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Horse & Pony

Please review the General Livestock Terms and Conditions 


  1. The Horse and Pony Manuals are divided into five levels according to the following breakdown:

           Level 1:     Grades 3 & 4

           Level 2:     Grade 5

           Level 3:     Grade 6

           Level 4:     Grades 7 & 8

           Level 5:     Grades 9-12

  1. Members may use the same manual for more than one year.
  2. Members are strongly encouraged to attend activities and participate in the learning experiences offered for their level each year.


Exhibit Requirements:

Complete 3 activities in the manual each year and include with exhibit. 

Do one or more of the following:

  1. Exhibit your horse(s) at the fair.
  2. Do an Interactive Demonstration related to the Horse & Pony project.
  3. Interactive demonstrations may be given on any topic related to the Horse & Pony project and will be presented at an appointed time during the Fair.
  4. Refer to “Verbal Communication Events and Activities” in the Benton County 4-H Handbook for details.
  5. Horse & Pony Educational Poster – Refer to “How to Prepare a Poster”.


General Horse & Pony Rules

Note: Completed Project Record Sheet and Horse and Pony Manual must be turned into Horse and Pony Superintendent prior to exhibiting.

  1. There will be absolutely no riding outside of designated areas.
  2. Any animal exhibited must be leased or owned by the contestant showing the animal or in partnership with the contestant’s father, mother, sister, brother, grandparents or guardian.
  3. The current Indiana 4-H Horse & Pony Handbook (REV 2017) guidelines will be observed.
  4. Horse & Pony Vaccination Form should be completed and the 4-H member should hand-carry this completed form to all 4-H Horse and Pony Events. Failure to meet guidelines on this form, an incomplete form, or outdated vaccinations will result ineligibility from Indiana 4-H Horse and Pony Events. (NEW 2015)
  5. Body Condition Score (BCS): All Horse and Pony animals participating in 4-H events must exhibit a minimum BCS of 3 (1-9 scale). To bring this to the attention of 4-H members, they will be asked for the current BCS of the horse at the time of 4-H animal enrollment and on the 4-H Horse and Pony Vaccination Form. This will provide an opportunity to bring this to their attention and to supply educational material on how to calculate BCS and why it is important. This also allows time to correct any low or high BCS problems prior to exhibition. (NEW 2015)
  6. Animal(s) must be owned or leased by the 4-H member by May 15 and record started. Each Horse & Pony member must enroll their animals online at by May 15. A current color photograph of each animal, showing its face and all four legs, must be uploaded to the online enrollment website. No animal may be substituted or traded for the original animal after May 15.
  7. Each 4-H horse or pony may be entered and shown in the Benton County Fair by only one 4-H member. A horse or pony enrolled online by May 15 is eligible to be transferred to another sibling provided that sibling is also enrolled in the Horse & Pony project. The decision as to which family member will exhibit the animal must be made by the Fair Entry deadline which will be approximately 10 days prior to the start of the Benton County Fair.
  8. The Horse & Pony Superintendent reserves the right to measure and verify the I.D. of any horse or pony entered in the Benton County Fair Horse & Pony Show. Only one measurement will then be made, and that measurement will supersede previous measurements.
  9. Only 4-H horse and pony members may ride or drive 4-H animals on the fairgrounds.
  10. All 4-H members are required to wear boots and a properly fitted ASTM or SEI standard F1163 (or above) certified helmet whenever mounted, or driving, at a 4-H horse and pony event, show, or activity. The 4-H member is responsible to see that this specified headgear is properly fitted with the approved harness fastened in place whenever mounted. Original tags must be present in all approved helmets. Adults riding horses are also at risk of head injury; therefore, adults are also strongly encouraged to wear properly fitted, certified helmets when they are riding at any 4-H sponsored activity/event so that they will serve as role models of safe behavior, as well as protect themselves.
  11. No pedestrians will be allowed in the outdoor arena during horse and pony warm-up or practice times.
  12. Due to lack of stall availability, 4-H members are required to bring only one Horse/Pony during the designated Livestock Arrival time. 4-H members are allowed to bring the rest of their show string on days of show.  Animals must be on the Fairgrounds one hour prior to show start time.  Once they are on the grounds, they will not be permitted to leave until finished with showing. 
  13. For all other rules see General Livestock Terms & Conditions.



  1. Showmanship participants must show their own horses.
  2. Divisions for showmanship are:
    1. Juniors - Grades 3-5
    2. Intermediate - Grades 6-8
    3. Seniors - Grades 9-12
  3. 4-H members may compete in both English and Western Showmanship. Previous Supreme Showmanship winners are not eligible to compete.
  4. Winners from each showmanship division and all previous senior showmanship winners will compete for Grand Champion Showman and the honor of competing in the Supreme Showmanship Contest.



Manuals:                                                         Record Sheets:

Level 1: Giddy Up & Go             BU-1518Y          4-H 901 A-W

Level 2: Head, Heart & Hooves  BU-1519Y          4-H 901 A-W

Level 3:  Stable Relationships     BU-1520Y         4-H 901 B-W

Level 4:  Riding the Range          BU-8056          4-H 901 B-W

Level 5: Jumping to New Heights BU-8057          4-H 901 C-W


Reference Books:          

Indiana 4-H Horse and Pony Handbook 4-H 661 (REV 2017)

Horse & Pony Vaccination Form                       4-H-1031-W

Animal Lease Agreement                                4-H-869-W


(REV 11/18)


Related Files

4-H 390 Dog Obedience Record Sheet  2021_dog_vaccination_form.pdf
H & P Beginner Record - Grades 3-5 
H & P Intermediate Record - Grades 6-8
H & P Senior Record - Grades 9-12
Animal Lease Agreement
2021 Horse and Pony Vaccination 

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