Sharing A Passion For Horses Through 4-H

We quickly said yes when Happy Trails 4-H Club Leader, Bobbi Barnes, approached the office about hosting a horse show clinic. The clinic was February 17th, at the SELP North Arena and there were around twenty youth in attendance, along with their horses. Youth participants were members of the Happy Trails 4-H Club and local FFA Chapters. The clinic consisted of a showmanship clinic, arena safety, and 4-H horse programming opportunities. The majority of the youth who participated in the clinic also competed at the Southeastern Youth Fair on Saturday, March 4th. The next 4-H horse show these youth are preparing for is the Area West Horse Show April 21-22nd in Bushnell. We thank Bobbi and all the volunteers who shared their passion to help prepare our youth for shows!

Horse Judging, Hippology, and Quiz Bowl

Horse judging and hippology is a popular 4-H program. The Marion County 4-H Senior Horse Judging Team placed 2nd at the Florida State Fair in February. The judging team continues to practice in preparation for the Florida 4-H Horse Judging and Hippology contest, April 1-2nd. Horse quiz bowl will begin practicing at the conclusion of these contests. These teams would be impossible without their coach, Candice Miller, and their supporters!

Horse Demonstrations/Illustrated Talks and Public Speaking

Horse demonstrations/illustrated talks and public speaking are a popular way for youth to compete without owning a horse. Youth compete in these contests at County Competitive Events, which will be Saturday, March 25th, at UF/IFAS Extension Marion County. These contests simultaneously give youth an opportunity to share their passion while increasing their knowledge of horses on a variety of topics. Youth select a topic of their interest ranging from proper grooming techniques to horse genetics. Youth who earn a blue ribbon will move-on to District VII Events on May 6th. District VII Events will be at the Ina A Colen Academy in Ocala.

Horse speaking events are separate contests from traditional demonstrations and public speaking contests at County and District Competitive Events. Horse speaking events have their own state, regional and national competition. The state competition will be on Saturday, June 17th, in Gainesville in conjunction with Horse Quiz Bowl.

Youth interested at competing at this year’s County Competitive Events can register here:


To learn more about Marion County 4-H horse programming, please contact our office at (352) 671-8400 or contact 4-H Agent, Chelsea Jones, at


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Posted: March 7, 2023

Category: 4-H & Youth, Agriculture

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