HOrse & Pony

Description: Youth will learn to care for and show a horse or pony.

 Educational Resources: The Ohio State Beginning Horse Management Resources Hand book 4-H 117R

Activity Guidelines: Livestock Questions, Livestock Record Sheet, and attend appropriate workshops.

Due Date: Proof of Vaccination, Questions and Record Sheets are due at the final Clean-up prior to the Fair in July.

Enrollment Requirements: Animals must be enrolled in 4H Online by May 15th.

Training, Document and Health Requirements: Complete a Proof of Vaccination form, Properly identified, 4-H Online enrollment by the appropriate date, and Health Certificate.

All animals are to be entered in appropriate classes in Fair Entry by the published deadline!


All Divisions: Health Requirements.

  1. All animals must be healthy at the time of entry to the Newton County Fair to be eligible for exhibition. All animals must be identified and meet appropriate State Board of Animal Health requirements before unloading at the Newton County Fairgrounds. If there is a question of animal health or well-being, a veterinarian will be called to inspect the animals or facilities in question. Animals must have a minimum body score of 3 to be eligible for exhibition.
  1. Horses coming from out of state for exhibition in Indiana must meet the following requirements:
  1. Each horse must test negative for E.I.A. (Coggins Test) within 12 months of the date of exhibition.
  1. The following are exempt from the E.I.A. testing requirement:
    1. A suckling foal accompanying a dam that has tested negative for E.I.A. within twelve months of exhibition.
    2. A list of required vaccinations will be sent out each Spring. The 4-H member will be responsible for ensuring these vaccinations are obtained and proof of vaccinations is required and due by final clean-up in July.
  2. Any horse used for any clinics, trail rides, etc. will need a current copy of the required vaccinations to be eligible to participate. If a vaccination records is not current the 4-H members will not be allowed to participate. A current vaccination record must be within the last 12 months of event.
  3. The following applies to horses coming from Indiana for exhibition in Indiana:
    1. Proof of Vaccinations
    2. an E.I.A. (Coggins) Test is not required.
  4. No horse may be exhibited or unloaded at fairgrounds showing any symptoms of communicable disease.


  1. All 4-H members and family members will need to know all the rules and regulations stipulated in the 4-H Periscope as well as the Indiana Horse and Pony Handbook. The handbook can be found at
  2. Impolite behavior, poor sportsmanship and inhumane treatment of the animal on the grounds will cause disqualification. Parents will be expected to conduct themselves in such a manner as to set a good example for members and spectators.
  3. To improve education and safety, attendance at Horse & Pony meetings, activities, and events is encouraged. Attendance and participation at 3 Horse & Pony activities (club meetings, clinics, fund-raisers, etc.) is encouraged for 4-Hers enrolled only in Horse & Pony Club. A sign-in sheet will be at every event. Those who sign in will receive credit for attendance.
  4. All horses must be electronically enrolled on the 4-H Online. Lease agreements can be obtained at the Newton County Extension Office. 4-H Online enrollment and lease agreements will have to be filled out completely by May 15. The 4-Her is responsible to notify the Horse and Pony Committee of any lease agreement no later than May 1st.
  5. There will be no substitutes after May 15th unless accompanied by a Veterinarian's certificate. An official measurement and lease agreement, if applicable, may be required. Currently enrolled horses cannot be used for another’s substitution.
  6. The following items are required to be turned in at the final clean-up in July: Proof of Vaccinations, Record Sheets and all division question sheets.  If these items are NOT turned in at the final clean-up in July, the 4-Her has until 5:00pm central time the day of final clean-up to turn in any missing paperwork to a committee member. Digital copies will NOT be accepted. If these items are not turned in by 5:00pm central time on the day of final clean-up, the 4-Her will only be considered for completion only and no other awards or placing will be given. If the enrolled 4-Her does NOT turn in the required paperwork at all the 4-Her will NOT be complete in the Horse & Pony Project.
  7. All 4-H members are required to wear a properly fitted ASTM or SEI standard F1163 (or above) certified helmet whenever mounted or driving. The 4-H member is responsible to see that this specified headgear is properly fitted with the approved harness fastened in place whenever mounted or driving. Original tags must be present in all approved helmets.

Horse Requirements

  1. Weanlings, yearlings, and two-year-old will be shown as the height of their dam unless height exceeds the dam's height.
  2. January 1st of the current year shall be considered the birthdate of all animals.
  3. No stallions over one year of age to compete in 4-H competition or be permitted on the grounds or any 4-H sponsored event.
  4. A gelding exhibiting stallion like behavior may be required a blood test to determine if he is proud cut per committee discretion.
  5. The Horse & Pony Committee shall be empowered to declare an animal unfit to show through an injury or sickness.

Fair Rules/Guidelines

  1. A member may not exhibit more than 2 horses in any class. No horse may be ridden more than once in any class by the same exhibitor.
  2. Placings will be made using the Danish scoring system. Each 4-H member may receive the following at the discretion of the judge (All judge's decisions are final).
    1. First: Blue Ribbon
    2. Second: Red Ribbon
    3. Third: White Ribbon
    4. Fourth: Yellow Ribbon
    5. Fifth: Pink Ribbon
    6. Completion only: Green Ribbon
  3. Stalls will be used for tack rooms only on availability (pending the number of horses.)
  4. If you do not have an official measurement and your horse is under 56”, your horse will have to be measured prior to show day.
  5. Any animal exhibited must be owned by the contestant, or owned in partnership with the contestant's father, mother, brother, sister, grandparent, or legal guardian. Exception: leased animals project may be shown subject to approval of both the county 4-H Horse & Pony Committee and the Extension Educator.
  6. Two or more family members may share a horse on show days only if at least one of the members is in the beginner level. Exceptions to this rule will apply to riding double classes, Mini 4-H classes.
  7. Exhibit divisions. Beginner: 5 years in the project or less and Advanced: 5 years in project or more.
  8. 4-H members must show only horses that have been registered in their name during the fair. Exceptions to this rule will apply to riding double classes, Mini 4-H classes.
  9. Ring courtesy dictates that exhibitors maintain a safe distance between animals in all classes.
  10. The judge, committee, and the ring steward may excuse any entry from the ring which they may deem as unsafe, displaying impolite behavior, or poor sportsmanship or inhumane treatment of animal.
  11. Suitable western attire must be worn in all western classes. Mandatory items include boots, long pants, long sleeved shirt, belt, and a helmet or hat. Suitable English attire must be worn in all English classes.
  12. Keep stalls and aisles clean. Clean stall award will be awarded to the cleanest stall. Stalls not cleaned throughout the week or by the end of fair week will forfeit premium money. Stalls must be cleaned and checked before leaving fairgrounds with horse by a committee member.
  13. 4-Hers and siblings will be required to have a responsible adult with them at all events and fair week.
  14. Any situation not covered by these rules shall be referred to the Horse and Pony Committee and the extension educator/program director. Guidelines shall be adopted from the Indiana 4-H Horse and Pony Handbook.
  15. Beginning at noon on the first Monday of the Newton County Fair and lasting until the end of the Newton County Fair, no one other than the Newton County 4-H Horse & Pony member will be allowed to ride a 4-H member’s horse. No one is allowed in the arena during shows. Ground work assistance will be permitted by the 4-H member’s immediate family (father, mother, siblings), legal guardian, grandparents, aunts/uncles, step-mother/step-father, a current Newton County 4-H member, and an approved Newton County 4-H volunteer. In the event of a cancellation of the performance show, The Horse & Pony Committee will determine the day and time to enforce this rule, violators during this time period will not be allowed to show on Tuesday classes. Exceptions to this rule will apply to riding double classes, Mini 4-H classes, lead line and exhibition classes.
  16. If you sign up for a walk/trot classes with any horse, you are not allowed in any canter classes with any horse on Performance Day only.
  17. Showmanship classes will be divided into appropriately sized groups by age. 4-Hers must sign-up with the respective superintendent. When signing up to enter the showmanship contest, the 4-Her must give his/her grade level. The superintendent will determine the break in class size. The winners in each class will show for the Champion Showman Award. (Past winners will re-enter their appropriate age class each year). All participating members must show their own animals.
  18. Classes offered on FairEntry are subject to change after further analysis of enrollment during fair.
  19. 4-H exhibitors may receive clipping and grooming assistance from members of their immediate family (father, mother, siblings), legal guardian, grandparents, aunts/uncles, step-mother/step-father, a current Newton County 4-H member,  an approved Newton County 4-H volunteer, and from those individuals enrolled in the Indiana 4-H Approved Animal Grooming Assistance Program.

 HORSE & PONY POSTERS: Members may exhibit educational poster in addition to or in place of live animal. See Animal Education Project guidelines.