4-H Hippology Contest
In this fun, friendly competition, 4-H'ers show their knowledge and understanding of equine science and husbandry. Any 4-H'er can join — you don't need to be in the horse project or own a horse.
The competition is held every September at the Minnesota 4-H State Horse Show. Winning teams go on to represent Minnesota in national competitions.
Join on your own or form a team with 2–4 of your 4-H friends. Sign-up deadlines are in August; the exact date varies by county. Contact your local Extension office to find out more.
- A written exam
- Identifying projected slides by breed, color, color patterns, activity, proper appointments, etc.
- Anatomy, which may include external, skeletal, internal organs, parts of the gastrointestinal tract, male and female reproductive organs, detailed anatomy of the foot and detailed lower limbs
A series of stations or tables that test the contestants' knowledge. For example:
- Types of saddles (actual or pictured)
- Parts of saddles, tack, bits, bridles, horse shoes or parts of shoes
- Tools and equipment
- Grains and forages
- Internal and external parasites, blemishes and unsoundness
- Horse's age based on teeth, pulse rate, respiration rate, temperature, signs of dehydration or anemia, wither height, shoe size, girth, collar size, gullet width and seat length of saddle
Contestants will judge at least four classes of horses (two halter or conformation classes and two performance classes).
All teams will be presented with the same problem(s). Each team will have equal time to discuss the problem among themselves, then present an oral solution for it.
All the information covered in the Hippology Contest can be found in one or more of these publications.
- Horses and Horsemanship
- Horse Science
- Horses and Horsemanship (6th Edition) Ensminger, http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/869013006
- The Horse (2nd Edition) — Evans, Borton, Hintz and Van Vleck
- Illustrated Dictionary of Equine Terms
- Horse Training and Horsemanship Manual
- Equine Science — Jean T. Griffiths
- AYHC Horse Industry Handbook
- The Coloring Atlas of Horse Anatomy — Robert A. Kainer and Thomas O. McCracken
- Feeding and Care of the Horse, by Lon D. Lewis
- Catalogs distributed by State Line Tack
Some reference materials available in the Minnesota 4-H Horse Resource Library.
These organizations offer many helpful resources:
- Minnesota Horse Council
- Minnesota Horse Expo
- Minnesota Trail Riders Association
- Arabian Horse Association
- Morgan Horse Association
- National Extension website and resources
- US Equestrian Foundation (formerly IHSA)
- American Quarter Horse Association(AQHA)
- American Saddlebred Horse Association(ASHA)
- Appaloosa Horse Club (ApHC)
- Pinto Horse Association (PtHA)