9 AM – 3 PM (or any time in between)

 Meet at the Junction of Peacham Bog and Coldwater Brook Road (a.k.a. Gravel Pit Rd.)

groton forest multi use trail work.jpg

 1st Trail Crew will work on the flagged portion of the trail from the Trail Head to Red Brook Road; completing a few reroutes of the current trail and adding some drainage.

 2nd Trail Crew will work on the flagged portion of the trail from Red Brook Road to Devil’s Hill; completing a few reroutes of the current trail and adding some drainage.

 The tools needed for this job include; loppers, hand saws, shovels, rouge or hazel hoe, an axe with a medium length handle (to get at roots), a heavy duty iron rake and a pic mattock. Luke/Jack (Vermont State Forest, Parks and Recreation) and Greg Western of (Cross Vermont Trail Association) can supply some, and maybe all the tools. However, if you have your favorite tool then by all means bring it along!

 Bring your own lunch, snacks, drinks, gloves, bug spray, hat and collaborative attitude.  This is a multiuse user function.  We look forward to working side by side to advance biking, hiking, and equestrian use of the State’s trail network. 

 “Many hands make light work.”

 More Information:
Jack Brooks, State Trails Coordinator, Forest, Parks and Recreation Districts 4 and 5
Barre, VT 05641
Cell: 802 777 8195, Office: 802 476 0180 (Rarely used)





August 18, 2019 (10am – 3 pm)

Bristol Recreational Field, Bristol, VT

We will begin the day with a set up of teeter-totter bridge, step up bridge, water foot bath, tire platform, noodles, barrels, tarps and 2x4’s.  Doug and Vicky Smith have set up numerous obstacle challenges throughout Vermont and will lend their expertise to help you and your horse become braver and more confident.

This is what we have planned:

  • 10am – noon.  Practice the obstacles.  There will be experienced riders on hand to help.

  • Noon – 1.  Lunch.  Bring your lunch.  If you'd rather, there are mini-marts, a creemee stand and a pizza place in Bristol.

  • 1 pm– 3 pm.  A no-pressure, fun competition where you can practice what you just learned.  We will set up a course and judge you and your horse.  Should be fun!


Obstacle Challenge and Play Day

August 18, 2019

Bristol Recreation Field, Bristol, VT


Clinicians: Doug Smith/Jean Audet

Participant Name: __________________________

Telephone: _________________ Address: _____________________________________________________

E-mail: ___________________________

o    Horse/Rider combination - $30 member adult; $15 member youth

o    Auditor (Donation of your choosing to benefit the VHC scholarship fund)



Mail completed forms and payment (Payable to Vermont Horse Council) to:

Jeannette Cole, 287 West Hill Rd, Northfield, VT 05663


Please send equine proof of coggins at the time of registration.  

Cancellation Policy:

Fees are non-refundable but fully transferable to an individual of your choosing.

Liability Release

Under Vermont Law, an equine activity sponsor is not liable for an injury to, or the death of, a participant in equine activities resulting from the inherent risks of equine activities that are obvious and necessary, pursuant to 12 V.S.A. § 1039.The Undersigned assumes the unavoidable risks inherent in all horse-related activities, including but not limited to bodily injury, physical harm, or death to horse, rider, and spectator.

I understand that use of an ASTM/SEI certified helmet and proper footwear are required at Field Farm and for insurance purposes by The Vermont Horse Council while riding in this event.  I hereby enter in this event at my own risk.  I further agree to make no claim against Field Farm or the Vermont Horse Council, its’ officers or directors or clinicians should an accident arise, injury or loss occur to any horse, rider, spectator or article sent to this event.

Signature: __________________________________________________________________

Parent/Guardian Signature (if under 18yrs): ___________________________________

Name/Contact Info for emergency: __________________________________________

To help defray costs, there will be a $30 (adults) and $15 (youth) charge for the day.  For insurance purposes, you must be a 2019 VHC member. We will have membership forms available on site or you can join via the Vermont Horse Council website.

 The horse ring is on Liberty Street in Bristol. Liberty Street is next to the Martin's hardware store on Routes 116 and 17 in Bristol village. The ring is a few hundred feet down the street.

 This is a green area that we have to keep clean, so please make sure to bring something to pick up manure. Pack in and pack out!


VHC's Secretary Position for rest of 2019

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“Creating a unified equine voice”

The Vermont Horse Council is actively looking for someone that would have interest in filling the role of Secretary for the rest of 2019. Our board meetings will be by phone conference for the remainder of the year on the 3rd Thursday of each month at 7:00 pm. Any interested parties can contact any of the current board members. The job description is below.


Overview: The VHC Secretary manages all record keeping and correspondence for the VHC, maintains updates versions of policies and procedures and takes minutes at all meetings of the Board and membership.

Term: One year; eligible for multiple term re-election

Skills and Duties:

  • Takes minutes of actions at all Board and membership meetings;

  • Provides draft minutes to Board and membership for approval;

  • Assures posting of approved draft/approved minutes on website;

  • Oversees election process; warns annual meeting; creates ballot and ensures timely distribution of ballots via electronic means and USPS as necessary;

  • Files annual state report with Secretary of State;

  • Updates Operations Manual as needed;

  • assures correspondence to members as needed and/or directed by the board (i.e. bereavement, birth, thank you, invitations)

  • Responds to requests for information as needed;

  • Ability to represent the VHC in matters that impact the organization;

  • Enhance the VHC’s reputation in the community.

Pine Brook Trail Update

VHC Board Members Jean Audet, Chelle Grald & Sharon Stearns joined RASTA Executive Director Angus McCusker on June 11 to clear the Pine Brook Trail in Rochester in the Green Mountain National Forest. This trail, part of a scenic 5-mile loop, has recently been opened up for equestrian use. We are currently working with the Forest Service to build three horse-camping sites and trailer parking along this route with an eye to expansion of the trail system. RASTA has been faithfully maintaining this trail, although it is not used very often by mountain bikes. The goal is to transition the maintenance to the Vermont Horse Council. We are looking for local volunteers to participate and show their enthusiasm for trails in the Green Mountain National Forest. RASTA, the Rochester/Randolph Area Sports Trail Alliance, is a great group to work with. 

Trail Help Needed Rochester, VT

Trail Help Needed Rochester, VT

VHC is teaming up with the local mountain biking group to work on the Pine Brook Trail. If you can offer a couple of hours on June 11 to represent equestrian users that would be great!

June 11 from 5:30 PM– 7:30 PM on the Pine Brook Trail in Rochester. Meet then at the intersection of Bingo Rd and Pine Gap Rd (aka Pine Brook Trail).

Wear sturdy shoes, bring gloves, eye protection and appropriate tools. Contact Angus McCusker 802.318.7848 for more information.

Membership Meeting Agenda & Update - Concept to Cantering Canceled

Membership meeting at Pond Hill Ranch on Saturday, May 18th at 10 am.  Hope to see you there. 

Sadly, because of the rain, the educational event, CONCEPT to CANTERING, featuring the Pond Hill Drill team has been cancelled.  They haven't had time to practice due to the weather.  

AGENDA FOR VHC MEETING May 18, 2019 Pond Hill:

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

10:30 am - Noon Business Meeting

- Secretary Report

- Secretary’s Resignation Vote

- Treasurer's Report

- Membership Income Comparison from last year

- Equine Activities Committee Update

- Services Committee Update

- Administration Committee Update

- Promotions Committee Update

- Trail Projects for 2019 - Grant proposals

- AHC Point of Contact & membership

Southern States Equine Feed Recall


Southern States Equine Feed Recall

Cargill has initiated a  voluntary recall of select Southern States® feed due to aflatoxin levels that exceed FDA’s standards. The affected products, which were manufactured in North Carolina and sold throughout the eastern United States, were removed from retail shelves throughout February, March, and April 2019. Aflatoxin is a byproduct of a mold, and exposed horses are at risk of several health hazards and even death. Aflatoxicosis affects the liver and horses suffering from aflatoxicosis show signs of cough, depression, fever, tremor, ataxia and lack of appetite.

The recall effects “Southern States Triple 10 (CN)”, 50 lb. feed bags with Lot Code “N9043” and Product Code”554270”. The feed was made in February and has a 60 day shelf life. The affected products were recalled from retail outlets and distributors, but consumers who have any of the affected product in their possession should return it to their local dealer or retailer for a replacement or full refund. For more information, call 800-822-1012 (Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time).

-American Horse Council


Read All About It!

Learn how equine events support the tourism economy in Vermont! Phase 1 of our Economic Impact Study of the Equine Industry in Vermont is complete! We may be small, but our impact is significant. Read and share this information and be proud of equestrian support of Vermont's economy and landscape.

Donate today to help complete Phase 2 of the study! Every dollar helps us gather this information, educate agencies, the legislature and helps us improve amenities, access and the equine business environment.




APRIL 6, 2019

10 AM – NOON



Jane Jackson of Bookends Farm will sort out the facts from the fiction. Just what are positive reinforcement, +R and clicker training? Are they all the same? Does it really work? Does it mean we’ll have to spend the rest of our lives being mugged for treats? Or that our animals won’t do anything without a food reward? Jane will walk us through what Positive Reinforcement Training is and is not and help us understand how we can use it to improve our teaching and training.

Vermont Horse Council members are invited to attend as part of their membership.  This is the first of four educational events that are included in your annual membership.  Non-members are welcome at a cost of $25.00/person.   The funds collected will be directed to the VHC scholarship funds. 

We look forward to seeing you!

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Behind the Scenes

Hello VHC Enthusiasts,     

Here is a brief look at what has been happening behind the scenes at your organization.

Our annual Meeting was held at the Capital Plaza in Montpelier, VT on January 26th. There was great discussion about what was accomplished in the year along with a great slide show about Shore to shore presentation offered by Jean Audet – Sharing stories, adventures, stress factors, and photos from the multi-day ride across Michigan.

Presidential Recognition and thanks go out to:

  • Morris Lasell for MANY years of service in leadership roles

  • Doug Smith for role on the Board as well as other service to VHC

  • Bev McMullin for recruiting many members to serve in active roles, while striving to ensure that all geographic segments of the state are represented

  • Heidi Krantz for her role in driving the economic impact survey forward and her years as President and a member of the Board.

 Your new Board of Directors are: Sue Miller President, Michelle Grald Vice President, Secretary Diana Huntley, & Treasurer remains Nancy Palermo-Lee. New to the Board this year are Sharon Stearns & Amanda Lamoureux other Board Members are: Jean Audet, Gloria Bruce, Jeannette Cole, Jim Nickerson & Peter Otto.

The first meeting was held at Northfield library on February 16th. With Sue Boyer, Diana Huntly, Jeannette Cole, Heidi Krantz, Jean Audet, Belinda Brown, and Amanda Lamoureux in attendance with Jim Nickerson and Sharon Stearns conference calling in.

Items Discussed were:

  • By Laws and Board responsibilities

  • Committees and interests

  • Archive files and Google Drive

  • Fundraiser Ideas

Goals for 2019 are to increase membership, drive up promotions of VHC in all media realms, try to link more state clubs to VHC, Trail mapping, 4 educational events listed below, increase scholarship funds, Economic Impact Survey, continue to have a voice in the legislature, 4th Equine Summit.

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


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


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