Are you ready for a Challenge?
The Minnesota 4-H Horse Training Program challenges you to train your untrained horse, following a six-step process. Each step builds on the previous one. As you work through them, you will not only learn to train horses, you will develop skills you will use throughout your life. Passing step 6 will prove that you have the patience, ambition, and persistence to meet a challenging goal.
What you'll learn to do
- Train a horse to the best of your ability.
- Follow a step-by-step training process to develop your abilities and your horse's.
- Use proper safety techniques when working with your horse.
- Identify various types of training equipment and how to properly use and care for them.
- Properly care for your horse.
- Develop the proper attitude and understanding needed to train horses
- Evaluate your horse's level of training and your readiness to proceed to the next step.
- Develop a healthy attitude toward exploring and applying new training ideas and techniques
Any age horse may qualify provided that it has had no training beyond longeing. Your horse may not have been previously ground-driven or ridden when you begin. Begin with the preparatory step using a trained horse, then continue through step 6 with the same horse. Follow your county's policy on whether more than one horse may be entered and shown in the Horse Training Program. Regardless, the 4-H Horse Identification Affidavit is required. You may also use this horse as your regular 4-H project horse.
You must complete the preparatory step with a mature, trained horse before you begin the six training steps with your untrained horse. Each step must be completed in order, and all skills within the step must be completed. For the best training results, complete the skills in each step in the order given. Work at your own pace, according to your and your horse's abilities, but all steps must be completed within two years. As you complete a skill within each step, check it off in the space provided. Once the step is completed, have it approved and signed by the program chair or leader, then proceed to the next step. If your horse has progressed at the county or state show to being ridden, you must be exhibiting in at least step 4 or higher.
Once you have completed steps 1-5, you may try for step 6. It may be passed only at the Minnesota State 4-H Horse Show. You will need a recommendation from your county project leader or county extension educator to try for step 6. You will receive an award when you pass this final challenging step. Both the horse and the Achievement Program booklet must be presented to complete this final step.
Additional Places to Find Information
Much of the information required to complete this program will be found in the 4-H horse project materials. You will discover additional information and assistance from several other sources:
- Your horse project leader
- County Extension office
- Equine publications
- State 4-H Horse Project Library
- University of Minnesota, Crookston, Equine Program