Horse Project

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 4-H Alberta Horse units are set up in a progressive learning format that enables members to acquire an understanding of horse management through the experience of owning, caring for, training, riding and maintaining records on a horse project.
Horse Leader's Guide - A resource of games and activities for club meetings and events.

Horse Record Book - Record feed, equipment and health costs, along with keeping track of activities with your horse and with your club. This record book is a fillable, saveable, and printable PDF. A print version is also available through the Club Supply. It’s very important that you SAVE a copy of this record book before you begin filling it out or try to print it. By SAVING a copy first, the Fillable PDF should function properly and print easily.

Horse Reference Manual - This manual contains a ton of 4-H information about caring for, riding and working with horses.
4-H Horse Reference Manual
  • Physical Appearance
  • Attitude
  • Body Functions
  • General Condition
  • Working Condition
  • Caring for Your Horse’s Teeth
  • The Vital Signs
  • Controlling Parasites
  • Horse First Aid Kit
  • First Aid Treatments
  • Diseases of Horses
  • Medical Terms
  • Basic Safety Rules
  • Helmets
  • The Riding Arena
  • Trailering Horses
  • First Aid
  • Safety on the Trail
  • Why Groom?
  • The Grooming Kit
  • Picking Up the Feet
  • The Importance of Hoof Care
  • Bathing Horses
  • Grooming Problems
  • Clipping
Selection and Buying
  • Buying a Horse - Your First Look
  • How will this horse behave?
  • What can this horse do?
  • How much am I willing to pay?
  • Halter
  • Bridle
  • Bits
  • Mechanics of the Bit and Bridle
  • Reins
  • Saddles
  • Saddle Blankets
  • Riding Equipment for the Rider
  • Care of Equipment
  • Other Commonly Used Equipment
  • Trailering Equipment
Conformation & Evaluation
  • How is this horse put together?
  • Muscling
  • Balance
  • Quality and Refinement
  • Conformation Faults
  • “Way of Going” or Travel
  • Deviations from Travel in Horses Include:
      Is this horse sound?
  • Approaching a Horse
  • Haltering a Horse
  • Leading a Horse
  • Tying a Horse
  • Saddling
  • Unsaddling
  • Bridling
  • Unbridling
  • Lunging
  • Restraints
Parts of the Horse
  • Parts of the horse
  • Parts of the hoof
  • Teeth
  • Teeth and Age
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • The Nature of the Horse
Horse Identification
  • Equine Terminology
  • Colours and Markings
  • Characteristics of the Main Horse Types
  • Breed Associations
  • Gaits
  • Diagonals
  • Leads
  • Stride
  • Pressure
  • Centre of Gravity
  • Defects in Way of Going
  • Lameness
  • Acute or Chronic
  • Diagnosing Lameness
  • Housing
  • Manure Management
  • Settling a New Horse in a New Home
  • Housing Horses Together
  • Transportation Equipment
  • Booby Traps
  • Riding Surfaces
  • Stable Vices
  • Mounting
  • Dismounting
  • Be Courteous to Your Horse
  • Warming Up and Cool Down
  • Body Position
  • Rider Balance
  • Holding the Reins
  • Rein Effects
  • The Aids
  • Changing Direction or Turning
  • Absorbing the Horse’s Motion
  • Transitions
  • Terms Used in Riding
  • Riding Exercises
  • Feeding Your Horse
  • Where to Feed
  • Horse Nutrition
  • Judging the Quality of Hay Products
  • Energy Foods
  • Balancing Horse Rations
  • Salt and Minerals
  • Measuring the Weight of a Horse
  • Winter Care of the Horse
  • Feeds a Horse Should NOT Receive
  • Horse Digestion
  • Feeding Problems
  • Feeding a Sick Horse

Horsemanship Assessment Levels 1-3 - Members work through skills - both mounted and dismounted - which give them the basics of caring for and riding horses.
Assessment Level 1 | Assessment Level 2 | Assessment Level 3

Horsemanship Assessment Levels 4-7 - This manual builds on the skills learned in Horsemanship Assessment: Level 1- 3 to increase skills in both mounted and dismounted abilities.
Assessment Level 4 | Assessment Level 5 | Assessment Level 6 | Assessment Level 7

Flowchart - Mounted Assessments - Progression Across the Levels | Map on how to print out flowchart

Horse Judging Project Guide - How to judge the conformation as well as learning to judge all the basic classes at a horse show.

Horse Winter Project - Ideas, patterns, directions and more for horse clubs and members to work on during the winter months.

Young Horse Project Guide - This manual should guide your training of the young horse, weanling, yearling or two year old 4-H Project.

English Options
  • Dressage Project Guide - This manual covers the basics of dressage, along with a information about the history of dressage, common terms and figures.
  • Jumping Project Guide - This manual covers the basics of jumping, types of jumps, and rider positions.

Western Options
  • Cattle Events Project Guide - Learn about working with cattle. Cattle events include Team Penning, Cutting and Working Cow Horse.
  • Packing Project Guide - This resource covers the basics of packing - equipment (saddles, panniers, etc.), loading and tying a load, as well as care of animals.
  • Ranch Horse Project Guide - Learn basic skills needed to work on a ranch - horsemanship, gates, cattle work and care, roping and other skills used on a working ranch.
  • Reining Project Guide - This project is designed for members who want to train and ride in reining competitions. Members who take this project should have some advanced riding skills and lots of experience before beginning this project.
  • Rodeo Project Guide - Learn about rodeo events including Barrel racing, roping, goat tying, pole bending and steer riding.

4-H Equine Project Options
Please note that these sport events do not have supporting 4-H project material. Clubs are responsible for researching and obtaining the necessary information to safely explore these sports from the websites provided. The following equine sports are ones that some 4-H horse clubs are exploring.
Additional Resources
Feeding Horses

Showing Horses
Most regions have a Regional 4-H Horse Show and there are many horse shows throughout the province that 4-H members may want to participate in.

The following will provide you with some basic information about what is generally expected at horse shows and for some of the more common classes. Please be aware that each region has their own rules regarding the specifics of their shows and it is important that you become familiar with them before you attend the show.

If you are planning to enter an open horse show or a breed show, you should check with that show for the rules that they use.

Not all regions offer all of the classes described here and some regions may offer classes that are not described in this document.

Horse Showing (complete resource, individual sections listed below)
English Classes
English Tack
Gymkhana, Games and Timed Events
Miscellaneous Classes
Rodeo and Cattle Events
Western Classes
Western Tack
For more information about the content of this document, contact Corinne Skulmoski.
This information published to the web on December 15, 2005.
Last Reviewed/Revised on April 28, 2015.