To provide education and promote programs in the area of 4-H Horse. To insure fair and equitable participation and treatment of all youth involved in the program. 


  1. To encourage 4-H members to learn as much as they can about horses while developing their leadership skills, a sense of responsibility, initiative and self-reliance.
  2. To promote and develop good sportsmanship in all aspects of our program.
  3. To recognize the 4-H member’s safety comes first, and is followed by the safety of the member’s horse(s).

Horse Projects

Horse projects provide youth with an opportunity to handle, care for, ride or drive horses. There are 10 horse projects. These include: Horseless Horse, English Horsmanship, Western Horsemanship, Working Ranch Horse, Careers with Horses, Driving, Colt to Maturity, Training Horses, Green Horse, Packing.
Members must have completed levels 1 through 3 in Horsemanship to participate in the Advanced Horse Projects. Members are eligible to participate in Horse projects according to their ability and skill level. SKILL LEVELS DO NOT NECESSARILY CORRESPOND TO YEARS. It is possible to complete several levels in a year or youth may take several years to complete one level. Assessment sheets are provided for leaders to determine when a member has completed the level and is ready to advance.


Montana 4-H Horse Helmet Policy

A certified equestrian helmet with safety harness fastened is required in over fence classes and gymkhana events, activities, and practice sessions. Gymkhana refers to horseback speed events (timed or un-timed) that do not use livestock. Events that fall in this category include, but are not limited to: barrel racing, pole bending, keyhole, stake, and rescue races, pony express race, etc. Events not included in this policy are events such as calf roping, team roping, goat tying, and team penning that may be timed, but use livestock. Participants in the 4-H Horse Project are required to attend a helmet education workshop and/or view the video “Every Ride Every Time” once as a junior 4-H member (9-13) and once as a senior 4-H member (14 and up). It is the responsibility of the parent or guardian of the 4-H member to see that the headgear worn complies with standards and is in good condition. The Montana 4-H Center for Youth Development encourages the use of ASTM certified/SEI approved safety helmets in all equine events. Protective headgear may be used in all classes and shall not be discriminated against. Helmet use is encouraged in all 4-H horse activities any time a 4-H member is around a horse. Counties may establish more stringent policies regarding helmet use.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Montana State University and Montana State University Extension prohibit discrimination in all of their programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital and family status. Issued in furtherance of cooperative extension work in agriculture and home economics, acts of May 8 and June 30, 1924, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Dr. Cody Stone, Director of Extension, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 59717.