The levels of advancement in the 4-H Horse Project are designed to serve as guides for instruction and evaluation each members progress. The correct handling of horses is emphasized from the beginning level to the most advanced level. This emphasis will develop the member's self-discipline, patience, self-reliance, responsibility and pride of accomplishment.

The 4-Her being tested MUST be properly enrolled as a 4-H Horse Project member. Project members must be aware of, and adhere to, any deadlines set by the local Extension office, realizing these deadlines may vary from county to county.

The horse used during testing must be a project horse and properly identified on the 4-H Light Horse Identification Record and Owners Affidavit. Members must own, lease or manage the horse used. The member must have access to the horse and must provide care and management as described in the Nebraska 4-H Horse Show and Judging Guide.

A 4-H'er may use any of their project horses; however, a single horse must be used for the entire skills portion of each skills test: Horses used for the Skills Test of Horsemanship level III should be at least 3 years old, and for Advanced Horsemanship level IV, at least 4 years old.


A separate club demonstration must be done for each different horsemanship level.

Written Exams:

Written tests are to be taken for Level I, II, and III. These exams are available through the Extension office. Questions for each exam are taken from the following:

Level I, II, III Nebraska 4-H Horse Project Manual
Nebraska 4-H Horse Show and Judging Guide
Level III Horse Science (available through National 4-H catalog)

Additional supportive references: 1) The Horse by Evans, Borton, Hintz, VanVleck; 2) Horse Industry Handbook by The American Youth Horse Council; 3) HorseQuest web site

No written exam will be given for Level IV; however, oral questions will be asked during the skills test. Questions on the skills test were taken from the same sources as those of Level III.


Study guides for Level I , Level II , Level III , and Level IV are available.

Passing :

A passing grade of 80 percent must be received on any written test and proficiency demonstrated on all areas on the skills test to receive an Advancement Level certificate and gain eligibility to try for the next level certification.

Once a section has been passed, it does not have to be repeated. However, if a member fails to pass a section of the levels test, that entire section must be repeated. Each section may be repeated as many times as necessary for successful completion.

Level I and Level II must be successfully completed before entering District or State Horse Show or Ak-Sar-Ben competition. Level III and/or Level IV must be successfully completed before entering Level III and/or IV classes for the State Horse Show or Ak-Sar-Ben competition.

Qualified Level Examiners:

To find a qualified examiner for the level you are ready to pass, contact your local Extension office for a complete listing.

Club Leader, Extension staff and/or examiner may pass members on the following:

  • All Demonstrations
  • All Written exams
  • Reports - Level II (Breed, Feed Chart), III (Written Training Report, Feeds Chart, Health Care Paper), IV (Written Training Report)

Skills Test:


Level I - Club Leader

Level II - Visiting Club Leader

Level III - Someone (other than the 4-H member's own club leader) who has been approved by the Extension office. Note: A list of available Level III examiners is available through the extension office. Additional individuals not on this list may also be used, pending approval by the extension office.

Level IV - A list of approved Level IV examiners is available through the Extension Office. Only examiners on this list may be used.