Level II

Level II

Instruction at this level should continue to stress the basic handling and riding fundamentals given in Level I and begin emphasis on the 4-H member's ability to use these fundamentals in obtaining more response from the horse.


Level II demonstrations should be 10-20 minutes in length and focus on any of the points listed or mentioned in the Level II Skills Test or Study Guide. Suggested topics include:

  • Equipment cleaning and inspection of the common wear locations
  • Parts of the horse, colors, markings, unsoundness, and blemishes
  • Various bits and their use
  • Fitting and grooming for halter and/or showmanship at halter
  • Presentation of a horse for showmanship at halter
  • Hoof care and cleaning
  • Knot tying
  • Appropriate dress and equipment for different styles of riding
  • Exercise to improve horsemanship skills and balance

*A different demonstration must be done for each horsemanship level.

Written Report

Reports should be at least one page in length and focus on major horse breeds and the basic purpose for which each breed was developed.

Feed Chart

Youth will need to complete a Feed Chart in order to pass Level II. Youth should develop a chart showing the different roughages and grains used in your area. Show the amount of roughage and grain your horse should receive while it is idle, at light work, and at medium work. Make all figures in pounds.

Written Examination

A written examination must be completed with a minimum grade of 80%. This examination is available through your local Extension office and/or club leader.

The Level II Study Guide should be used to prepare 4-H'ers to pass the Level II written examination. Questions in the Study Guide were taken from the Nebraska 4-H Horse Project Manual (EC 2-91-76) and the Nebraska 4-H Horse Show and Judging Guide (4H 373). It is recommended that 4-H'ers become familiar with the information on the Study Guide before taking the written and skills portion of this level.

Skills Test

A Skills Test demonstrating the 4-H'ers proficiency of horsemanship, horse handling, equipment adjustment, judging, and care must be completed. The 4-H'er must complete each and every portion of the Skills Test with at least an 80% to pass Level II. Youth will need to:

  • Present a well groomed and prepared horse
  • Demonstrate the proper techniques to pick up and clean a horse's foot
  • Exhibit correct showmanship skills
  • Display greater mastery of riding skills than given in Level I
  • Discuss and demonstrate the proper use of the basic aids required for riding at various gaits in a straight line and circle
  • Complete a collected, balanced stop from various gaits
  • Explain and demonstrate cues required to back a horse in a straight line
  • Demonstrate horsemanship skills while performing various tasks
  • Discuss and identify the basic differences and uses between a snaffle bit and a curb bit
  • Demonstrate correct tying of various knots

Once an item above has been completed and passed, it need not be repeated. However, if a member fails to pass any individual item, that item must then be repeated (i.e. retake the written exam, or retake the entire Skills Test). Each item may be repeated as many times as necessary for successful completion.

Report Sheet

Once an item listed above has been completed youth and their club leader need to complete the corresponding section of the Level II Report Sheet.