If you say “That’s a horse of a different color” to a group of 4-H members, they’re likely to tell you what breed the horse is based on those colorings. In 4-H, learning about horses means much more than learning to ride. Through 4-H, young people with a passion for horses can participate in educational contests related to the equine industry regardless of whether they even own a horse. These educational programs enhance members’ knowledge of horse health, breed characteristics, management, and feeding.

The primary objective of these contests is to provide an opportunity for youth to demonstrate their knowledge of equine-related subject matter in a competitive setting where attitudes of friendliness and fairness prevail.

In the State 4-H Horse Judging Contest youth will judge six classes of horses, at least two being halter classes. Youth 14 years of age and older may also choose to participate in oral reasons following the classes. For those not participating in the oral reasons class, one questions class will be required. Top-placing senior division youth will be invited to participate in an invitational judging contest after which the national team will be determined. 

Required Documents

Horse Judging Rules & Entry

Additional Horse Contest Information: 


The contest is open to all 4-H members; one does not need to own a horse or be enrolled in a horse project to participate.

Equine Extension Specialist
Debra Hagstrom