Horse (and Horseless) Opportunities Abound in Colorado 4-H


Whether it’s county fair, rodeo, college scholarships, or careers, horses offer endless opportunities for youth to learn, grow, and succeed. The 4-H horse project is likely familiar to you. You may see photos in the newspaper of or even attend the local horse show. Or maybe you volunteer as a 4-H horse leader to put on workshops and classes. But, did you know there’s also a 4-H horseless horse project?

For youth who are passionate about horses, but aren’t able to own or lease a horse, there are still endless opportunities in 4-H to embrace that passion. The horseless horse project offers youth the chance to learn about aspects of animal science and industry relating to horses. As they start the project, youth may choose to learn about topics such as horse colors, breeds, or tack. As they advance in the project, they may explore topics like emergency preparedness, genetics, or breeding operations.

The Colorado 4-H program additionally offers several horse contests, open to any 4-H member, regardless of whether or not they own a horse. The hippology contest requires youth to identify tack, breeds, colors, riding disciplines, etc.; answer written questions related to animal science; judge riding and halter classes; and compete as part of a team to develop and present a solution to an industry issue. The horse judging contest asks youth to place halter and both English and Western riding classes and then present their reasons to a judge as to how they placed the class. Finally, one of the most exciting horse contests is the horse bowl. Horse bowl teams consist of four members. These teams go head-to-head with another team to be the first to buzz in and answer questions about horses.

If you own a horse, or you just love horses, 4-H is the place to be. If you are a youth interested in trying out the horse or horseless horse project, or you’re an adult willing to volunteer as a leader or coach, contact your local Extension Office:  Baca County 719-523-6971, Bent County 719-456-0764, Cheyenne County 719-767-5716, Crowley County 719-267-5243, Kiowa County 719-438-5321, Otero County 719-254-7608, or Prowers County 719-336-773.  Find us on the web at:

An equal access and equal opportunity University.

Filed Under: AgricultureCountyFeaturedMedia ReleaseYouth


About the Author: