The Places My Horses Take Me……

Gem of gems, a mix of my two passions; education and equines.  I have so many wonderful discoveries through my horses and this past month was no exception.  I landed in Kansas for the Coalition of State Horse Councils (a sub section of the American Horse Council) fall symposium. 

This year’s symposium was hosted by the Kansas Horse Council and was held October 28- 30. Before you snap your fingers and say, “oh darn, I missed it!” mark your calendar for November 10-12, 2017 when the next symposium will be held in Lexington, KY.  Meanwhile, I hope this overview will entice your participation in your state horse council and encourage you to attend next year’s event.

This meeting is a must do for equine enthusiasts interested in networking, increasing personal knowledge and observing equine related activities across the United States.  As a first-time attendee, I expected to participate in a three-day sit down conference.  Was I ever wrong!  The Coalition this year was represented by 16 states and the creativity for promoting equine education, legislation and activities was equally diversified.

Day one included speakers from The Certified Horsemanship Association (event planning, marketing and social media); Nonprofit Connect (Recruiting, Building, Maintaining and Managing and Effective Nonprofit Board); a Multi-User Trail Panel (successes and challenges for trail use by multiple groups); Equisure (assuring proper insurance coverage).   After dinner entertainment was a very informative and engaging presentation by Rob Kornacki entitled “Comanche, Famed Equine Survivor of Custer’s Last Stand”.  As a door prize, I won a Pulitzer Prize finalist book, Empire of the Summer Moon, written by S.C. Gwynne.   This true story is broadening my late 1800’s US history knowledge.

Day two had us up early and on a luxury bus headed to Kansas State Veterinary College where we heard presentations from veterinarians regarding drug compounding issues and pending legislation, mare fertility, research on tendon and ligament injuries and biosecurity.  After a delicious BBQ lunch, the Fort Riley Mounted Cavalry treated us to an exhibition ride.  Seeing a group of talented US service men in period uniform with their equally talented equine partners in period tack was a moving experience.

After the exhibition, we boarded the bus and headed through the Flint Hills section of Kansas to Mill Creek Lodge (built in 1865).  We received an oral history of the area from historian, Jim Hoy and upon arrival heard topics on Non Profit Board Compliance Issues (Denise Farris, Farris Law Firm); Hutchinson Correctional Facility Wild Mustang Program (Dexter Hedrick, Director); and saw some heartwarming videos from the sponsor of the event Merial (check out the one that thanks dads and moms).  After another delicious meal, we boarded the bus and enjoyed the documentary UnBranded over the backdrop of the sun setting on the prairie. 

Day three was a half-day dedicated to the CSHC business meeting before we all said our goodbyes and exchanged contact information.   My horses have brought me to yet another beautiful part of our country, have again widened my community and continue to add to my equine knowledge.  I hope they have also encouraged you to join us in 2017. 
—Jeannette Cole