University of Maryland Extension

The Maryland 4-H Horsemanship Standards


The Maryland 4-H Horsemanship Standards are designed to help 4-H members progressively develop knowledge of horse care, horse management, and horsemanship skills. The Horsemanship Standards are divided into Knowledge, English Riding, and Western Riding Standards each containing six levels. The Riding Standards encourage members to become safe, effective and confident riders with a sound knowledge of equipment and tack.  The Knowledge Standards develop proper horse handling and husbandry skills.  While it is realized that not every 4-H member would want to master all levels, the first two levels of the Knowledge and Riding Standards require 4-H members to learn the basics of horse safety, care, and riding.  Also, certain levels may be required for participation in state horse programs and events in the future including the state fair show.  

For more information, please contact Chris Anderson

All Horsemanship Standards documents were updated in 2010, unless otherwise noted. Please review the following memo for helpful information in regards to the changes and updates.

Information on the Horsemanship Standards:

Horsemanship Standards Manual UPDATED DRESSAGE TESTS (revised 1/31/2011)

Testing Participation Fees 

Level 5 and 6 Testings

Information and Training Materials

How Do I Become An Examiner?

Examiner Level Testings

Horsemanship Standards Examiner Trainings

List of Approved Examiners

Horsemanship Standards Prep Clinics for 4-Hers

Monthly Learning Lessons

Horsemanship Standards Educational Clinics

*NEW* Horsemanship Standards Interactive Study Aids

Examiners, please note that the 2012 Horsemanshup Standards Advisory Meeting will be held on Saturday, November 10, 2012 at the Maryland 4-H Center in College Park. You must attend this meeting once every two years to maintain your examiner status.


Horsemanship Standards Manual 
(Updated 6/7/12)

Part I - Getting Started

Part II - Study Guide

Part III - Knowledge Levels

Part IV - English Riding Levels (updated 1/31/11)

Part V - English Riding -Jumping Levels

Part VI - Western Riding Levels

Part VII - Appendix (updated 6/1/2012)

**please note, Appendix G, H, I, J, and N have been revised (pages 94-97 and page 101 in the Manual) to reflect changes in 2011 USDF Dressage Tests and Level 5 Gridwork

**please note, pages 49, 51, 53, and 56 have been revised in the English Riding Levels section to reflect changes in Dressage Tests

Written Tests for Knowledge Levels Testing

Written tests for Knowledge Levels 1-4 are distributed to County 4-H Educators at the beginning of each calendar year. Volunteer leaders or Approved Examiners hosting/coordinating a Horsemanship Standards Knowledge Testing should contact the County 4-H Educator well in advance of the testing to receive copies of the written tests and keys.

Maintained by the IET Department of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. © 2019. Web Accessibility