4-H is the nation’s largest youth development organization, with more than 6 million youth participating. The Virginia Cooperative Extension provides a variety of activities that emphasize 4-H’s “learning by doing” philosophy of youth development.
In 2008, Brook Hill Farm established a 4-H Horse and Pony Club for all of the United Neigh members. With the four “H’s” standing for Head, Heart, Hands, and Health, 4-H possesses more than a century of experience in youth development programming.
The 4 “H’s”
Head – Managing, Thinking
Heart – Relating, Caring
Hands – Giving, Working
Health – Being, Living
The emphasis of the horse and pony program is equine selection, nutrition, management, riding, recreation, fun and horsemanship. It has been proven that participating in 4-H horseback riding provides an outdoor sports fitness program for physical, personal, and emotional development, including confidence building. Most importantly, 4-H members pledge to build a better community, country and world for themselves and others.
The 4-H program’s positive effect on youth is astounding, and aligns directly with the goals of the United Neigh At-Risk Youth Program. The 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development, conducted by the Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development at Tufts University, shows youth engaged with 4-H activities are…
- Nearly two times more likely to get better grades in school
- Nearly two times more likely to plan to go to college
- 40% less likely to engage in risky behaviors
- 25% more likely to positively contribute to their families and communities
Members have the opportunity to participate in:
Below is a picture of the 2018 4-H State Show team. Look and see how many ribbons in the dressage arena!