Preparing for Hippology and Quiz Bowl

Studying for either contest is similar since the reference material is similar. The major difference is Horse Quiz Bowl asks a question, and the youth answers, whereas Hippology asks questions via a written examination, slides, and stations. Practice each time the club meets. Have youth write questions or provide classroom activities.

Horse Quiz Bowl 2022
Horse Quiz Bowl

Reference materials for Hippology and Quiz Bowl are listed below. Horse Smarts is an Equine Reference and Youth Activity guide to help youth learn about horses.  Each chapter provides direction for a variety of activities. The Iowa 4-H Equine Extravaganza website provides practice Hippology station slides and extension resources from other states. Vibrant Clubs Horse Activities are located at the ISU Extension Store.  Additional resources can be found by placing “horse” in the search field for Quizlet or Kahoot The study guide below lists various topics about the horse.

Study Guide

Following is a breakdown using categories for studying. Look at ALL difficulty levels, even if you are a junior.  Start with the most essential things in each category & build from there. Do not worry if you cannot get to everything or know everything. Start with what you know & work on learning new things! Once you learn the common names, start working on the scientific names & more technical information. Each month and year youth practice, they will add to their knowledge and become more competitive.


  • Identify the parts of the horse
  • Identify the bones, joints of legs, vertebrae sections (cervical, etc.)
  • Know the different body systems, their functions & parts (central nervous system, circulatory system, etc.)
  • Identify and know the function of major muscles, ligaments, and tendons.
  • Know anatomical direction terms – examples include distal, proximal, etc.


  • Identify a horse breed from an image
  • Learn miscellaneous information about breeds - foundation sires, other names.
  • For each breed, learn the average height, weight, country of origin, main uses, color/markings.
  • Know registration terms -- grade, crossbred, purebred, pedigree, etc.
  • Know terms for types of horses - light horse, bloodstock, broomtail, cob, etc.

Colors & Markings

  • Recognize coat colors - black, brown, chestnut, bay, gray, roan, palomino, dun
  • Identify color dilutions - cremello, perlino, etc.
  • Identify face & leg markings
  • Body markings - dapples, ermine spots, etc.
  • Identify coat color patterns - Paint/Pinto patterns, Appaloosa patterns, Dun factors.
  • Identify the genetics of the primary body colors and dilution of horses


  • Identify conformation and structural correctness issues by image or written definition.
  • Recognize conformation deviations of the leg
  • Know problems caused by different conformation faults
  • Know good vs faulty conformation
  • Know terms related to conformation – examples include balance, soundness, etc.


  • Identify the parts of the digestive tract, functions, and capacity/size
  • Know terms related to digestion - mastication, peristalsis, etc.


  • Know the causes, symptoms & treatment of major diseases
  • Understand which vaccinations are needed for diseases, how often vaccinations are given to a horse, and when vaccinations are given.
  • Know terms related to diseases and health of the horse – examples include chronic, acute, etc.

Equine Showing

  • Identify different horse activities/events & sports from a description and an image
    • Examples include rodeo events, racing, polo, driving events, and competition classes.
  • Identify Western & English events/activities.
  • Identify locations that are "connected" with a sport --- for example, pictures of dressage arena, racetrack, etc.
  • Know terms, definitions, and abbreviations related to performance or breed associations. Examples include the United Stated Dressage Federation (USDF), the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA), etc.
  • Understand unique aspects of events – examples are the dressage arena letters, etc.

External Parasites

  • Identify types of external parasites by an image or definition
  • Assess the life cycles of external parasites
  • Understand where external parasites feed on a horse - head, legs, etc.
  • Do you know the symptoms/treatments of infestation?
  • What are prevention methods for external parasites?


  • Know terms related to feeds – examples include forage, roughage, concentrates legumes, grass, etc.
  • Identify common grasses & legumes (images or actual plants)
  • Identify common grains (images or actual grains)
  • Know how grains can be processed (rolled, crimped, etc.) & ways hay can be baled (small, large, round, etc.)
  • Recognize good/bad hay & grain (presence of mold, etc.)
  • Identify common poisonous plants by descriptions or images, problems they cause, symptoms & treatments.
  • What are general feeding guidelines - how much do you feed per day, and how do you measure it?
  • Assess how to read a feed tag
  • Know common supplements and why they are used

Feed Nutrients

  • What are the five nutrients - water, carbohydrates/energy, vitamins, minerals, protein
  • What does each nutrient provide to the horse?
  • How much is needed by a horse?
  • What are the sources of nutrients?
  • Define general terms related to feed nutrients, including amino acids, non-structural carbohydrates (NSC), etc.

Foot (Hoof Care)

  • Identify parts of the foot (internal and external parts of the hoof)
  • Identify farrier tools and  know what they are used for
  • Identify parts of a horseshoe
  • Identify common types of horseshoes - know uses,
  • Know the difference between front & hind shoes, horse/mule shoes, and therapeutic/corrective shoeing.
  • Horseshoe sizes & miscellaneous items -- clips, caulks, pads, etc.
  • Know terms related to hoof care – examples include farrier, blacksmith, etc.


  • Identify gaits from the description and an image
  • Know gaits specific to certain breeds (Tennessee Walker, Peruvian Paso, etc.)
  • Identify traveling defects from description and images -  examples include forging, interfering, etc.
  • Know terms related to movement -  collection, extension, transition, etc.
  • How many beats are in each gait?

General Equitation/Riding

  • Know natural vs. artificial aids - seat, hand, leg position
  • Know terms related to equitation and riding – examples include side pass, bearing/leading rein, etc.


  • Know terms related to genetics – examples include genotype/phenotype, gene, chromosome, allele, dominant/recessive, etc.
  • What genetic diseases are found in horses?


  • Identify standard grooming tools & their uses
  • Identify types of clips (body clip, trace, hunter, etc.)


  • Know the normal temperature, pulse, and respiration of a horse.
  • Know where temperature, pulse, digital pulse, respiration, and capillary refill are measured.
  • Identify types of wounds by a description, their causes, and treatments
  • Identify types of bandages and when they are used
  • Know locations on the horse where injections are given – intravenous, intramuscular, sub-cutaneous
  • Know the Body Condition scoring system  
  • Know about colic - signs/symptoms, causes/treatments, types
  • Know signs/symptoms, causes and treatments for issues related to the foot - Founder, Navicular, thrush, abscess, etc.
  • Identify first aid for common situations


  • Scientific name for horse (Equus caballus)
  • What are the evolution stages of the horse?
    • Names, size, number of toes front/back, etc.

Internal Parasites

  • Identify types and names of internal parasites.
  • Know where they are found, the damage they cause, and which age of horses are affected
  • Know the life cycles of the parasites and prevention methods
  • Identify types of dewormers - names, how they are administered, etc.
  • Know terms related to internal parasites – an example is anthelmintic, etc.


  • Identify equipment needed for horse & rider
  • Identify types of jumping obstacles (oxer, cavaletti, etc.)
  • Understand the difference between jumper and hunter classes


  • Identify types of knots & their uses
  • Know different types of brands


  • Identify pack saddles
  • Identify pack equipment
  • Identify pack hitches
  • Know terms related to packing -  manta, panniers, etc.


  • Identify stallion & mare reproductive system anatomical parts
  • Know the length of the mare's estrous cycle, estrus, and diestrus.
  • What are  the endocrine events that occur during estrus, ovulation, and formation of the corpus luteum in the mare
  • What is the length of gestation?
  • Know the progression of events that occur during the three stages of parturition in the mare.
  • Know terms related to reproduction – examples include mare, stallion, gelding, colt, filly, and foal.


  • Identify safe/unsafe practices, situations & conditions from descriptions and images.
  • Know about fire safety
  • What are items related to riding safety - tack, equipment, etc?
  • Know about helmet fitting

Stable Management

  • Identify types of fencing
  • Identify types of barns (styles) & other shelters
  • Identify types of stalls - box, tie
  • Identify miscellaneous equipment (hot walker, wash rack, auto waterer, etc.)
  • What are the recommended sizes for stalls, arenas, gates, and doors?
  • Identify types of bedding
  • Types of Insurance


  • Identify English and Western saddle types, uses & parts
  • Identify English and Western bridles,  parts of the bridle, and  uses
  • Identify English and Western bits -- curb vs snaffle
  • Identify harness parts
  • Identify miscellaneous equipment -- martingales, boots, blankets, etc.


  • How many of which types (incisors, molars, canines, wolf teeth) for foal, mare, stallion
  • When (at what age) do different teeth erupt?
  • Identify terms - cups, hooks, incisor, molar, centrals, intermediates, corners.
  • Dental problems - causes & treatments
  • Floating - why
  • Identify dental equipment (speculum, etc.)
  • Identify images of teeth


  • Identify types of trailers & hitches
  • What documents are needed for travel?
  • Know safe/unsafe methods of travel (safety chains, etc.)
  • Trailer checklist
  • How to choose a trailer/truck combo (tow capacity, etc.)?

Training and Behavior

  • Know the herd hierarchy and its importance
  • What are the horses’ senses, and how do they use them?
  • Know stereotypic behaviors
  • What is the difference between positive and negative reinforcement?

Unsoundness and Blemishes

  • Know terms related to blemish and unsoundness in the horse
  • Know the location, description, causes, problems caused, and treatments if any
  • Identify unsoundness & blemishes by image or written definition