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Horse Program Essentials. Texas 4-H and Youth Development. Topics to Discuss. The following topics will be discussed: Selection Facilities Nutrition Health Management. Texas 4-H and Youth Development. Selection.

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Horse program essentials

Horse Program Essentials

Texas 4-H and Youth Development

Topics to discuss
Topics to Discuss

The following topics will be discussed:

  • Selection

  • Facilities

  • Nutrition

  • Health

  • Management

Texas 4-H and Youth Development


  • First time horse exhibitors should seek help from knowledgeable horse volunteers when selecting horse

  • Younger, less experienced handlers need older and more experienced horses

  • Other factors include: cost, riding discipline, health, temperament, conformation, quality of movement, breed, color and gender

  • 4-Her’s first horse should be one that turns out a pleasant experience and makes them want to continue the next year

  • Multiple seasoned horses may be needed for 4-Her to gain experience, knowledge and safety of horses

Texas 4-H and Youth Development


  • After gaining experience and knowledge 4-Her may go to younger horse

  • Big challenge is over-mounting a green horse and under-mounting an horse experienced horse

  • Do research on horse before buying.

    • Temperament

    • Success of past owners

    • Previous training

    • Show record

    • Health history

    • Abilities

Texas 4-H and Youth Development


  • Horses stalled in barn need minimum of 10 ft2 x 10 ft2 and preferred is 12 ft2 x 12 ft2

  • Apply wood shavings, dirt, straw, or some other material for bedding

  • Horses in pastures need wind block

  • Horses in stall should have ‘run’ attached for exercise

  • Check horse reference guides for lighting in stalls

Texas 4-H and Youth Development


  • Eat approximately 1% of body weight in good quality hay

    • Hay should have more leaves than stems, fresh in smell and appearance, have natural color, soft and pliable to the touch, few seed heads, free of insects, mold, dust and weeds.

  • Balanced concentrate should be fed - .5 – 1% of body weight in addition to hay

  • Amount concentrate fed depends on age, amount of exercise, type of feed.

  • Divide into 2 or 3 smaller feedings a day.

Texas 4-H and Youth Development


  • Consistent deworming should take place to alleviate internal parasites

    • Consult veterinarian to determine which dewormer is most appropriate

  • Feed horses from mangers or troughs rather than the ground.

  • Pick up manures from stalls and paddocks

  • Do not spread manure over pastures that horses will be grazing on.

  • Vaccinations important for preventing illnesses.

  • Implement vaccination program recommended by vet.

  • Horse’s teeth should be inspected by dentist or veterinarian yearly.

  • Hooves should be trimmed or shod every 6-8 weeks.

Texas 4-H and Youth Development


  • Should be groomed and hooves trimmed regularly to ensure healthy coat, good hygiene, and promote overall appearance.

  • Basic grooming equipment:

    • Rubber curry comb

    • Stiff and soft brushes

    • Mane and tail comb

    • Hoof pick

  • Exercise a minimum 15-30 minutes per day (maintains muscle tone, stimulates appetite, prevents other problems)

  • Does not have to be intense exercise

Texas 4-H and Youth Development

Management cont
Management cont.

  • Basic riding equipment:

    • Bridle

    • Saddle

    • Saddle pad

  • Should be checked before each ride

  • Longeing equipment:

    • Halter

    • Long line at least 30 ft.

    • Long whip (may be needed)

Texas 4-H and Youth Development


  • Check rules and regulations yearly for updates.

  • Rules and regulations can be found at

Texas 4-H and Youth Development

Additional resources for horses
Additional Resources for Horses


  • AAEP Guidelines for Vaccination of Horses. 2002. Retrieved March 27, 2007, from

  • Evans, J. Warren. Horses: A Guide to Selection, Care and Enjoyment. 3rd ed. New York: W. H. Freeman and Company, 2001.

  • NRC. 1989. Nutrient Requirements of Horses. 5th rev. ed. Natl. Acad. Press, Washington, DC.

Texas 4-H and Youth Development


  • All aspects of the selection process should be understood.

  • Proper facilities should be available.

  • Proper diets and nutritional information about feeding horses should be identified.

  • Health is one of the most important aspects of raising horses.

  • Horses should be exercised daily to ensure good health and appeal.

  • All rules should be followed in regards to purchasing and raising horses.

Texas 4-H and Youth Development