Nebraska 4-H

Horsemanship Advancement Levels

close up view of a horse's face

The Horsemanship Advancement Levels program is designed to serve as a guide for instruction and evaluation of each member's progress. The correct handling of horses is emphasized from the beginning to the most advanced level. Each level has particular emphases to assist in developing 4-H member's self-discipline, patience, self-reliance, responsibility, and pride of accomplishments.

Accomodations can be made for youth with disabilities. Speak with your local county office for accommdations.

General Requirements

The youth participants being tested must be enrolled in the 4-H horse project. During testing of each level, youth must also use a horse that has been properly identified on the 4-H Light Horse Identification Record and Owners Affidavit. 4-H'ers must own, lease, or manage the horse being used. Youth must have access to the horse and provide care and management as described in the Nebraska 4-H Horse Show and Judging Guide. 4-H members may use any of their project horses. However, a single horse must be used for the entire skills test of each level.

Requirements for State 4-H Horse Show Participation

Corresponding advancement levels to classes must be completed before entering the State 4-H Show. Level III and/or IV must be successfully completed before entering the coordinating level classes at the State 4-H Horse Expo.

Project members must be aware of, and adhere to, any deadlines set by the local Extension office, realizing these deadlines may vary from county to county. For more information about annual deadlines, please contact your local Extension office.

To find a certified examiner for the level you are ready to pass and to determine the correct steps for going through the testing process, contact your local Extension office for details.

Nebraska Advancement Level Program Youth Survey

There is a study available on evaluating the Nebraska Equine 4-H Advancement Level Program towards positive youth development. Youth are invited to take part in this research study through the completion of the Nebraska 4-H Equine Advancement Level Survey. The goal of horse programs is to develop important life skills in the youth who participate.  In order to determine if there is an association between Positive Youth Development scores and the Advancement Level program, we are asking that you allow your child to complete online survey.

Your child/legal ward will be asked to complete 1 survey using an internet-based Qualtrics survey. The survey will take 15-20 minutes to complete, and they may complete them from a home computer or on a computer at the Extension office. If you allow your youth to participate, please continue by clicking on this link: .

For questions about this program or the information on this page, please contact: