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OSU Extension

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Wayne County 4-H Horse Department

Things to Consider Before Taking A Horse Project

Think about how much space is required to house a horse or pony.  Do you have enough physical space and the proper shelter or are you able to board the animal somewhere?  Are you aware of feed and hay costs and and have you budgeted for them?  Are you prepared to invest the money and time involved in caring for, grooming, walking and riding a horse or pony to train them to be ready for the fair? Are the youth and parent(s), guardian(s), or other adult helper(s) prepared to make the time and financial commitment?  Have you considered what tack and/or show clothing you'll need to purchase or borrow?  Horse projects are very rewarding but are also among the most time-intensive and expensive 4-H projects.

2024 Horse Calendar of Events

  • April 1st - Enroll in 4-H through 4-H Online (note: clubs may set an earlier deadline)
  • May 1st - Horse Special Request Forms - Due to the Extension Office
  • June 1st - Obtain and care for your project animal(s) on or before June 1st
  • June 1st - Complete Animal ID for all possible animals (including family back-ups) that you could possibly enter in the fair through 4-HOnline on or before June 1st.  Help sheets are available at
  • July 1st - Entries due if planning on showing at The Ohio State Fair.
    • If exhibitor is showing at the Ohio State Fair Equistep MUST be completed before July 1st.
  • July 9th - Outstanding Horse Exhibitor Exam - 5-9pm at the Event Center, Wayne County Fairgrounds
  • July 10th - Skillathon Interview Judging - The first night of Skillathon Interviews will be held on July 10th @ 6:30 - 9:00pm, Event Center, Wayne County Fairgrounds.
  • July 24th - Complete the required Equistep Program on Carmen Canvas. Click here to be directed to Canvas.
  • August 1st - Fair Entries - Make all Junior Fair Class Entries at
  • August 7th - Skillathon Interview Judging - The final Skillathon Interview night will be August 7th @ 6:30 - 9:00pm, Event Center, Wayne County Fairgrounds.
  • For a complete list of horse dates and events please see the Horse Guideline Packet

Horse Project Books

  • The books listed below can be ordered through your 4-H club advisor, purchased directly from the Wayne County Extension Office, or ordered online at
  • Beginning Horse Management (174) - This beginning-level project is for ALL youth starting in the 4-H horse program. The basics of caring for a horse, learning to ride, and showmanship are covered in 170 pages, many with color photographs. There is no time limit to complete this project.
  • Horseless Horse (173) - Learn about horses without owning one. Over 20 different horse-related subjects are covered in easy-to-use worksheets. This project also may be used during the educational portion of club meetings. Written for the beginner but suitable for members of all ages.
  • Draft Horse (181)Are you fascinated with draft horses and want to know more about these magnificent giants? Learn about their care, feeding, harnessing, hitching, showing, and much more with this updated project book. Complete 4-H 190R Equine Record each year project is taken
  • Dressage (189) By patiently developing a horse's mental and physical abilities, youth work toward a perfect understanding between horse and rider. This project asks youth to complete a "Planning Your Project" section, several activities, learning experiences, and citizenship/leadership activities; keep records; and write a one-page report. This project requires access to a horse. Use with 190R Equine Record Book.
  • Equine Reproduction and Genetics (185) - Explore breeding and mare and foal management in a project that requires commitment. Use with 190R Equine Record Book.
  • Gymkhana (186) -  Learn how to take care of your horse, the patterns of gymkhana (including the barrel and flag races), and everything else you need to know to excel in gymkhana.
  • Roping (187) -  Explore roping’s rich history and its deep roots in the American West and the rodeo. Learn how rope is made and understand how each type of rope is used.
  • Horse Nutrition (762) - Explore digestion, nutrients, feedstuffs, rationing, and poison plant identification to protect the health of the horse you love. Use with 190R Equine Record Book.
  • Learning to Jump (180) - Want to put your horse skills to work on something new? This project starts with a foundation of proper riding techniques, then teaches you the basics of how to jump in an easy-to-understand sequence of exercises. Expert tips and a troubleshooting guide keep you on track to have fun and stay safe while learning to jump. Use with 190R Equine Record Book
  • Light Horse Selection (175) - Judge horses and classes after studying basic horse anatomy for a sound basis in the selection of pleasure or breeding stock. Use with 190R Equine Record Book
  • Trail Riding (188)Team up with your horse for competition or pleasure trail riding. Learn the basics of conditioning your horse. Use with 190R Equine Record Book
  • Horse Training: How to Talk to Your Horse (177) - Training horses from birth to maturity. Understand horse behavior and how to use it to create a good relationship between horse and rider. Basic Horse Training videos by Dr. Robert Kline are available at Use with the 190R Equine Record Book
  • Standardbred Horses (184) - Learn how to safely harness your horse to a cart and drive, whether it is a Standardbred racehorse or a pleasure driving horse. Use with 190R Equine Record Book
  • Small Equine (182) - This intermediate project is for a miniature horse, donkey, or mule. Learn the basics of caring for small equine, guiding in-hand and driving, and showmanship. Youth must complete 191R Horses, Safety, and You, and 174 Beginning Horse Management before taking this project. Use with 190R Equine Record Book each year project is taken. 
  • Equine Record Book (190R) - Required for horse projects 175, 177, 180, 181, 184, 185, 188, 189, and 762. Complete one record book every year. 

Horse Project Guidelines and Forms

Horse Animal ID Requirements

2024 Horse Animal ID Help Sheet - overview of how to enter horse Animal ID in 4-HOnline and lists which fields and forms are required and which are optional.

Horse Clinic / Educational Resources

Horse Fun Shows

Horse PAS / State Fair Information

  • Wayne County will not be offering a PAS show in 2024.  Youth that wish to qualify for the State Fair Jr. Horse show will need to complete a PAS Out of County Form and bring to the Wayne County Extension Office for a signature before going out of county to a PAS Show. 
    • For more info on PAS show requirements, patterns, dates, out-of-county form plese click here

Horse Outstanding Exhibitor Awards Program

Horse Outstanding Record Book Awards

  • The Outstanding Record Book Awards are designed to recognize youth that take time to thoroughly complete their records books adding in details and financial, feed, and health records from throughout the entire project including records from during and after the fair. Youth wishing to have their record books judged should turn them in to the Extension Office by September 27th.  Awards are presented at the Fall 4-H Recognition Banquet.
  • Horse Outstanding Record Book Award Rubric

Horse Junior Fair Information

  • 2024 Pre-Fair Letter 
  • 2024 Patterns
    • Showmanship/Freestyle Reining/Trail (Sunday, September 10)
      • Showmanship Classes
      • Showmanship Championships
      • Trail (Sr and Jr)
      • Reining
    • Western (Monday, September 11)
      • Driven Trail
      • Horsemanship
      • Horsemanship Championship
      • Ranch Riding
    • English/Jumping (Tuesday, September 12)
      • Equitation
      • Equitation Championship
      • Jumping Classes
    • Dressage (Wednesday, September 13)
    • Versatility/Fun Show (Thursday, September 14)
  • 2024 Show Books (will be available at fair-time)

State 4-H Horse Website

For more information about the Ohio 4-H Horse Program be sure to visit

Horse Committee

  • The Wayne County 4-H / FFA / Jr. Fair Horse Action committee is responsible for planning, organizing, and carrying out the horse program in consultation with and under the authority of OSU Extension and the Wayne County Agricultural Society (Senior Fair Board)
  • Our 2024 Horse Committee is made up of the following individuals: Victoria Devore, Janelle Firestone, Mariah Kopina, Brandy Lynn Napier (JFB Advisor), Michele Holcomb, Lisa Miller, Sarah Rusmisel, Kevin Saffell, Kevin Shoup, Savannah Vaughn, Ashley Yoder (JFB Advisory), Alex Dewitt (FFA), Shelby Tedrow (OSU Extension), Rich Mairs (Senior Fair Board) and Mack Donley (Senior Fair Board) and Junior Fair Board members Parker Clippinger, Allison DeMassimo, Kayla Lawson, Taran Tate.

Wayne County 4-H Horse Facebook Group

Be sure to join our Wayne County 4-H Horse Facebook Group where we share reminders, announcements, and other educational content related to the 4-H Horse Program.  Check us out on facebook at: