Introducing Sharon Stearns

Sharon Stearns is a lifelong horse owner, competitor, pleasure rider, who owns Sharon L Stearns CPA PLLC and Five Meadows Farm LLC.  Sharon enjoys volunteering for 4-H, helping others learn to ride, and spending time out on the trail with one of her 6 horses or working with her dogs, when she isn't doing accounting work.  Sharon and her husband, Gordon, owner of G. S. Painting & Maintenance Services, LLC, have raised two daughters who are college age with horses and have lived in Brandon, VT for the past 30 years

Meet Diana Huntley

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Diana Huntley was an avid event rider for over a decade. She trained at Hitching Post fam, Stonleigh Burnham, and Huntington farms among many others. She was a young rider, competing at the preliminary level. She also enjoys learning and doing all discipline, including trail riding, doing the 100 mile in Woodstock. She resides in Sharon, VT where she raised her two children and many animals. Diana is a therapeutic riding instructor at High Horses for the last five years after volunteering and becoming a passionate advocate for the program. She is also a nurse at the Woodstock Terrace which she also thoroughly enjoys. Diana continues her education as a life long learner, always looking to fine tune her crafts. 


Vice President Candidate, Chelle Grald

Hello! I live in Weathersfield, VT, with my husband, Eric, and three gaited pleasure horses. For the past five years, I have been the Trails & Rides Manager at the Green Mountain Horse Association. My experience in running organized trail rides and managing a very large privately-owned trail system has been helpful in serving VHC as a Board member in 2018. Now that I am stepping back from my role at GMHA, I would like to become more involved with VHC. I have been active in VHC for the past three years, primarily as a trails advocate. I am trained in sustainable equestrian trail design, construction and maintenance and have offered help to the Vermont FPR and the Green Mountain National Forest. We have several projects in the planning stages where VHC is working with those entities to expand or establish equestrian trails on public land. I have authored several articles on trail topics and have spoken at the Vermont Recreation Conference. I will be speaking at the International Trails Symposium in Syracuse, NY this Spring on the topic of conflict on multi-use trails. For the past 2 years, I have been VHC’s delegate to the Coalition of State Horse Councils meeting. I look forward to continuing to learn from other Horse Councils and bringing that knowledge back to Vermont. I see the most important initiatives coming for VHC in 2019 to be: completion of the Economic Impact Study, execution of the new MOU with Vermont FPR for trails, continued advocacy and work on public trails all across the state and the growth of our membership and donation base. I will be out of state during the Annual Meeting, unfortunately, but I hope you will consult with others on the Board who have worked closely with me over the past few years and feel free to reach out to me by email with questions. 

Jeannette Cole, Membership Role Candidate

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Jeannette Cole, here (This picture was taken in California at LS Ranch under the tutelage of Dave Ellis. I am riding a nice Atwood QH, Flash). Remembering the good time I had there and how much there is to learn about horses! Anyhow, I am pleased to continue to serve the Vermont Horse Council in a different capacity in 2019. I am not running for an officer position this year, but instead will assume the membership duties from Doug Smith in 2019. Hopefully each of you will support my desire to assume the remaining BOD term that Morris Lasell is vacating. My election to this role will help to provide continued continuity on the Board and will also allow me continued activity in the governance of the Vermont Horse Council. I am stepping away from the Newsletter editor position and am still looking for a successor. In the membership role, I will be an active liaison to our treasurer/bookkeeper, Nancy Palermo-Lee. I am so proud of the educational activities that have been provided to members in 2018 and look forward to generating more of the same in 2019. So far, I have lined up three and will be unveiling those at the Annual Meeting on January 26, 2019. Meanwhile save the following dates for these events: MAY 18, 2019 and JUNE 9, 2019 and JULY 13, 2019

MEETING THE 2019 CANDIDATES!

As our annual meeting approaches, you will be seeing blogs on each of the candidates.  Meet Amanda who is running for a BOD seat this year.

I'm very excited to be joining the board of VHC. I've been involved in the horse community in Vermont my entire life and I'm excited to take this new step in supporting this community. As a member of the board I hope to encourage more educational opportunities to be offered by VHC and work toward getting more of the horse community involved in working together for the benefit of all. If anyone wants to reach out to me I can be contacted through email at Wenortheast1@gmail.com and found on Facebook at Working Equitation Northeast.

 

Amanda Lamoureux is a lifelong equestrian and 5th generation Vermonter. She got her first pony at age 3 and never looked back. She started formal lessons at age 10 in dressage. As a teen she did dressage, eventing, 4H, pony club, AQHA juniors and rode any horse she could get her hands on at many central vermont stables. As a young adult she focused on eventing working at Mad River stables and Hitching post farm.  She then took a short break and trained dogs for a few years before coming back to horses as the equine manager for High horses Therapeutic riding program in 2008 and offering private lessons and clinics.  Amanda has taught riding in and explored many different disciplines including dressage, eventing, gymkhana, fox hunting, extreme cowboy challenges, jumpers, endurance, and versatility. She has now settled in to a focus on Working Equitation which is a new and fast growing sport that combines dressage and obstacles with the focus on the abilities of a working horse. She currently is the facility and equine manager for High Horses Therapeutic riding program, trainer and clinician of Working Equitation Northeast and in training to be a working equitation judge. She has 3 horses; Poe is a 12 year old Mustang cross, Odin is a 5 year old Friesian heritage horse, and Dragonfly is an 8 month old Friesian heritage horse. She lives in Sharon Vermont with her husband, 3 sons, a cat and a dog.

WARNING OF BY LAW CHANGES; WARNING OF ELECTION OF OFFICERS ; WARNING OF ANNUAL MEETING AGENDA

NOTICE TO ALL VERMONT HORSE COUNCIL MEMBERS

 ****MEMBERSHIP MUST PAID IN FULL FOR 2019
IN ORDER TO VOTE******

WARNING OF BY LAW CHANGES; WARNING OF ELECTION OF OFFICERS ; WARNING OF ANNUAL MEETING AGENDA

Please note that the following changes are being proposed to the VHC bylaws.  These changes will be brought before the membership at the January 26, 2019 annual meeting (the meeting will be held at the Capital Plaza, Montpelier, VT from 10 am - 3 pm).

 

AGENDA FOR THE MEETING:

10 am - 10:30 am           Meet and Greet (Membership renewal if needed)

10:30 am - Noon            Business Meeting

                                         - Secretary Report from 2018 Annual Meeting (January 20, 2018)

                                         - 2018 Treasurer's Report 

                                         - 2019 Proposed Budget

                                         - Year in Review

                                         - Voting for 2019 Officers

Noon - 1 pm                  Buffet Lunch ($25.00 person - see website for signing up)

1pm - 1:30 pm              Recognition of Horse Person of the Year

1:30 pm - 1:45 pm        Election Results

1:45 pm - 2:30 pm        Trail Riding Lake to Lake (Jean Audet - BOD member presenting)

2:30 pm - 3 pm             Questions/Member Input/Closing Remarks/Adjourn Annual Meeting

___________________________

 

If you are unable to attend the Annual Meeting in person, officer voting may be mailed to the VHC Secretary (Sue Boyer, 274 Cascade Falls, Perkinsville, VT 05151).  Please put your return address on the outside of the envelope.  Envelopes will be validated for 2019 membership and then opened at the annual meeting for tabulation.  Returning BOD members include Gloria Bruce (expires 2021), Jean Audet (expires 2021), Jim Nickerson (expires 2020), Peter Otto (expires 2022).

 

BALLOT FOR OFFICERS

|__|  PRESIDENT - Sue Miller           or            |__|  Write in candidate ___________________

|__| VICE PRESIDENT - Chelle Grald    or       |__|  Write in candidate ___________________

|__| SECRETARY - Diana Huntley           or      |__| Write in candidate ___________________

|__| BOD (expire 2020) Jeannette Cole or Amanda Lamoureux or Sharon Stearns or a write in candidate (post vacated by Morris Lasell resignation)

|__| BOD (expire 2021) Amanda Lamoureux or Sharon Stearns or a write in candidate
 (post vacated by Chelle Grald VP candidate)

|__| BOD (expire 2023) Amanda Lamoureux or Sharon Stearns or a write in candidate
(post vacated by Heidi Krantz - term over 2018)

|__| TREASURER - Nancy Palermo-Lee     or  |__| Write in candidate ____________________

 

The Vermont Farm Bureau has requested comment from you regarding their lobbying efforts.

Equine Farm Owners:

The Vermont Farm Bureau has requested comment from you regarding their lobbying efforts.  Currently “Farming” is per 10 V.S.A. 6001(22) as “…(G) the raising, feeding, or management of four or more equines owned or boarded by the farmer, including training, showing, and providing instruction and lessons in riding, training, and management of equines.”  Please see the attached focus for the Farm Bureau regarding equines.  YOUR INPUT IS IMPORTANT!  Please send your comments to Joe Tisbert, Vermont Farm Bureau President, 117 West Main Street, Richmond, VT 05477 or on line at www.vtfb.org



October 2018 VHC Meeting News

Kate Scarlott of Windhorse Rieki and Acupressure joined the Vermont Horse Council in Saint Johnsbury last weekend share her knowledge and passion for animal care with VHC members at our membership meeting. Hosted by Mielle Fox, owner of Willoughby View Farm, we learned about how Tucker Biokinetics Technique and acupressure help support and heal your hurting horse. 

The next VHC meeting is the annual meeting on Jan. 26 at the Capitol Plaza in Montpelier - check our website for details!

--VHC Board

Join Two Important VHC Board Meetings

Nov. 20 - Join the VHC Board at 7:00 pm for a telephone meeting to discuss our pending cooperative agreement with the Agency of Natural Resources, Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation.

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By entering into this agreement the Vermont Horse Council will work closely with the state to develop and maintain equestrian trails and amenities on state lands and to work with local horse owners to monitor and maintain these resources.

Dec. 13 - 7:00 pm. The final Board meeting for 2018. The agenda will be prepared soon.

Contact VHC President Jeannette Cole for detail about joining these calls.

VHC Trail Presentation at Vermont Outdoor Recreation Conference

VHC Board member was invited to speak at the Vermont Outdoor Recreation Conference, held October 10-11 in Fairlee, Vermont. She was part of a panel entitled, Multi-Use Trails: How to Keep Everyone Equally Pleased. Her co-panelists were Cindy Locke from VAST, Greg Western from the Cross Vermont Trail, Steve Lotspeich, Community Planner for Waterbury, and Walter Opusynski, Field Recreation Specialist from the Agency of Natural Resources. They met a few times before the session to discuss the topics that each of panelist would address in their 10 minute presentations. Walter moderated the session. Cindy discussed volunteers & partnerships, Greg discussed trail design considerations, Steve discussed planning, and Michelle discussed User Conflict. Questions were answered collectively later in the session.

The session was extremely well received. It also helped us to establish stronger relationships with the other panelists, who are all good people to know. Already, two tangible opportunities have come from this exercise. Walter asked VHC to participate in a visit to the Fosters Trail in Waterbury to determine ways to make it open and safe for equestrians, adding to the trail system in that area. Also, Greg has offered to mentor VHC on some trail construction in Barre and Groton next summer, and he has offered to come and look at the Ascutney Trail Around the Mountain with his multi-use trail design viewpoint. Michelle  hasoften shared  that it is really important for equestrians to take our seat at the table in the outdoor recreation community and make our presence known - not just for the Vermont Horse Council as an organization, but for each of us as individual users of trail resources.


 Organizations such as the Vermont Mountain Bike Association and VAST are successful in part because of local "boots on the ground" around the state. Help VHC build its trail support system by volunteering to attend meetings and help with local projects. Please contact the VHC at vthorsecouncil@gmail.com if you'd like to learn more about how you can help with trail related concerns such as access and maintenance.

- Vermont Horse Council

Mark Your Calendar for the Annual VHC Meeting Jan. 26

courtesy of capital Plaza Hotel

courtesy of capital Plaza Hotel

All VHC Members:

The Vermont Horse Council Annual Meeting will be held on January 26, 2019 from 10 am - 3 pm at Capital Plaza in Montpelier, Vermont.  Please save the date.  More information regarding the agenda and cost will be forthcoming, but we wanted to be sure this date was reserved on your calendars. According to official by-laws, a meeting warning letter will be coming out in December 2018.  

Jeannette Cole, VHC President

VHC invites you to join us at Willougby View Equestrian Ctr. for our Membership Meeting

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The Vermont Horse Council invites you to join us at the Willougby View Equestrian Center in St. Johnsbury for our membership meeting. The meeting will be followed by a break for lunch and then an outstanding workshop; details follow: 

"Tucker Biokinetics Technique" (TBT) was created by Dr. Renee Tucker, author of 'Where Does My Horse Hurt'. Dr. Tucker is a veterinarian certified in acupuncture and chiropractic. She developed TBT after seeing chiropractic adjustments not holding, requiring repeated treatments, and sometimes not addressing the primary issue(s). TBT is an energetic alignment modality which works by connecting with Biokinetic Masterpoints. TBT "informs" the neurovascular, musculoskeletal and other systems that the new alignment is taking place. Thus, muscle memory is eliminated, saving repeat misalignments and repetitive treatments. The work of both TBT and Acupressure are to get to the core of what is causing a horse or other animal's movement restriction, illness, emotional imbalance or other health issues and to fix it to the greatest extent possible. Both techniques are gentle, safe, and very effective and engage and work with the animal's powerful ability to heal itself, which brings lasting healing at all levels -- emotional, physical, mental and in the spirit."

LOCATION: Willoughby View Farm, St Johnsbury, VT
TIMES: Meeting from 10:00 - 11:30 am; lunch from 11:30 - noon; event from noon to 2:00 pm.

Fosters Trail at Cotton Brook State Forest

Board members Chele Grald, Jean Audet and Heidi Krantz hiked the Fosters Trail at Cotton Brook State Forest with Forests, Park and Recreation staff and representatives of the local mountain bike community to explore ways to open this trail to equestrian use. This is a hilly trail with some challenging site lines, but we all thought there were some options to consider. The conversations that happened throughout the day allowed us all to learn more about our user groups and our shared love of being outdoors.

September 8 & 9 VHC Events

Thanks to Peter and Judith Otto and Jim Nickerson and his dog Charlie, we won't have to do the limbo on the Willoughby State Park Ride on Sept. 9. They did an awesome job clearing the trails to provide a clear path for this fabulous ride! 

SIgn up today for the  Willoughby State Forest Trail Ride. Members are free and registration goes to the VHC Scholarship Fund.

While you're at it - come to the VHC Membership Meeting  (click here for the agenda)  on Sept. 8 at Missisquoi Stables and stay for the Equine First Aid Clinic. Register here for the Clinic, there is still time!  

VHC Equine Industry Economic Industry Study on WCAX

The VHC Equine Industry Economic Industry Study is underway. Surveys have been collected at more than 10 events so far this year.

Consider a donation to help us continue this valuable work. To learn more about the study watch this recent piece on WCAX:  http://www.wcax.com/video?vid=490196801

And please donate by clicking here.

Thank you,
Heidi Krantz

Act 250 Meeting Dates

Dear VHC Members:

I try not to inundate you with blog posts, but this one is quite important and your attendance to one of the meetings as well as your help in spreading the information to your other horse buddies who might not be seeing this blog would be greatly appreciated.  Being present to show the horse community numbers might be all that you feel comfortable doing and that is just fine.  However, if you do feel like speaking up, some talking points are included below.  Please remember to always remain respectful with your input.  Thank you in advance for helping the greater equine community.  

Most Sincerely,
Jeannette Cole VHC President


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The Vermont Horse Council Board of Directors encourages the equestrian community to consider attending one of the upcoming Agency of Natural Resources regional summits that they are hosting to gather input about Act 250, including its impact on trails in Vermont. The Commission on Act 250: The Next 50 Years was established by the Vermont Legislature to work on modernizing Act 250, which has regulated development in the state since June 1970.

 

We think it is important that the Commission hear voices of the trails, equestrian, and outdoor recreation community during this process.  The meeting dates and locations follow:

* Randolph - July 25 - 6-8 pm

* Island Pond - Aug. 22 - 6-8 pm at American Legion

* Rutland - Sept. 5 - 6-8 pm at Franklin Conference Center

* Burlington Sept. 12 - 6-8 pm at Burlington Elks Club

The Vermont Horse Council supports the work of the Commission as conservation, and environmental protection are of great importance to us. However, we are considerate that Act 250 regulation can at times create confusing, expensive, and time-consuming challenges to trail management and development.

We invite you to attend these meetings to voice the importance and benefit of Vermont trails as you see them.  If you can attend one of these meetings, please respectfully and constructively share your reasons for supporting trails as invaluable resources that support the State of Vermont.

With thanks,

Jeannette Cole, President

To follow are a few links about Act 250 and the Commission for your review and consideration:

http://vnrc.org/our_featured_work/commission-on-act-250-begins-public-forums-across-vermont/

https://legislature.vermont.gov/committee/detail/2018/333

http://nrb.vermont.gov/act250-program