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

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.


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 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


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:

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 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 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.