Mother Nature played a dirty trick last weekend and caused cancellation of most horse-related events around the area, including the New Kids' Horse Show, which was to have been the subject of this column. So it is time to catch up on some long-neglected news.
The Mid-Maryland Horse and Pony Association has a new, permanent home for shows this year. All 1993 MHPA shows will be held at the Howard County Fairgrounds, said association recording secretary Lynda Arnold.
"Everything we need is right there," Arnold said of the new show site. "They have two show rings, nice bathrooms and lots of parking."
This year's MHPA show dates are March 28, April 25, May 9, July 4, July 18, Aug. 8, Oct. 3 and Oct. 24. For information about the shows or the association, call Arnold at (410) 875-2050.
Kudos to MHPA for adding lots of new classes for adults to their 1993 shows. The new classes include novice level walk-trot and walk-trot-canter classes on the flat and over-fences classes at 18 inches and 2 feet.
Lyons session set
Renowned horse trainer John Lyons will be holding one of his well-regarded program-symposium-clinic sessions at Arden Farms in Crownsville April 16-21. Lyons' training videos, "Round Pen Reasoning" and "Leading and Loading Safely," are among the best-selling horse-related tapes. Lyons is the author of the book "Lyons on Horses."
During the two-hour Friday night program, Lyons will demonstrate how to gain better control of your horse and how to get your horse to respond to your cues more quickly.
During the two-day weekend clinic, Lyons will go through his training program, which applies to English and Western riding.
The hands-on three-day clinic will involve 10 selected participants who bring their horses to work with Lyons. Observers are encouraged to attend the clinic. For more information on the clinic, or to register, contact Norma Scherring at (410) 239-4221.
Each year in Maryland there are hundreds of riding accidents -- some not so serious and others very serious. A new national study, which was released by the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and funded by the George Sniveley Research Foundation of Hobbs, N.M., found that in 1991 horseback riding was the fourth leading cause of cases treated in emergency rooms.
Even more distressing is that riders accounted for one out of four concussions admitted to emergency rooms. Public health officials note that many of the head injuries would not have been as serious if riders had been wearing protective helmets. Come on, people. Now is the time to start wearing your protective headgear.
I can't believe it when I travel around Carroll and Howard counties to barns and horse events and see people riding without helmets. Why would anyone in this day of rising health and insurance costs get on a horse to do anything -- even dressage or Western riding -- without protective headgear? I suggest that insurance companies not cover any riding injury that occurs when the rider is not wearing protective headgear.
If concern for their safety and lives won't wake up riders, maybe an assault on the pocketbook will.
The New Kids' Horse Show, scheduled for Feb. 28 but postponed because of weather, has been rescheduled for May 29.
March 13 -- Pony racing clinics at the Conaways farm in Taylorsville. (410) 875-2287.