A 20 question evaluation instrument was developed in order to determine whether enrollment and participation in a college level horse judging course could produce changes in students perceptions of their critical thinking and/or life skills abilities. Seven (N=7) students enrolled in a Horse Selection and Evaluation class at the University of Connecticut were asked to respond to the questions based on their current and prior experiences in five areas - judging ability, decision-making, public speaking, self-evaluation, and teamsmanship. The mean pre- to post- changes were significant on 15 of the questions at the P<.005 level, four of the questions were significant at the P<.01 level, and one question at the P<.05 level. It was concluded that the instrument was useful in determining the effectiveness of the horse judging experience in the development of critical life skills and that data generated by this instrument would be effective in both recruitment of students into judging classes, and in justifying the continuance and support of this type of learning experience at the university level.
horse judging, critical thinking, life skills