Horsemanship Merit Badge Pamphlet Horsemanship Merit Badge


Requirements were REVISED effective January 1, 2014.
A new pamphlet was issued during 2013.

New text is in bold GREEN underlined Serif text like this sentence.
Deleted portions are struck through RED italic text like this sentence.

To see the requirements, without the changes highlighted, Click here.

For the previous requirements, Click here.

  1. Do the following:
    1. Describe the safety precautions you should take when handling and caring for a horse.
    2. Describe the fire safety precautions you should take in a barn and around horses.
  2. Name the 15 main parts of a horse.
  3. Name four leading breeds of horses. Explain the special features for which each breed is known.
  4. Describe the symptoms of colic. Name and describe four other horse health problems.
  5. Explain what conformation is and why it is important. Explain the difference between lameness and unsoundness.
  6. Explain the importance of hoof care and why a horse might need to wear shoes.
  7. Demonstrate how to groom a horse, including picking hooves and caring for a horse after a ride.
  8. Explain how to determine what and how much to feed a horse and why the amount and kind of feed are changed according to the activity level and the breed of horse.
  9. Do the following:
    1. Name 10 parts of the saddle and bridle that you will use, and explain how to care for this equipment.
    2. Show how to properly saddle and bridle a horse.
    3. Demonstrate how to safely mount and dismount a horse.
  10. Explain and demonstrate how to approach and lead a horse safely from a stall, corral, or field and how to tie the horse securely.
  11. On level ground, continuously do the following movements after safely mounting the horse. Do them correctly, at ease, and in harmony with the horse:
    1. Walk the horse in a straight line for 60 feet.
    2. Walk the horse in a half circle of not more than 16 feet in radius.
    3. Trot or jog the horse in a straight line for 60 feet.
    4. Trot or jog the horse in a half circle of not more than 30 feet in radius.
    5. Lope (canter) the horse in a straight line for at least 60 feet.
      f. Lope (canter) the horse in a half-circle not more than 30 feet in radius.
      g. Halt straight.
    6. h. Back up straight four paces
    7. i. Halt and dismount.
Note:  The changes to requirement 11 shown above are directly the result of a note on page 68 of the current merit badge pamphlet, which now states that the ability to lope or canter a horse is more than what is required to earn the Horsemanship merit badge.

BSA Advancement ID#: 063
Requirements last updated in: 2013
Pamphlet Publication Number: 35909
Pamphlet Stock (SKU) Number: 618653
Pamphlet Revision Date: 2013

Worksheets for use in working on these requirements: Format
Word Format PDF Format

Blanks in this worksheets table appear when we do not have a worksheet for the badge that includes these requirements.

Page updated on: November 18, 2021

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