There are many horse activities for youth to participate in 4-H. You do not have to own a horse to participate, as Mississippi 4-H offers many non-riding horse projects. For more information in getting involved with one of the horse related activities, contact your county Extension office.
The traditional horse project is one of the most popular projects in 4-H with opportunities for youth to show in local and district 4-H horse shows. Youth can qualify in many of the classes offered at the district show to advance to the State 4-H Horse Championships. Mississippi qualifies 42 horses as delegates representing the sate at the Southern Regional 4-H Horse Championships.
Horse judging is a competition where four to five member teams judge horses in various classes of four, which include halter and performance classes. Contestants will give oral reasons for their placings for some of the classes judged. Contests for junior 4-H members are held at the district 4-H horse shows and can advance to the State 4-H Horses Championships. The senior contest is held at the State 4-H Horses Championships.
Horse Bowl is a quiz show style contest with teams of four or five that compete to answer questions related to horse knowledge. This is fun and fast paced contest where contestants buzz in to answer questions.
Hippology is a team contest where 4-H members can show off their horse knowledge. This contest is one of the toughest contests and is open only to senior 4-H members. It consists of four phases; examination, station, judging and team problem.
Horse Art & Photography
Horse art & photography contests offer many divisions for 4-H members to work with different media to showcase their artistic ability. Contests are held at the district horse show and finalist in each division will go on to compete at the State 4-H Horse Championships.
Horse Public Speaking & Demonstration Contests
Public speaking is a contest for individuals with the junior contests held at the District 4-H Horse Shows and the senior contest held at the State 4-H Horse Championships. Demonstration contests are for individuals and teams of two. The junior contests are held at the District 4-H Horse Shows and the senior contest held at the State 4-H Horse Championships.
The romantic idea of owning and riding horses often does not match the costly and time-consuming reality of maintaining them, a discrepancy being addressed in workshops aimed at making horse ownership more rewarding.
Clay Cavinder, horse specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, offers a one-day workshop and a six-week program to address the tremendous amount of information that a horse owner must absorb.
Cousins Tredell and Anthony Meeks brought home top honors at the Southern Regional 4-H Horse Championship in Georgia in 2019. The pair has participated in the family pastime since they were small children but decided to join 4-H 6 years ago to meet new people, learn new things, and compete among their peers.
Tredell and Anthony Meeks have been riding horses since they were small children. But 6 years ago, they decided they wanted to join 4-H in Holmes County and participate in competitions. “We saw other 4-H members who were doing horse competitions, and we thought it looked like fun,” says 18-year-old Anthony. “We wanted to try it.”