Skip Navigation

What Can Cloverbuds Do With Animals? - 4-H Cloverbuds and Horses PowerPoint Presentation: text-only version

Print Friendly

Participation, safety, personal development, learning and fun in a cooperative, non-competitive setting are the priorities of the Maine Cloverbud program.

Goals of the Cloverbud Program

  • Develop a positive self-concept
  • Practice life skills of: sharing, cooperation and social skills, decision-making, self-esteem, personal safety and responsible citizenship.
  • Develop a positive attitude toward learning.
  • Master new physical skills and gain knowledge in the 4-H curriculum areas through age-appropriate experiential learning.
  • Develop on-going relationships with caring adults and older youth who serve as positive role models.
  • Experience success and fun in their program and aspire to continue on in 4-H.

Policies for Cloverbuds and Animals

The national 4-H policy states that for safety and developmental reasons, 5 through 8 year olds may not have animal projects, but recognizes along with Maine 4-H that engaging 5 to 8 year olds in activities with animals builds long-term interest in working with animals.  Therefore, carefully structured, well supervised activities with animals are encouraged.

Safety First

  • Cloverbud animal activities are designed to introduce 5 to 8 year olds to various kinds of animals and to develop safe basic care and handling skills.
  • One-on-one supervision by an adult or experienced older teen who maintains ultimate control of the animal is required any time a 5 through 8 year old is working with any animal regardless of size.
  • This policy has been created for the protection of our youth and our volunteers and staff.
  • The policy will help us make sure that our programs for our youngest members are safe and developmentally appropriate.
  • This policy, which complies with the national Cloverbud policy, insures that volunteers who are following the policy will be covered by University liability coverage.
  • Volunteers acting outside the policy cannot be assured of this coverage.

To be Safe on Horses, Cloverbuds must…

  • Have one on one supervision by an experienced adult or older teen
  • Wear an ASTM standard SEI-certified, fitted helmet and proper equestrian footwear
  • Ride only in a controlled and contained area
  • Ride horses with quiet, calm dispositions

Developmentally Appropriate

  • The needs of 5-6 year olds are usually different than those of 7 and 8 year olds and every child is different;
  • As Cloverbuds go through these ages, they are able to do more on their own;
  • Our goal is for 9 year members to be ready to ride safely independently and have the skills and confidence to begin to show if desired.

Animal Activities Should Cover all 4-H Curriculum Areas

  • Plants and Animals,
  • Citizenship and Civic Education,
  • Healthy Life Styles,
  • Personal Development,
  • Science and Technology,
  • Communications and Expressive Arts,
  • Family and Consumer Sciences,
  • Environmental Education/Earth Sciences

Animal Activities…

  • Cloverbud animal activities are designed to introduce 5 through 8 year olds to various kinds of animals and to develop safe basic care and handling skills.
  • The focus of Cloverbud animal activities is on learning through activities other than livestock showing such as clinics, skill-a-thons, and pairing up with older 4-H member “animal buddies” to learn about the care and training of the animals.
  • Because Cloverbuds do not do projects, they do not have project animals and are not permitted to have Animal Approval Forms.

Horse Activities for Cloverbuds

  • Learn horse breeds, colors, patterns
  • Learn horse body parts
  • Learn about horse nutrition and health and compare to their own needs
  • Learn about safety around horses and other animals
  • Learn horse care tools and techniques
  • Learn about tack parts, uses, and care
  • Draw horses and do other horse related art and craft projects
  • Read and write stories about horses
  • Create model horses
  • Learn about horse shows by using model horses
  • Learn about horse related jobs

Cloverbuds and Fairs

  • Cloverbuds may not participate as competitive exhibitors in any 4-H events, however, they are encouraged to participate in fairs and other county events in other ways
  • 8 year old members may participate in a non-competitive “demonstration show” with one-on-one supervision
  • 5 through 7 year olds may participate in a clinic, skill-a-thon or other educational activity with one-on-one adult supervision
  • All Cloverbud participants receive the same ribbon or other reward


  • North Carolina 4-H Cloverbud Record Book
  • Minnesota 4-H Model Horses

Any Questions?

Download a copy of the 4-H Cloverbuds and Horses PowerPoint Presentation.

Back to What Can Cloverbuds Do With Animals?