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Resources include the Horsemanship merit badge worksheet in PDF format Adobe Acrobat PDF and Word format Microsoft Word DOC document, links, and cross-references to related badges and awards.
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This is the Horsemanship merit badge for Scouts, Lone Scouts, and qualified Venturers or Sea Scouts.
Venturers can complete the Equestrian elective for the Ranger Award.

Horsemanship merit badge
Status: Elective
Created: 1911
Renamed from: Horseman
BSA Advancement ID: 063
Requirements revision: 2013
Latest pamphlet revision: 2013


In addition to learning how to safely ride and care for horses, Scouts who earn this merit badge will gain an understanding of the instincts and behaviors of horses and humane and effective methods for training horses.

Horsemanship merit badge requirements

  1. Do the following:
    a. Describe the safety precautions you should take when handling and caring for a horse.
    b. Describe the fire safety precautions you should take in a barn and around horses.
  2. Name 15 main parts of a horse.
  3. Name four 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:
    a. Name 10 parts of the saddle and bridle that you will use, and explain how to care for this equipment.
    b. Show how to properly saddle and bridle a horse.
    c. 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:
    a. walk the horse in a straight line for 60 feet.
    b. Walk the horse in a half circle of not more than 16 feet in radius.
    c. Trot or jog the horse in a straight line for 60 feet.
    d. Trot or jog the horse in a half circle of not more than 30 feet in radius.
    e. Halt straight.
    f. Back up straight four paces.
    g. Halt and dismount.

The official source for the information shown in this article or section is:
Scouts BSA Requirements, 2019 Edition (BSA Supply SKU #648914)

View the change list (history) of these requirements. The text of these requirements may be locked. In that case, they can only be edited
by an administrator.
Please note any errors found in the above requirements on this article's Talk Page.


Worksheet A FREE workbook for Horsemanship is available here! (PDF or Word) with the maps, charts, links, diagrams, and checklists you need! Or click here to print just the Horsemanship requirements. has PDF and Word versions of workbooks for Scouts BSA ranks and merit badges, Cub Scouting ranks and adventures, and STEM Nova awards.

Horsemanship merit badge is an option for the National Outdoor Badge for Riding.
  1. See the Guide to Safe Scouting for guidance for Horsemanship Activities]
  2. The Horsemanship merit badge was one of the original 57 merit badges issued by the Boy Scouts of America in 1911.
  3. Horsemanship replaced the 1910 Horseman "Badge of Merit".

Requirement resources

1, 8, 9, 10, 11. ExpertVillage Horsemanship Lesson Videos & How to Ride: Lead - Lead & Tie - Mount - Mount & Discmount - Rider Position - Canter - Lope - Back up - Jog - Trot - Gallop - Exercise - Lateral Work
2. A diagram of a horse is in the workbook (PDF Adobe Acrobat PDF or Word Microsoft Word DOC document) - Parts of a horse.
3. Popular Horse Breeds -all Horse Breeds 4. Saddle parts and care - Saddle - Bridle
5. Bathing & Grooming a horse - Hooves
6. Horse Diseases

Related awards

Sports-related awards
Hobby-related awards

See also

Scouts BSA portal
Venturing portal
Sea Scout portal
General Merit Badge information

External links

Personal tools