Our 4-H youth can work with and learn about their horses. Youth in this project need their own horse(s) or have the ability to lease a horse for their use from October through September of the 4-H year. The horse project gives our youth the opportunity to work in the divisions of English, Western and Ranch horse riding. The basic skills they learn about selection, care, and feeding of horses, animal health, and importance of good record keeping, will help them succeed in this project. The 4-H Horse project incorporates a horse levels program that consists of both riding and written exams for levels 1 through 4, this is required for this project.

The purpose of the 4-H Horse Project is to help youth learn how to properly care for and enjoy your horse while developing Life Skills. Through the 4-H Horse Project, youth can increase their knowledge and improve their horsemanship skills by learning basic safety and handling principles. As a member in the 4-H Horse Project, you will learn about your own horse, other horse breeds, safety, body colors and markings as well as health and care. Youth will also learn about facilities, grooming and training.

Starting Out, Beginner Jr./Int./Sr.

Starting Out, Beginner

Inspiring youth to:

  • Learn the requirements of the 4-H Horse program
  • Learn about horses
  • Tips for choosing the appropriate horse
  • How to identify the parts of a horse Identify breeds of horses
  • Identify body colors and markings
  • Learn  parts of the hoof
  • Learn about blemishes and unsoundness
  • Learn about digestion
  • Learn feeding tips
  • Learn vital signs
  • Learn about facilities
  • Learn about grooming
  • Learn about saddling and bridling
  • 4-H Advancement levels program

Learning More, Intermediate, Jr./Int./Sr.

Learning More, Intermediate

Inspiring youth to:

  • Characteristics and uses of various breeds
  • Definitions and locations of blemishes, lameness and unsoundness
  • Types of nutrients and value of them
  • Basic requirements of a good pasture
  • Common health problems, their symptoms, cause and treatment
  • Gain knowledge of sound management practices
  • Develop sportsmanship
  • Develop public speaking skills
  • Approaching and handling the horse
  • 4-H Advancement levels program



Exploring Depth, Advanced, Jr./Int./Sr.

Exploring Depth, Advanced

Inspiring youth to:

  • How to deal with current issues relating to raising a horse
  • Gain leadership skills by helping others learn about horse
  • Explore career opportunities in the horse industry
  • Safety when handling horses
  • Fire Safety
  • Housing and fencing
  • Learn about internal and external parasites
  • Learn about diseases: causes, symptoms and treatment
  • 4-H Advancement levels program


Horse Advancement Levels, Jr./Int./Sr./

Horse Advancement Levels

  • All horse project members must have passed Advancement Level 1–Western, to be eligible to compete in the Western Division or the Timed Events Division
  • Advancement Level 1 – English, to be eligible to compete in the English Division; and
  • Advancement Level 1 – Ranch Horse, to be eligible to compete in the Ranch Horse Division.
  • (Exception: First year project members can choose to compete in the Novice Division whether or not they pass Level 1. They are encouraged, however, to attempt Level 1. For 2nd year and over project members, if you have not passed Level 1, you must have attempted it this year (to be eligible for the Novice Division.) Also, to compete at the Colorado State Fair, you must be Level 2 (or higher for some classes) certified.

All certifications, for the Weld County Fair and Colorado State Fair, must be completed by July 1st.

For each level, there is a written and riding test. Written tests are to be taken, and passed, before you take the riding test. Written tests for this year only are available to be taken online. To take the test, you will need to contact Kim at and a link with password will be sent. You will have 24 hours once the test is sent to you for it to be completed. No tests will be sent over the weekend or holidays.

Riding tests must be administered by a certified levels rater. You can arrange to be level certified on your own. A list of qualified raters can be found on the Colorado 4-H website. Riding tests can also be completed virtually; contact Kim for more information on how to complete this.

Members must have a Jump Certification on file to be eligible for English Equitation Over Jumps and Hunter Hack classes. Members must have a Roping Certification to be eligible to rope cattle in the Ranch Horse Cattle Sorting and Individual Cattle Work classes