University of Florida

Youth Horse Events

Horsemanship School

4-H Horsemanship School is 5 days of concentrated courses in horses and in beginning and intermediate Western and English Horsemanship. Approximately 5 hours per day are spent on horseback with riders 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.

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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.

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Horse Judging

In Horse Judging, 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 added benefit is that it gives youth the opportunity to sharpen their decision making skills and their ability to defend those decisions.

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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.

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The term "Hippology" comes from the Greek "hippo", meaning horse, and "ology", meaning "the study of". Participants will be able 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.

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Horse Shows

Each year 4-H clubs across the state hold countless local and county horse shows. In the spring, each of the six Areas has a qualification show to determine who will be able to participate at the State show. Only the top 55% from each Area qualify to go to the Florida 4-H State Horse Show. The State show typically has ~300 entrants. Of those, the 50 highest point-earning Seniors qualify for the Regional horse Show.

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4-H kids with horse