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4-H Horsemanship Skills. Pat Comerford, Extension Horse Specialist Donna Zang, Butler County Extension Director Patty Kelly, Westmoreland Co. Volunteer. What is the Horsemanship Skills Program?. Planned progression of horse handling and riding skills

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4 h horsemanship skills

4-H Horsemanship Skills

Pat Comerford, Extension Horse Specialist

Donna Zang, Butler County Extension Director

Patty Kelly, Westmoreland Co. Volunteer


What is the horsemanship skills program
What is the Horsemanship Skills Program?

  • Planned progression of horse handling and riding skills

  • 4-H member evaluated and completes one level before advancing to next level

  • Emphasis on safety and education, not competition!


Horsemanship skills program
Horsemanship Skills Program

  • Optional!

  • EVERY youth can participate Youth may share horses


Objectives of program
Objectives of Program

  • Develop horsemanship & safety skills

  • Recognize individual member accomplishment & achievement of goals

  • Educate youth, volunteers, & parents

  • Promote cooperation and teamwork

  • Develop life skills in youth


Why are we doing this
Why are we doing this?

  • Key component of 4-H Horse Safety Program

    • Initiated in 1996

    • Meetings, input from volunteers, agents and 4-H members


Skill level 1
Skill Level 1

  • ALL members MUST start at Level 1

  • Emphasizes basic, correct and safe handling and riding

  • Beginners

  • Walk-trot only

    Examples:

    • Catch, halter, lead, tie, bridle, saddle

    • Stop, start, turn, circle

    • Emergency dismount


Skill level 2
Skill Level 2

  • Builds a solid foundation of handling and horsemanship skills

  • Introduces use of proper aids

  • Introduces canter or lope and proper aids

    Examples:

    • Showmanship skills, bathing, clipping, etc.

    • Control of horse at canter or lope

    • Transitions - upward and downward

    • Begin lateral movements; leg yield, sidepass


Skill level 3
Skill Level 3

  • Uses foundation skills to learn intermediate horsemanship skills

  • Rider expected to be balanced while using aids and maintaining an even pace

  • More advanced control and confidence

    Examples:

    • Lunge horse

    • Turns on forehand, hindquarter

    • More lateral movements; shoulder in, etc.

    • Counter canter


Level 4
Level 4

  • Advanced

  • Balanced horse and rider

  • Exhibit calmness, rhythm, suppleness, coordination

    Examples:

    • Understands trailer safety

    • Lengthening and shortening of gaits

    • 360 degree turns hindquarter, forequarter

    • Flying lead changes


Getting started
Getting Started...

  • OPTIONAL!

  • Agent & volunteers decide whether or not to implement

  • County-wide or club level?

  • Could be used by:

    • Individual members

    • Local clubs

    • County programs


Next steps
Next Steps…

  • Identify volunteer committee to plan and implement program

  • Good working relationship with agent!!

  • Identify at least 3 volunteers for testing

  • Identify one volunteer to coordinate records


Examiner training
Examiner Training

  • Level 3 - 4 Examiner Trainers will train and certify Level 1-2 examiners

  • Process similar to 4-H horse measurer certification


Examiner training1
Examiner Training

  • Level 1 - 2 Examiners:

    Screened 4-H volunteer

    MUST have agent approval & completed examiner form

    Attend certification training

    Demonstrate ability to evaluate skills


Level 1 2 testing
Level 1 - 2 Testing

  • County level

  • 3 volunteers required for every test

  • Mix volunteers from different clubs

  • County sets testing dates


Examiner training2
Examiner Training

  • Level 3 - 4 Examiners:

    Screened 4-H volunteer

    MUST have approval of PA 4-H Horse Program Development Committee

    Attend certification training

    Demonstrate ability to evaluate skills


Level 3 4 testing
Level 3 - 4 Testing

  • District, regional, or state level

  • 3 volunteers required for every test

  • Mix volunteers from different counties

  • District or Development Committee sets testing dates


Level 3 4 testing1
Level 3-4 Testing

  • Penn State or another location to be determined

  • District or state event?

  • Will set testing as needed


County implementation
County Implementation

  • Volunteers and agent meet to develop county plans

  • Need consensus on what is successful skill completion

  • Set testing date(s) for Level 1

  • Allow at least 6 - 8 weeks from introduction to first testing

  • May cooperate with other counties


Introduce members
Introduce Members

  • Member Packet

    • Information sheet

    • Member Skill Sheets

    • Reference list

  • Attend meetings, educational activities


How do 4 h members learn skills
How do 4-H members learn skills?

  • Practice skills at home

  • Local club meetings

  • Clinics, practice sessions, mock testing

  • Member, adult demonstrations

  • Use reference materials


Members can progress beyond these skills to more specialized areas
Members can progress beyond these skills to more specialized areas

  • Jumping

  • Reining

  • Contest classes

  • Driving

  • Competitive trail riding


Tips for success
Tips for success…. areas

  • Progression through these skills will vary for every horse and rider

  • Set no time limits

  • Keep evaluations friendly & informative

  • No one fails!

    • Just need to practice and retest


Awards
Awards areas

  • Important to recognize member accomplishments!

  • Suggested awards list

  • Create your own!

  • Level 3-4 in state show catalog

    • State awards?


In summary
In Summary…. areas

  • Program focuses on member development, not competition!

  • Emphasizes safety

  • Enhances existing projects

    • Ties into existing skills and project requirements


Check web site for new information
Check web site for new information! areas

  • Penn State Horse Program web site

    • www.das.psu.edu

    • Click on horses - then 4-H Horse Program!


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