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Documents on this page:Image of 4-H Horse with a Horse head

  1. Horse Project Requirments
  2. Horse Card
  3. Horse Helmet Release Form
  4. Majestic Valley Arena Location
  5. Montana Bit Rules
  6. Horse Camp Member Registration (when available)
  7. Horse Camp Chaperone Registration (when available)

Members of 4-H may participate in many levels of the horse project. When 4-H members first enroll they must start at level 1 and must be assessed by a certified horse leader and bring a copy of the level assessment to the Extension office to move up in levels. Members must be at least 4-H age 8 to participate in the horse project. Other requirements are explained in the link below. Also check calendar above for dates.

4-H Horse Clinics

4-H Packing Clinics:

Other Horse Clinics:

Jan. 9th-Into to Packing,

1pm Family Life Christian Church


Jan. 23rd-Clinic I, 10am

Country Kitchen


Feb. 13th-Clinic II, 10am

Country Kitchen


March 27th-Clinic III, 10am

Bad Rock Arena


April 17th, Clinic IV, 10am

Bad Rock Arena


Horse Project Events

Printable version of Horse Project Requirements (PDF)

Horse Project

 To participate in the 4-H Horse project, members must comply with the following:


  • Have an updated Horse Card on file: by June 1. If you’ve changed horses or projects, please update your horse card. Last day to make changes to your horse project is June 1.


  • Have a signed Horse Project Release Form and a Horse Helmet Policy & Acknowledgement Form on file. Watch Every Time, Every Ride Video once as a Junior member and once as a Senior member.


  • Assessments: Each horsemanship manual has level assessments included in them. Review these with your certified horse leader (all horse members must have a certified horse leader that they’re working with) and turn-in assessments when you’re ready to move to the next level. Members will compete in the level they are working in; ex: if assessed out of level 2, the member will compete in level 3.   Assessments due by June 1st.


  • Clinics: Members must attend at least one 4-H horse clinic a year. Approximately 5-6 clinics will be offered every year. Dates & subjects of clinics will be announced throughout the year. Last opportunity to obtain a clinic will be June 1.

Horse Card

Printable version of Horse Card (PDF)



Circle Projects for this Horse below:

You can have a primary and a backup horse for each project (up to 2 cards).


Western Horsemanship

English Horsemanship

Working Ranch Horse



Colt to Maturity (can have one horse for each level)

Green Horse (can have one horse for each level)

Me and My Horse

Please complete a separate form for each horse used as a 4-H project horse. You can have a primary and a backup horse (up to 2 cards)  for each project. See back for list of projects.

MEMBER NAME:__________________________________________  PHONE: _____________________


EMAIL ADDRESS: _______________________________________  AGE (as of October 1st) __________


4-H CLUB NAME:_________________PROJECT LEADER’S SIGNATURE: _____________________

Place photos of horse on back of this form that clearly show markings.  All horse cards must be returned to the Extension Office no later than June 1st.

Please check if this is a mini horse project card. 

My Horse’s Name

(include horse’s full name plus nickname)


Horse’s Birthdate


Mare or Gelding


Color & Markings

(example: Sorrel with four white socks and a blaze)


Height of Horse


Person My Horse is Owned By or Leased From


The Montana State University Extension Service is an ADA/EO/AA/Veteran’s Preference Employer and Provider of Educational Outreach.



Parent Signature________________________________________________________



4-H Member’s Signature__________________________________________________

4-H Horse Helmet Policy & Signed Form

Horse Helmet Release Form

Printable version of Horse Helmet Release Form (PDF)

Acknowledgement of Education

is Required YEARLY

4-H YEAR from: to:


Participant Name: Birth Date: MM/DD/YYYY

Montana State University Extension: 4-H Horse Helmet Policy

A certified equestrian helmet with safety harness fastened in place is required in over fence classes and gymkhana events, activities, and practice sessions. Gymkhana refers to horseback speed events (timed or un-timed) that do not use livestock. Events that usually fall in this category include, but are not limited to: barrel racing, pole bending, keyhole races, stake races, rescue races, pony express race, etc. Events that are not intended to be included in this policy are events such as calf roping, team roping, goat tying, and team penning that may be timed but use


Participants in the 4-H Horse Project are required to attend a helmet education workshop and/or view the video

"Every Ride Every Time" once as a junior 4-H member (9-13) and once as a senior 4-H member (14 and up).

It is the responsibility of the parent or guardian of the 4-H member to see that the headgear worn complies with such standards and is in good condition. The Montana 4-H Center for Youth Development encourages the use of ASTM certified/SEI approved safety helmets in all equine events. Protective headgear may be used in all classes and shall not be discriminated against.

Helmet use is encouraged in all 4-H horse activities any time a 4-H member is around a horse. Counties may establish more stringent policies regarding helmet use.

I have read, understand, and agreed to adhere to the above Montana 4-H Horse Helmet Policy in order to participate in the Montana 4-H Horse Project.

Participant Signature: Date:

signatures are required yearly

Montana State University Extension:

4-H Acknowledgement of Receiving Horse Helmet Education

I have attended a 4-H horse helmet safety workshop and/or viewed the video “Every Time, Every Ride”. I

acknowledge that helmet education is required twice during my 4-H membership - first in my junior years, 4-H age

9-13, and again in my senior years, 4-H age 14 and up, unless I joined 4-H as a senior member whereas I need only

receive training once.

Participant Signature:

Date of Education:

Printed Name of Parent or Legal Guardian:



Horse Project 

Flathead County 4-H Horse Camp  takes place in May (check calendar above) at the Flathead County Fairgrounds! Registration and details below. Silent Auction items are greatly appreciated.

 Majestic Valley Arena Location

Printable version of Majestic Valley Arena Map Location (PDF)

Image of Majestic Valley Arena Location

Montana Bit Rules

Printable version of MT Bit Rules (PDF)

Montana State Horse ProjectBit Rule Examples

The following pages are guidelines of the rules stated in the Montana State Horse Show rule book.   The pictures show examples of bits that are acceptable

(    ), are not allowed (   ),   or may or may not be acceptable     (   ) depending on a measurement that cannot be judged by the picture.   Understand that this supplement gives only some examples of legal and unacceptable bits. In no way does it try to include every bit that is allowed or not allowed. If there are any discrepancies between this and the printed rulebook text, the printed rulebook will have precedence.

    1. References to hackamore mean the use of a non-mechanical, flexible, braided rawhide or leather, or rope bosal, the core of which may be either rawhide or flexible cable. Absolutely no rigid material will be permitted under the jaws, regardless of how padded or covered.
  1. Reference to snaffle bits in western performance classes mean the conventional O-ring, egg-butt or D-ring with ring no larger than 4". The mouthpiece should be round, oval, or egg-shaped, smooth and unwrapped metal. It may be inlaid, but must be smooth. The bars must be a minimum of 5/16“ in diameter, measured one inch in from the cheek with a gradual decrease to center of the snaffle.   The mouthpiece may be two or three pieces. A three-piece, loose connecting ring of 3/4" or less in diameter, or a connecting flat bar of 3/8" to 3/4" (measured top to bottom, with a maximum length of 2"), which lies flat in the horse's mouth is acceptable.
  2. References to a bit in western performance classes mean the use of a curb bit that has a solid or broken mouthpiece, has shanks and acts with leverage. All curb bits must be free of mechanical device and should be considered a standard western bit. A description of a legal, standard western bit includes:
  1. 8 1/2" maximum length shank to be measured as indicated in the diagram illustrating legal bit.   Shanks may be fixed or loose.
  2. Curb bit mouthpieces must be round, smooth, and unwrapped metal of 5/16" to 3/4" in diameter, measured one inch from the cheek. They may be inlaid, but must be smooth. Nothing may protrude below the mouthpiece (bar),   such as extensions or prongs on solid mouthpieces. The mouthpiece may be two or three pieces. A three-piece, loose connecting ring of 3/4" or less in diameter, or a connecting flat bar of 3/8 to 3/4" (measured top to bottom with a maximum length of 2"), which lies flat in the horse's mouth is acceptable.

3.The port on a bit must not be higher than 2 1/2" maximum, with rollers and covers acceptable. Broken mouthpieces, halfbreeds and spades are standard.

  1. Slip or gag bits, and donut and flat polo mouthpieces are not acceptable.
  1. Except for hackamore/snaffle bit classes, speed event classes, or junior horses shown with hackamore/snaffle bit, only one hand may be used on the reins, and hand must not be changed. The hand is to be around the reins; index finger only between split reins is permitted.
  2. References to a romal means an extension of braided material attached to closed reins. This extension may be carried in the free hand with a 16 inch spacing between the reining hand and the free hand holding the romal. The rider’s hand shall be around the reins with the fingers closed, thumb on top, and no fingers between the reins.
  3. The romal shall not be used forward of the cinch or to signal or cue the horse in any way. Any infraction of this rule shall be penalized severely by the judge.
  4. Junior horses (4 years old and under) competing in junior western pleasure, western horsemanship, reining, western riding, and trail that are shown with a hackamore or snaffle bit will be ridden with two hands on the reins.
  5. Horses four-years old and younger may be shown in a snaffle bit, hackamore, curb bit, half-breed, or spade bit. Horses five-years old and older may only be shown in a curb bit, half-breed, or spade bit. In the speed events only, horses of any age may be shown with a snaffle bit.
  6. Chain curb straps are permissible, but must meet the approval of the judge, be at least ½” inch in width, and lie flat against the jaw of the horse. Absolutely no rigid material will be permitted under the jaws, regardless of how padded or covered.

English Division


Bits used in hunter classes must be at least 3/8" or larger in diameter.   The mouthpiece may consist of one, two, or three pieces and must be smooth. Waterford bits are permitted. Smooth full cheek snaffles are permitted. Any port may not be taller than 1 ½ ". Slow or fast twist, corkscrew, twisted wire, double twisted wire, and triangle (knife edge) bits are not allowed. If a bit is used that requires two reins, it may be used with a converter. True gag action and elevator bits are not allowed.  

  1. BITS - BRIDOONS (Saddle Seat and Hunter)

Design of the bridoon mouthpiece must conform with that of acceptable snaffles described in #32B and #33. However, smaller dimensions of the mouthpiece are permissible.

Speed Events Division

TACK: Western-type saddles will be used. A mechanical hackamore or other type bridles may not be used. Use of two hands on the reins is allowed in speed events. Judge or appointed equipment official may prohibit the use of bits or equipment deemed too severe. Use of martingales, tie-downs and nosebands is permitted in these classes. Draw reins are not allowed in speed events. Horses of any age may be ridden in a snaffle.

BITS: Will follow the same rules as the Western Division.

Saddle Seat Division

TACK: Flat English type saddles are required for trotting horses; hunter, forward seat, and dressage type saddles are prohibited. Dressage or breed specific saddles are required for non-trotting horses. Horses must be shown in full bridles (curb and snaffle) or pelham with two reins, standard walking horse bit, or bit appropriate for breed. No figure 8, flash, or drop nose bands are allowed in Saddle Seat classes. Snaffle bridles will only be allowed in Saddle Seat Pleasure, Showmanship, and Conformation classes. Bits with shanks over 8" in length not permitted. Draw reins, martingales, hackamore, and similar equipment are all prohibited. (Pasos may show in hackamores as approved by PFHA for Pleasure classes.) Set tails, boots and/or artificial appliances including chains and rollers (pertaining to legs) are prohibited.




If you want copies of the 4-H Horsemanship Level 4-7 and or the WA Horse Judging Competiion Manual contact the Extension office.

Horse Camp Member Registration (TBA)

Printable version of Horse Camp Member Registration (PDF)

Horse Camp Champerone Registration (TBA)

Printable version of Horse Camp Chaperone Registration (PDF)