The 4-H Horse Project - Oregon State University

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The 4-H Horse ProjectPNW 587A Pacific Northwest Extension PublicationOregon State University Washington State University University of Idaho

C ontentsIntroducing the 4-H Horse Project . 1The Horse. 3Breeds. 4Colors and Markings. 15Parts of the Horse. 17Horse Psychology and Behavior. 19Choosing a Horse. 22The Horse’s Health. . 25The Normal Horse. 26First Aid and When to Callthe Veterinarian. 27Diseases. 31Parasites. 35The Equine Hoof. 41Equine Teeth. 44Care and Management of the Horse. . 47Basic Handling and Safety. 48Facilities. 52Feed and Nutrition. 60Grooming. 69Weather and Your Horse. 77Trailers, Loading, and Hauling. 80Raising a Foal. 82Basic Colt Training. 85Tack and Equipment. 95Care of Tack . 96General Tack and Equipment. 97Western Tack. 105Hunt Seat Tack. 110Saddle Seat Tack. 114Riding and Showing.115Ethics and Etiquette. 116Choosing a Qualified RidingInstructor/Trainer. 118Showmanship. 120Performance. 128Western Games . 150Pleasure Trail Ridingand Camping. 152Glossary.155Additional Resources. .159

Introducingthe4-H Horse ProjectMany people, young and old, arediscovering the satisfaction and pleasure thathorses can bring them. The 4-H Horse Projectcan be an exciting and worthwhile experiencefor both you and your horse. To be a 4-H HorseClub member, you must first enroll in 4-H inyour county.In addition to the 4-H goals for youth, the4-H Horse Project has six main objectives:1. Learn to know and select a good saddlehorse2. Learn to care for horses properly3. Learn to ride4. Learn to train and handle horses5. Acquire a broad equine knowledge base6. Enjoy a healthy outdoor recreationalactivityA 4-H Horse Project animal may be a horse,pony, mule, or donkey, which you may ride,drive, or train. Stallions over 12 months ofage are not allowed as a 4‑H project. 4-H usesthe industry standard of January 1 as a horse’sbirthdate to determine age.If you don’t have a horse, you maybelong to a 4-H Horse Science club or join asa horseless member. With these options, youcan learn about horses, compete in all activitiesthat do not require horses, and work with otheryouth on horse-related subjects.You may own, share, borrow, or leaseyour project animal. (Refer to PNW 574, the4-H Horse Contest Guide, for project animalguidelines.) In any case, you should be the onewho is responsible for your horse’s primary careand management. This is your project animal,The 4-H Horse Projectand you need to be doing the work! If youboard your horse, know what and how muchit gets fed. Know what vaccinations it receivesand what its deworming schedule is. Observe itsfoot care. Take on as much of the responsibilityof caring for the horse as you can.If you’re a younger or inexperiencedmember, you may need help training yourhorse. Even older, experienced members needassistance from time to time. Remember,though, that this is your project, so do as muchof the training and preparation for shows asyou can.There are many activities in the 4-H HorseProject. You may show your horse in a varietyof classes: showmanship, English equitation,Western equitation, trail, dressage, driving,and jumping. Western Gaming events includeBarrels, Figure Eight Stake Race, Key Race, PoleBending, and Flag Races. You can show a younghorse in Ground Training, and some countiesoffer First Year Under Saddle, In-Hand Trail, orRanch Horse classes.In addition to showing your horse, youmay take part in judging, hippology, horsebowl, presentations, and public speakingcontests. Some members may wish toparticipate in clubs that mostly do pleasureriding, trail riding, or horse camping.Keeping accurate records is also animportant aspect of the 4-H Horse Project.No matter which activities you choose,you’ll find the 4-H Horse Project a challengeand a chance to learn-by-doing in all aspects ofhorsemanship.1

2The 4-H Horse Project

The HorseThe 4-H Horse Project3

BreedsThere are many breeds of horses. Following are briefdescriptions of some of the more common or notable breeds.For more information, visit one of the many websites on horsebreeds.L ight H orsesAmerican SaddlebredThe American Saddlebred, also called the AmericanSaddlehorse, was developed in America in colonial times froma Thoroughbred sire, Denmark, bred to a pacer. Riders needed ahorse that could give a fast, easy ride over long distances.The mature American Saddlehorse is between 15 and16‑2 hands in height and weighs from 1,000 to 1,200 pounds.These horses are usually one solid color with white markings.The predominant colors are chestnut, bay, brown, black, andgray. The natural stride of this breed is free and open with greatanimation. This is naturally a three-gaited breed, but it is easilytrained to rack and slow-gait as well. They are noted for a highhead carried on a long graceful neck, a level croup, and a highset tail. They are most widely used for showing in saddle seatand fine harness classes and riding on bridle paths.american saddlebredArabianarabian. Photo courtesy Arabian Horse AssociationArabians are one of the first breeds of livestockdomesticated by humans. All breeds of light horses and some ofthe heavy horses were developed from this breed.The head is triangular with a wide forehead and smallmuzzle. The forehead is convex, but the profile is usuallysomewhat dished. The neck is long, naturally arched, and theback is very short. The Arabian is very compact; mature animalsusually weigh from 850 to 1,100 pounds and are from 14 to15 hands high. Preferred colors are bay, gray, and chestnut withwhite markings common on the head and legs. The versatileArabians are used in pleasure riding, ranch work, and parades.Arabians or half-Arabians have been noted for endurance andspeed in competitive trail rides and are popular at horse shows.Morganmorgan. Photo courtesy AMHA4The HorseMorgan horses are known for versatility, stylish action,stamina, and ease of handling. They are the oldest breedoriginating in America. All Morgans trace back to a stallionnamed Figure, born in 1789 in Springfield, Massachusetts, andacquired by Justin Morgan, a Vermont teacher and horseman.This stallion became the founding sire of the Morgan breed.Characteristics of the breed are an upright head carriage,well-crested neck, fine muzzle, broad forehead, small ears, widechest, and short back. Morgans average 14-2 to 15-2 hands highand weigh about 1,000 pounds (with individual exceptionsunder and over). Colors allowed within the breed are bay, black,brown, chestnut, palomino, creme, dun, and buckskin.Morgans are highly versatile and may be used for pleasureand driving as well as jumping, dressage, reining, andendurance.The 4-H Horse Project

American Quarter HorseThe American Quarter Horse originated during thecolonial period, primarily in Virginia and the Carolinas. Settlerscrossed Andalusian mares with English stallions that werelike Thoroughbreds. They are called “Quarter Horse” becauseoriginally they were raced for about a quarter of a mile.Quarter Horses are characterized by heavier muscling thanother breeds, particularly in the thigh, gaskin, and forearm. Theracing Quarter Horse carries considerable Thoroughbred blood,though it is usually a little heavier in muscling and not quite asangular as the Thoroughbred. Mature horses usually stand from14-3 to 16 hands high, though they may be taller, and usuallyweigh from 1,100 to 1,300 pounds. The predominant colors aresorrel, chestnut, bay, black, and dun. Animals with excessivewhite markings may be eligible for registry, but there are stringentAmerican Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) guidelines.Quarter Horses are used widely in the West for rangeand rodeo work. They are known for their speed over a shortdistance and for what cowboys refer to as “cow sense.” They alsoare popular for pleasure riding and Quarter Horse racing.american quarter horseFoundation Quarter HorseThe Foundation Quarter Horse must have bloodlinesthat are at least 80 percent Quarter Horse. The association looksback 11 generations or to the first introduction of Thoroughbredblood to determine if a horse is eligible.The most important attribute of a Foundation Quarter Horseis that it be versatile. Historically, this horse could work cows,run races, work in harness, and was an outstanding trail horse.The horse is quiet, willing, and intelligent. It is medium-size,heavily muscled, with sturdy bones and feet. The length of theleg should not be longer than the depth of the heart girth. Thehead is short with a large jaw, the eyes are set far apart, and theneck is medium length. Color standards are the same as for theAmerican Quarter Horse.tobiano. Photo courtesy APHA 2006American Paint HorseAmerican Paint Horse foundation breeding was basicallya crossing of pinto mares to Quarter Horse stallions. To beregistered as a paint, the horse must meet minimum colorrequirements, and the horse must come from stock registeredwith the American Paint Horse Association (APHA), the AmericanQuarter Horse Association, or the Jockey Club (Thoroughbred).Like Quarter Horses, Paints are stockier and more heavilymuscled than some other light horse breeds. They show markedrefinement about the head.Paints can be registered with a tobiano, overo, or toverocolor pattern. Tobianos (toe-be-AN-o) tend to have solid-colorheads with usual white markings (star, stripe, snip, etc.). Theyhave regular oval spots with dark hair usually covering one orboth flanks. Their legs are usually white, and their tail is oftentwo-color. Overos (o-VER-o) usually have dark legs and boldwhite head markings (often bald-faced). They have irregularwhite markings, but the white does not usually cross the backbetween the withers and the tail. Their tail is usually one color.Toveros (toe-VER-o) have dark pigmentation around their earsand mouth. One or both eyes are blue. They have spots of varyingsizes on their chest and flanks which may extend up the neck,across the barrel, or over the loin.The 4-H Horse Projectovero. Photo courtesy APHA 2006tovero. Photo courtesy APHA 2006The Horse5

Tennessee Walking Horsetennessee walking horseTennessee Walking Horses are the product ofThoroughbred and Standardbred blood crossed with Morganand Canadian Pacers. The stallion that contributed the mostto the breed was named Allen. Tennessee Walking Horses aredistinguished by their running walk, a fast four-beat gait inwhich the hind feet leave imprints beyond the forefeet. Therunning walk averages 6 to 12 miles per hour. Other special gaitsare the “flat-foot walk,” a slow even gait, and the “canter,” arefined gallop with a slow, high, rolling motion.Tennessee Walking Horses have long, arched necks,pronounced withers, flat croups, and high-set tails. Their manesand tails are left long and flowing. Mature horses stand from 15to 16 hands high and usually weigh from 1,000 to 1,200 pounds.Color varies from sorrel or chestnut to various shades of bayand brown with black, roan, white, and gray being common.Frequently there are white markings on the feet and legs.This breed is used as a show horse and for pleasure riding.ThoroughbredthoroughbredThoroughbreds were developed in England for racing.The three foundation sires (the Byerly Turk, the Darley Arabian,and the Godolphin Arabian) were brought to England and bredto native horses. The result is a horse that can carry weight overextended distances.The Thoroughbred is usually taller and more angularthan other breeds. The average height is over 16 hands.Thoroughbreds have long, straight necks; prominent withers;long backs; and long, sloping shoulders. Their abdomens aretucked up, and they have slender legs with long pasterns. Theyhave very fine skin which tends to show the veins underneath.Colors are bay, brown, chestnut, black, or gray, with occasionalwhite markings.Thoroughbreds are used in both flat and jump racing, andthey are popular as hunters, saddle horses, and polo ponies.Standardbredstandardbred. Photo courtesy Ed Keyes6The HorseThe Standardbred originated in the early 1800s in thevicinity of New York and Philadelphia as a road driving andharness racing horse. The breed was derived mainly fromThoroughbred blood. Hambletonian 10 is considered thefoundation sire of the breed. The name Standardbred was usedbecause horses were bred to trot 1 mile or better in a standardspeed of 2½ minutes.The Standardbred resembles the Thoroughbred but is not astall and has a longer body. Heights range from 15 to 16 handsand weights from 900 to 1,150 pounds. Preferred colors are bay,chestnut, brown, and black. Blaze faces and white stockings arenot typical of the breed.Standardbred harness races are popular in the East.Standardbreds either trot or pace, and there are harness races forboth.The 4-H Horse Project

P oni esPony of the AmericasThe Pony of the Americas (POA) originated in Iowa about1955 when an Appaloosa mare was bred to a Shetland stallion.They now have the characteristics of Arabians and QuarterHorses in miniature, with Appaloosa coloring. They must bebetween 46 and 56 inches in height. They have a slightly dishedface, mottled skin, and striped hooves. POAs are used as largerWestern-type riding ponies for children. They also are shownEnglish and in harness.Shetlandpoa. Photo courtesy POA MagazineShetland ponies are natives of the Shetland Isles northof Scotland. Their natural hardiness may be due to the harshenvironment in which they developed. They are recognizedas the strongest equine relative to their size. The breed registryrecognizes two types: Moderns and Classics. Moderns are veryrefined, stylish harness ponies with animated gaits. Classics arerefined pleasure ponies with an easy way of going.In Shetland shows, classes are divided into two heightdivisions: under 43 inches, and 43 to 46 inches. Shetlands weighfrom 300 to 400 pounds. They may be any color. The Shetlandis used as a mount for children; for harness racing; and forpleasure, roadster, and fine harness driving.Welshshetland. Photo courtesy ASPCWelsh ponies originated in Wales. They have since beenrefined with Hackney (which gives them their lively action) andArabian blood.Their withers are slightly pronounced, and they have a shortback with a slight depression toward the croup. Any color exceptpiebald and skewbald is acceptable. A Welsh pony cannot exceed14.2 hands. They usually are mounts for small children andsometimes are used in harness.C olor B reedsAppaloosaAppaloosa horses are of ancient origin, but the ancestorsof the modern Appaloosa were introduced into Mexico by theSpanish explorers. Eventually the Nez Perce Indians in thePacific Northwest prized and developed the color patterns.Because they were from the Palouse region of the Northwest,white settlers called them “a Palouse horse,” which becameslurred into “Appaloosa.”There are six variations of coat color: snowflake, leopard,frost, marble, spotted blanket, and white blanket. All havestriped hooves; obvious sclera; and short, sparse manes andtails. They have mottled skin, especially around the nostrils andlips. The minimum height is 14 hands, and they usually weighfrom 950 to 1,200 pounds. They are used as pleasure horses andworking stock horses.The 4-H Horse Projectwelshappaloosa. Photo courtesy Appaloosa Horse ClubThe Horse7

PintoThe Pinto Horse Association (PtHA) is a color registryfor pinto horses with at least one parent registered in any lighthorse breed (Appaloosa and Draft breeds are not allowed). Pintocomes from the Spanish word “pintado” meaning painted.Minimum color requirements are basically 75 square inchesfor one body spot, and 15 square inches each for three or morespots on the body. Only color visible from a normal standingposition is considered. Horses with black as the darker color arecalled Piebald. Skewbalds have anything but black as the darkercolor. The two registered colors are tobiano and overo (see“Pinto colors,” page 15, for descriptions). Since Pintos are bredfor color and can be almost any breed, there are no consistentconformation traits. Four types of animals are registered: stocktype (Quarter Horse); hunter type (Thoroughbred); pleasure type(Arabian or Morgan); and saddle type (Saddlebred, Hackney, orTennessee Walking Horse).Ponies 14-2 hands and under are covered by similar rules.pintoPalominoThe Palomino cannot be an established breed becauseits distinctive color cannot be passed on from generation togeneration. The body color of a Palomino is described as that ofa “newly minted gold coin,” but it can vary from light to dark.The forelock, mane, and tail are lighter than the coat color andcan have no more than 15 percent dark hairs. Stars and stripesare permitted on the face, and white markings are allowed onthe lower legs. They stand 14 to 17 hands tall depending ontheir breed.BuckskinThe modern Buckskin (Dun), technically a color breed,actually has a strong, ancient heritage. In the West, horses of thebuckskin, dun, red dun, and grulla (grew-ya) hues trace to theMustang–Spanish Barb descendants which originated in Spainas the Sorraia. Other Buckskins brought to this country can betraced to the Norwegian Dun, descendants of the nearly extinctTarpan horses. Along with a mixture of other bloods, Buckskinscan be found in most breed types.The American Buckskin Registry Association (ABRA) haslimitations on how much white is permitted. Horses with a solidbody coat color are accepted. Horses with a body coat pattern(Paints or Appaloosas) are not. (See “Colors and Markings,”page 15, for more information on dun coloring, points, andmarkings.)ABRA registers light horses only. Horses with draft blood arenot eligible.8The HorseThe 4-H Horse Project

D raft H orsesBelgiansThe Belgian is known as the widest, deepest, most compact,most massive, and lowest set draft breed. It is extremely quiet,docile, and patient. Its action is powerful, but less springy thanthe Clydesdale or Percheron. Mature stallions stand 15-2 to17 hands and weigh from 1,900 to over 2,200 pounds. Originallymainly a bay breed,

The 4-h horse ProjecT 1 InTroducIng The 4-h horse ProjecT Many people, young and old, are discovering the satisfaction and pleasure that horses can bring them. The 4-H Horse Project can be an exciting and worthwhile experience for both you and your horse. To be a 4-H Horse Club member, you must first enroll in 4-H in your county.

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