The emphasis of Virginia's 4-H Horse and Pony program is on equine selection, nutrition, management, riding, recreation, fun, and horsemanship. Horseback riding provides an outdoor sports fitness program for physical, personal, and emotional development, including confidence building. The sport can develop into a life-long hobby or business. Projects are available for youth owning or having access to horses, and also for youth not having access to horses (horseless horse projects).
Virginia 4H’s Horsemanship Skills Program emphasizes safety in all equine activities, and aims to develop horsemanship skills and recognize individual achievement in a non-competitive, progressive program. As this program is further developed, additional levels and skill sets will be added. Beginning in 2013, 4-H’ers in Virginia who have not previously shown at the state level with their current project horse will be required to complete Horsemanship Skill Levels 1 & 2 in order to be eligible for the 4-H Championship Horse & Pony Show.