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Life skills learned at 4-H Horse Workshop


What can you learn from a horse?  Do you even have to own a horse?  The answers to these questions and more were shared on Saturday, January 20th during the Area A 4-H Horse Project Workshop, held at the Jackson County Ag Complex Conference Center.  This educational event was sponsored by the Area A 4-H Horse Show Advisory Committee and was offered to both youth and adults.

Youth overcoming public speaking fears.
Photo Credit: A. Granger

The workshop was attended by 62 youth and adults who rotated through three workshops on the topics of 4-H Horse Public Speaking, taught by 4-H Agents Angel Granger (Jackson County) and Aly Shortinghouse (Escambia County), Hippology and Horse Quiz Bowl taught by Shane Michael (RSA Central District), Megan Mann (Livestock Agent Lake County), and Wendy DeVito (UF Animal Sciences Youth Program Coordinator), and Horse Demonstrations taught by Julie Dillard (Washington County CED and 4-H Agent) and Jessica Wells (Washington County 4-H Volunteer).

Specific information regarding these types of 4-H competitive events can be found at

Horse Demonstrations & Public Speaking

Presenting speeches and demonstrations to share knowledge with others is the heart of the 4-H Program. Any State-level Demonstration/Illustrated Talk or Public Speaking speech in the “Horse” category will be presented at the State Horse Events in Gainesville in June, separate from 4-H Congress. The State competition qualifies youth for Regional and National events.


Jackson 4-H member Faith Macks giving an impromptu speech. Photo Credit: AGranger

Horse Quiz Bowl

The State 4-H Horse Quiz Bowl is a quiz contest made up of questions pertaining to horse topics. Pairs of four-person teams compete against each other responding to questions asked by a contest moderator. This contest offers horse club members the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge, compete head to head with other teams, and earn the right to represent Florida at the Regional and National competitions.

Youth learning about Hippology and Quiz Bowl. Photo Credit: H.Kent


The term “Hippology” comes from the Greek “hippo”, meaning horse, and “ology”, meaning “the study of”. Participants learn to demonstrate their experience and knowledge gained in horse judging, quiz bowl, speeches, and practical horse management. Phases of the contest include a written exam, identification of items shown on slides, placing and/or ID of feed tags or feedstuffs, judging, ID stations, and team problems.

Studies show that adults, who participate in these 4-H activities as youth, reflect that they learned valuable life skills, which they attribute to those 4-H experiences.  Volunteers and Extension personnel mentor and prepare youth for competitive events in safe and positive environments, where they learn and develop life skills.  Preparation for competition in events such as Horse Quiz Bowl, Hippology and Horse Public Speaking is accomplished with experiential learning methods that develop youth’s problem solving, teamwork, organizational and leadership skills while developing their self-confidence.  Youth are also given opportunities to learn about careers associated in the animal science industry.

Junior, intermediate and senior age youth are encouraged to show their knowledge by participating in related events such as County and District 4-H Events.  First-place seniors in public speaking and demonstrations are eligible to go on to participate at state-level competitions.

To learn more about opportunities to grow life skills in youth, contact your local 4-H Extension Agent or Florida 4-H at 

4-H offers a broad spectrum of projects and activities to serve a variety of interests, skills, and knowledge. If you or someone you know would like to learn more about the Jackson County 4-H Youth Development program, please visit the 4-H Youth Development page at  You may also contact the 4-H Office at (850) 482-9620 or email

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