The objectives of the Texas 4-H Horse Program include providing means for 4-H members to:
- Acquire horsemanship and horse-training skills
- Gain knowledge concerning science related subjects, including horse production, management, training evaluation, and use
- Prepare for citizenship responsibilities and community service
- Develop leadership, initiative, self-reliance, sportsmanship, and other desirable life traits
The Texas 4-H Horse Program accomplishes these objectives by offering projects and activities in horse management production, training, and use. The four horse projects are:
- Horsemanship: Includes managing, riding, and training older horses with emphasis on learning the skills necessary to cause a horse to perform in a desirable fashion
- Training: Includes managing and training 2 or 3 year old horses. The project may also involve an older horse that needs further training or focus on advancing a horse to another event
- Weanling or Yearling Development: Includes the management conditioning, and training of a horse until the horse is old enough to be ridden
- Mare/Foal: Includes managing a mare through the complete production cycle, from selecting the sire through weaning the foal
The horse project consists a wholesome form of recreation and a forum for demonstrating horsemanship, leadership, and horse-training skills that lead to recognition and accomplishment.
- 4-H Horse Show: provide a wholesome form of recreation and a forum for demonstrating horsemanship and horse training skills that lead to recognition and accomplishment. 4-H shows are also held for specific purposes, such as instructional shows serving as clinics and open shows serving as fund-raising activities. Other shows are designed to qualify contestants for competition at the state level.
- 4-H Horse Judging: All 4-H members are encouraged to learn how to evaluate horses. Judging knowledge provides foundation for training, showing, buying, selling, and producing quality horses. This knowledge establishes the basis for the development of qualified horse show judges. Judging contests provide 4-H’ers with additional opportunities for achievement and recognition. Judging promotes decision-making, justification of thoughts, self-confidence, and public speaking.