The Utah 4-H Horse Program is designed for youth with an interest in horses and horse events. Youth will be provided with experience to help develop leadership, citizenship, self-esteem, social, and horsemanship skills. This program is for youth in 3rd grade and 8 years old, through 12th grade, as of September 1st. The 4-H Horse Program includes programs for both youth who own/have access to horses and those who do not, but still want to learn about the science of equine care and management. For information about horse clubs in your area, or to start your own club, contact your County Extension Office.
Programs and Events
The Utah 4-H Western Horse Program focuses on teaching youth to work with a project horse throughout the year, and be tested on their equine knowledge. The youth are given the opportunity to show their horses in multiple western disciplines including western horsemanship, showmanship at halter, western pleasure, trail, western riding, and reining. The shows also offer three speed events that may include barrel racing, pole bending, key hole, gymkhana, scurry, and quadrangle. The Western horse program is one of the largest project areas within Utah 4-H.
The Utah 4-H Equine English Program is an excellent avenue for youth to get involved with the basics of English riding. From equitation to hunt seat, riders will learn the proper balance and timing that comes with English riding. Youth also get the opportunity to exhibit what they have learned through county and state horse shows. To learn more about the details of each English event, check out the 4-H Horse Rule Book.
The 4-H Working Ranch Horse Program provides an opportunity for youth to be involved in western horsemanship activities beyond the traditional show ring. Participants learn the age-old techniques of handling livestock while on horseback, and the leadership and responsibility that comes with being engaged in 4-H.
Youth Mustang Challenge
Utah 4-H and the Bureau of Land Management have teamed up to offer youth an educational and fundraising opportunity for Utah 4-H Horse Clubs. The purpose of this program is to increase the adoption of Mustangs to good homes and promote positive youth development. 4-H members will be working with yearling mustangs to gentle and train (halter break) them throughout the summer. In September, an Adoption Auction will be held to showcase their mustangs and give them the chance of a good forever home.
Did you know that you can be involved in Utah 4-H Horse Projects without owning and riding horses? Although most horse enthusiasts would prefer to spend time with living and breathing horses 24/7, participating in horseless activities provides opportunities to learn more about horses, network with horsey peers, develop mastery, and enjoy various activities and fun competitions. The horseless activities do not just promote horse education, but youth also develop valuable life skills and become more productive. The horseless horse events, or horse classics, are some of the most popular horse related activities across the nation.
Utah 4-H offers a statewide, virtual, horseless horse club for all horse crazy youth ages 8 to 18. The club is free and includes twice monthly meetings, at least one in-person horse related experience, and the opportunity to develop leadership and learn more about horses. We will be learning from the Utah 4-H Horse Program Study Material and will be going over Volume 2 for our intermediate and senior aged youth!
Youth Horse Leadership
Horse Programs through Utah 4-H offers valuable leadership opportunities for youth:
STATE 4-H HORSE AMBASSADORS
The Ambassadors will fulfill programming needs in the Western, English, Mustang and Working Ranch Horse programs by representing the youth voice to provide input, promote and recruit for these programs, and actively participate in meetings, activities, events and shows.
Horse Council Delegate
Youth delegates will be chosen to serve on the Utah 4-H Western Horse Council representing their respective counties. The adult and youth delegates will work together as they take an active role in bringing the needs and concerns of their resident county to the attention of the state, as well as promote state opportunities within their circle of influence.