Did you know the Florida 4-H Horse Program offers horse shows, horse judging, Hippology, public speaking, demonstrations, illustrated talks, quiz bowl, horsemanship schools, and even scholarships?
January kicks off the new year of the Florida 4-H Horse Program, and now is the time to get involved! The Florida 4-H Horse Program consists of all the programs mentioned above, and only a few of those events actually requires owning a horse. The horse program has something for everyone, and the best part is that you get involved with youth focused, horse loving community. Below, we will introduce you to each part of the program, but if you have more questions, be sure to reach out to your county agent. For this article, we will look at programs where you do not need to own or lease a horse, and programs where you do. So let’s get started!
Horseless Programs (No horse needs to be owned or leased)
About: In horse judging, youth are presented classes of horses, and they are asked to evaluate each class, place them, and present oral reasons. This competition teaches youth to look at horses and evaluate the based on both confirmation and function. To watch a short video outlining the details of the competition, click here.
February 8, 2020: Florida State Fairy Horse Judging Contest, Tampa, Florida
April 4, 2020: State 4-H and FFA Horse Judging Contest, Gainesville, Florida
For More information, please visit the UF 4-H Horse Judging Website.
About: Quiz bowl is a trivia style contest with both individual and team components. Topics range from practical hands on knowledge to horse industry knowledge. To learn more about these events, watch a short video here.
June 1, 2020 – State Entry Deadline
June 20, 2020- State 4-H Horse Quiz Bowl Contest, Gainesville, Florida
For More information, please visit the State 4-H Horse Demonstrations and Public Speaking.
Youth visiting a local veterinary office for a tour.
About: Hippology includes all aspects of horse knowledge and covers topics ranging from judging to feedstuffs identification. Hippology includes practical horse management knowledge combining it with the experience and knowledge from all the other contests (Judging, quiz bowl, public speaking, etc.). To watch a short video outlining the details of the competition, click here.
April 4 & 5, 2020: State 4-H Contest, Gainesville, Florida
For More information, please visit the UF 4-H Hippology Website.
Public Speaking/Demonstrations/and Illustrated Talks
About: In these events, youth get to explore an area of interest as it relate
Tucker Padgett gives a public speech at the 2020 Escambia County 2020 County Events.
s to horses, then create a presentation to share it with others. These events have a county, district, and in some cases a state level. To learn more about these events, watch a short video here.
Most counties have a qualification process, that differs across the state. Check with your county agent for the specifics on the county and district qualifying events.
June 1, 2020 – State Entry Deadline
June 20, 2020- State 4-H Horse Demonstrations and Public Speaking Contest, Gainesville, Florida
For More information, please visit the State 4-H Horse Demonstrations and Public Speaking site.
About: The Florida 4-H Horse scholarship program aims to reward youth who are demonstrated an intense passion and advancement in the Florida 4-H Horse Program. These scholarships have their own specific requirements and awards. For More information, please visit the Florida 4-H Equine Scholarships Summary here.
To watch a short video outlining the details of the opportunities, click here.
June 1, 2020- Scholarship Applications are due
*Be sure to work closely with your county 4-H agent to ensure this process goes smoothly.
Project Horse Programs (A horse must be owned/leased by youth)
Area and State Horse Shows
About: Each year, Florida 4-H hosts Area Shows to qualify for the State 4-H Horse Show. To learn more about these shows watch this short video which introduces the Florida 4-H Horse Shows.
Important Dates and Information:
If you want to compete at your Area Horse Show, you need to be aware of the following items:
- December 31, 2020- The Florida 4-H Horse Certification Form should be submitted to the county 4-H on or before December 31, 2020 to qualify to pa
Youth displaying ribbon after placing in a horse show class at the 2019 Area North Horse Show.
rticipate in the Area North Horse Show and the State 4-H Horse show. This form must be completed each year, even if you are using the same horse as a previous year. A youth should do this for each horse they intend to show or use to participate in 4-H shows with.
- Find the form here: Florida 4-H Horse Certification Form
- December 31, 2020- A Horse Lease Form should be completed and submitted if a youth wants to participate with a horse that is not owned by the youth. Even if you are borrowing the horse without a fee, youth must have a Horse Lease Form on file with the local county 4-H office.
- Find the form here: Horse Lease Form
- The Florida 4-H Horse Project Record Book is a great way to track and demonstrate your growth throughout the year.
- Find the project book here: Florida 4-H Horse Project Book
Each county has their own specific guidelines and requirements. Please be sure to check when your county offices are closed for the holidays as they may not be open on the final day the form is due. Contact your county office if you have any questions or concerns regarding county specific requirements. For more information about Florida 4-H Horse Project opportunities visit the State 4-H Horse Events site.
About: Horsemanship school is a week long program geared at teaching and equipping youth with the knowledge and tools needed to be successful and grow as horseman. There are three program offerings: Western week, English week, and Cowboy Camp (male 4-H youth). To watch a short video outlining the details of the opportunities, click here.
Youth at Horsemanship School in Niceville, Florida before camps were moved to Gainesville.
May 31-June 5, 2020 – Cowboy Camp, Gainesville, Florida
June 7- 12, 2020 – Western Week, Gainesville, Florida
June 14-19, 2020 – English Week, Gainesville, Florida
For more information, please visit the UF Horsemanship School website.
The Florida 4-H Horse program is abounding in opportunities, so come join our community of horse loving youth and adults focused on “making the best, better”!
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to us!
You can find your local county 4-H office here.
*Photo Credits belong to:
Julie Andrews Photography, 2019 Area North Horse Show, Clay County, Florida.
Anne Peterson, Escambia County 4-H Volunteer
Aly Schortinghouse, Escambia County 4-H
*All Photos were taken prior to COVID-19 lockdown and policies.
Photo credit: Evie Blount, UF IFAS Gadsden County
Are you sad about the North Florida Fair being canceled this year? Well we are too! Even though we are all going to miss the rides and the fair foods (especially the funnel cakes) we don’t have to miss out on all the fair activities! The Consumer Choice, Horticulture Identification, and Agricultural Judging Contest will all still be taking place on November 14th. They will all be virtual, and they are open to Florida 4-H members ages 8-18.
Judging contests are a great way for youth to learn skills to prepare them for work and life, such as decision making, teamwork and public speaking! To help youth prepare for the virtual ag judging contest, we will have a workshop on November 5th at 5:30PM eastern. Registration for this workshop and the contest are available in 4Honline. Once you register, you will be provided a secure link to join. The deadline to register for the workshop and contest is November 5th. For the contest, there is a small entry fee of $5.00 per participant.
If you have any questions, please email Evie Blount (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Chris Decubellis (email@example.com). We had so much fun creating this contest virtually and are super excited for youth all over the state to participate!
Check out these blog posts about how judging contests teach life skills:
Watch our webinar on judging contest basics:
For livestock judging study materials, check out these links:
Livestock Judging Guide (Kansas)
Livestock Judging Explore Guide (Texas)
Livestock Judging EDIS Factsheet (Florida)
October is an extraordinary month of celebration for UF/IFAS Extension Florida 4-H Programs. We start with National 4-H Week October 4th – 10th. The theme for this year’s National 4-H Week is Opportunity4All. This campaign was created by National 4-H Council to rally support for Cooperative Extension’s 4-H program and identify solutions to eliminate the opportunity gap that affects 55 million kids across America.
With so many children struggling to reach their full potential, 4-H believes that young people, in partnership with adults, can play a key role in creating a more promising and equitable future for youth, families and communities across the country. In 4-H, we believe every child should have an equal opportunity to succeed. We believe every child should have the skills they need to make a difference in the world.
It is amazing how many youth are growing up with 4-H in Florida with over 230,000 youth involved. 4-H is open to all youth, ages 5-18, determined as of September 1 of the current 4-H year for everyone in the State of Florida. 4-H serves youth from all backgrounds and interests. It reaches both boys and girls through 4-H clubs and project work. 4-H is at schools, community settings, virtually, military bases, and in combination with afterschool programs. There are also special workshops, camps and individual and family learning opportunities. We also have state-wide virtual club opportunities including Dairy, Horse, Poultry, Teen Life Ready and Young Leaders clubs. The Northwest District also offers 4-H virtual projects. These include: Chick Chain, Backyard Livestock, Honeybees, Wildlife, Baking, Culinary Arts, Leadership, Plant Science, Tailgating, sewing and shooting sports.
National 4-H Week Events Include:
Monday, October 5, 2020 join us at 1:00 PM EST / 12:00 PM CST for a webinar on How to Teach Kids to Prepare Healthy, Fun Snacks. Register Here
Tuesday October 6, 2020 Shout Out Day & Hall of Fame
Take to social media to share a 4‑H memory, express how 4‑H shaped who you are today, describe what 4‑H means to you, post an old 4‑H photo, or shout-out your 4‑H club or use our photo frame for sharing on Social Media be sure to include following hashtags #Opportunity4All, #Florida4H and tag @Florida4H in ALL posts!
6:30 pm EST/ 5:30 CST– 4-H Hall of Fame (FB Live Event) @florida4h
Wednesday, October 7, 2020, National 4-H Week Spirit Day
We want to invite you to help celebrate by wearing green or the 4-H clover. You could also wear a 4-H or Green facemask. We even have a photo frame you can use for sharing on Social Media and tag #Opportunity4All, #Florida4H and tag @Florida4H in ALL posts!
Thursday, October 8, 2020, Support the FOURWARD Fund, and Trivia Night
The forward fund helps ensure kids and families in need have access to educational resources and support all year long.
4-H Trivia Night from 6:30 pm EST/ 5:30 CST– (via FB) @florida4h
Are you ready for the 4-H Mars Base Camp Challenge?
On Friday October 9 Florida 4-H at 4 and Camp Night
Join Florida 4-H at 4 online at 4:00 PM EST 3:00 CST as we blast off on a mission to the Red Planet – MARS! We’ll be learning about the process that NASA goes through when sending a rover to Mars. We’ll learn about the stages of launching from earth, attempting to land on Mars, and discovering the key features of the Martian surface. Using real images and data Generated from NASA missions we’ll be introduced to some of the key characteristics of Mars and how we have discovered these features through decades of scientific exploration. Bring your supplies and join us. Click to Register
4-H Camp Night 6:30 pm EST/ 5:30 CST Come hang out with our camping team via zoom Click to Register and celebrate National 4-H Week.
Saturday October 10 #Opportunity4All Forum at 6:30 pm EST / 5:30 CST @florida4h (FB Live Event) Kids face a widening opportunity gap in America. Nothing should hold them back. Not Now. Not Ever. For more information about the national Opportunity for all Campaign materials and PSA
October 7-18 Tractor Supply Paper Clover FundraiserThe paper clover campaigns help by providing funds to conduct hands-on learning experiences through projects in STEM, agriculture, healthy living, and civic engagement locally and nationally.
JOANN stores also support 4-H by providing local 4-H Clubs with resources and tools to run impactful programs. JOANN even provides current & alumni members, parents of members, and volunteers with a 15% off total in-store and online purchases every day with a 4-H Rewards Card. You can register for this card at https://www.joann.com/4-h/ . They also run a paper clover campaign in the spring similar to Tractor Supply.
Please, help us celebrate National 4-H Week 2020 and participate in as many activities as possible. Also, Be sure next time you are visiting one of our sponsors locations to thank them for their continued support of 4-H Youth Development Programs. I cant wait to see your photos on social media please be sure and tag @Florida4H in ALL posts!
To find out more information about other 4-H programs like this or volunteer your time to work with youth, please contact your local UF IFAS County Extension Office. As you can see October is a wonderful month to be involved with and join Florida 4-H An Equal Opportunity Institution.
A 4-H family gathered together at a show.
Are you looking for another way that you can aid your child in becoming a healthy well-adjusted adult? You help can them by allowing them to enter a relationship with a horse. Most kids are naturally drawn to horses and may benefit greatly in what they can gain from them. Some life skills learned from caring for equine are character building, healthy living, leadership skills, and responsibility, just to name a few. Plus, if your child is out at the barn caring for their horse, they are less likely to be stuck on their phones on the couch. Therefore, their physical health will benefit from doing chores and riding as well. Horseback riding offers many aerobic-exercise benefits such as building muscles, boosting balance, and increasing coordination and flexibility. Lifting saddles, water buckets, and cleaning require physical movement as well as gives a sense of self accomplishment of “I can do this all by myself.” When youth are responsible for the care of a horse, it teaches them to put others needs above their own and they learn empathy.
Emily, 4-H member, sitting on her horse, Slyder.
Did you know 4-H has a horse program? The goal of the program is to teach and provide young people with an opportunity to participate in activities that foster the love for the animal and achieve their goals. The activities are designed to improve citizenship, sportsmanship, horsemanship, character, competitive spirit, and discipline while making youth aware of life around them. When thinking about the 4-H horse program, there is the potential for participation in horse judging, public speaking, demonstrations, hippology and quiz bowl. Participation in these activities can help a youth improve in many areas to gain a better education and they don’t have to necessarily have a horse. There is also horse showing for those who own a horse. Showing equine will connect youth from all over the world as horse family while teaching them to prepare, build the courage to compete, enjoy the rewards and deal with disappointments. Hopefully, the disappointments will drive them to succeed and work harder while furthering their leadership skills. Afterall, taking control of a thousand-pound animal to work through challenging tasks will require skills that promote a child’s self-competence.
If you are looking for something new to spark an interest in your child, consider the 4-H equine project. Horses are fun, help teach great life skills, and kids adore them. They will keep youth positively engaged during their difficult years from pre-teen and into adulthood. If you are unsure of what your county has to offer in the way of equine 4-H programs, give your local UF IFAS County Extension Office a call and they will help you or connect you with someone in the field or visit http://florida4h.org.
*“Please note pictures were taken prior to our challenges with Covid-19 and we remind people to social distance and wear a mask for the personal safety of self and others.”
Each year in Northwest Florida, 4-H hosts a 4-H Chick Chain Project. During this project, youth select their birds, raise their birds, attend educational workshops, and show their birds at a final show. With the recent COVID-19 pandemic placing a new emphasis on fresh from the farm food products, the 4-H Chick Chain project is a great way to launch into raising chickens or to start a new project. This year, the project is going one step further than previous years by adding more opportunities for youth to share about their projects through a demonstration or illustrated talk and the chance to explore building a business through an entrepreneurship challenge.
Demonstrations and Illustrated Talks
4-H youth, Tucker Padgett, posing with her show bird at a show.
Participants will have the chance to share a demonstration or illustrated talk focusing on their chicken related experiences at the 4-H Chick Chain Competition. The best part is that presentations made at the Chick Chain event can be perfected and carried on to other competitions such as County Events, District Events, and 4-H University. Through a demonstration, youth will show the judges how to do something, while with an illustrated talk, youth are explaining a situation or topic while using a visual aid such as a poster, PowerPoint, or physical object. The best part of this opportunity is that youth are encouraged to talk about their chickens and chicken experiences. After all, it is the 4-H Chick Chain Project.
This new experience is designed to walk participants through the documentation and setup of a business plan focusing on chickens, over multiple years. Each year, participants focus on a different aspect of owning and operating a business. At the Chick Chain show, participants will present their plan to judges. For youth who are interested in the entrepreneurship challenge and more similar opportunities, youth are encouraged to check out the Florida 4-H Gator Pit which offers educational workshops and the chance to interact with entrepreneurs throughout Florida.
Try it Out
Chickens pecking at feed offered in a feed pan.
This project is open to Florida 4-H youth in Northwest Florida. Registration will be open October 1, 2020 through 4-HOnline with the show taking place on March 20, 2021. Interested in getting involved? Visit FL 4-H Chick Chain or ask your local UF IFAS County Extension Office where to get started. This project offers a chance for every level of youth to stretch their comfort level focusing on one of the best topics out there… Chickens! So join us, learn something new, teach us something new, and make some awesome chicken loving friends.
Are you ready for the Mars Base Camp Challenge?
The 4‑H STEM Challenge, formerly known as 4‑H National Youth Science Day (4‑H NYSD), is an event that we look forward to every year. In the past, this has been a single day event but now the 4-H STEM Challenge typically starts October 1 and continues throughout the month and beyond. This event is designed to ignite a spark in youth so that they take a stronger interest in science, technology, engineering and math through hands-on learning. For well over a decade, 4-H has developed creative STEM challenges to engage youth in the engineering design process and assist in the development of essential life skills such as critical thinking and problem solving through teamwork.
This year’s 4-H STEM Challenge, Mars Base Camp Challenge, was developed by Google and Virginia Cooperative Extension. The 2020 4-H STEM Challenge is designed for youth to explore the topic of a mission to Mars. The challenge is appropriate for youth ages 8-14.
Mars Base Camp Challenge consists of four activities, each of which relates to at least one of 4-H’s core areas: agriculture, STEM, healthy living and civic engagement. The four activities can be facilitated separately, together or in any combination, making it flexible to incorporate into your schedule. In addition, most of the activities do not need any form of technology, allowing for internet-free programming.
Up For The Challenge!
Feeling a little nervous about facilitating it in your club or classroom? Don’t be! You don’t need prior experience with STEM to bring Mars Base Camp to your 4-H program. All the activities have been designed to make it easy for everyone, including teen leaders to facilitate. Facilitator guides and checklists are available now to assist in the teaching process. And remember, since we use a guided approach, we give our youth direction and allow them to use their inquiry skills to find solutions through the experiential learning experience!
Mars Base Camp Challenge Resources
4-H has made the 2020 STEM Challenge accessible for everyone. If you are unable to participate in the Mars Base Camp Challenge through a club or classroom this year, youth can also participate in the challenge by way of a family kit or online. At this time, the National 4-H website is even offering $5 off each Mars Base Camp kit, thanks to the support of our 2020 national supporter, Toyota! For more information, visit https://4-h.org/parents/4-h-stem-challenge/#!2020-challenge
Online Activity: Youth can participate with INSIGHT FROM MARS, the online portion of the 2020 STEM Challenge.
Educator Kit: Includes materials for 12 youth to participate in the offline activities at the same time. Kits can be used in spaces where physical distancing can be followed.
Family-sized Kit: Includes materials for 1-4 youth to participate in the offline activities at the same time from inside the home.
We hope you enjoy your mission to Mars! To learn more about additional STEM 4-H programs and events, please contact your local UF IFAS County Extension Office, or visit http://florida4h.org.