The Advancement Levels program is a logical step-by-step guide to teach youth horsemanship and horse care and riding. The Advancement Level chapter in the 4-H Horse Member’s Manual serves as a leader’s and member’s guide. This chapter explains the basics of the Level’s program. The advancement level program is a voluntary program, therefore not all clubs and not all youths need to participate to be members of Plymouth County 4-H.
Safety and proper basics are stressed throughout the Levels program. The skills learned in the beginning levels are reflected in properly mastering the more advanced levels. A solid and consistent foundation is extremely important.
It should be recognized that not every youth will want to master all levels. However, it should be realized that the first two levels teach the basics of horse safety, care and riding for general pleasure and performance. It is therefore encouraged that all members participate in at least Levels I and 2. Level 3-6 are for the youth that is interested in a career in the equine industry or is very serious about his/her riding and training.
For those members who do not ride there is a leveling program for Fitting and Showmanship.
Requirements of the Horse Project
To receive recognition and award for leveling program members must:
Have Horse Verification form on file for project horse
Complete Horse project records * Second year members and above.
Participate at Marshfield fair (demonstration/ poster and/or show a horse)
All project horses must have a Horse Verification form on file at the Extension Office by May 1 of each year or at least 3 months prior to your first riding test. Only one project horse will be accepted for a member at any given time. The purpose of project horse is to encourage the members to work with a horse to better them and their horse. If your project horse is unable to compete at the Marshfield Fair, substitutions are allowed only in extreme situations. You must make a formal request in writing to the Extension Office. All decisions will be final.
For completion of the Horse project, a record book will need to be completed by November 1 of each year (clubs may have an earlier deadline) and you will need to do a demonstration/ poster and/or show a horse in the Marshfield Fair. Be aware that some clubs may have additional requirements.
Levels Advancement Program
The Levels Advancement Program is a volunteer riding program that complements our knowledge program available to all members enrolled in the 4-H Horse Project. This program is valuable in the education and advancement of the riding skills of our members.
There is only one written test per level, regardless of discipline. Separate riding tests are required for each discipline certification, English, Western
In Plymouth County the written tests are given by Plymouth County Extension Educators, not horse leaders. Level I Written Test will be used for both Safety~ Walk/Trot and Level I. Written Test does not need to be repeated to move from Safety ~Walk/Trot to Level 1, only the riding test.
When both the written and riding tests have been passed the Extension Office will issue the member their Levels card.
You may have a “reader” for the written test.
Riding test should be done in an arena different from your own.
A list of Certified Raters is available online- TBA
You may hold a different level in different disciplines.
All Written Tests will be taken at the Extension Office. Written tests will be offered in March, June, September & December of each year.
Tests will be given at the Plymouth County 4-H office. If you can not make the designated test date then you can make an appointment with the county Educator for the test taking.
Members are encouraged to take horseback riding lessons to achieve the highest success rate in the levels. There should be No charge for riding lessons given during 4-H Club meetings.
If leaders choose to give lessons as part of club meetings they MUST be licensed by the state of Massachusetts. A copy of said license should be on file with the county extension office.
If the member chooses to pay for lessons outside of club time that is entirely up to the member. These lessons may or may not be with the club leader. The purpose of the riding portion of this program is to complement the knowledge aspect of the program.
Your horse for the riding evaluation must have a Horse Verification Form on file with the Extension Office 3 months prior to the test. Your tack and clothing must be appropriate for the skill and level you are testing. This is the tack and clothing that is approved in the Massachusetts 4-H Horse Show Rule Book. Tests are available on this page. Make sure you are familiar with the required riding skills.
Riding tests will be offered county wide twice a year June and December. Clubs are welcome to hold there own riding test day but must use a certified County Rater. The fee for each riding level test is currently $15.00 each participant to be paid directly to your Certified Rater at the time of your test.
Plymouth County Certified Levels Raters-
For Records entry in the Marshfield Fair your record book must be up to date, as of August 1 of each year.
To have your record book judged at the end of the 4-H year, you must turn it into the Extension office no later than November 1. To receive recognition at county awards night records must be turned in for judging to the Plymouth County Extension office.
Horse Program Updates
December 28, 2016
5:30 Leveling Testing 6:30 Horse Leaders Meeting Plymouth County 4-H Office 44 Obery Street