The Texas 4-H Equine Ambassador program strives to provide high school aged 4-H members the opportunity to develop and practice advanced leadership skills related to mentoring other youth, and to become advocates for the equine industry in Texas.
- Prepare youth to serve in leadership capacities in Horse projects and programs across Texas.
- Prepare youth for the experience of the university setting, through intensive science based instruction and experiences.
- Prepare and provide opportunities for youth to serve in advocacy roles for the Equine Industry, 4-H, and the horse programs.
- Develop a heightened awareness of career opportunities in the equine industry and advocacy.
Today’s horse industry:
- Texas is home for over 1 million horses, representing approximately 15% of all horses nationwide. Texas leads the nation in number of registered American Quarter Horses, American Paint Horses, Appaloosa Horses and American Miniature Horses. More than 953,983 Texans are horse industry participants and there are 288,839 Texas horse owners.
- “The Texas horse industry has a statewide economic impact of more than $5.2 billion a year. In terms of comparison with other industries and their effect on the GDP, equine are on the same level as the motion picture industry, apparel manufacturing and tobacco industry. So, the horse industry brings a lot to the table.
- The majority of participants today associate horses with “Quality of Life”, with a significant crossover in use of horses for pleasure/recreation and showing/competition. Trail riding, one of the more popular activities, has many benefits with regards to physical fitness, family participation, as well as an emotional outlet for disabled individuals.
The Texas 4-H Horse Project continues to develop and grow. We support the horse industry through teaching knowledge and skill activities that prepare our young people be an integral part of the horse industry. The Texas 4-H Horse Project encompasses horsemanship, horse judging, horse quiz bowl (a competition of knowledge), public speaking and educational presentations, veterinary science and an hippology contest which ties all the aspects together in one competition.
Through the creation of the Texas 4-H Equine Ambassador Program a new generation of knowledgeable, educated, and well-spoken youth will emerge in Texas to teach other youth and adults the skills of being good stewards, producers, and exhibitors of Horses. These young people will begin a new generation of equine industry professionals.
As a group, Equine/Livestock Ambassadors combined have contacted 231,303 people over the course of the year.
The Equine Ambassador Mentor Program
In the Equine Ambassador Program we have something unique to this course called the Equine Ambassador Mentor. To become a mentor you must be a current Equine Ambassador completing at least the 40 hours required to be an ambassador. There is an application process just as rigorous as for the initial course. We will then pick the best of the best to come back and be leaders for the next class–two people who have already been through the program and found success there. Some of their responsibilities will include answering questions about hours and ideas as well as helping with and leading various activities. They will set an example and act as leaders for the up and coming Equine Ambassadors. This is a great way to motivate the class coming into the program as well as encourage them to reach higher heights that were previously not thought of.
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