New to 4H Horse & Pony?

Are you new to the 4H Horse & Pony Program or are a little confused with everything going on, well this is the page for you. If you do not find the answers that you are looking for please email us at sjc4hhorse.pony@gmail .com

Enroll in 4H (Step 1)

Do you want to sign your child up for 4H?

Is your child currently in 3rd grade or above?

4H enrollment is done online here is the link This will enroll you for St Joe County 4H.

When you enroll for 4H you sign up for a township club. This does not have to be the township you live in. All your 4H projects must be done in the same township. The horse and pony township clubs all have riding meetings once a week starting in April, when the weather breaks. Most townships have their meetings at the St. Joe County Fairgrounds with the exception of Liberty twp they have their own practice grounds in North Liberty. Informational meetings usually start in March.

Each of the township clubs have different things to offer. Some host shows some do not. Some townships are big, some are small. Some are heavy in contesting instruction others are heavy in pleasure instruction some are equal in both. It's ok to not know what style of riding you are interested in. Some kids do one, some both, some switch.

All clubs participate at the fair.

Showing at the shows held in May & June are optional but are a great way to get ready for the fair.

Project Information

On the website on the page called 4H information page there is a link to the county 4H project book which has rules and requirements for the horse and pony project. On that same page is the state horse & pony hand book link. This are both great books to read to get yourself familiar with what is required and expected in the horse & pony project.

Mini Horse & Pony

If your child is a mini (Kindergarten, 1st or 2nd grade) they can sign up for mini horse & pony. Again you enroll at All of our shows offer mini classes. Each township has different rules about mini’s riding during practice so you will want to check with your township leader.

Attend Paperwork Day (Step 2)

Now that your child is registered for 4H its time to get some paperwork done with the club. Our paperwork day is held each year during our swap meet at the Esther Singer Building at the St. Joe County Fairgrounds (date will be posted on important dates page) All forms that you need to fill out will be provided there. If you want to get ahead of the game look at our forms page once the forms have been checked for accuracy and approved they will be put on the website. On the forms page all due dates are listed. Your horse or pony must be obtained by paperwork day. If you are leasing a horse a lease agreement must be turned in during paperwork days.

Horse Identification (Step 3)

Horse Animal Identification must be done on the 4HOnline system by May 15th. This is the same data base you used when enrolling online for 4H. Instructions for completing this process can be found on the Purdue 4H Horse Project Information Page of this website.

Attend your township 4H meetings (Step 4)

By attending your township 4H meetings you will receive instruction and information from your leader(s).

This time you will spend with your new 4H friends will be great memories. Please note you must attend a minimum of 2 meetings with your horse to be eligible for the box stall lottery and club sponsored awards.

Vaccines (Step 5)

The state vaccine requirement for 4H Horse & Pony are Eastern & Western Encephalomyelitis, Rhinopneumonitis/EHV type 1 & 4, Influenza, Tetanus & Rabies. The form must be filled out with a receipt attached and be taken to all 4H events (educational events, practices, county & state fair). 4H Sponsored Horse shows, that are open to everyone, the vaccine requirement would not be necessary. As for the due date of the vaccines they must be given before the horse can attend any 4H event. So with practices beginning in April this moves things up. The form can be found on the forms page.

Stall Reservation (Step 6)

Stall Reservation is held in June each year. This is a 2 night event so hopefully you will make one night. If not you need to contact the club vice president before class sign up to make arrangements to get your paperwork turned in. The dates will be posted on the Important Dates Page. This is when you reserve your stall(s) and indicate the animal you are bringing to fair. There will also be computers available to help with Class Reservation.

Also during stall registration you will be able to get in the camper lottery if you are interested in bringing a camper to fair. Please note that you cannot stay in your camper overnight. You must also pay your stall fee. Information is at the top of the stall reservation form.

Class Registration (Step 7)

Class registration will now be done on the Fair Entry system. The deadline date will be posted on the Important Dates Page. This is when you sign up for the classes you would like to show in at the fair. You will have received a fair class schedule at the paperwork day. If you have misplaced it no problem it can be found on the showbill page. Very important sign up for all classes you will be interested in showing in. Talk to your leader if you need help, it’s confusing, but your leader is there to help. Classes cannot be added after the deadline date. Classes can be scratched (if you decide you don’t want to show in a class) anytime.

Set up for fair (Step 8)

There will be times posted to set up for fair. This is usually done the week before fair. Your leader will have information and it will be posted on the website. This is the time to get your stall ready and haul in tack boxes. Please read the St. Joe County Project manual for information on tack box sizes and how lottery stalls are awarded.

Vet Check (Step 9)

Each twp club arranges to have a vet check no more than 7 days before horses move into fair. Vet Check is when a licensed veterinarian check to make sure your animal is sound and healthy and ready for fair. Check with your township leader for your clubs date and time.

Move in to Fair (Step 10)

Finally its fair time. Move in times will be posted, as will haul in procedures. Watch the website and talk to your leader. After you get your horse settled into their stall come to the entry booth. At the entry booth you will turn in any remaining paperwork (look at the list on the forms page) and get your class schedule and show number.

Have Fun (Step 11)

Enjoy yourself, the fair will be one of your favorite 4H memories. If you need help or feel confused ask your leader or come to the entry booth.

I hope this helps you. While it all sounds so confusing it's really not. There is a great group of leaders to guide you through it. If you know what township you would be interested in we can put you in touch with their leaders. If you need help choosing a twp we can help with that too. Just email us at

This page is a guide it is important to watch the website, listen to your leader(s) and read both the St Joe County 4H project book and the State Horse & Pony Handbook. Again those books can be found on the 4H Information page on our website