At the Maryland Junior Hunt Cup, pint sized jockeys and their saddled sidekicks gather each year to compete in 11 races at Shawan Downs. The races cover a full spread of equine excellence, including lead line trot, pony flat, and junior steeplechase races, and the lineup of leg-powered performances promises to provide riders young and old with inspirational strides, horseletic feats, and photo finishes unseen since the days when jockeys worked the one-hour camera shop. Those filled with equine jealousy can test their own hooves by entering the Peoplechase or the Stick Pony Race.
Baltimore County's history stretches back nearly four centuries, and tracing and chronicling some 350 years of records, artifacts, and photographs is no small task. Just ask the Historical Society of Baltimore County, which houses thousands of historical pieces, including maps, photos, and books in an 1870s almshouse turned research center. The library houses hundreds of maps and primary sources from centuries past.
Quest for equestrian success at Featherdown Farm, where you'll learn healthy horseplay and care such as grooming, brushing, and hoof picking, in addition to the finer points of riding. Each two-hour lesson ($45 per hour) is led by one of Featherdown's expert instructors, who will provide riders with comprehensive breakdowns and horses with enough affection to turn any night mare into a daydreaming, rainbow-sneezing unicorn. Lessons are English style, not Western style, and are tailored to all experience levels.
All In Stride Equestrian Center is open year-round with horse-related activities surrounded by more than 100 acres of picturesque countryside in Parkton, Maryland. Owners Barry and Wendy Kraus have put together a staff of dedicated instructors. All in Stride provides riding lessons, trail rides, and boarding services, as well as birthday-party packages for children. Lessons range from learning the basics for beginning equestrians, such as how to properly tack a horse, to more advanced concepts such as showing horses on a national level. Often, All in Stride takes advantage of its prime countryside spot by following trails into the nearby Hereford Area of Gunpowder Falls State Park.
Long considered the exclusive realm of royalty, polo players, and knights whose sedans got towed, horseback riding isn't a skill everyone has had the chance to take on. But with a visit to Amazing Grace Equestrian Center's 77 acres, even first-time riders can confidently grab the reins. An array of training programs, including private, group, and summer lessons, is available to accommodate students' varying schedules and learning goals. And with fully-stocked facilities?including an arena, stables, indoor and outdoor rings, trails, and even an aquatic treadmill?the center has space for students to hone many different equestrian skills.