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.

Why 4-H?

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!