All about horses: Stark-Billings 4-H girls compete in horse judging, hippology at stateA horse is a horse of course, of course, and no one knows that better than the junior and senior horse judging and hippology teams from the Stark-Billings 4-H Club that recently returned from the state competition, finishing in the top 10 in nearly all events. The junior horse judging team came back with red ribbons, signifying their second place win.
By: Katherine Grandstrand, The Dickinson Press
A horse is a horse of course, of course, and no one knows that better than the junior and senior horse judging and hippology teams from the Stark-Billings 4-H Club that recently returned from the state competition, finishing in the top 10 in nearly all events. The junior horse judging team came back with red ribbons, signifying their second place win.
The state competition took place in Fargo on March 30 and 31.
A horse judge must catalog three to eight classes of horse, as well as point out any flaws or exceptional traits the horses have, according to the 4-H Club horse judging manual. They are also judged on their presentation skills when giving their opinion.
Hippology includes horse judging, as well as a written test of horse-related questions, a station test that could include identifying the parts of a horse or saddle and a team problem consisting of a critical thinking question, said Kay Poland, team coach.
There were only two girls from the senior (ages 14 to 18) team, Alisha Dvorshak and Mandy Marboe, who took part in the horse judging. They finished fifth and 10th place respectively in the individual, but could not place as a team because they were short one member, she said. The girls were joined by Megan Dukart, Shanna Dvorak, Brooklyn Kadrmas and Rachel Klein for the hippology portion of the state competition. They took fifth place as a team.
The junior (ages 8 to 13) team for both events included Madison Kadrmas, Mattaeh Dvorshak, Skylar Dockter and Brooke Hutzenbiler Poland said. They finished fifth, ninth, 13th and 14th respectively in the individual horse judging competition.
In the past, she has had teams that have won state and gone on to do well at national, Poland said. This year has been a team-building year as she has a lot of younger participants.
Although she didn’t have the official results of the junior hippology event, she estimated the team place somewhere between fifth and 10th.
To prepare for the events, the girls have been meeting on Wednesdays since January to take practice tests, identify the parts of a horse and practice judging horses via video or live at the Dickinson State University Indoor Arena, Poland said. After the state contest the girls take a short break and then prepare for the horse showing and riding events that are part of Roughrider Days and the state fair.
The knowledge acquired participating in these types of competition can prepare youth for careers in
agriculture or veterinary, as well as give a good base for someone who wishes to care for horses as a
hobby, Poland sai, adding there are people who judge horses for a living.
“Most of these kids are part of the 4-H Horse Project,” she said. “So part of the project is more than just having a horse, you need to learn about
While Alisha Dvorshak doesn’t quite know what her career path will be, she hopes to win scholarships from her participation in 4-H Club.
“It’s kind of a fun thing right now,” the rodeo participant said of 4-H Club. “You get to meet new people and travel different places and stuff and you win a lot of cool things.”
And even though there’s a lot of studying involved, Alisha Dvorshak, who lives on a farm outside of Dickinson, sees the value of the knowledge she has acquired.
“You learn stuff so that when you buy a horse it’s good confirmation that it’s gonna last for rodeo,” she said.
1. The easiest place to check the horse’s pulse is:
a) Behind the elbow
b) By the coronet band
c) Under the jaw
d) By feeling the jugular vein in the neck.
2. What is the primary site of fiber digestion in the horse?
c) Small intestine
d) Large intestine
3. The circulatory system refers to what?
a) Bones and joints
4. What is the term for a horse that doesn’t want to leave the barn?
c) Buddy sour
d) Barn sour