AUGUSTA, Maine — The 15th annual Northeast Horsemen’s Conference and Trade Show will be held Saturday-Sunday, Jan. 17-18, at the Augusta Civic Center. The show will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
“This event has enjoyed steady growth year after year in Augusta, reflecting the appreciation of horse people in Maine and throughout the Northeast and their enjoyment of coming together at that time of year in a spirit of unity, fellowship and curiosity,’’ show producer Tom Clark said.
The conference will offer horse-related topics by more than 25 nationally and regionally recognized guest experts. “They will be talking horses from every angle, for every taste and skill level,’’ Clark said.
Included will be a panel discussion, “Your Next Horse? Making the Appropriate and Suitable Choice,” featuring Dr. Janelle Durrett-Tirrell, Sherrye Johnson-Trafton, Anna Welch and Sara Bradley.
Four of Maine’s pre-eminent farriers, with more than 100 years of combined experience, are returning to the show. They are Fred Bowers, Tom O’Connell, John Trafton and Dave Whitaker, and they will participate in an open discussion forum.
Bob Jeffreys and Suzanne Sheppard will team up to present sessions on cantering as well as methods to deal with misbehaving horses. They also will discuss the integration of natural horsemanship and classical training.
Lucille Bump will offer a presentation on centered riding’s four basics as well as the biomechanics of the rider. Durrett-Tirrell will discuss veterinary issues and address questions regarding health concerns. Other topics include forage and feed combinations, a reading list for riders, nutrition and cost effectiveness, horse training philosophies, how riders can work through anxiety and fear, vacationing with a horse in Maine, and insurance for the horse and homeowner.
The Central Maine Team Penning Association will hold a discussion as will the Maine Equestrian Trails Alliance. Dozens of vendors will exhibit equine products and services, from saddles and tack to feed and building construction, training facilities to insurance, clothing and accessories to books and gifts.
A special feature initiated at last year’s event will be a fashion show hosted by Katahdin Trail Saddlery of Newport. There also will be a popular Equine Photo Contest and Exhibition.
“We anticipate a weekend of camaraderie and commerce,’’ Clark said.
For information, call 860-537-9119, or visit www.nhcts.com for a full schedule of events.