Learn about equine lameness and Support the VHC!

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Learn about equine lameness and Support the VHC!

April 8 Equine Lameness Clinic at Lazy Acres Equines 867 Pearl St., Brandon

Featuring Dr. Matt Rose, DVM and Ellen Miller of Ellen Miller Riding School

Potluck lunch, Great information, Kick off the Spring Riding Season!

Proceeds support the programs of the Vermont Horse Council

go to www.vthorsecouncil.org to register

Important 2017 Priorities Link -Newsletter Correction

To all VHC members:  my feedback request is working.  I have had several comments about the newsletter.  Thank you all who have sent encouragement, to those of you who have sent improvement ideas, to those of you who have sent pictures for the next newsletter and finally to those of you who have found errors.  To that point, the link to the important 2017 priorities was broken and therefore didn’t open properly.  Here is the corrected link https://www.vthorsecouncil.org/committees.

Thank you again for all of your support to our organization. 

Most sincerely,
Jeannette Cole, VP VHC and Newsletter Editor

Call to Action -March 6, 2017

Hello VHC Members and Friends,

The Vermont Farm Bureau has been working to change the definition of farming to more fully include equine establishments. I’ve pasted below, in italics the most recent language that has been presented to the House Committee of Agriculture and Forestry and the Senate Committee on Agriculture. VHC Secretary, Terry Rose and I spoke before these committees in February, and they are primed to hear from their constituents. I am meeting with Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets, Anson Tebbetts later this month and will bring this message to him as well.

We need your help to advance this change! Please follow up with your representatives and senators to support this change. We need the most help in the house. A call, letter or email goes a long way – VHC can’t lobby, but as voters, you can reach out to your senators and representatives. You can find their contact info at Find Your Legislator

Among the items you could address are:

1. Change language from equality issues to horse farms should be encouraged as preferred rural development
2.  Change it from receiving tax advantages to horse farms support the rural economy: hiring employees, paying property tax, paying education tax while putting very little demand on the public purse, considerably less than housing developments.
3. Change it from loss of farmers and farms in the next fifteen years through retirement to make Vermont open for horse businesses.
4. Change it from loss of equipment dealers, open lands and feed and seed dealers to horse farms will keep them operating.

Add your own thoughts. You'll need to start the conversation now in crossover week when your legislators are home.  Talk to your own legislators and get them to talk to Dick Lawrence, R, Caledonia county and/ or Carolyn Partridge, D, Windham County. They listen to their constituents!!!

Thank you for taking action –

Heidi Krantz, President
Vermont Horse Council

Here is the info sent by Lyn DesMarais of the Farm Bureau to The Committee Chairs:

Dear Chairman Starr, Vice Chairman Pollina, Madam Chair Partridge and Vice Chairman Lawrence, 

Our horse farmers understand your concerns that they produce neither food nor fiber. But like ornamental plants, farm stands and Christmas trees,  they do believe that they are an integral part of Vermont's agricultural working landscape.  They also believe that they, through the care and handling of their animals, feed, haying, manure management and the like, engage in more  purely agricultural practices than some diversified agri-businesses. 

Mainly they want to wholly belong and to be treated equally by all Vermont agencies as agriculture and not just by a few.  Vermont Farm Bureau policy fully supports this request.  
We'd like to ask you to amend the definition of a farmer in the current use law which is found at 32 VSA chapter 124 , section 3752(7)  (it would be a new small Roman numeral 4 or (iv))  to be the same as the language below, which is also from Vermont statute,  Act 250. 
It is the definition of farming found in 10 VSA (section) 6001 (22)(G): 

(iv) who is engaged in 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 the management of equines.




Midstate Riding Club Drill Team

Equestrian Announcement

Are you looking for some exercise for your body and mind? Would your horse benefit from the same? Then please come and join the Midstate Riding Club drill team.

Equestrian drill teams have evolved from their original military origin into synchronized, precision maneuvers on horseback purely for the enjoyment of participants and a variety of audiences. Horses learn to modulate their gaits effectively, work in close proximity with other horses and become softly responsive to rider cues. Teams can consist of 4 to 20 members and often perform to audiences worldwide. Two famous drill teams of note are the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Queen’s Guard. Competitions are held within the United States under the governance of the United States Equestrian Drill Association (USEDA). This might be our future vision, but for our team, we will start with the basics.

We will begin human practice on April 6, 2017 at 6 pm at Charlie Ballou’s indoor arena. The address is 3138 West Street, Brookfield, VT 05036. All you need to bring is your enthusiasm. Drill safety, patterns and music will be the order of business for the first four weeks.

May 4, 2017, weather permitting; we will bring our horses to the Midstate Riding Ring in Randolph, Vermont. From that day through September 7, 2017 we will improve our drill skills with our horses each week.

All members are welcome to attend free of charge. Jeannette Cole will be the drill coach and will offer guidance and encouragement from the ground. If you are not a member, but would like to join the group please access the membership form on the Midstate Riding Club website (http://www.midstateridingclubvt.org).

All sessions start at 6 pm and end at 7 pm. Helmets are required for all mounted sessions. We will start slowly, working at a walk or a trot. Therefore, if you are a beginner to drill team we hope you will feel quite welcome. These sessions are about having fun with your horse, enjoying time with your equine community and learning new skills.

Hope to see you in April!




AHC 2017 Time to Ride Challenge

The 2017 Time to Ride Challenge is about to commence and this is your opportunity to participate and involve your members in the fourth year of this program to grow the horse industry. Time to Ride and the Challenge is operated by the American Horse Council’s Marketing Alliance, over twenty organizations that have committed to grow the horse industry cooperatively.
The Time To Ride Challenge has proven to be a successful grassroots competition that challenges and awards stables, associations, clubs, shows, exhibits and equine businesses (called "hosts") to introduce new people to an experience with a horse. The Challenge provides cash awards to the top hosts that introduce the greatest number of newcomers to horses through beginner-friendly events. In 2014, 2015 and 2016 hundreds of professionals from the horse community across the country introduced nearly 100,000 newcomers to horses and won $300,000 in cash and prizes – while growing their own businesses at the same time.
“Certified Horsemanship Association was thrilled to participate in the Challenge Association Program,” says Christy Landwehr CHA Chief Executive Officer. “In this way our certified instructors and accredited equine facilities could be a part of the Time to Ride Challenge and win money as well as recognition and prizes from CHA.  And best of all we are all helping to grow the equine industry with new people who will be future association members, riders, horse owners, show competitors, etc.”
In 2016, the Time To Ride Challenge became associations’ own membership and marketing drive. Time To Ride is inviting your association and your members to participate in the $100,000 Challenge, and is providing a platform for your association to offer additional prizes specifically to mobilize your members and stimulate interest in your breed, discipline or organization. The Challenge Association Program is offered at no cost to you, but has the potential to benefit you and your members. All you need to do to get starts is contact Christie Schulte, christie@timetoride.comor 512-591-7811 and indicate that you’re interested or have questions. Time to Ride will provide all of the information and help you may need! 


New Required Agriculture Practices (RAPs)

The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets:

Required Agricultural Practices Rules

Have you heard that Vermont has new Required Agriculture Practices (RAPs) that affect horse owners?!  Meeting the new RAPs is required, and the RAPs apply to all types of farms including crop, livestock, vegetable and—yes--horse farms.  If you raise four or more horses or manage four or more acres of agricultural land, the RAPs apply to you!

Agriculture can contribute pollution to surface and groundwater from multiple sources, including cropland erosion, grazing lands, farmstead management, and manure storage and application. While contributions of agricultural pollution may vary from watershed to watershed, the overall impact to water quality from agricultural lands, when not managed well, is significant.  Legislation was passed and signed into law in 2015 which amended and enacted multiple requirements related to water quality in the State. The Act (Act 64) instructed the Agency of Agriculture to revise the Required Agricultural Practices Rules.

The RAPs, effective as of December 5, 2016, include standards for:

Small farm certification, Nutrient storage and spreading, Soil health, Buffer zones, and Livestock exclusion from Surface Waters

The Agency appreciates that farms face pressures from many fronts, and as such worked collaboratively with farmers over the 14-month RAP rulemaking process to develop standards that are effective in protecting water quality while also being workable for the farming community.

The Agency will offer: Time, Flexibility, and Support to farmers as we work together to implement the RAPs.

The Agency of Ag works with a statewide Vermont Water Quality Partnership to deliver technical and financial assistance to farms of all sizes—including a one horse operation with 5 acres of pasture!  Agency staff are available to visit with farms to assess and discuss farm improvements which may be necessary—if any—and how to locate sources of funding for which your farm may be eligible.  The Agency encourages farmers to get involved in this work as soon as possible, as current funding levels may not be available past 2018.

You can find additional information about the RAPs by visiting the Agency’s website:  http://agriculture.vermont.gov/RAP

For more information, call Katie Gehr at (802) 461-5991 Or e-mail the Agency at: AGR.RAP@vermont.gov



Following in the able footsteps of Karen Rosemark, I have assumed the responsibility of publishing the quarterly newsletter for our members. I could certainly use your input. Please send your content, suggestions and ideas to mailto:jkcole@trans-video.net.  Deadline for submission is February 17th. The Spring edition will be posted the first week of March. Future editions will be published in June, September and December. Thank you in advance for your participation!

The Headers for the newsletter include:

FROM THE OFFICERS’ BENCH - a note to membership from one of the officers in each edition.

MEMBER HIGHLIGHT - a “get to know a member” section

WORD OF MOUSE - recommendations from membership. This could be a good book you have read, a time-saving tip, an insight you have had in horse training/horsemanship/horse husbandry, a great horse/human retreat, a worthwhile clinician, a trail or event you recommend.




SHARE - This section will be for letters to the editor, questions/comments we have received between publications, frequently asked questions, thank you notes, etc.  

MEMORY MULTIPLIERS - this would be a feature article; an educational piece

— Jeannette K Cole

Farm Bureau Days at the State House

January 25, and February 22, 2107

The horse community was well represented at Farm Bureau Days at the State House on January 25th. Heidi Krantz (VHC's President), Terry Rose (VHC's Secretary) and a husband and wife team, Ken and Eli Norman gathered with 20 other Farm Bureau members at the state house to help raise awareness to our State Representatives and Senators of the various types of farming practices Farm Bureau members demonstrate.

Farm Bureau President, Joe Tisbert, Legislative Director1, Lyn Demarais, joined us at the State House cafeteria for breakfast and to get to know each other a little bit and have a chance to meet legislators. At 9:30 we all went to the Senate Agriculture room where it was standing room only. Farm Bureau members told their stories about farming and the Senators were very good listeners, especially Robert (Bobby) Star, who seemed to take lead of the group. At 11:00 am our group went to the House Agriculture and Forestry room where we told our farm stories again.

Concerns about the required Ag practices were discussed, funding for Veterans for Farms was learned about, pleas for continued government funding for organic farming and farming in Vermont were heard.

One speaker pleaded we not "shake the ground too much for farmers". More than one farmer praised the Two-plus-two program between VTC and UVM.

Heidi represented VHC members very well, stating the classification of equine as livestock was very important as horses seem to have been forgotten in ag practice wording, sharing VHC view that equine businesses/farms support Vermont’s working lands, add significantly to Vermont’s agricultural economy and provide employment and business opportunities for young people in this state.

Mark your calendars for February 22, 2017 for a chance to do this again..  


VT Agency of Ag Launches Statewide Listening Tour for February

Under New Leadership, VT Agency of Ag Launches Statewide Listening Tour for February

Farmers are Invited to Share Ideas and Feedback 

Under the direction of newly-appointed Ag Secretary, Anson Tebbetts, and Deputy Secretary, Alyson Eastman, the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets has announced plans to host a statewide listening tour throughout the month of February. The public meetings, which will be held in Lyndonville, St. Albans, Brattleboro, and Middlebury, are designed to open the lines of communication between the Agency, the farming community, and the public.

“I am inviting all farmers, and all Vermonters interested in agriculture, to attend these meetings, to share thoughts and ideas about the future of farming in our state,” said Tebbetts. “I want to learn about the issues that matter most to our farmers, and how the Agency can support them.”

“We hope to hear from farmers of all types, and sizes – from maple to meat, to produce and dairy,” said Eastman. “This is an opportunity for us to listen and learn from the people who are driving Vermont’s agricultural economy.”

The meetings will be held from 10 a.m. – noon in the following locations…

  • Friday, Feb. 10– Lyndon State College Theater
  • Friday, Feb. 17 – Vermont Agricultural Business Education Center in Brattleboro
  • Monday, Feb. 27 – Middlebury Parks & Recreation Gym
  • Thursday, March 2– St. Albans City Hall

For complete location details and directions, please visit http://agriculture.vermont.gov/listeningtour2017

The Agency will start the meeting with a brief but broad overview of the status of agriculture in our state, and will then open the floor to hear ideas from attendees.

For more information about the listening tour, please visit http://agriculture.vermont.gov/listeningtour2017 or call 802-828-5667.


Trail Use Workshop

Trail Use Workshop

How to build and maintain trails for horses, bikes & snow machines

January 28 & February 4   1-3 PM


Green Mountain Horse Association Member’s Room

South Woodstock, VT

Key speaker Jim Lyall will discuss trail design to prevent erosion and methods to repair damaged areas of trail.  Landowners, trail users and trail organizations alike will benefit from these workshops.  Proper trail design and maintenance results in reduced sedimentation pollution on our waterways.  Multi-use design, culverts and bridges and trail etiquette will be covered as well as questions about specific sites from attendees.  

Jim is a dedicated professional with extensive experience in trail layout and design and comprehensive knowledge, understanding and experience with trail maintenance and construction.  Jim has designed and built a multitude of trails on Mount Ascutney and the West Windsor town forest.  As a trail builder, he takes personal pride in the trail network.

Sponsored by Ottauquechee Natural Resources Conservation District with support from Green Mountain Horse Association and a grant from Vermont Community Foundation.



Reserve for the VHC Annual Meeting NOW!

The VHC Annual Meeting featuring a special presentation by Board DIrector JEan Audet about her adventure riding point-to-point in France will take place on Sunday, January 22, 2017 at the Steak House on Route 302 in Barre.

Details are at www.vthorsecouncil.org. RSVP with Beve McMullin at either mac@gmavt.net or 802-496-9281 by Jan. 11.

The Board of the VHC will meet via teleconference on Jan. 11, 2017 at 7:00pm. This meeting was recently scheduled to provide an opportunity to prepare for the Annual meeting on Jan. 22. Topics to be discussed are presentation of reports, details for providing ballots and process for elections, review of information to be presented at the annual meeting.

There will be 10 minutes open for public comments at the beginning of the meeting. Members are welcome to "attend" this telephone meeting, but may not speak during the meeting unless invited. 

If you are interested in joining the call, please contact Heidi Krantz for the call in number and access code. Although this is a free call in service - you may have fees depending upon your personal telephone service.



Trail Use Workshop

How to build and maintain trails for horses, bikes & snow machines

January 28 & February 4   1-3 PM


Green Mountain Horse Association Member’s Room

5491 South Road, South Woodstock, VT 05071
Contact: Michelle Grald 802-457-1509 or michelle@gmhainc.org

Key speaker Jim Lyall will discuss trail design to prevent erosion and methods to repair damaged areas of trail.  Landowners, trail users and trail organizations alike will benefit from these workshops.  Proper trail design and maintenance results in reduced sedimentation pollution on our waterways.  Multi-use design, culverts and bridges and trail etiquette will be covered as well as questions about specific sites from attendees. 

Jim is a dedicated professional with extensive experience in trail layout and design and comprehensive knowledge, understanding and experience with trail maintenance and construction.  Jim has designed and built a multitude of trails on Mount Ascutney and the West Windsor town forest.  As a trail builder, he takes personal pride in the trail network.

Sponsored by Ottauquechee Natural Resources Conservation District with support from the Green Mountain Horse Association

Please support this VHC Effort


“Creating a unified equine voice”


Equine Industry Economic Impact Study

Vermont's, open working landscape is of tremendous value to our current and future economic viability! It's important for all of us to know the components which keep that landscape open and valuable.

The Vermont Horse Council has determined one method to make an important contribution to our knowledge base, and we need your help.

The plan is an Economic Impact Study of the equine industry in the State. Identified as a top priority at the recent Equine Industry Summit, this will be a part of a larger study to be conducted by the American Horse Council next year. We know from data gathered by the Green Mountain Horse Association in 2010 that regional economic impact of activities at their facility are $5million per year. Based on that, we can extrapolate that the equine industry in Vermont might represent multiple millions in annual economic stimulation. This study will provide current, reliable data to quantify the impact. This data will allow us to promote the importance of the equine industry in Vermont.

There is a cost to conducting the study and a timeframe for committing to it. And, there is Plan A and Plan B for payment of the cost of the study.

Here is the situation:

 - we need to commit to the study by the end of this month

 - there is a grant which may pay for all or most of the study

 - the grant application is being filed, but the results won't be known

until next year

 - if we don't receive any or all of the grant monies, we will need

independent financing for the study

The success of the grant is Plan A. You are Plan B!!! We're asking for pledges of funds now for disbursal next year if the grant application is unsuccessful. The total funding needed is $17,790.

Won't you please consider a pledge?

Please to Contact Heidi Krantz, President of the Vermont Horse Council for details on how to help. Hkrantz57@gmail.com or 802-586-7559. Checks may be made out to VHC and mailed to 804 Morey Hill Road, Craftsbury, VT 05826.

Heidi Krantz

“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success." Henry Ford

Website photos wanted!

Hi VHC Members

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! What a treat to have these wonderful extra days to ride!

We are looking for a new banner photo for our website. The photo size needs to be 1500 x 500 - horizontally oriented, and with a winter theme.

If you have a photo you think would work - please send it to warrensvt@gmail.com.


Heidi Krantz President, Vermont Horse Council

“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success." Henry Ford