rules of riding, showing, braiding, jumping, western riding, racing, trail riding, and more. These are interspersed with tidbits of information about various breeds and some famous horses, as well as more horsey crafts. “Unusual Ways to Have Fun with a Horse” explains vaulting. There’s also polo, gymkhanas, cowboy mounted shooting, jousting, and games on horseback. There’s even a section on “Going to Horse Camp.”

Part three, “In the Spotlight,” turns attention to model horses, how to write horse stories, books about horses, drawing horses (example Thelwell), and photographing horses. There are even some “good ole horse songs” in this unit. For crafts, there are instructions for making a baling twine scrubbie. Moving to the environment, of course “manure happens!” There’s information on various kinds of stall bedding and dealing with flies. There’s a chart to calculate your carbon hoofprint.

This book is a great resource for both horse campers and their camp leaders and trainers.

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