A Meredith Manor student at the barn.

Horse & Barn Care

A student receives a blue ribbon in a horse showing class at Meredith Manor.

Course Name: Horse & Barn Care

Prerequisites: None

An integral part of any equestrian's understanding of the horse takes place not on the horse's back, but in the barn. Each student at Meredith Manor is assigned to one of the barns on campus. Students assigned to barns are responsible for complete care of the horses in that barn including: cleaning the stall, grooming, alerting the barn manager of any health problems, and routine health care. All Horse and Barn Care responsibilities are covered in detail during the first week of each quarter in an Orientation taught by a staff member and student barn manager. Students are required to spend twenty-one hours per week fulfilling responsibilities for Horse and Barn Care.

Weekly Topics: Content, skills, and dispositions related to the care of the horse will be presented, demonstrated, and practiced throughout the quarter. Only one hour per week is spent in a classroom. A total of 21 hours per week are spent in the care and maintenance of the horse and barn application of the content, skills, & dispositions. Content of the course includes the following topics:

  • Daily Grooming Techniques including those related to:
    • the coat: shiny, smooth, free of dandruff; minimal loose, shedding hair; full grooming
    • mane: free of tangles, snarls, dirt, scruff; correct length of bridle path
    • tail: smooth; good length; dock of tail and underside free of dirt
    • feet: picked out; free of thrush or injury
    • blankets: proper use; cleanliness; sizing
    • illness or injury: who to contact; how to report; taking responsibility
  • Keeping Stalls Clean
    • about bedding: clean/dry; level
    • free of cobwebs and other problems
    • cleanliness
    • dealing with manure, water buckets, and feeders
    • checking for stall damage
  • Feeding at assigned times
    • understanding and following feeding charts
    • feeding order to prevent colic
    • weekend feeding procedures
  • Performing Daily Duties
    • respecting assignments and being there
    • accepting a variety of roles & responsibilities
  • The Importance of Responsible Horse and Barn Care to the Horse Owner

Performance Objectives:
Following successful completion of Horse and Barn Care the student will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a greater understanding of nature of and the basic needs of horses
  • Demonstrate responsibility in caring for the needs of horses
  • Demonstrate the skills necessary to perform the basic functions related to barn care, including: but not limited to stall cleaning, grooming, recognizing and calling attention to basic health problems, and routine health care
  • Demonstrate responsibility in meeting the required hours of horse and barn care during non scheduled times

In order for students to acquire the knowledge and skills of Horse and Barn Care, the instructor will use a variety of teaching methods including: expository learning, discussion, demonstration, guided and independent practice. Students will apply many of the concepts of horse and barn care through their actual involvement in the care and maintenance of the 100+ school horses. Applications will be made to the care and safety procedures of barn management practiced at Meredith Manor.

Students will be evaluated on their knowledge, skills, and ability to accept responsibility and function effectively in the barn throughout the quarter. A daily point system will be used that includes:

  • Attendance
  • Accomplishment
  • Effort
  • Attitude

Formative assessments will be used to guide the teaching/learning process and will allow students to monitor their progress throughout the course.

I want to thank you for the amazing education that you gave me. The fantastic amount that I learned at MM gave me a rock solid foundation that I have built on over the years. For your dedication, vision and absolute practicality I thank you!
Bekah (Bailey) Murchison: 1992 Riding Master I Graduate