Over the previous decade, the number of upper level event horses that remain at the highest levels of the sport for extended periods of time has anecdotally been dwindling. Also, it is rare to see horses return to represent the U.S. on international teams. This discussion features statistics provided by the USEA and EquiRatings to strengthen our understanding of this issue and perspectives from coaches, trainers, riders, grooms, and veterinary professionals on the possible reasons and solutions.
One of the biggest mistakes we make with young horses is asking too much of them for too long. The ones that find something easy are often the ones you need to be most cautious of pushing too much, as it doesn’t actually feel like you’re pushing them. Then at some point down the road they start to worry, struggle and often hit a training ‘plateau’.
“Our country has the biggest attrition rate in eventing than any other country. I believe we don't let our horses rest long enough. We compete too much and don't condition enough.” One of the most familiar faces in eventing, Max Corcoran is the go-to girl for horse welfare.