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University of Minnesota Extension

Extension > Youth Development > Minnesota 4-H > Projects > Animal Science > Horse > Hippology

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Hippology is an activity that can make learning fun for 4-H members by letting them exhibit their knowledge and understanding of equine science and husbandry in a friendly but competitive setting.

Hippology Objectives

Reference Material

All the information covered in the contest may be found in one or more of the following publications:


Minnesota 4-H Horse Program Rulebook
Horses and Horsemanship
Horse Science
Horses and Horsemanship (6th Edition) - Ensminger,
The Horse (2nd Edition) - Evans, Borton, Hintz and Van Vleck
Illustrated Dictionary of Equine Terms
Revised MN Horsemanship and Training Manual
Equine Science - Jean T. Griffiths
AYHC Horse Industry Handbook
The Coloring Atlas of Horse Anatomy - Robert A. Kainer and Thomas O. McCracken
Feeding and Care of the Horse - Lon D. Lewis
Catalogs distributed by State Line Tack, 1989 Transit Way, PO Box 935, Brockport, NY 14420-0935*
Grains, forages and feed preparations used will be representatives of feeds used in horse rations.

(Some reference materials available in Horse Resource Library.)


Competition in Minnesota is held every year at the State 4-H Horse Show in September.

Winning teams go on to represent Minnesota in National Competitions. For additional information contact the activity chair.

Contest Phases

Examination Phase - This phase of the contest may include:

  1. Written exam
  2. Projected slides to be identifies as to breed, color, color patters, activity, proper appointments, etc.
  3. Anatomy which may include external, skeletal, internal organs, parts of the gastrointestinal tract, male and female reproductive organs, detailed anatomy of the foot and detailed lower limbs.

Station Phase - This phase will consist of a series of stations or tables which test the contestants knowledge. Examples are: Identification of types of saddles (actual or pictured), parts of saddles, tack, bits, bridles, horse shoes or parts of shoes, tools and equipment, grains and forages, internal and external parasites, blemishes and unsoundness, ages of equine based on teeth, pulse rate, respiration rate, temperature, signs of dehydration or anemia, measurements of wither height, shoe size, girth, collar size, gullet width, seat length of saddle.

Judging Phase - Contestants will be required to judge at least four classes of horses (2 halter or conformation classes and 2 performance classes).

Team Problem - All teams will be presented with the same problem(s). Each team will have equal time to discuss the problem among themselves. They then will have to present an oral solution or series of suggested procedures relative to the problem.


Laurie Nelson or Jason Campbell

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