Young Horse Training Symposium with Scott Hassler

by Gigha Steinman, River Oaks Farm

The Young Horse Training Symposium with Scott Hassler took place Saturday, January 27, 2007, at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center (Jacksonville, Florida.) Scott Hassler has become almost a household name among young horse trainers, but for anyone not familiar with him he is the United States Equestrian Federation’s Young Horse Dressage Coach, and trained for many years at Hilltop Farm.

The symposium was hosted by the American Hanoverian Society, and each of the demonstration horses was a Hanoverian. Some of these lovely horses came from as far away as North Carolina, South Carolina, New Hampshire, and Indiana.

There were several general themes carried out throughout the day. When horses would make a mistake, Hassler was always quick to say “it’s no big deal” or “it never happened”, and he encouraged riders always to ride the future and not the past, meaning not to get hung up in a small mistake, instead just try again, or “just do it, like Nike”. Hassler had a wonderfully encouraging upbeat attitude throughout the day, and says he really enjoys working with young horses, often comparing them to children.