About Texas 4-H
Homes For Horses
Shaping the Future of Youth - Improving the Lives of Horses
The Texas 4-H Homes for Horses program is uniquely designed to connect 4-H youth with horses in need of additional training and attention to prepare them for adoption. A close working partnership with The Right Horse Initiative, a group strongly committed to improving equine welfare through increasing adoption, has been established to help identify equine adoption partners that can effectively serve this program by procuring suitable equine partners for 4-H youth.
Provide Texas 4-H youth the opportunity to engage in a hands-on program that actively helps to solve the at-risk horse problem in Texas
Reduce the number of at-risk horses in Texas by providing an outlet for horses that need additional training in order to be adoptable
Facilitate the opportunity for new 4-H families to get involved with horses who otherwise might not have been able to participate
This is an annual program that follows the 4-H calendar year of August 15th to August 15th and is slated to begin in 2021. To participate, youth will undergo an application process and eligibility requirements include being at least 13 years old and being an active Texas 4-H member that has participated or is enrolled in a Texas 4-H horse educational event and/or contest. Applications will be reviewed by a panel of equine professionals and narrowed down to 20 finalists who will be divided into two categories: (1) in-hand horse projects (2) under saddle horse projects. The 20 finalists will be paired with an at-risk horse to participate in the program. A parent/guardian will be required to agree to temporarily adopt the horse on Day 1 for the duration of the program.
A Day 1 Meet & Greet workshop will take place in early September for 4-H youth who are selected to acquaint them with their horse. This would include the youth and their family meeting the horse and becoming familiar with the unique circumstances and needs of the horse.
The horses would then be transported home with each respective family. Youth will have the privilege to advance the training of their horse and improve the overall health and wellbeing of the animal. They will also be required to keep financial and management records, as well as goal and objective training records as part of the educational process of horse ownership. Educational checkpoints will be set up throughout the 4-H year where youth will have the opportunity to learn more about managing and training their horse with equine professionals and be able to troubleshoot any roadblocks they may be experiencing in their journey.
The final pinnacle of this program will take place at the Texas State 4-H Horse Show, which is the last full week of July every year. Specialized classes of competition for in-hand horse projects and under saddle horse projects will be developed and implemented into the state show to showcase the transformation and progress youth have achieved with their horse over the course of the 4-H year. After the completion of the program, youth can either choose to permanently adopt their equine partner or put the horse up for adoption at a special event at the state show. In both scenarios, both the youth and the horse has gained valuable, life-changing skills that will improve their success in life.
Fast Facts About Homes For Horses
Check out the fast facts sheet for more information on program requirements, scholarship opportunities, application information, horse expense stipends, and MORE!
Dr. Chelsie Huseman
Dr. Chelsie Huseman is an Assistant Professor and Extension Horse Specialist in the equine section of the Department of Animal Science at Texas A&M University. In her current role, Dr. Huseman serves the state of Texas by disseminating equine education across the state for both adults and youth. She conducts numerous seminars, short courses, and a variety of other educational programs. She is the director of the Summer Horsemanship School Program which trains Texas A&M students to be horsemanship instructors to teach clinics across the state. Dr. Huseman also recently developed the Texas A&M International Horsemanship program with other equine faculty to take students overseas to teach horsemanship. She has a unique passion for the horse and is thrilled to see the youth of Texas help Horses across our great state.
ZaJria is pursuing a Master of Agriculture in Animal Science Degree at Texas A&M University. Originally from California, she attended California State University, Fresno for her undergraduate majoring in animal science with an equine science emphasis. ZaJria has had the opportunity to work with different equine therapeutic and outreach programs that work with youth. ZaJria is excited to work with this impactful program!
Dr. Jennifer Zoller
Dr. Jennifer Zoller is an Assistant Professor and Extension Horse Specialist for Texas A&M AgriLife Extension stationed in College Station. She provides statewide leadership for planning, implementing, conducting and evaluating Extension education programs in equine sciences for both adult and youth audiences. As an Extension horse specialist, Zoller gives leadership to several programs including the State 4-H Horse Show, Texas Horse Help mobile application and various horse judging competitions across the state.