Sunday, January 10, 2010

Head, Heart, Hands, Health... the 4 Hs.

I met with the 4-H Youth Development agent for my County on Friday. I decided that I would like to volunteer for 4-H because it integrates my love for horses with community service in a setting with which I am familiar since I was a 4-Her growing up. She seemed really excited for me to start helping. Apparently, although my county has the highest per capita horse population, the county only have ONE 4-H Horse Club!! I had at least 5 in my rural county where I grew up. This one club only exists so that the members may show in the 4-H horse shows. 4-H offers some other really interesting and challenging activities for Equine Enamored 4-Hers and its a pity to me that no one in the county has the opportunity to participate. This is where I will step in. The Youth Development agent told me that there has been interest from some of the 4-Hers in doing some of these horse related activities, but no one with enough basic horse knowledge has been willing or able to step up in leading teams. I'm thinking, "I can totally do that!".
The activites that I am speaking about are the following:
1. Horse Bowl: This is like a "quiz bowl" or game show format consisting of horse related trivia. The questions range from tack to breeding, to barn management, to conformation. The teams consist of 4 members and the teams compete in Jr or Sr divisions depending on age. They use buzzers to buzz in and answer questions in a specific order for multiple rounds. There are a list of fairly detailed rules, but you get the drift.
2. Horse Judging: Pretty self explanatory. Teams of 4-Hers judge horses and are judged on their accuracy and explanations.
3. Hippology: "The purpose of the Hippology Contest is to provide participants with the opportunity to blend knowledge and skills acquired in horse judging, bowl, demonstrations, public speaking, and showing into one activity. Additionally, the Hippology Contest will encourage participants to continue expanding their horse knowledge and participation, recognize participants for their total involvement in the horse industry and their comprehensive  knowledge of the horse industry and teach good sportsmanship through a friendly and competitive environment."

After the Youth Agent knew what my interests were, she sent me to the neighboring county's 4-H office on Saturday morning to watch a mock Horse Bowl and Hippology competition. That County is very active and has numerous Horse Clubs and Horse Bowl, Hippology, and Judging Teams. It was very interesting to watch the kids practice. The questions were much more difficult that I had anticipated! Ouch... I have a lot to prepare before I begin leading kids into these competitions. I also got some good tips about how to help the children prepare from the leaders attending the mock competition. Suggestions included a Velcro board of anatomy and using finger pains on a grey horse to illustrate conformation (fortunately, I know where to find a grey horse :))

OK-- Test your knowledge on some Hippology Questions I brought back with me:

Jr Level Sample Questions:
-What is another name of milo?
a. sugar cane, b. grain sorghum, c. millet, d. sudan grass
-What is the normal pulse rate of an adult horse?____
-What is the proper term for giving birth?
a. gestation, b. defecation, c. parturition, d. prehension

Sr Level Sample Questions:
-What does the term medial mean?
a. toward the center, b. toward the outside, c. toward the back, d. toward the front, e. toward the ground, f. none of the above.
-Combined immunodeficiency disease is associated with which breed?
a. mule, b. Arabian, c. Morgan, d. Andalusian.
-Abnormal growth of the periosteum is termed?
a. periostosis, b. exstosis, c. calcititis, d. chondropalasia

Sheesh! I have my work cut out for me!

I will leave you now with a photo from this morning of my boy and his pasture buddies :)


  1. Tucker and I actually participated in a horse judging class, we were one of the horse and rider teams. The comments the kids did were great, and some of them had us rolling with laughter. One kid said Tucker was cow hocked! He doesn't have great conformation but that's certainly not one of his flaws! Anyway, really glad to hear you are getting a chance to participate. It'll be fun and the leadership aspect will look great on your resume!

  2. Oh my those are hard questions! Whew. I can not wait to see Granite finger painted! Pictures are a must.

  3. Oh. Tough questions. I'm glad you're getting involved. Those are such great opportunities for kids to learn.