Skip to main content

What is the 4-H Intentional Riding Challenge?

What is “intentional”?

Intentional is doing something deliberately, with purpose, and whole-hearted.

When it comes to riding, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with a good play or leisurely stroll, however, to improve our horses and ourselves we must ride with a goal and intention. We need to focus on finesse, collection, softness, and so on. When horses are worked intentionally their bodies blossom with strength and stamina.

The COVID-19 spread has led to nation-wide postponements of horse shows and clinics. These events are used to showcase a youth’s mastery and growth with their 4-H project horse. We wanted to still provide an opportunity for continuation of their horsemanship journey so 4-H adapted an online challenge program to improve their skills safely at home. This challenge encourages riders to spend time with their horse using intention.

Intentional riding is accomplished through thoughtful executions of groundwork, lunging, patterns, finesse, and cadence using pre-set goals.

The 4-H Intentional Riding Challenge spans 12 weeks, 15 rides and 20 hours with 1 project horse.

A Facebook group is now available to all registered 4-H members, volunteers, agents, or advisors. With help of local experts and a Nationally recognized judge this group has expanded beyond Nassau County, FL and has more than 60 challengers nationwide. These youth range in age, experience, and discipline but have come together to encourage one-another and achieve self-defined goals.

Want to Join Us?

Joining the 4-H Intentional Riding Challenge (IRC) is simple!

  1. You must be a registered 4-H member, volunteer, agent, or advisor.
  2. Request access to our Facebook group. We encourage youth members to use their parent’s profile.
  3. Set a few goals for yourself, the horse, or both! They can be as complex as perfecting a left lead canter or to have your horse stand at the mounting block.
  4. Post a little about yourself, your horse, your goals and upload conformation photos of your horse.
  5. After each ride or training session upload a photo, length, and your success for that day.

Our local experts and judge will post patterns, tips, and of course encouragement throughout the challenge. We provide an open discussion to help you if you have specific questions about how to improve.

We know that the world is in a new schedule, but we always have positive youth development in the forefront of our plans. Consider joining us!