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Iowa State University Extension

No horse? No problem in 4-H Horseless Horse project

4-H'er riding a horse

Keeping a horse can be a pricey undertaking. Many kids who are hooked on horses just don’t have the opportunity to ride, let alone own a horse. Iowa State University Extension 4-H Youth Development fills this void with the Horseless Horse project. 4-H’ers enrolled in the project can work with horses and develop sportsmanship, responsibility, cooperation and decision-making and public speaking skills. The project continues to grow in Iowa as the 4-H program moves into urban areas.

Many Iowa horse club leaders use ISU Extension’s Horseless Horse project guide, including Vicki Wade, co-leader of Jasper County Equine Experience. “I love working with the kids to watch them develop as informed, caring horse people. It’s a commitment, but so worth the time.”

Many county 4-H leaders find ways to pull together a group of people who are willing to donate, lease and transport horses so that youth have an opportunity to be around live animals, get acquainted with them and learn to ride. Contact your local ISU Extension county office for ways to become involved.

This article appeared in August 2007 -- From Jack Payne Newsletter