Boy with horse

4-H Horse Program

NYS 4-H Horse Program

Program Overview

The New York State 4-H horse programs promote knowledge of horsemanship and responsible, ethical equine use, care and management. They also helps youth develop life skills including leadership, responsibility, sportsmanship, teamwork, community service, and positive attitudes of self-worth.

Educational Events:

Horse Bowl

The primary objective of Horse Bowl contests is to provide an opportunity for youth enrolled in 4-H horse projects to demonstrate their knowledge of equine related subject matter in a competitive setting where attitudes of friendliness and fairness prevail. It is also hoped that these contests will provide educational experiences for both participants and spectators.

Hippology Contest

The primary objective of the NYS 4-H Hippology Contest is to provide an opportunity for youth participating in 4-H to demonstrate their knowledge of and reasoning ability in equine science and management in a friendly and fair competitive setting. Enrollment in a NYS 4-H Horse Project is recommended but not required. This contest is meant to be a rewarding and educational experience.

Horse Communications Contest

The NYS Horse Communications contest is an event for youth to compete and show off communications and public speaking skills. The event is centered around the horse world, encompassing a wide variety of topics. The communications program offered by 4-H is one of the most beneficial programs, allowing youth to learn and practice public speaking skills that can be used in future.

Horse Judging Contest

The primary purpose of this contest is to recognize 4-H horse project members with outstanding knowledge of equine conformation and performance and also with outstanding skill in the presentation of oral explanations of their evaluation of the equines used in the contest. That this contest provides a means for the selection of individuals to represent the state in regional and national competition is of secondary importance.

4-H Horse Shows

The New York State 4‑H Horse Show is held at the New York State Fair in Syracuse each year. Qualifying shows are held on the county level in the spring and early summer, and the top-rated competitors in each class represent the county at the state show. Divisions at the state show include Western, English, Games, Driving, Dressage, and others. This event offers 4‑H youth the opportunity to compete at an advanced level and meet other 4‑H horse project members from around the state.

Model Horse Show

The primary objective of the 4-H Model Horse Project is an educational tool for teaching 4-H'ers about horses. Through the Model Horse Project, members learn about breeds, colors, gaits, tack and show ring activities. This project also allows members to use their artistic talents in the remaking of models, construction of tack and the designing and building of backdrops.

The Model Horse Program also provides a venue for "horseless" club members to participate in a "horse show."


Last updated June 9, 2022