Opportunities in the St. Johns County 4-H Horse Program
4-H Horse projects provide youth and volunteers the opportunity to learn about horses. Horses can inspire youth to achieve goals and build life skills. Youth learn about horse care, health, and training which can give them the tools to become responsible horse owners. There are six areas of the 4-H horse project that youth can explore. Youth can compete in contests which include Hippology, Horse Judging, Horse Quiz Bowl, Horse Demonstrations, Public Speaking, Horse Shows and Horsemanship School. You can find more information here.
What is Hippology and Horse Quiz Bowl?
Hippology is the study of the horse. Participants can demonstrate their knowledge 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 identification of feed tags, judging, identification stations, and team problems. Youth learn to evaluate a horse’s form as it relates to function and compare it to the ideal as well as to other horses. The State 4-H Horse Quiz Bowl is a quiz contest made up of questions pertaining to horse topics. .Teams of four compete by responding to questions asked by a contest moderator.
Horse Shows and Beyond
4-H horse clubs across the state hold countless local and county horse shows. Disciplines include Western & English Pleasure, Trail, Ranch, Dressage, Hunter Jumper, Saddle Seat, Speed & Games, Horsemanship, Equitation, Showmanship & Halter. The state is divided into five areas, each having its own show in the spring. Youth qualify at the Area show to compete at the State Horse Show in July.
Horse Demonstration and Public Speaking
Speeches and demonstrations are a great way for youth to share their horse knowledge with others. Youth can present demonstrations and speeches in the horse category at a county level contest. Qualifiers will compete at the State Horse Events in Gainesville.
At the University of Florida 4-H Horsemanship School youth spend five days in concentrated courses on Western and English Horsemanship. Riders spend approximately five hours per day on horseback grouped according to ability. Riders must be able to groom, tack, and mount their horse on their own. Educational topics include general health care, feeding, tack selection and care, fitting/grooming, and safety.