Lexington, KY - Continuing the Markel/USEF Young Horse training and observation session program, Twinwood Equestrian Center in Simonton, TX hosted the fourth session of 2012, April 14-15. Led by USEF Young Horse Coach Scott Hassler, this was the first time a session has been hosted in Texas, an area that has proven to produce a wealth of successful young horses.
"Texas and the surrounding area have consistently had high participation in the Markel/USEF Young Horse Program and the Markel/USEF Young Horse National Championships", said Hassler. "The Young Horse program here continually proves its quality as the group of horses here is of diverse breed and largely dominated by U.S. bred horses. From this training session, I was very impressed with the quality of horses and riders and quite certain that we'll see some of them at the Championships in August."
Eleven riders participated in the two-day session, presenting 12 horses that included five four-year-olds, three five-year-olds and four six-year-olds. Of these 12 horses, 11 were U.S. bred, including several from Oak Hill Ranch, breeders of 2011 Pan American Team Gold and Individual Silver medalist Paragon. Hassler worked individually with each combination, developing enhanced training practices and fine-tuning movements. In addition, an evening lecture and open discussion with Hassler was held for both the riders and auditors.
"Scott's insight is valuable for determining when certain exercises are appropriate for the different stages of development for young horses," said rider/owner Nancy Hinz, who has been involved with the Markel/USEF Young Horse Program for the last six years.
The next Markel/USEF Young Horse training session will be held in conjunction with the Central Young Horse Selection Trial for the FEI World Breeding Championships, May 18-20 at Lamplight Equestrian Center in Wayne, IL. Riders interested in participating in this training session should email Hallye Griffin, USEF Director of National Dressage at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further information on the Markel/USEF Young Horse Dressage Program please visit: http://www.usef.org/_IFrames/breedsdisciplines/discipline/alldressage/NatlYHProgram.aspx.
Photos: The training session group in Texas. (Photo provided by USEF Archives); Scott Hassler with Kalie Beckers and Bienvenu ZSH. (Photo provided by USEF Archives)