Shoshone Equestrian Center

“Helping Horses Project”

Create A Community Video and Brochure

 about Horse Therapy

A WebQuest for Montezuma County Adult Education and GED Students

Designed by
Gloria J. Edwards
Contact Me


 Introduction | Task | Process | Evaluation | Conclusion | Credits | Teacher Page


Have you ever felt like hanging out with someone who doesn’t care about how you look or what you wear?  Would you sometimes like to hang out with someone quiet and supportive?  Are there times when you have been surprised at how understanding an animal can be about your feelings? This lesson gives you a chance to make some great new horse friends, and help others, too.

In this lesson, we will learn about horses and how they can help people grow in many ways.  We will learn about basic horse care, therapy, biology, and communication while we make a video and brochure for a new horse center in southwestern Colorado . 

The Shoshone Equestrian Center (its temporary name) is a new horse therapy and education center in Dove Creek , Colorado .  The center will provide horse therapy and counseling for people in the Four Corners area.  People go to the center to work on better learning skills, and physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual balance.  They are looking forward to having the Cortez Adult Education students come and meet their horses and work with them. 


The Task

Usually, people go up to horses, teach them how to be ridden and behave around people, put all kinds of equipment on them, and ride/use them for all kinds of reasons.  Here, we will be learning about horses and what they can teach us! 

Your task is to:

1)    Learn some basic information about horses, horse care, and horse therapy;

2)      Experience horse therapy and communication yourself;

3)      Get the word out about horse therapy in the community by making a video (with music!), and brochure for the Shoshone Equestrian Center  

4)      Help the Shoshone Equestrian Center decide on a new name; and

5)       Have fun learning about this exciting way of being with horses! 


The Process

About Horses and Horse Therapy

Background Reading and Research:

Start with the pamphlet “Colorado Horse Care,” written by Colorado State University .  This is a quick introduction to what horses need, and how to figure their feed.  Also, read pages 36 – 50 in the 4-H Horse Care Manual.

Let’s spend some time learning about horses and how they help people work through feelings and challenges.  Horses do not really separate thought and memory from feeling and sensation.  The four are always connected. A horse’s mind is always noticing gestures, feelings, and sensations the same way that human babies experience the world before talking.

Now, let’s take a look at horse science.  Select the following websites and read the articles.                                                GO TO TOP ^ basic encyclopedia articles about horses many cool links to basic horse stuff and wild horse articles interactive horse labeling —label parts of a horse Read about how an orphaned foal made it through the loss of its mother.

What’s it Going to Take?                                     GO TO TOP ^

Now that you have read some information about horses, write the most basic things a horse needs to be happy and healthy.  (Please remember, this is a beginning lesson about horse care. Horses can very widely in their types, sizes, and needs. If you get one of your own, check with a horse veterinarian about caring for its needs.)










You can try this table for extra credit.   



Now, examine the difference in keeping one horse or many horses.  Figure the total cost for keeping one healthy horse for one year (we are going to assume that your horse is so healthy, it will not be sick or need anything extra!). Draw a chart like the one below, and fill in the cells. When you finish, place your work in your folder or portfolio.

# of Horses



Salt Blocks

Foot care

Dental care







































The Shoshone Equestrian Center has five horses to keep healthy.  This gives you an idea of the cost of keeping a small herd!  Ya gotta love ‘em!

Now you are ready to visit the Shoshone Equestrian Center . Get to know your own horse friend, and make a community video about the Shoshone Center and horse therapy.

Visiting the Shoshone Equestrian Center : Creating Horse Friends, Video, and Brochure 

What you need to take:                                                   GO TO TOP ^

*  Notepads/something to write on

*  Pens/pencils

*  Video camera

*  Outdoor clothing

*  Mud boots or shoes

 Jobs for the group (things to be done to complete your lesson):

(This depends of the number of students going; students may take turns doing each job)

*  Video camera person

*  Note-taker for center brochure

*  Note-taker for video narrative (two students can take turns video taping and taking notes)

 Here is what we will be doing at the ranch:                    GO TO TOP ^

*  Get together what you need to visit the center.

*  Decide who will have which job for video recording, notes for the video narrative, notes for the brochure.

*  First visit to the Center: get to know the staff, the ranch, and the horses.  Shoot video and take notes. Meet at campfire to share observations.

*  Rewrite your notes and read to the group.

*  Second visit:  Do horse therapy, continue with video, notes, meet at campfire.                                                                    GO TO TOP ^

*  Edit video, add narrative and music.

*  Create brochure and business cards using MS Publisher.

When you arrive at the Shoshone Equestrian Center , Robyn and Charlotte will give you an introduction and show the group around the ranch.  They will explain their work and the purpose of the ranch. They will also talk about safety at the ranch and with the horses. 

First Visit Activities                                    GO TO TOP ^

*  Begin filming as you arrive

*  Video tape the center’s people and activities.

*  Meet horses and make friends over the fence

*  Share notes at the fire circle

*  Charlie tells the story of Shoshone

*  Picnic

*  Home  


When you go the Shoshone Center for your first visit, take time to “hang out” with each of the horses (outside the fence only). You will learn the “horse stance,” a position which allows a person to open communication with the horses.  Each student will write notes about their experiences from being with each horse, and share those experiences later at the fire circle.

When you return to school, re-write your notes using a word processing program on your computer and read them to the group.  Using your notes and video footage, begin work on the brochure using MS Publisher.


Second Visit Activities:  

*  Choose your horse partner

*  Work with horse therapy

*  Continue videotaping the events

*  Continue taking notes for the narrative and brochure

On the second visit, decide which horse you relate to the most, and would like to work with. This time you can go into the round pen with that horse with an Equestrian Center facilitator.  You can start connecting with your horse by grooming or asking the horse to “do” a typical round pen activity without props.  For example, ask the horse to “move” around the round pen without the use of a lariat or other tools. Both involve connecting with the horse.  Remember to have all your attention on your horse while you are doing this with him.

These horse experiences seem to be quite simple; but horses can sense so much about a person’s thoughts, feelings, and attitude that a lot can happen between the horse and yourself during these moments.  There will be time afterward to talk about what you experienced that day.  


While each person is in the round pen, the others are asked to focus on that person and their experience.  If you need help during any of these activities, meet with either Charlie or Robbie (another assistant will also be present as additional support for the equine experiential exercises) for some one-on-one time.

After the round pen activities, students will meet at the fire ring to review notes and finish up.

Video and Brochure

Now you have your video shots, notes, and your experience at the ranch.  It’s time to edit the video into a short movie with words and music that will show the community what the Shohsone Center is all about.

What kinds of ideas do you want the video to show:  How the facilitators handle the horses?  How they are cared for?  What the Shoshone Center looks like?  What is horse therapy and how does it work?

Decide who the video is for. Will it be shown in schools, community centers, or at the theater?  How long do you think the video should be?

Now, go over your notes as a group and write a “narrative” for your video.  A narrative is a telling or explaining of an event or story.  One of the students can record a narrative that explains what is happening while the video is playing.  

Video program:  Download your video to the computer. As you look through the shots and listen to the words, choose the parts that show the ideas that you have listed.                                                GO TO TOP ^

Music program: Start your music program and import the video.  While the video is playing, explore different kinds of music that fits the events showing in the video.  Remember that you are making a video to show certain ideas and meanings about the Shohsone Equestrian Center

Brochure: Design the brochure using MS publisher.  Go through your notes and use them to write short sentences about the center. Decide what the brochure needs to say (what they do, who is there, how many horses, how to get in touch with them, etc.). Work together, then turn in ideas to your instructor for review.  Send the finished project to the Shoshone Equestrian Center for their comments.  Use their comments to make a final copy.  


--->>> GO TO THE Evaluation Rubric and measure how much you've learned!


You have experienced being with another animal in a way that many people haven’t, and have had a very special chance to understand animals on a whole new level.  Do you see horses differently than you did before? How?  Do you see yourself a little differently?  What did you learn about yourself?  Would you tell a friend or someone else to try horse therapy?  


Credits & References

Nelson Robyn, and Charlotte McGuire.  Buffalo Woman Ranch, Dove Creek , CO

The Epona Center , Tucson , Arizona ( )

Kohanov, Linda.  The Tao of Equus.  New World Library, Novato , CA

Rashid, Mark.  Horses Never Lie.  Johnson Books, Boulder, CO.

Rashid, Mark. Considering the Horse.  Tales of Problems Solved and Lessons Learned.  Johnson Books, Boulder, CO.

“Colorado Horse Care” Pamphlet sponsored by” Colorado State University Cooperative Extension Service

“4-H Horse Project” MA 1500C Member’s Manual