Peta Clacher, Communications Specialist, University of Nebraska–Lincoln
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 Nebraska State 4-H Rodeo offers youth an opportunity to showcase their skills in working with their equine partners through speed and agility contests. Classes include goat tying, barrel racing, pole bending, tie down roping, break-a-way roping, and dally team roping.
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 district shows are held as qualifiers for corresponding classes at the State 4-H Horse Show.
The Fonner Park State 4-H Horse Expo is an opportunity for 4-H members to demonstrate their skills and knowledge of horses at state-level shows and contests. The Expo is held annually and hosts the State 4-H Horse Show, State 4-H Hippology Contest, and State 4-H Horse Judging contest.
Want to grow your riding skills? Join our Evaluate My Ride forum!Nebraska 4-H Evaluate My Ride will provide members with tips, suggestions, and ride evaluations from Equine Industry Judges. New patterns or topics will be shared and cover a variety of disciplines related to equine riding. Participants may review materials at their own pace, try out any of the listed topics, and work on the feedback they are given.
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.
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.