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

VT Horse Council logo (1).jpg

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:





Thank you Volunteers at New Discover State Park!

Thanks to Phyllis Civetello and Brenda and Morris Lasell for their commitment to completing the installation of the corrals at New Discovery State Park in Groton Forest.

It's taken many hours of volunteer labor, generous donations from many people, and some help from a state grant.

Enjoy the corrals and the wonderful trails at New Discovery! 

Heidi Krantz

Volunteers Needed: Trail Project - Groton State Forest 

Jack Brooks, the Trails Coordinator for Groton State Forest has asked for volunteers to help clear a possible new section of trail in Groton State Forest.

We're meeting June 16th at 9AM at Dave Spencer's house at 194 Log Pile Lane, Groton. We're going to cut our way through some thick brush. The path is flagged and Jack is trying to get that trail open all the way through and approved. 

Wear appropriate clothing, bring your own hand tools, lunch and water to drink. Contact vthorsecouncil@gmail.com to confirm or to get more information. 

Here's the background on the trail work so far:

Jack and other state staff started to clear the way for a new Peacham Bog trail (hopefully we will give it a new name so as not to confuse people) that would be more horse and bicycle friendly. This multi-use trail is part of the FPR plan to expand the multi-use network of trails in that area, or at a minimum, a long loop for multi-use, connecting the East of GSF to the West of GSF. 

The State will be improving the far end of the trail that we will be clearing. That project includes hauling in over 40 cubic yards of gravel to get the trail off the bridges and onto dry ground. The gravel will be used to shape and smooth out the trail. It is calculated to extend 800 feet past the last of 2 bridges and puncheons, to an old skid road where the new trail is being proposed, and what we have been clearing. This will happen near the end of the season. 

To continue on this theme, the trail after the graveled section, heading toward Devils Hill is in the Groton State Forests plan to get improved and/or rerouted as an extension of the multi-use trail. This part of the long loop will be what closes the loop, terminating on the Peacham Pond trail that the Horse Council helped Jack to open up 2 years.


Help VHC member Vermont Horse Assisted Therapy at Pease Farm find a new staff member!


"Is your horse looking for love?  Vermont Horse Assisted Therapy is looking for a horse to free-lease  for its summer therapy programs. We have lovely pastures, a consistent, thoughtful and professional approach to horsemanship, and lots of carrots and love from students. Must be sound and able to W/T/C.  Email info@vhat.org or text 802-279-7016  

Horse, Rider and Driver; Please Share the Road

Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets
Vermont Department of Public Safety
Vermont Horse Council

Horse, Rider and Driver; Please Share the Road

 June 1, 2018 / Montpelier VT. – As outdoor activities increase along with the warm weather, state officials and the Vermont Horse Council wish to spread a public safety message impacting all those using our roads; please share the road while riding and driving.

To help share this message, Vermont Department of Public Safety Commissioner Thomas D. Anderson and Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets Secretary Anson Tebbetts teamed up to shoot a Public Safety Announcement to highlight the message’s importance to the public. 

The PSA can be viewed here

Vermont has a proud equine history.  From draft horses and the Morgan Horse to today’s equine community, horses are an important part of our state’s landscape.  This idea is the spirit of the new PSA, while recognizing that those who use our public roads must respect each other whenever they share the road.

“Horses and riders can be vulnerable on Vermont’s roads,” Commissioner Anderson said. “We’re asking drivers to be considerate and careful any time they encounter a horse. Slow down. Leave plenty of room. Don’t swerve. Together we can help all users of our roads stay safe.”

Currently, there are approximately 75,000 horses on Vermont’s farms and back roads.  The Vermont Horse Council hopes those who occasionally ride their horses on our roads can traverse in safety, while respecting those drivers they encounter.

“The Vermont Horse Council promotes safe horse and rider travel on our roadways by encouraging single file riding to the right, hand signals, and slow travel speed,” commented Carmel Stone of the Vermont Horse Council.  “This respect for drivers promotes safety for our horses and horse community, but we depend on our neighbors in cars to help us get to our destination safely.”

We encourage all Vermonters to view the PSA, and engage in safe travel practices for all who share the road.

For further questions, please contact:

Scott Waterman

Director of Communications / Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets


Carmel Stone
Vermont Horse Council



Long Lining

Helping your horse to be straight and confident.

Charlie Ballou, master driver, will share information on the technique of long lining and how it can help to improve your horse’s confidence as well as their straightness.  Long lining is an excellent way to add variety to your horse’s training and workout schedule.

Sunday, June 3 from 10 am – noon at Charlie’s indoor arena, 3138 West St., Brookfield, VT 05036.   The clinic is free to VHC members and is available to non-members for a cost of $35.

Charlie would like to have 3 to 4 participants (included in the cost) for demonstration horses/participants.  If you would like a private lesson with your horse, they will be available after lunch for a cost of $50/hour

Sign up is required for attendance.  Please indicate if you would like to bring your horse for the demo. 

Please bring a chair and your lunch if you plan to stay for a lesson or watching after lunch.  Private lessons will begin at 12:30 pm.

If you would like further information please contact Jeannette Cole @ 802-485-3087. 

Directions: I89 Exit 4, take Rt. 66 to Randolph Center, bear left at VTC past Floyd's Store. In half a mile bear left ( almost straight) onto Ridge Rd. toward Brookfield for about 4-5 miles, passing the Brookfield School on the left then approximately a mile later take the first left onto Crossover Road (across from Marvin Newton historic house) and follow one mile to end. Bear left onto West Street and follow about 7/10 mile to grey horse farm.  Park wherever available.  There are other routes but the back roads can be narrow or bumpy for horse trailers. 


Requirements and regulations related to transporting equines in Vermont


The following information describes requirements and regulations related to transporting equines in Vermont - if you show or transport horses across state lines please follow  the links to important information:

Dear Vermont equine industry members,

You are receiving this email because you have agreed to receive important updates from the Agency of Agriculture that impact Vermont’s equine industry, or in some instances, because I have taken the liberty of adding you to our list.  Regardless, if you prefer to not receive emails such as this, please let me know, and I will remove you.  Preferably, if you have friends or colleagues who you think should receive this type of information, please respond to this email with their contact information.

The 2018 equine show season is upon us, and along with that comes a reminder of the importance of refamiliarizing yourself with the equine movement requirements for Vermont and New England and establishing biosecurity practices on your farms, during transport and at competition venues.  Rather than recreating the wheel with this information, I would like to direct you to the following sites for more information:

  1. For access to some great biosecurity resources that are applicable to all and to register to receive alerts from the national equine disease communication portal, visithttp://agriculture.vermont.gov/animal_health/disease_prevention/equine_recommendations
  2. To familiarize yourself with the process for obtaining an exhibition permit, see answers to the most frequently asked questions about importing horses into Vermont, or to learn the ways in which the federal traceability rule impacts you and your horse, please visit  please visit http://agriculture.vermont.gov/animal_health/animal_movement/equine
  3. For a summary document of the import requirements for the other New England states for 2018, visit http://agriculture.vermont.gov/sites/ag/files/pdf/animal_health/NE%20Fairs%20and%20Shows%20CVI%20Requirements%202018.pdf

Finally, a reminder about two things that have come up in conversations in the recent weeks:

  1. All horses imported into Vermont are required to travel with a 30 day health certificate or a 6 month exhibition permit, and a negative Coggins within 12 months. Those of you who host events that draw out of state horses should be aware of this.  Our inspectors do periodically check individual events for compliance with this requirement and partner with DMV at truck stops on VT roads to inspect paperwork of equine haulers.
  2. Although there is no state requirement for horses to be vaccinated for rabies, individual equine events may require that of competitors, and the Agency fully supports that. We urge all owners to vaccinate their horses for rabies as the disease is endemic in our state and is fatal to animals and people. It is an excellent, relatively inexpensive vaccine and well worth it!


I hope that you find this information useful, and as always, if there is additional information you would like to see on our website, please let us know!

Please help us help your horses stay safe, healthy and biosecure out there this year, and have a successful equine summer!





Kristin M. Haas, DVM

State Veterinarian; Director of Food Safety & Consumer Protection

Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets

116 State Street

Montpelier, VT 05620




Vermont Horse Council Membership Meeting



10 am - noon

Water Tower Farm - Dianne Lashoones 

US Route 2, Marshfield, Vermont 05658

Note:  Morris Lasell is the meeting host.  If you have questions, please call him at (802) 433-1344 

Members, please come and join us for the 2nd membership meeting of the year.  Below is the tentative agenda:  

All BOD members:  If you are not attending, please send a written report to me on your presentation material.  If you have other topics you would like to present, that is fine.  I have used this agenda as a prompting for what might be important for membership to hear about.  Thanks, Jeannette

Please note four important items.....

1.  Bring a chair

2.  The spring newsletter references a work day at New Discovery, Groton Forest, however the weather has not cooperated enough to be prepared for that event.  Only the meeting at Water Tower Farm will be happening.  Please go directly to the farm at 10 am. 

3.  If you would like to eat following the meeting bring your own lunch or a dish to share for a pot luck that will follow the meeting.

4.  As a member, this is the time to discuss any items that you might want on the agenda.  If you have an item to be included please contact Jeannette Cole (802-485-3087). 

Secretary Reports - Approval/review of minutes from Meg (Dec, phone meeting and annual meeting); approval of minutes from Sue (Feb 8,2018)

Treasurer Reports - Statement of Activity Feb/March; Financial Position YTD

Scholarship Criteria Finalization and Fundraising - Human/Horse Bodywork Clinic, Merck Forest Trail Ride, other

Goal Finalization

Who is organizing the membership meeting, May 5th (Groton) - we need to solicit any items from membership

Review and approval of Events: Willoughby Ride Event weekend (Sept); Long Lining Clinic (June); The older rider (April); Horses Palette (May), Horse Nutrition (October); Equine Summit (Nov); Moving the hip (TBD); Barn Safety/Emergency Response Plan (TBD)

Letter of Comment - Accomplishments Feb/March


-Jeannette Cole

Riding Into the Sunset

How to stay in the saddle for many years!      

Have you lost the “oomf” to mount your horse? Is throwing 300 bales of hay harder than it once was? Then come learn ways to strengthen, supple and stretch your riding career!


Chris and Liz Keglor of the Craftsbury Outdoor Center will share information to keep our minds and bodies flexible as we practice yoga stretches and build strength that will help extend riding adventures when used regularly.

 Saturday, April 21            10:00 am – 1:30 pm

Craftsbury Outdoor Center, Main Activity Center

Workshop free to VHC members                               $35 non-members


During the 1.5 hour yoga session Liz will help us master breath work, hip openers, shoulder stretches, deep twists, and lateral stretches to improve flexibility, balance and connection with your horse when riding. Chris will teach us warm up and strengthening exercises to help prevent injury and improve core strength for a long riding life. Enjoy a brown bag lunch in the COC Activity Center after the sessions.

Chris is available for individual massages $45/half hour $75/hour – email keglors@yahoo.com to schedule.

The mission of the Craftsbury Outdoor Center is to support and promote participation and excellence in lifelong sports with a special focus on rowing, nordic skiing, biathlon and running, to use and teach sustainable practices and to protect and manage the surrounding land, lake and trails.

VHC  BOD meeting Reminder

VHC  BOD meeting  with below agenda on March 29, 2018 from 7:30 pm to 9 pm.   The meeting is open to members and is via Webex/phone.  To receive the access information on the day of the meeting,  contact me at kcolejeannette@gmail.com

Secretary Reports - Approval/review of minutes from Meg (Dec, phone meeting and annual meeting); approval of minutes from Sue (Feb 8,2018)

Treasurer Reports - Statement of Activity Feb/March; Financial Position YTD

Scholarship Criteria Finalization and Fundraising - Human/Horse Bodywork Clinic, Merck Forest Trail Ride, other

Goal Finalization

Who is organizing the membership meeting, May 5th (Groton) - we need to solicit any items from membership

Review and approval of Events: Willoughby Ride Event weekend (Sept); Long Lining Clinic (June); The older rider (April); Horses Palette (May), Horse Nutrition (October); Equine Summit (Nov); Moving the hip (TBD); Barn Safety/Emergency Response Plan (TBD)

Letter of Comment - Accomplishments Feb/March


-Jeannette Cole

AVMA Model Veterinary Act

Dear VHC members:  

Important changes in legislation come through to the Vermont Horse Council.  I want to be sure you have an opportunity to comment on this policy change. 



 South Carolina Horse Council has contacted the American Horse Council with concerns.

Thank you in advance for your attention to this document.  

Jeannette Cole, 
Vermont Horse Council President