Activity and Event Rules
Idaho's 4-H program offers several equine-related educational contests enabling youth to demonstrate their knowledge, communication, decision-making and problem-solving skills. To provide continuity at the club, county, district and state levels, a clear consistent set of contest rules were established following National 4-H standards.
This most recent contest addition, designed for teams (three to four members), consists of four phases.
- Written — measures a wide array of equine-related knowledge
- Station — series of tables with hands-on activities related to everyday situations
- Judging — place two halter and two performance classes (often held in conjunction with the host site’s Horse Judging contest)
- Team Problem — the group receives a real-world situation, and provided 15 minutes to develop a proposed solution, which they then deliver to a panel of judges.
Each match involves two teams (four to five members per team), providing rapid responses to a wide array of horse-related questions to earn points. The first half of each match (one-on-one) poses questions to a designated member of each team; during the second half (open) any eligible contestant can respond. Contests use a double-elimination format to determine final placings for all participating teams.
Individuals or teams (three to four members per team) evaluate classes consisting of four horses/riders, ranking them from most desirable to least desirable confirmation or performance. Contests typically have three to four halter and three to four performance classes. After placing all classes, youth typically give one to two sets of oral reasons, explaining to a judge why they placed that class in a particular order. Youth build communication and decision making skills.
Through the process of researching information, organizing it in a logical sequence and delivering it to others via demonstrations, illustrated talks and/or speeches, 4-H empowers youth with potentially the greatest life skill — effective communication. Working independently or in partnership with another member, they expand their equine-related knowledge, gain confidence and enhance self-esteem.
- Idaho 4-H Horse Demonstration and Illustrated Talk Scorecard (PDF)
- Idaho 4-H Horse Public Speaking Scorecard (PDF)
Currently, each district has adopted their own set of 4-H Horse Show rules. Members and volunteers should contact their local University of Idaho Extension office to obtain the most recent version of rules used in their respective county