Take Your Horse to a Science Fair
 By Winniefield Park   •   12th Jul 2016   •   1,379 views   •   0 comments
Take Your Horse to a Science Fair

I home schooled my kids, but that doesn’t mean that we didn’t do many of the things kids in school did. One of those activities was attending science fairs. If you’ve got a horse, or have some horse knowledge, you’ve got a wealth of inspiration for a science fair project. Chances are the science fair you are entering will have different categories, and horse related subjects can fit into most. Here are just a few of the many ways you can take your horse to a science fair.

Social and Behavioral Science
As social animals, horses have some interesting qualities. Whether you’re able to observe a herd of horses, or have only one horse to base your project on, you’ll easily find a subject to study, or an innovation to develop. You could study how horses learn, do an experiment to learn about how they see. Herd dynamics could be a subject for a comparative study. How are the ways horses respond to humans? And how horses have affected humans and our own development has lots of possible avenues of study.

Biochemistry is the study of life processes. Horses of course can be studied right down to the cellular level. Get out a microscope to discover how a cell from a hoof differs from a skin cell. How are cells affected by nutrition - such as something like a selenium deficiency? How do chemical parasite control drugs affect internal parasites? There are lots of chemical processes going on in and around a horse. Microbiology studies bacteria, protozoa, fungi, antibiotics and other organisms that grow in and around a horse.

Consumer Science
This is a really interesting category when it comes to horses, since we are all trying to find the magic potion or piece of gear to make our horse healthier, live longer, work more comfortably or perform better. Does one type of saddle pad keep a horse cooler than another? Does one type of blanket keep a horse warmer than another? How do equine nutraceuticals work compared to pharmaceuticals? Will a more expensive helmet keep your head safer than a cheaper one? And, do new helmets perform better than old ones? There is lots of fodder for study here.

Environmental Studies
The first thing that comes to mind in terms of environmental studies is composting manure. But what about studying responsible ways to dispose of a large body? How would our world be better or different if we all had horses rather than cars? Is horseback riding an environmentally friendly sport?

Studying horse genetics could encompass color, breed or how horses differ from other horse cousins like donkeys or zebras. A computer can be used to study DNA sequences, and explore genetic diseases like HYPP.

Physical and Mathematical Science
This category encompasses statistics, geometry, probability and other ways to use numbers to calculate and predict. Possible studies and experiments could be done on jump trajectories, shoulder and pastern angles, and the ‘science’ of racehorse wagering.

This category covers a very wide range of possible studies and experiments involving horses. Sleep/wake cycles could be studied. Gestation, digestion, dentition, and many other subjects could make exciting science fair projects.

I’ve really only scratched the surface when it comes to the possible subjects for a science fair project. Have you done a science fair project involving horses? Or, if you were to do one, what would you present?
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