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Extension > Youth Development > Minnesota 4-H > Projects > Animal science > Horse

Horse Project

Learn about show, trail, or endurance riding; test your horse sense at quiz bowls or on judging teams or study horse science. The horse training project is designed to help the advanced rider train an untrained horse through a five-step process. You may have more than one horse in this project. Your horse may be leased or owned. If you don't have access to a horse, you may enroll in the horseless horse project.

Proud Leader Youth showing horse to kid Grand Entry at the State Show Parents helping at fair Western Pleasure judging Western Pleasure Dan Patch Winners Dan Patch Winners young cowboy

State & regional events

To view county or local club events, visit the county website.

View all 4-H Events

Adult leader awards

Many individuals support the Minnesota 4-H Horse program. Friends of 4-H and County All Star Volunteer award nominations are due by July 1. Read more.

Boot camp

MQHA hosts a three-day camp in June for 4-H members in Verndale. Camping and stalls will be available. Participation is limited. Read more.

Central area 4-H horse camp

Increase your horsemanship skills by attending Central Area 4-H Horse Camp this summer in June. This camp is limited to 80 attendees. Camp information and registration form.

Dan Patch and youth leadership

Yearly award to one 4-H'er for overall achievement, leadership, and service. Read more.

Drill team

Learn about drill teams in the Minnesota Drill Team Rule Book (PDF) (updated 01/20/13) Note: The drill teams will perform in the AgStar arena at the state fairgrounds. The arena size is 80' X 200'.Contact: Minnesota 4-H Drill Committee for more information.

Expo tack sale

The Tack Sale at Minnesota's Horse Expo is held annually at the state fairgrounds in St. Paul. The sale is managed by Minnesota Horse Association and is the group's major fund raising event. More info

4-H Regional & State Project Bowls

Project bowls are an exciting way for youth to explore a project area. Teams compete in quiz competitions with questions about specific project areas. Project bowls are available for dairy, dog, general livestock (beef, sheep & swine), horse, poultry, rabbit and wildlife projects. Winners of the Regional Bowls advance to the State Bowl. More project bowl info    More horse bowl info


Show your knowledge and understanding of equine science and husbandry in a friendly but competitive setting by participating in a Hippology Project. Youth who have completed sixth grade and higher can compete as part of a county team or as an individual. More info

Horse judging

In this event, make a careful study of an animal, measuring it against an accepted ideal. Youth who have completed sixth grade and up can compete as part of a county team or as an individual. More info

Horse judges certification

Apply to become a certified 4-H horse judge at this event, held every spring. Certified 4-H judges can also be recertified. More info

Horse PDC information

Oversee the development, planning, promoting and implementation of educational programs and events in the area of horse science for Minnesota 4-H youth, their families and leaders. Stimulate interest in and promote 4-H youth programs with horses through effective communications with all partners – members, families, leaders, staff and other partners. More info

Miniature horse program

Any miniature horse that is  ID'd  in a 4-H Extension Office by the May 15 deadline, and is 38" or under qualifies to be shown at the regional shows.  Classes will be offered for Pee-Wee, Junior and Senior divisions in Showmanship, Driving, Costume, Liberty, Hunter, Jumper and In-hand Obstacle Trail. Cloverbud classes include Showmanship and Costume Class. More info

Contact: Jackie / Aimee Schulz or Renee Kostick

Minnesota 4-H State Horse Show

The Minnesota 4-H State Horse Show is held every fall, and provides lifetime skills and learning experiences for 4-H Horse Project members, families and leaders. Effective since 2007, all 4-H'ers participating in 4-H-sponsored mounted activity are required to wear properly fastened, ASTM/SEI approved protective headgear. More info

Minnesota 4-H State Horse Winter Roundup

You won't want to miss this tremendous opportunity to learn more about the 4-H horse project's activities. Winter roundup includes two days and two nights of learning, sharing information and having fun. This forum is designed for adult leaders and 4-H parents. Older youth may attend, however, this will be intense leader training with very few recreational activities provided. The location varies. More info

National trip opportunities

Top hippology teams, horse judging teams, speech and demonstration participants and project bowl teams can compete at a national level. More info

Regional horse meetings

The Minnesota 4-H Regional horse meetings are designed to provide educational opportunities to 4-H'ers and adult volunteers. It also serves as a venue to discuss best practices between counties by allowing counties to discuss their programs and find new and better ways of doing things. More info

Speech and demo

State level judging is held in conjunction with the Minnesota State 4-H Horse Show. Start preparing for it early in the year, by participating in your project group or club. Use this as an opportunity to talk to schoolmates about your interest in horses or the horse industry. More info

Western Heritage

Minnesota 4-H Western Heritage helps youth explore and preserve this sporting tradition. Regional events lead to the state contest. More info

Win a paint horse essay contest

The University of Minnesota 4-H Youth Development Program announces the "Win a Paint Horse" competition. It is open to all Minnesota 4-H members active in the 4-H horse project. 4-H members involved in a horse project can win a paint horse of their own during the Minnesota 4-H State Horse Show. Read more.

Why I want an Arabian essay contest

The University of Minnesota 4-H Youth Development Program announces the "Why I Want an Arabian"; competition. It is open to all Minnesota 4-H members active in the horse project. 4-H members involved in a horse project can win an Arabian horse of their own during the Minnesota State Horse Show. Read more.

Horse Project resources

You can participate in a variety of activities including shows, trail rides, endurance riding, project bowls, judging teams, hippology teams or Western Heritage. The 4-H Horse Achievement Guide will help you learn horse-related skills and to record your activities.

Beginning to learn about horses:

Some experience with this project:

Looking for a challenge in this project:

LISTSERV: The LIST SERV is an email response program operated by the University of Minnesota. It allows people interested in the 4-H Horse Project to exchange ideas, methods and opinions. It broadcasts e-mails to all list subscribers. Click here to request list subscription

Local information contact:

County Extension office

Horse Training Project resources

Learn how to train your untrained horse using this step-by-step process.


Horseless Horse Project resources

Horseless horse offers the opportunity to study and learn about a horse if you do not own, lease, or have regular access to care for a live horse. (If your family owns, leases or has regular access to care for a live horse; you should enroll in the Horse Project and enter a horse-related exhibit.)

Horseless Member Booklet


Cathy Giefer
13248 - 410th Ave
Blue Earth, MN 56013

Horse judging resources

Horse judging is an art that consists of making a careful study of animals and measuring them against an accepted ideal.


Lynette Whittier

Project leader resources

Other online resources

4-H Youth record keeping

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