MISSION

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. 
 

OBJECTIVES

  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.
 

Policy & Rule Book

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.

 

2019-2020 Cascade County 4-H Horse Rule Book

For a copy of the rule book please contact Rose Malisani, Cascade County MSU Extension Agriculture and 4-H Horse and Livestock Agent at rose.malisani@montana.edu. Alternatively, you may also download a printable copy of the horse rule book.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Purpose of the 4-H Horse Program

Description of Horse Project Areas

Completion Requirements

Project Horse Table

Cascade County Horse Showing Rules

Ownership

Special Rule Considerations

Assessments

Safety

General Rules for all Classes

Horse Show Rules Committee

Guidelines for the Rules Committee

Exception to Rule Procedure AKA Grievance Procedure

Dress Code for All Classes

Judging Criteria

Special Awards in the 4-H Horse Program

Important Dates

CASCADE COUNTY 4-H HORSE LEADERS OFFICERS

President: Lisa Jassen

Vice President: Ginger Murphy

Secretary/Treasurer: Charla Merja

Extension Agent: Rose Malisani, rose.malisani@montana.edu

Extension Administrative Assistants: April McLean, cascade@montana.edu and Suzie Trebas  cascade1@montana.edu

COMMITTEES

Montana State Fair Superintendent: Wendy Newman

Rules: Cascade County 4-H Horse Leader’s Executive Committee

MEETINGS

The Cascade County 4-H Horse Leaders Meetings are on the first Tuesday of January, February, March, April, May, June, September, October, and November at 5:30 p.m. at the MSU Cascade County Extension office.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:

MSU Cascade County Extension Office
3300 Third St NE, #9
Great Falls, MT 59404
Phone: (406) 454-6980
Fax: (406) 454-6984
Cascade County MSU Extension Website: www.cascade.msuextension.org
Montana 4-H Website: www.montana4h.org
MSU Extension Website: www.msuextension.org 

PURPOSE OF 4-H PROGRAM

The purposes of the Montana 4-H horse program are to help members to:

  1. Develop life skills by fostering a positive self-image, learning decision making abilities for responsibility for choices, develop an inquiring mind, relate yourself to others, and acquire a concern for local and global communities.
  2. Develop leadership, initiative, self-reliance, sportsmanship, and other desirable character traits.
  3. Experience the pride and responsibility of having a horse and receive additional education in a horse’s care, feeding, management, and expenses.
  4. Appreciate horseback riding as a healthy and wholesome form of recreation.
  5. Obtain skills in horsemanship and handling of horses.
  6. Utilize safety precautions that prevent injury to the horse, rider and others.
  7. Nurture greater love for animals and develop a humane attitude toward them.
  8. Prepare for citizenship responsibilities by working together in groups and supporting community horse projects and activities.
  9. Promote 4-H.
  10. Promote the state 4-H horse project and program.
  11. Promote uniformity among county horse projects.
  12. Promote goals of the 4-H horse project.
  13. Promote excellence in horsemanship.
  14. Encourage individuals to perform to the best of their abilities.
  15. Encourage and recognize horsemanship ability.
  16. Set and achieve goals to the best of member’s ability.
  17. Provide uniformity for the horse project.

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DESCRIPTION OF HORSE PROJECT AREAS (2019)

There are 10 horse project areas offered by Montana 4-H. Members are eligible to participate in horse projects according to ability, skill level, accessibility to or ownership of horse and approval by project leaders or extension agent. Skill levels do not necessarily correspond to years. It is possible to complete multiple levels in one year or a youth may enroll in the same project for up to 3 years. Assessment guidelines and completion requirements are used in determining level advancement.

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COMPLETION REQUIREMENTS

    • Complete a My 4-H Year Record.
    • Complete Animal Project Journal.
    • Complete activities in the project manual for the level enrolled.
    • Complete assessment. (See assessment section.).
    • Complete one community service activity.
    • Participate in a minimum of three 4-H horse activities.
      • Activities
        • Clinics
        • Project Day(s)
        • Open Rides
        • Horse shows
        • Other

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PROJECT HORSE TABLE (2019)

Horse Project Requirements
Project Description and Scope Project Specific Requirements or Expectations

Horsemanship
Western & English
Levels 1-7

This project is intended for those members who have a horse that is appropriate for their riding level, available from at minimum June 1 through mid-September of the current 4-H year. The Horsemanship project builds horse knowledge, safety and horseback riding skill. Horsemanship has 7 levels – Refer to the “Required Abilities” found in this rule book and “Assessment Requirements” found in project manuals to determine appropriate level for rider to enroll in. 

In Horsemanship project members are expected to ride a horse with regularity, participate in horse related activities such as education days, clinics, horseshows, or related horse events, to complete activities in the project manual and keep records for their 4-H year.

Horseless Horse

Levels 1-5

This project is intended for those members who have a desire to learn more about horses but do not have access to a horse to ride as their own for the project year OR who may have a horse but have no intention of participating in county or state 4-H horse activities. Members will have a project manual and shall complete at least 7 of the project book activities per year and keep a project journal.  Horseless horse members are encouraged to attend education days and other horse related activities.

Colt to Maturity

or

Green Horse

This project is intended for those members who have a colt or filly to care for and train.  The Colt to Maturity project (C2M) is a five-year progressive project beginning with a yearling. 

The Green horse project is for young horses less than 5 years old that are not fully trained and don’t fit in the colt to maturity program because they were not started as a yearling by the 4-H member. 

To qualify members must be 11 by October1; have completed horsemanship level 3; and demonstrated to handle the project to enrolled Cascade County 4-H Horse Leader.

Working Ranch Horse

This project prepares you and your horse for general ranch work including roping, sorting and moving cattle, horsemanship, safety and knowledge of horse and ranch related information.  Refer to the Working Ranch Horse Manual assessments to determine appropriate level for enrollment. 

For the Ranch Horse project member must have a horse that is appropriate for their riding level, available from at minimum June 1 through mid-September of the current 4-H year. Competitions include taking a knowledge test, roping at head, roping at heels, riding a pattern and sorting cattle.

Packing, Driving, Horse Showing, Horse Judging, and Careers with Horses See Montana 4-H Clover for project descriptions.

 

CASCADE COUNTY HORSE SHOWING RULES

Ownership

  1. All Horse Projects shown by 4-H members in 4-H classes must be owned by the member or member’s immediate family, or member must have access to the project horse(s). All project horse(s) must be declared by June 1 to the MSU Cascade County Extension office on a horse identification card and indicate projects are enrolled. The horse(s) must be in the primary care of the 4-H member from June 1 through mid-September.
  2. All horses in the Colt to Maturity (C2M) project must be owned by the member or member's immediate family, or the member must have access to the project horse. The horse must be in the continual care of the member from June 1 of the yearling year through completion of the five-year project. Colt to maturity project animals may not be trained by a professional trainer. Members in C2M and Green Horse projects must provide copies of registration papers and/or proof of ownership by registering the horse in the Extension Office. Intent: To give members a timeline in which to acquire their project horse. To maximize the training opportunities for the member throughout the entire five years. To encourage the member to do all the training of the horse(s).
  3. Colt to Maturity: This project is for those who own or have available a colt or filly to care for and train. This is a five-year progressive project beginning with a yearling. The project is designed to help the member select a foal and train it to maturity. Member must be 12 years old or older during the project year, assessed at level III or higher, and/or demonstrated his/her ability to handle the project to a county horse leader or designated person. Stallions are allowed only in the yearling phase. To change yearlings, members need a letter documenting why and proper registration papers and forms. This information must be received by the Extension Office by June 1 of current 4-H year. A member cannot change yearlings except in the first year of project. Level I: Filly or Colt, Level II: two-year-old, Level III: three-year-old, Level IV: four-year-old, and Level V: five-year-old.
  4. Green Horse is a young horse less than 5 years old that was not started as a yearling by the 4-H member. The level is determined by the training level of the horse. For example: If the horse is in the first year of training and similar to a two-year old colt to maturity project then the member enrolls in Green Horse Level 1. If the horse is in the second year of training and similar to a three-year-old colt to maturity project, then the member enrolls in Green Horse Level 2. Please Note: The State Horse Show competition combines the C2M and Green Horse classes that are the same age. If you are entered in the Green Horse Project, you will enter the State Show based on your horse’s age. If your horse’s ability does not meet the requirements in its level, you are advised to not enter the County Show, State Fair Show, or the 4-H State Horse Show Green Horse events.
  5. Once the horse becomes a project animal, it may not receive professional training unless the member is involved in that training. Intent: To allow the member to become knowledgeable in all levels of "Horsemanship," “Green Horse,” “Ranch Horse” and "Colt to Maturity” projects by "learning by doing.” To encourage the member to assume sole responsibility for training the colt to maturity animal; to encourage the member to go to trainers for advice when needed; to encourage trainers to conduct clinics for all members in the county; to further either horsemanship or training skills; and to discourage the use of trainers actually riding the project horse, except in a case where the trainer deems the safety of the member is threatened.
  6. A horse carried as a 4-H Horsemanship Levels project may be shown by more than one member of the immediate family in any one year at the County Show, State Fair and State 4-H Horse Show, providing that neither the horse nor the member competes against himself. If there is a conflict in schedules for any reason, the exhibitor will have to determine in which class to participate and scratch the other. Intent: To recognize that the best experience is for each member to own and care for his own horse. To further recognize that there are families with more than one child that cannot afford more than one horse. To allow immediate family members the opportunity to be included in the county and state horse shows if the family cannot financially justify another horse.

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SPECIAL RULE CONSIDERATIONS

Rule deviations are subject to consideration with a vet’s note regarding medical or tack issues. A caucus of the Cascade County 4-H Horse Leaders (Of 3 or more leaders) will consider the deviation. This precedence will apply to the same horse through its 4-H career.

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ASSESSMENTS (2019)

  1. 4-H members enrolled in horse projects such as horsemanship, colt to maturity, green horse, and ranch horse are required to complete assessments in order to complete the project year.
  2. Assessment forms are in the project manual and are available at the MSU Cascade County Extension office.
  3. Assessment for first-year project riders and horseless horse member must be conducted by an enrolled Cascade County 4-H Horse Leader.
  4. Assessments for riders previously enrolled in the horse project may do a self-assessment or be assessed by an enrolled Cascade County 4-H Horse Leader. A member must compete at the same project level as enrolled in the county and for which he/she has been assessed
  5. Assessments are due to the MSU Cascade County Extension office by April 15 except colt to maturity or green horse projects. Colt to maturity and green horse assessments are due by August 10.
  6. To pass assessment and before leader signs off, member must satisfactorily demonstrate a minimum of 80% of the items on the assessment form to show competence of skills, show knowledge and understanding of skills and safe practices, show learning progression indicating skill will be achieved in current season, and exhibit that they can safely perform requirements.

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SAFETY

  • Boots must be worn when riding.
  • All horses must be ridden with bridles, NO HALTERS.
  • Riding double is not allowed.
  • All horses must enter the arena in a controlled manner. They may be led into the arena, if necessary.
  • Must run irons on English saddles.
  • Horses must be walked in all areas other than warm-up areas.
  • All riders must wear safety helmets at riding clinics and/or 4-H sponsored open riding, all jumping classes and speed events.

Note:  Safety rule violations may result in disqualification.

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GENERAL RULES FOR ALL CLASSES (2019)

  1. The age of the 4-H member is determined as of October 1st of the current 4-H year. This does not apply to Colt to Maturity Project in which the member may turn 12 within the current 4-H year.
  2. The age of the horse is figured by the calendar year starting on January 1 of the year foaled. (i.e. A horse foaled any time in 2012 will be termed one-year-old as of January 1, 2013.)
  3. Members must indicate on enrollment form Western and English Horsemanship Levels.
  4. Late entries for the County and State Fair Horse Shows are accepted by the posted dates with the appropriate late fee due in the Extension office, not postmarked. (See inside cover for dates).
  5. A veterinarian’s slip must accompany a request to change horses BEFORE the start of a horse show. The Show Rules Committee must decide whether to allow the change of horses.
  6. Members may exhibit only one horse per class.
  7. A member may ride only one horse per Western and one horse per English Horsemanship Level. Member may drop back only one level in either Western or English. A maximum of two horses are allowed in the Horsemanship Levels, if showing Western and English.
  8. Cross entries are not allowed on Colt to Maturity or Green Horse project animals with Horsemanship Level projects. Members are eligible to enter Horsemanship Levels with that horse upon completion of the project(s). See Table 1 for more information.
  9. The horse must be a project horse to show in an option class, speed event, or skill class and must be ridden in its respective project class. See Table 1 for more information.
  10. Horses must be four years or older to enter skill classes for safety to horse and rider.
  11. Stallions are not allowed in any horse shows and/or clinics. Stallions are allowed only in yearling showmanship.
  12. Members must warm up and train their own horse(s).
  13. Exhibitors’ numbers must be clearly visible to the announcer, judge or ring steward.
  14. No person other than the exhibitors and show officials are allowed in the ring while the show is in progress.
  15. The Judge and/or Ring Steward will dismiss from the ring any entry that is unruly or not in sufficient control to ensure the safety of handler and other exhibitors.
  16. The judge’s decision is final in all classes.
  17. If, for any reason, a member is awarded a second run in a speed event, the time for the first run is void.
  18. Breaking pattern is considered a major fault but not disqualification in Colt to Maturity, Green Horse or Horsemanship Levels. Breaking pattern is a disqualification in Barrels and Poles.
  19. Unsportsmanlike conduct, abusive language or actions and/or abuse to any animal on the part of any 4-H exhibitor, family member, or leader will result in penalty, forfeiture of any award received and/or elimination from further competition of the 4-H member or those culpable.
  20. The use of any drug affecting the central nervous system (stimulant or depressant affecting behavior) of a horse is strictly prohibited.
  21. Cascade County 4-H will follow the bit guidelines of the Montana State 4-H. This document may be found on the Montana4H.org website.
  22. Unless otherwise specified, horses aged 5 years and older are encouraged to be ridden in a shank bit and reined with one hand. Horses aged 4 years and younger are allowed to be ridden with a snaffle bit or bosal and reined with two hands.
  23. NO DOGS are allowed where horses are shown or exercised at a horse show. If brought, they must be left at your camper or trailer.
  24. Spurs cannot be used forward of the cinch.
  25. 4-H members must wear a helmet at riding clinics or open riding.
  26. Extra horses (not entered in the 4-H County or State Fair Horse Show) are not allowed on show grounds.
    This is for health, safety and liability reasons for members, spectators and the organization.
  27. Please Note State 4-H Rule: a certified equestrian helmet with fastened safety harness is required in over fence (jumping) classes, gymkhana events (speed, timed or untimed events), activities and practice sessions. 4-H members in the Horse project are also required to attend a helmet education workshop and or view the “Every Time…Every Ride” DVD once as a junior 4-H member (13 & under) and once as a senior 4-H member (14 & over).
  28. Horses must be declared for the project member is enrolled in to be shown at county or state level. For example, you must be enrolled in Western Horsemanship and declare a project horse to show in Western Horsemanship.  You must be enrolled in Green Horse with a declared project horse to show in Green Horse classes and so on.
  29. Any declared project horse may be shown in the options classes including but not limited to showmanship, bareback, equitation classes, and trail.
  30. Skills Classes (Hunter Hack and Speed Events):
    1. Rider must be Horsemanship Level 3 or higher to show in skills classes.
    2. Only horses of age 4 years old and older may be shown in the skills classes.

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HORSE SHOW RULES COMMITTEE (2019)  

For rulings at a horse show, the president, vice president, secretary/treasurer, and Extension agent (executive committee) will oversee and be available for the entire show. If a member of the executive committee cannot be at the show, they must notify the president who will appoint an alternate for the scheduled horse show.

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Guidelines for the Rules Committee:

If an issue arises at the show, and if necessary, the show will be stopped. The horse show rules committee will convene in a neutral area away from the show arena and grandstands to determine a ruling. The issue may be resolved with the 4-Her riding under protest.

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EXCEPTION TO RULES PROCEDURE AKA Grievance procedure (2019)

A General Grievance Procedure is available to all 4-Hers. Grievances must be in writing. A form may be obtained from the Extension Office and will be available at events. The completed form must be submitted within 24 hours. The president, vice president, and secretary/treasurer (executive committee) will convene within 24 hours and decide as expeditiously as possible.

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DRESS CODE FOR ALL CLASSES (2019)

Exhibitors and judges should always bear in mind that entries are judged on ability. However, neatness is the first requisite regarding a rider's attire, and the following requirements are based on tradition and general present-day customs. Contestants who do not conform shall be eliminated. In case of inclement weather, the judge may allow rain gear or appropriate adjustments.

Western Dress Code (2019)

  • Long sleeved, button, snap, or zipper shirt.
  • Western type pants.
  • Western boots and western type hat (felt or straw) or riding helmet meeting ASTM (American Society for Testing & Materials) and/or SEI (Safety Equipment Institute) standards.
  • Chaps, gloves, and ties are optional.
  • Spurs are optional unless otherwise prohibited.
  • Hair that is shoulder length or longer must be contained in a net or braid while showing in the project or showmanship classes.
  • Long western skirts are acceptable for showmanship classes at the Cascade County 4-H Horse Show.

English and Hunt Seat Dress Code (2019)

  • Hunt coat (red, pink, or scarlet coats prohibited unless exhibitor has earned them as a member of a recognized hunt)
  • Breeches
  • English style blouse or shirt
  • Hunt boots or paddock boots with half chaps
  • Helmet meeting ASTM (American Society for Testing & Materials) and/or SEI (Safety Equipment Institute) standards.
  • Stocks, chokers, or ties are optional
  • Gloves, unrowelled spurs and crop or bat are optional.
  • Shoulder length or longer hair must be contained in a net or braid.

Bareback Equitation and Showmanship Dress Code 

  • Western or English attire is allowed.
  • If English, attire should be long sleeved shirt worn without jacket.
  • Chaps, spurs, crops and bats are prohibited.

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JUDGING CRITERIA

Showmanship Classes

Exhibitor:

The member must be neat and clean in appearance and appropriately dressed in western attire or English attire.

Equipment:

All horses will be shown with a properly adjusted halter. Lead shanks with chains may be used but the use of the chain over the nose or under the jaw or in any way having contact with the horse will be prohibited. Whips or bridles will not be allowed.

Appearance of the horse:

The hair coat should be clean, well brushed, and free of dust dandruff, manure stains, and bots (fly eggs). The hair coat should have a natural luster so excessive oils contracted from spray cans and other market products will be counted down. Trimming should accentuate quality about the heads and legs. Breed standards for exhibition should be followed. The hooves should be clean and properly trimmed or shod. No preference will be shown for hoof dressing or coloring. Tack should be neat, clean, and properly dressed and adjusted. Tack should complement, not detract from the horse.

Showing the horse:

All exhibitors will be asked to perform a pattern.  The exhibitor may be asked to perform the following maneuvers in the pattern: Walk, trot, back, hindquarter pivots, set up squarely, move forward and backward freely. The showman may be asked to pick up any or all feet of his/her horse and know the parts of their horse. The exhibitor should perform the pattern briskly and in a businesslike manner. The exhibitor must never obstruct the judge’s view of the horse. This means the exhibitor must position his body either to the front left or front right of the horse, using the quarter system. The exhibitor should lead from the left side of the horse with the lead shank held in the right hand about 4 to 8 inches from the halter. Hold the excess shank, coiled in a figure 8 with the left hand. The horse should move readily and freely with the exhibitor at the near side of the horse’s neck and in front of the shoulder. The horse should neither be ahead of the exhibitor nor should he/she be dragged along.  Changing hands to back the horse is optional. At the judge’s discretion, the finalists in each class may be called back into the arena for further work.

Criteria:

Criteria

Judging Percentage

Showing the horse 50%
Appearance of the Horse 40%
Exhibitor 10%

Colt to Maturity Yearling Project

The Colt to maturity yearling project requirement to be met will consist of the following.

  • Exhibitor must be a minimum of 12 years old during the project year and must have completed Horsemanship Level 3.
  • Exhibitor may only show one horse.
  • Refer to manual “Training Horses: Yearling to Five Year Olds.”

Intent:

Is to show handling, willingness, control, and training demonstrated in the showmanship pattern.

Criteria:

Criteria Judging Percentage
Performance and Manners 50%
Confirmation and condition  25%
Appearance of Horse and Exhibitor 15%
Project Knowledge    10%

 

Colt to Maturity/Green Horse Performance, Western

Skid, splint and bell boot are optional for these classes.  Use of a running martingale is optional for two, three, and four-year-olds when using a ring snaffle only.  Other martingales or tie-downs are not permitted.  It is suggested that martingale stops are used anytime a martingale is used with a snaffle bit.  Spurs cannot be used forward of the cinch.  For acceptable bits, reference the Montana State Horseshow Bit Guide.  For other equipment, reference Western Horsemanship Classes.

Walk:

Good: ground covering, flat footed, good attitude

Minor faults: too slow, too fast

Major faults: nervous, jigging, not walking

Jog:    

Good: easy riding, good motion, consistent, steady

Minor faults: too slow, too fast

Major faults:  not performing a two-beat jog, failing to jog both front and back, hard or rough riding, constant breaking

Lope: (Cannot extend)

Good: easy riding, good motion, consistent, steady

Minor Faults: too slow, too fast

Major Faults: wrong lead, pulling, jogging behind, hard or rough riding, not under control

Extended Jog:

Good: easy riding, good motion, smooth, consistent

Minor faults: inconsistent speed

Major faults: breaking gaits, pulling, hard or rough riding, and no increase in stride.

Back:

Good: proper flexion, readily responsive, back in straight line

Minor faults: hesitant, not backing straight

Major faults: throwing head, gaping, pulling, not backing, rearing

General

Good: smooth, steady easy riding, proper flexion and balance, good attitude

Minor faults: over or under flexion, sour ears, tail switching, inconsistent speed, out of balance, poll to high or too low to throw horse out of balance, improper or incomplete appointments.

Major faults: throwing head, bad mouth, constantly bumping the bit, gaping, evidence of altered tail carriage, obvious schooling, and breaking pattern.

Criteria:

Criteria Judging Percentage
Performance and manners of horse 55%
Horsemanship      20%
Appearance 10%
Project knowledge 15%

 

Two-Year-Old Under Saddle Colt to Maturity/Green Horse Level 1, Western

Open to two-year-old fillies and geldings enrolled in the two-year-old Under Saddle Colt to Maturity project or horses enrolled in Green Horse Level 1. Animal will show with a ring snaffle bit or a rawhide hackamore (bosal). Any shank bit is not permitted. Horses will be judged at walk, jog, and lope both directions on the rail. Gait changes will be progressive. Horses will be direct reined only (rein in each hand). Other tasks the contestant may be asked to perform are:

  • Halt (not a sliding stop) from the walk
  • Dismount and mount
  • Back while mounted
  • Perform individual tasks

Three-Year-Old Under Saddle Colt to Maturity/Green Horse Level 2, Western

Open to three-year-old mares and geldings enrolled in the three-year-old Under Saddle Colt to Maturity project or horses enrolled in Green Horse Level 2. You may use the same bit as the two-year-old/Green Horse 1 horses. Horses can be indirect reined (neck reined) with a curb bit using one hand on the reins or direct reined with a snaffle bit using two hands on reins. Either method is acceptable: no additional credit will be given for neck reining.  Horses will be judged on performance of the required pattern and may be judged at the walk, jog and lope on the rail both directions and lengthen and reduce each gait as directed by the judge. Riders must sit the jog and extended jog.

Four-Year-Old Under Saddle Colt to Maturity/Green Horse Level 3, Western

Open to four-year-old mares and geldings enrolled in the four-year-old Under Saddle Colt to Maturity project or horses enrolled in Green Horse Level 3. If a contestant desires to use a curb bit, one hand must be used.   Horses may be neck reined or direct reined when using a snaffle bit. Both methods are acceptable, and no additional credit will be given for neck reining. Horses will be judged on performance of the required pattern and may be judged at the walk, jog and lope on the rail both directions and lengthen and reduce each gait as directed by the judge. Riders must sit the jog and extended jog.

Five-Year-Old Under Saddle Colt to Maturity/Green Horse Level 4, Western

Open to five-year-old mares and geldings enrolled in the five-year-old Under Saddle Colt to Maturity project or horses enrolled in Green Horse Level 4. Horses must be neck reined and shown in a curb bit only, using one hand.  Horses will be judged on performance of the required pattern and may be judged at the walk, jog and lope on the rail both directions and lengthen and reduce each gait as directed by the judge. Riders must sit the jog and extended jog.

Western Horsemanship Classes

General Requirements:

A horse entered in Western Horsemanship, can be shown in only one level per family member. Horses may not be cross-entered in colt-to-maturity or green horse classes. Horses must be shown in a stock saddle. Tie-downs, martingales and mechanical hackamores of any type are prohibited unless otherwise indicated in the class description. Split or Romal reins are permissible, but roping reins are not allowed. Splint boots, bell boots and skid boots are optional. Spurs are optional except in bareback where they are not permitted. Spurs should not be used forward of the cinch. In all classes the judge has the option of requesting one or all contestants to perform individually. Horses under four (4) years of age in Horsemanship and Trail Classes may be ridden with curb bits, snaffles or bosals. Snaffle bits and bosals must be ridden two handed except opening and closing gates. It is mandatory that horses five (5) and over be ridden in a curb bit. Curb or shank bits must be ridden one handed. Flat chain curb straps or flat leather curb straps ½ inch or wider are required with a curb or shank bit of any kind.  See Montana State Horseshow bit guide at the end of this book for bit requirements.  Horses shall not be shown with artificial appliances that would tend to alter their performance.

Rider position:

Rider will be judged on seat and hands and performance of horse. Results as shown by the performance of the horse are not to be considered more important than the method used in obtaining them. Breaking of the pattern is considered a major fault.

Basic position:

Rider should be seated so that from the side view a vertical line could be drawn from the center of his/her head down through his/her shoulder and seat to the back of his/her heel. The eyes should be up and shoulders back. The stirrup should be just short enough to allow heels to be lower than toes. Body always should appear comfortable, relaxed and flexible. Feet should be placed in the stirrups with weight on the ball of the foot. Arms are in a straight line with the body, the one holding the reins bent at the elbow. When a curb bit is used only one hand is to be used for reining and hands shall not be changed. Hand is to be around reins if use a romal and one finger between the reins is permitted only with split reins which fall on the near side. When using romal reins, no finger between the reins is allowed. The hand holding the romal reins should be above the horn and as near to it as possible. Bracing against the horn is penalized. The end of the romal reins should be held in the opposite hand at least 16 inches away from the reining hand that hand can be placed on the leg, or the arm held in a straight position.

Position in Motion:

Rider should sit to jog and not post. At the lope, the rider should be close to the saddle. All movements of horse should be governed by the use of subtle aids and the shifting of rider’s weight is not desirable.

Mounting and Dismounting:

To mount, take reins in left hand and place hand on withers. Grasp stirrup leather with right hand and insert left foot in stirrup. Toe should be pointed toward girth and mount. To dismount, rider may step down or slide down. The size of rider must be taken into consideration.

Criteria:

Criteria Judging Percentage
Horsemanship  40%
Performance of pattern  40%
Appearance    10%
Project knowledge 10%

 

Western Horsemanship Level 1

Required abilities:

  1. Catch and properly fit a halter on a horse.
  2. Explain and demonstrate how to safely and properly lead a horse.
  3. Safely back the horse from the ground.
  4. Demonstrate where and how to tie a horse safely. Give some examples of what are unsuitable (unsafe) places or objects to tie a horse to.
  5. Demonstrate a pre-riding grooming and explain why it is important to always groom your horse before saddling him/her.
  6. Help safely bridle and unbridle a horse (members may need assistance).
  7. Help safely saddle and unsaddle a horse (members may need assistance).
  8. Show how to check the tack before mounting and explain the reasons for doing so.
  9. Safely mount and dismount (some members may need assistance).
  10. Explain and show proper body position when riding.
  11. Show how to correctly hold the reins.
  12. Show turns to the left and to the right while your horse is walking.
  13. Show turns to the left and to the right while your horse is trotting.
  14. Back your horse while mounted, 5 steps.
  15. While guiding your horse around the arena move from a walk to a trot and back to the walk. Demonstrate both directions of the arena.
  16. Stop your horse from a walk.
  17. Stop your horse from the trot.
  18. Ride your horse in a figure 8 pattern at the walk.
  19. Ride your horse in a figure 8 pattern at the trot.
  20. Explain and demonstrate what you would do if your horse were running away with you.
  21. While watching a horse being ridden at the trot, identify whether the rider is posting (rising) the trot or sitting the trot.
  22. While watching a horse at a lope, identify which lead it is in.

Western Horsemanship Level 2

Required abilities:

  1. Explain and demonstrate the proper riding position while sitting on your horse and at the walk.
  2. While guiding your horse around the arena move from a walk to a trot and to a lope (canter), back to a trot than a walk. Demonstrate both directions of the arena.
  3. Demonstrate a posting (rising) trot, showing the posting rhythm, both directions of the arena.
  4. Describe and demonstrate how to correctly cue for a lope on the left lead.
  5. Describe and demonstrate how to correctly cue for a lope on the right lead.
  6. Lope a circle to the left, without breaking gait. (Horse may be on either lead.)
  7. Lope a circle to the right, without breaking gait. (Horse may be on either lead.)
  8. Show a balanced stop from a walk.
  9. Stop from a jog/trot.
  10. Stop from a lope. (Rider may need to trot a couple steps when stopping.)
  11. Back 6 steps while mounted.
  12. Turn 90 degrees to the left on the hindquarter.
  13. Turn 90 degrees to the right on the hindquarter.
  14. Turn 90 degrees to the left on the forehand.
  15. Turn 90 degrees to the right on the forehand.
  16. Demonstrate how properly to neck rein your horse to the left and to the right.
  17. Demonstrate how to pick up the front feet on a horse.
  18. Demonstrate how to tie a quick release knot.

Western Horsemanship Level 3

Required abilities:

  1. Demonstrate proper riding position at the walk and trot.
  2. While guiding your horse around the arena demonstrate the difference between a jog and a trot.
  3. At the jog/trot ride your horse in a straight line, turn left around a marker and return in a straight line, without breaking gait.
  4. At the jog/trot ride your horse in a straight line, turn right around a marker and return in a straight line, without breaking gait.
  5. While guiding your horse at the trot in a circle to the left demonstrate a posting (rising) right diagonal.
  6. While guiding your horse at the trot in a circle to the right demonstrate a posting (rising) left diagonal.
  7. Demonstrate how to correctly cue your horse to lope on the left lead. While maintaining roundness of the circle, lope 2 circles to the left on the left lead, without breaking gait.
  8. Demonstrate how to correctly cue your horse to lope on the right lead. While maintaining roundness of the circle, lope 2 circles to the right on the right lead, without breaking gait.
  9. Lope a figure 8 pattern showing a drop to trot lead change in the center of the pattern.
  10. From a trot demonstrate a balanced stop.
  11. While mounted, back your horse in a straight line for 10 steps.
  12. Turn 180 degrees to the left on the hindquarter.
  13. Turn 180 degrees to the right on the hindquarter.
  14. Turn 180 degrees to the left on the forehand.
  15. Turn 180 degrees to the right on the forehand.
  16. Sidepass to the left 6 steps (or three crossovers).
  17. Sidepass to the right 6 steps (or three crossovers). Demonstrate how to pick-up the hind feet of a horse.
  18. Demonstrate how to pick-up the hind feet of a horse.
  19. Explain how to tell if a horse needs to have its feet trimmed.

Western Horsemanship Level 4

Required abilities:

  1. Demonstrate how to lunge your horse in a controlled manner in each gait.
  2. Demonstrate how to measure the seat of your Western saddle.
  3. Measure your horse and tell how tall he/she is and determine the average weight.
  4. Demonstrate giving at the poll.
  5. Demonstrate proper riding position in a walk, jog and lope.
  6. While mounted, back your horse in a square.
  7. Demonstrate how to extend your horse’s stride at a walk.
  8. Demonstrate how to collect your horse’s stride at a walk.
  9. Walk to marker A, lope a straight a line to B and stop.
  10. From a lope, perform a balanced stop.
  11. While riding a serpentine, change diagonals with the emphasis on recognition of the correct diagonal in the right place.
  12. Demonstrate loping a left lead, rollback to the right and lope off in the correct lead.
  13. Turn 360 degrees to the right on the hindquarter.
  14. Turn 360 degrees to the left on the hindquarter.
  15. Turn 360 degrees to the right on the forehand.
  16. Turn 360 degrees to the left on the forehand.
  17. Teach a younger member a new skill. What was the new skill?

Western Horsemanship Level 5

Required abilities:

  1. Demonstrate how to properly fit your Western saddle to your horse.
  2. Demonstrate a drop to jog lead change in a straight line.
  3. Drop stirrups and ride as instructed on the rail.
  4. While walking a circle, demonstrate hip in going both directions.
  5. While walking a circle, demonstrate hip out going both directions.
  6. Demonstrate two consecutive 360-degree spins to the left.
  7. Demonstrate two consecutive 360-degree spins to the right.
  8. Demonstrate how to extend your horse’s stride at a jog.
  9. Demonstrate how to collect your horse’s stride at a jog.
  10. Counter canter a left circle.
  11. Counter canter a right circle.
  12. From marker A demonstrate a lead departure on a straight line from a stop.
  13. Name five moving parts of the horse and demonstrate how to move each part.
  14. Teach a younger member a new skill. What was the new skill?

Western Horsemanship Level 6

Required abilities:

  1. Explain and show the different types teeth of your horse; molars, incisors, canines and wolf teeth if present or approximate location.
  2. While mounted, back a balanced 10 ft. circle.
  3. Demonstrate how to extend your horse’s stride at a lope.
  4. Demonstrate how to collect your horse’s stride at a lope.
  5. Demonstrate four consecutive spins with correctness to the left.
  6. Demonstrate four consecutive spins with correctness to the right.
  7. With stirrups dropped, lope a left circle demonstrating a balanced position.
  8. With stirrups dropped, lope a right circle demonstrating a balanced position.
  9. Demonstrate a gallop and explain the difference between it and a lope.
  10. Ride a figure eight executing a flying lead change to the left.
  11. Ride a figure eight executing a flying lead change to the right.
  12. Teach a younger member a new skill. What was the new skill?

Western Horsemanship Level 7

Exhibitors in Level 7 will demonstrate their riding ability with a pattern they design. Patterns are to be mailed in with your State Horse Show registration.  Patterns will be scored by the judge and awarded points based on legibility, neatness, and ability to be executed. Below are requirements needed to be included in a pattern that the 4-H member can design.  Other additional maneuvers may be added. This pattern may consist of costumes for you and your horse and may be choreographed to music and use props. Set up time, performance of pattern, and tear down time not to exceed 5 minutes. The intent is to show the knowledge and horsemanship abilities that you have gained by completing all 6 levels. Western patterns should follow a horsemanship-style pattern.

Required maneuvers:

  1. Flying lead change performed in both directions
  2. 4 consecutive spins to the right and left
  3. Counter canter both directions
  4. Rollback each direction
  5. Backing
  6. Demonstrate how to extend your horses stride in the jog and lope
  7. Lead departure from a stop

Colt to Maturity/Green Horse Performance, English

Use of a running martingale or German Olympic martingale is optional for two, three, and four-year-olds when using a ring snaffle only but are not mandatory.  Other martingales or tie-downs are not permitted.  It is suggested that martingale stops are used anytime a martingale is used with a snaffle bit.  Spurs cannot be used forward of the cinch.  For acceptable bits, reference the Montana State Horseshow Bit Guide.  For other equipment, reference English Horsemanship Classes.

Walk

Good: brisk, flat-footed good attitude

Minor faults: slow, disinterested, not attentive

Major faults: nervous, jigging, not walking

Trot

Good: balanced, free moving, consistent, steady

Minor faults: too slow, too fast

Major faults: not performing a trot, failing to trot both front and back, hard or rough riding, constant breaking.

Canter

Good: smooth, unhurried, consistent, steady

Minor faults: too slow, too fast

Major faults: wrong lead, pulling, trotting behind, hard or rough riding, not riding under control.

Extended trot/canter

Good: strong, ground covering, smooth, consistent

Minor faults: inconsistent speed

Major faults: breaking gaits, pulling, hard or rough riding, uncontrolled, no increase in stride.

Back

Good: proper flexion, readily responsive, back in straight line

Minor faults: hesitant, not backing straight

Major faults: throwing head, gaping, pulling, not backing, rearing

General

Good: smooth, steady, proper flexion and balance, good attitude

Minor faults: over or under flexion, sour ears, switching tail, inconsistent speed, or out of balance. Poll to high or too low to throw horse out of balance, improper or incomplete appointments.

Major faults: throwing head, bad mouth, constant bumping the bit, gaping, evidence of altered tail carriage, obvious schooling, and breaking of pattern.

Criteria:

Criteria Judging Percentage
Performance 55%
Horsemanship  20%
Appearance 10%
Project knowledge 15%

 

Two-Year-Old Under Saddle Colt to Maturity/Green Horse Level 1, English

Open to two-year-old fillies and geldings enrolled in the two-year-old Under Saddle Colt to Maturity project or to horses enrolled in Green Horse Level 1. Animal will show with a D or O ring snaffle bit (Shank bits are not permitted).  Horses will be judged at walk, trot and canter both directions on the rail. Change of gait will be progressive. Horses will be direct reined only (rein in each hand). Other tasks the contestant may be asked to perform are:

  • Halt (not a sliding stop) from the walk
  • Dismount and mount
  • Back while mounted
  • Perform individual task

Three-Year-Old Under Saddle Colt to Maturity/Green Horse Level 2, English

Open only to three-year-old mares and geldings enrolled in the three-year-old Under Saddle Colt to Maturity project or to horses enrolled in Green Horse Level 2. Horses will be shown in a D or O ring snaffle bit. Horses will be judged on performance of the required pattern and may also be judged on the rail.

Four-Year-Old Under Saddle Colt to Maturity/Green Horse Level 3, English

Open to four-year-old mares and geldings enrolled in the four-year-old Under Saddle Colt to Maturity project or to horses enrolled in Green Horse Level 3. Horses will be shown in a D or O ring snaffle bit or Kimberwick. Bit converters are acceptable equipment.  Horses will be judged on performance of the required pattern and may also be judged on the rail.

Five-Year-Old Under Saddle Colt to Maturity/Green Horse Level 4, English

Open to five-year-old mares and geldings enrolled in the five-year-old Under Saddle Colt to Maturity project or to horses enrolled in Green Horse Level 4. Horses will be shown in a Pelham, Weymouth, or Kimberwick bit or English snaffle.  Horses will be judged on performance of the required pattern and may be judged at the walk, trot, canter, on the rail in both directions, and lengthen and shorten each gait as directed by the judge.

English Horsemanship Classes

A horse entered in English Horsemanship, can be shown in only one level per family member. Horses may not be cross entered in English Colt to Maturity Project Classes/Green horse (See exception under General Rules #7). Entries must be shown hunt or saddle seat. Spurs and crops are optional.  When riding hunt seat only regulation snaffles, Pelhams, Kimberwicks, and full bridles, all with caveson nosebands are allowed.  In saddle seat classes, entries must be shown in snaffles, Pelhams, or full bridles curb or snaffle. Bit converters are allowed. See Montana State Horseshow bit guide at the end of this book for bit requirements.

Hunter Type Position:

Rider should have workmanlike appearance, seat and hands light and supple, conveying the impression of complete control should any emergency arise. Breaking of pattern is considered a major fault.

Hands:

Hands should be over and in front of horse’s withers, knuckles thirty degrees inside the vertical, hands slightly apart and making a straight line from the horse’s mouth to the rider’s elbow. Method of holding reins is optional and bite of the reins may fall on either side. However, all reins must be picked up at the same time.

Basic Position:

The eyes should be up and shoulders back. Toes should be at an angle best suited to rider’s conformation: ankles flexed in, heels down, calf of leg in contact with horse and slightly behind girth. Iron should be on the ball of the foot and must not be tied to the girth.

Position in Motion:

At the walk, sitting trot and canter, body should be a couple degrees in front of the vertical: rising trot, inclined forward: galloping and jumping, same inclination as the rising trot.

Mounting and dismounting: 

To mount, take up reins in left hand and place hand on withers. Grasp stirrup leather with right hand and insert left foot in stirrup, toe pointed towards girth and mount. To dismount, rider may either step down or slide down. The size of the rider must be taken into consideration.

Saddle Seat Position: 

Judges should note that the required Equitation Seat should in no way be exaggerated but thoroughly efficient and most comfortable for riding the type of horse called for at any gait and for any length of time. When riding saddle seat in the Horsemanship classes, riders should convey impression of effective and easy control. To show a horse well, he/she should show themselves to the best advantage. Breaking a pattern is considered a major fault.

Hands:

Hands should be held in an easy position, neither perpendicular nor horizontal to the saddle and should show adaptability and control. The height the hands are held above the horse’s withers is a matter of how and where the horse carries his head. The method of holding the reins is optional: however, both hands must be used, and all reins must be picked up at one time. The bite of the reins should fall on the right side.

Basic Position: 

The eyes should be up and shoulders back. To obtain the proper position, rider should place himself/herself comfortably in the saddle and find his/her center of gravity by sitting with a slight bend at the knees but without the use of irons. While at this position adjust leathers to fit. Irons should be placed under ball of foot with even pressure on entire width of sole and center of iron. Foot position should be natural.

Position in Motion:

Walk: slight motion in saddle

Trot: slight elevation in saddle rising, hips under body not mechanical up and down or swinging forward and backward.

Canter: close seat, going with the horse

Mounting and Dismounting: 

To mount, take up reins if left hand and place hand on withers. Grasp stirrup leather with right hand and insert left foot in stirrup, toe pointed towards girth and mount. To dismount, rider may either step down or slide down. The size of rider must be taken into consideration.

Criteria:

Criteria Judging Percentage
Horsemanship  40%
Performance of pattern   40%
Appearance     10%
Project knowledge 10%

 

English Horsemanship Level 1

Required abilities:

  1. Catch and properly fit a halter on a horse.
  2. Explain and demonstrate how to safely and properly lead a horse.
  3. Safely back the horse from the ground.
  4. Demonstrate where and how to tie a horse safely. Give some examples of what are unsuitable (unsafe) places or objects to tie a horse to.
  5. Demonstrate a pre-riding grooming and explain why it is important to always groom your horse before saddling him/her.
  6. Help safely bridle and unbridle a horse (members may need assistance).
  7. Help safely saddle and unsaddle a horse (members may need assistance).
  8. Show how to check the tack before mounting and explain the reasons for doing so.
  9. Safely mount and dismount (some members may need assistance).
  10. Explain and show proper body position when riding.
  11. Show how to correctly hold the reins.
  12. Show turns to the left and to the right while your horse is walking.
  13. Show turns to the left and to the right while your horse is trotting.
  14. Back your horse while mounted, 5 steps.
  15. While guiding your horse around the arena move from a walk to a trot and back to the walk. Demonstrate both directions of the arena.
  16. Stop your horse from a walk.
  17. Stop your horse from the trot.
  18. Ride your horse in a figure 8 pattern at the walk.
  19. Ride your horse in a figure 8 pattern at the trot.
  20. Explain and demonstrate what you would do if your horse were running away with you.
  21. While watching a horse being ridden at the trot, identify whether the rider is posting (rising) the trot or sitting the trot.
  22. While watching a horse at a canter, identify which lead it is in.

English Horsemanship Level 2

Required abilities:

  1. Explain and demonstrate the proper riding position while sitting on your horse and at the walk.
  2. While guiding your horse around the arena move from a walk to a trot and to a canter, back to a trot than a walk. Demonstrate both directions of the arena.
  3. Demonstrate a posting (rising) trot, showing the posting rhythm, both directions of the arena.
  4. Describe and demonstrate how to correctly cue for a canter on the left lead.
  5. Describe and demonstrate how to correctly cue for a canter on the right lead.
  6. Canter a circle to the left, without breaking gait. (Horse may be on either lead.)
  7. Canter a circle to the right, without breaking gait. (Horse may be on either lead.)
  8. Show a balanced stop from a walk.
  9. Stop from a jog/trot.
  10. Stop from a canter. (Rider may need to trot a couple steps when stopping.)
  11. Back 6 steps while mounted.
  12. Turn 90 degrees to the left on the hindquarter.
  13. Turn 90 degrees to the right on the hindquarter.
  14. Turn 90 degrees to the left on the forehand.
  15. Turn 90 degrees to the right on the forehand.
  16. Demonstrate how properly to neck rein your horse to the left and to the right.
  17. Demonstrate how to pick up the front feet on a horse.
  18. Demonstrate how to tie a quick release knot.

English Horsemanship Level 3

Required abilities:

  1. Demonstrate proper riding position at the walk and trot.
  2. While guiding your horse around the arena demonstrate the difference between a jog and a trot.
  3. At the jog/trot ride your horse in a straight line, turn left around a marker and return in a straight line, without breaking gait.
  4. At the jog/trot ride your horse in a straight line, turn right around a marker and return in a straight line, without breaking gait.
  5. While guiding your horse at the trot in a circle to the left demonstrate a posting (rising) right diagonal.
  6. While guiding your horse at the trot in a circle to the right demonstrate a posting (rising) left diagonal.
  7. Demonstrate how to correctly cue your horse to canter on the left lead. While maintaining roundness of the circle, canter 2 circles to the left on the left lead, without breaking gait.
  8. Demonstrate how to correctly cue your horse to canter on the right lead. While maintaining roundness of the circle, canter 2 circles to the right on the right lead, without breaking gait.
  9. Canter a figure 8 pattern showing a drop to trot lead change in the center of the pattern.
  10. From a trot demonstrate a balanced stop.
  11. While mounted, back your horse in a straight line for 10 steps.
  12. Turn 180 degrees to the left on the hindquarter.
  13. Turn 180 degrees to the right on the hindquarter.
  14. Turn 180 degrees to the left on the forehand.
  15. Turn 180 degrees to the right on the forehand.
  16. Sidepass to the left 6 steps (or three crossovers).
  17. Sidepass to the right 6 steps (or three crossovers).
  18. Demonstrate how to pick-up the hind feet of a horse.
  19. Explain how to tell if a horse needs to have its feet trimmed.

English Horsemanship Level 4

Required abilities:

  1. Demonstrate how to lunge your horse in a controlled manner in each gait.
  2. Demonstrate how to measure the seat of your English saddle.
  3. Measure your horse and tell how tall he/she is and determine the average weight.
  4. Demonstrate proper riding position in a walk, trot and canter.
  5. While mounted, back your horse in a square.
  6. Demonstrate giving at the poll.
  7. While riding a serpentine, change diagonals with emphasis on the recognition of the correct diagonal in the right place.
  8. Walk to marker A, canter a straight a line to B and halt.
  9. From a canter, demonstrate a balanced halt.
  10. Demonstrate leg yield to the left.
  11. Demonstrate leg yield to the right.
  12. Demonstrate how to extend your horse’s stride at a walk.
  13. Demonstrate how to collect your horse’s stride at a walk.
  14. Turn 360 degrees to the right on the hindquarter.
  15. Turn 360 degrees to the left on the hindquarter.
  16. Turn 360 degrees to the right on the forehand.
  17. Turn 360 degrees to the left on the forehand.
  18. Demonstrate and explain a free walk and its importance.
  19. Teach a younger member a new skill. What was the new skill?

English Horsemanship Level 5

Required abilities:

  1. Demonstrate how to properly fit your English saddle to your horse.
  2. Demonstrate a drop to trot lead change in a straight line.
  3. Drop irons and ride as instructed on the rail.
  4. Counter canter a left circle.
  5. Counter canter a right circle.
  6. Demonstrate how to extend your horse’s stride at a working trot.
  7. Demonstrate how to collect your horse’s stride at a working trot.
  8. Demonstrate haunches in.
  9. Demonstrate and explain a half halt.
  10. With dropped irons, demonstrate a sitting trot with a basic balanced position.
  11. From marker A demonstrate a lead departure on a straight line from a halt.
  12. Demonstrate a two track at a walk across the arena.
  13. Name five moving parts of the horse and demonstrate how to move each part.
  14. Teach a younger member a new skill. What was the new skill?

English Horsemanship Level 6

Required abilities:

  1. Explain and show the different types teeth of your horse; molars, incisors, canines and wolf teeth if present or approximate location.
  2. While mounted, back a balanced 10 ft. circle.
  3. Demonstrate how to extend your horse’s stride at a canter.
  4. Demonstrate how to collect your horse’s stride at a canter.
  5. With irons dropped, demonstrate a rising trot in a right circle.
  6. With irons dropped, demonstrate a rising trot in a left circle.
  7. With irons dropped, canter a left round circle.
  8. With irons dropped, canter a right round circle.
  9. Demonstrate and explain a two-point position at a trot.
  10. Demonstrate a hand gallop and explain the difference between it and a canter.
  11. Ride your horse in a figure eight executing a flying lead change to the left.
  12. Ride your horse in a figure eight executing a flying lead change to the right.
  13. Teach a younger member a new skill. What was the new skill?

English Horsemanship Level 7

Exhibitors in Level 7 will demonstrate their riding ability with a pattern they design. Patterns are to be mailed in with your State Horse Show registration.  Patterns will be scored by the judge and awarded points based on legibility, neatness, and ability to be executed.  Below are requirements needed to be included in a pattern that the 4-H member can design. Other additional maneuvers may be added. This pattern may consist of costumes for you and your horse and may be choreographed to music and use props. Set up time, performance of pattern, and tear down time not to exceed 5 minutes. The intent is to show the knowledge and horsemanship abilities that you have gained by completing all 6 levels. English patterns should follow a dressage-style test.

Required maneuvers:

  1. Flying lead change performed in both directions
  2. Demonstrate how to extend your horses stride in the trot and canter
  3. Backing
  4. Counter canter both directions
  5. Leg yield
  6. Demonstrate knowledge of the correct diagonal
  7. Hand gallop

Ranch Horse Levels 1-4

Working Ranch Horse will follow the Montana State Horse Project Bit Rules. Romel, roping and split reins are legal. Saddles must be of western type and have a horn. Mule hide, latigo, elk hide, or basic leather or rubber are suggestions for horn coverings. Leather gives better when dallied than rubber and is suggested more for younger members learning how to rope cows.  Rubber bites harder on rope and gives a better grip when dragging cows.

Attire

  • The 4-H Working Ranch Horse Program is a western event and participants should dress accordingly.
  • Boots - Boots should be of western type with a heel and should not have thick rubber soles that could cause a foot to stick in the stirrup.
  • Jeans and shirts - Jeans and shirts should be of western style. Shirts should be button down with a collar and long sleeves. Jeans should be made of denim and of an appropriate color.
  • Hats - Hats must be western. No ball caps.
  • Accessories - Neck rags, vests, chaps, chinks or other appropriate accessories are acceptable.

Refer to the Working Ranch Horse project book for more information.

Bareback Equitation Classes

Classes to be judged at a walk, trot, and lope/canter both ways of the ring. One or all contestants may be asked to back and perform individual pattern at discretion of the judge. Riders will be judged on seat, feet, hands and the ability to control the horse. No chaps and spurs are allowed. Members 14 and over may be asked to dismount and mount, English and Western attire may be worn.

Western Equitation

Classes to be judged at a walk, trot, and lope both ways of the ring. Walk-Trot Equitation class will be judged at a walk and trot only both ways of the ring.  One or more contestants may be asked to back and/or perform individual patterns at the judge’s discretion. Riders will be judged on seat, legs, hands and the ability to control the horse and on the performance of the horse. Chaps and spurs will be allowed. Members 14 and older may be asked to dismount and mount. Proper western attire must be worn. The loping classes will be entered according to age of contestant.  Walk-Trot is open to Horsemanship 1 members only, regardless of age.  Contestants in Walk-Trot may not cross enter loping classes.

English Equitation

Classes to be judged at a walk, trot and canter both ways of the ring. Walk-Trot Equitation will be judged at a walk and trot only both ways of the ring.  One or all of the contestants may be asked to back and perform individual patterns at the discretion of the judge. Riders will be judged on seat, feet, hands and the ability to control the horse and on the performance of the horse. Spurs without rowels and riding crops will be allowed. Members 14 and older may be asked to dismount and mount. Proper English attire will be required. Cantering classes will be entered according to age of contestant.  Walk-Trot is open to Horsemanship 1 members only, regardless of age.  Walk-Trot contestants may not cross-enter cantering classes.

Trail Class

  • English or Western tack and attire may be used.
  • This class will be judged on the performance of the horse in maneuvering the obstacles.
  • The horse should work with a reasonable loose rein without undue restraint.
  • Six or more obstacles will be used, of which three will be mandatory and others selected from an approved list.
  • The distance between obstacles shall be at the discretion of the judge.

Mandatory Obstacles:

  • Opening, passing through and closing gate. A rider losing control of gate will be penalized. A gate will be used which will not endanger horse or rider. If the gate has a metal, plastic or wooden support bar under the opening, contestants must work the gate moving forward through it.
  • Ride over at least four logs or poles. These can be a straight line, curved, zigzag or raised. The space between the logs is to be measured and the path the horse is to take should be the measuring point. Trot-overs and lope-overs cannot be elevated in novice classes. All elevated elements must be placed in a cup, notched block or otherwise secured so they cannot roll. The height should be measured from the ground to the top of the element. Spacing for walkovers, trot-overs and lope-overs should be as follows or increments thereof:
  1. The spacing for walkovers should be 20” to 24” (40cm to 60cm) and may be elevated to 12” (30 cm). Elevated walkovers should be set at least 22” (55cm) apart.
  2. The spacing for trot overs shall be 3’ to 3’6” (90cm-105cm) and may be elevated to 8” (20cm).
  3. The spacing for lopeovers shall be 6’ to 7’ (1.8-2.1 meters) or increments thereof and may be elevated to 8” (20 cm).
  • Back obstacle: Backing obstacles to be spaced a minimum of 28” (70 cm). If elevated, 30” (75 cm) spacing is required. Entrants cannot be asked to back over a stationary object such as a wooden pole or metal bar.
  1. Back through and around at least three (3) markers.
  2. Back through "L," "V," "U," straight or similar shaped course. May be elevated no more than 24” (60 cm).

Optional Obstacles, but not limited to:

  • Water hazard (ditch or small pond). No metal or slick bottom boxes will be used.
  • Serpentine obstacles at walk or jog. Spacing to be minimum of 6’ (1.8 meters) for jog.
  • Carry object from one part of arena to another. (Only objects, which might reasonably, be carried on a trail ride may be used.)
  • Ride over wooden bridge. (Suggested minimum width shall be 36” (90 cm) wide and at least six feet long.) Bridge should be sturdy, safe and negotiated at a walk only.
  • Put on and remove a slicker.
  • Side pass (may be elevated to 12” (30cm) maximum).
  • An obstacle consisting of four logs or rails, each 5 to 7 feet long (1.5 to 2 meters) long, laid in a square. Each contestant will enter the square by riding over the log or rail as designated. When all four feet are inside the square, the rider will execute a turn and depart.
  • Any other safe and negotiable obstacle, which could reasonably be expected to be encountered on a trail ride and meets the approval of the judge, may be used.
  • A combination of two or more of any obstacles is acceptable.

Unacceptable obstacles:

  • Animals
  • Jumps
  • Logs or poles elevated in a manner permitting them to roll.
  • Hides
  • Rocking or moving bridges
  • PVC pipe
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Ground ties
  • Water box with floating or moving parts.

Yearling Trail:

Required abilities:

  • This class will be judged on the performance of the horse at halter, in maneuvering the obstacles.
  • A trail course to be set may include 4 trot-overs, bridge, gate, mailbox, back
  • Obstacles will not be raised (trot-overs and bridge)

Criteria:

Criteria Judging Percentage
Conditioning and conformation 20%
Handling/ Course Completion  80%

 

Western Games:

Games offered at the state show are clover leaf barrel racing junior and senior and pole bending junior and senior. All events are timed. Time starts when the horse’s nose crosses the start line and ends when the nose crosses back. YOU MUST START RUN AFTER INSIDE OF ARENA AND GATE IS CLOSED. (NO RUN IN’S) AND YOU MUST BE STOPPED AND UNDER CONTROL BEFORE EXITING. Barrels may be started on left or right side and poles may be started on left or right side. If horses are considered unsafe by the show committee or judge, they may be asked to stop and exit the arena immediately. No rider may be tied to the horse or saddle in any way. No wires, chains allowed. Horse’s mouth may not be tied shut in anyway. Rider must use specific project horse, and colt to maturity horses 4 and under cannot be used for western games.

Equipment:

Western saddle with horn.

Bits will follow the Montana State Bit guide

If have a question if your equipment is legal, please contact show committee.

Show committee and judge have the discretion to decide if equipment is unsafe or unnecessary.

Optional Equipment:

Martingales, tie downs, splint boots, bell and skid boots, over and under or bat.

Rider attire:

Boots

Approved helmet

Optional attire:

Shin guards

Gloves

Chaps

Spurs

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SPECIAL AWARDS IN THE 4-H HORSE PROGRAM

Skip-a-Lily Memorial Trail Award:

Given by Cascade County 4-H Horse Leaders in honor of Billy Carol and Dick Smiley. “Skippy” started as a 4-H Colt to Maturity project, who over 21 years had ten different 4-H members use her as their project horse.  She was an exceptional ride and is greatly missed. Award giving to first place rider in junior, intermediate, and senior trail classes.

Colt to Maturity Award

Sponsor Cascade County Horse Leaders

This award will consist of a belt buckle or award of equal value.

In order to qualify for this award, eligible 4-H member must:

  1. Submit a letter stating he/she has successfully completed requirements for this award. Included in the letter, the 4-H member should state what the project has taught him/her and what it has meant to him/her.
  2. Must participate in a Cascade County Horse Leaders sponsored horse show for each year of the project. *Exception: If the member or horse is injured and unable to show in a county sponsored show, the member and horse may continue in the project and remain eligible for C2M award provided a doctor’s statement or Vet statement is given to Extension Office prior to the show. 4-H member must submit his/her up-to-date record book each year at the time record books are due for the County Awards. The book must include: 
  3. Current year’s records and all previous year’s records for the project.
  4. Current Journal AND 4-H Colt to Maturity Project Manual.
  5. Current Animal record.

Horse Judging Scholarships:

Donated by Judy and Alex Ferguson

Cash awards of $25.00 are presented to:

  1. A Senior member (14 years old and over)
  2. An Intermediate member (11-13 years old)
  3. A Junior member (10 years old and under).

Members must judge in at least two horse judging contests.  Winners are determined by the highest percent score of 2 highest session scores of the contest dates in which they judge.  These awards are presented on Achievement Night.

High Point Awards (2019)

High point awards will be given at the Cascade County Horse Show.  The Horse Leaders will recognize a Senior, Intermediate, and Junior exhibitor based on points on 5 designated classes from your registration form. One must be Showmanship.

 Ribbon points will be awarded as follows:

  • 5 points for grand
  • 4 points for reserve
  • 3 points per blue
  • 2 points per red
  • 1 point per white

Year End High Point Awards

  • A point system is used to reward horse members for involvement and achievement throughout the 4-H year. The Horse Leaders will recognize the top 3-point earners within the Horseless Horse, Senior, Intermediate, and Junior divisions at Achievement Night.
  • Points must be earned at events sanctioned by the Cascade County 4-H Horse Leaders. Qualifying events include:
    • Cascade County 4-H Horse Clinics: 5 points/day
    • Cascade County 4-H Open Rides: 1 point/session, with a maximum of 5 points/year.
    • Additional Horse Show or Event (Events include but not limited to rodeos, clinics, open shows, O-Mok-Sees, trail ride competitions, etc. No rough stock events will be counted.): 1 point/session, with max of 5 points/year
    • Level Advancement (one per year): 15 points
    • Cascade County 4-H Educational Program: 5 points/program
    • Cascade County 4-H Show & Montana State Fair 4-H Shows: Ribbon Points
    • Completed 4-H Horse record book: 25 points

Members must turn in completed books to be eligible for year-end awards. 4-H members who turn in a completed record book will receive 25 points towards year-end awards. 4-H members are responsible for turning in tracking sheets to the Cascade County Extension office by September 1. If there are fewer than three qualifiers in any age group, awards will be given only to qualifiers.  In the event of a tie for 3rd and 4th place, both exhibitors will be given an award. Please note: A 4-H member may call the Points Manager for his/her score anytime during the year.  The Points record is public information.

Heads or Tails Award

A traveling trophy will be presented for participation in the County Horse and State Fair Horse Shows to the 4-H Club with highest award average per member enrolled in the horse project. The 4-H Club is selected based upon the following criteria:

  1. Add the ribbon points for all the members in the club based on the following point system:

Grand: 5 points

Reserve: 4 points

Blue: 3 points

Red: 2 points

White: 1 point

  1. Divide this number by the number of club members enrolled in the horse project.
  2. There must be a minimum of five (5) members per club enrolled in a 4-H Horse Project: Levels, Colt to Maturity, Green Horse, Ranch Horse, Driving or Packing.

Note: Awards are not part of the policy and may be subject to change during the year.  They are included here as information for the 4-H members.

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Important Dates

September 15, 2019                      4-H Enrollment Opens

October 1, 2019                               Cascade County 4-H Horse Leaders Meeting    

November 5, 2019                          Cascade County 4-H Horse Leaders Meeting

January 7, 2020                               Cascade County 4-H Horse Leaders Meeting

February 4, 2020                            Cascade County 4-H Horse Leaders Meeting

March 1, 2020                                 Independent Study Projects Due

March 3, 2020                                  Cascade County 4-H Horse Leaders Meeting

April 7, 2020                                     Cascade County 4-H Horse Leaders Meeting

April 15, 2020                                  Assessments and horse declaration due (Except for colt to maturity and green horse projects)

May 1, 2020                                       4-H Enrollment Closes

May 5, 2020                                       Cascade County 4-H Horse Leaders Meeting

June 2, 2020                                      Cascade County 4-H Horse Leaders Meeting

July 8-11, 2020                                Montana 4-H Congress

July 24, 2020                                     Cascade County 4-H Horse Show

July 24-August 1, 2020                Montana State Fair

April 10, 2020                                  Colt to maturity and green horse Assessments and horse declaration due

August 15-16, 2020                       Montana State 4-H Working Ranch Horse Finals (Pending)

September 1, 2020                         Cascade County 4-H Horse Leaders Meeting

September 11-13, 2020               Montana State 4-H Horse Show

October 2020                  Achievement Night and Green Tie Affair

October 6, 2020                               Cascade County 4-H Horse Leaders Meeting

November 3, 2020                          Cascade County 4-H Horse Leaders Meeting

Please contact the MSU Cascade County Extension office for dates on clinics and shows at (406) 454-6980. Clinic and show dates will also be announced in the Cascade County 4-H newsletter.

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