Steuart Pittman to Host Retired Racehorse Training Symposium
Crownsville, MD, USA
The event is supported by Maryland Therapeutic Riding, the Communication Alliance to Network Thoroughbred Ex-Racehorses (CANTER), Mid-Atlantic Horse Rescue, Leighton Farm, and a soon-to-be-announced roster of sponsors.
Some of the country's most successful show horses have come from racing backgrounds, including Show Jumping Hall of Famer Idle Dice and Olympic three-day eventer Courageous Comet, among many others. Recently, however, retired racehorses increasingly have been replaced by other breeds in the competitive realm, leaving many Thoroughbreds with uncertain futures after leaving the track. The recent severe reduction of races at tracks across the country, especially in Maryland, has increased the number of horses looking for homes. This event will showcase some of these horses and demonstrate their talent in other careers.
"The racing industry offers recreational and show riders a great selection of affordable horses," said Pittman, a clinician and competitor who stands the retired racehorse stallion Salute the Truth at his Dodon Farm in Davidsonville, Md. "I became a professional by training retired racehorses and I want to see more people doing the same."
Pittman will work with an assortment of demonstration riders and their retired racehorses at the symposium. Some of the presenting horses know nothing more than what they've learned from racing, and others who have competed in other disciplines for years. He will show how the balance and support offered by a jockey informs us about the skills we need as riders. He will also explain how the racehorse's finely tuned instinct for flight can work to our advantage if we establish boundaries that the horse can trust.
"Good trainers tend to agree that horses off the track not only learn fast, but also know a lot of what a sport horse needs to know. They go forward readily, and they offer us a thrilling sense of power and sensitivity," Pittman said. "In many cases, however, people attempt to train these horses before they have acquired the balance and skill needed to meet them on the terms that they understand. This symposium will offer no shortcuts or gimmicks. My hope is to inspire people to develop the skills that they need to become partners with these generous horses. Riding them is an honor, and doing it well is an obligation."
The symposium will take place in the indoor arena at Maryland Therapeutic Riding in Crownsville, MD from 1-5 p.m. with an intermission. Click here for tickets to this event.
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