4-H members who have access to or own a horse have many opportunities to participate in shows and events with their equine partner. However, Nebraska 4-H also offers a variety of horse programs that do not require youth to own or have access to a horse. Additionally, there are volunteer opportunities within these programs which are open to both youth and their families.
The Nebraska 4-H horse programs offer life-changing opportunities for youth. Along with learning horsemanship and animal husbandry, 4-H members practice life skills, such as responsibility, self-discipline, personal safety, goal setting, and keeping records. The focus of the Nebraska 4-H horse programs is the total development of the young person. The horse shows and related equine activities and contests are utilized as a vehicle for human growth and development. The programs aim to develop confident, competent, caring individuals who have good character and are connected to their communities.
To learn more about 4-H horse events and activities in your community, contact your local Extension office.
4-H HORSE OPPORTUNITIES
The 4-H Horse Stampede, held annually on the University of Nebraska–Lincoln East Campus, provides 4-H members an opportunity to showcase and demonstrate their equine knowledge through a variety of 4-H horse contests that do not require live horses, including public speaking, demonstrations, quiz bowl, art and photography contests.
The District 4-H Horse Shows are opportunities for 4-H members to demonstrate their skills and abilities with their horse in a variety of classes, including hunter under saddle, western pleasure, hunt seat equitation, western horsemanship, reining, barrels, and poles. Youth must have passed Horsemanship Advancement Level II in order to participate at any of the five district shows.
The Fonner Park State 4-H Horse Expo is an opportunity for 4-H members to demonstrate their skills and knowledge of horses at a state-level competition. The expo is held annually and hosts the state horse show, hippology contest, and horse judging contest.
The AQHA 4-H Horse Trail Challenge provides an opportunity for youth to strengthen the trust between themselves and their horse as they navigate obstacles and riding trails. The challenge includes three levels of participation where youth receive scores based on their ability to navigate the course with their equine partner.
The Horsemanship Advancement Levels program is designed to serve as a guide for instruction and evaluation of each 4-H member's progress. Each level has particular emphases to assist in developing 4-H member's self-discipline, patience, self-reliance, responsibility, and pride of accomplishment.