Pennsylvania Equine Council Serving PA's Horse Industry Since 1988.  Pennsylvania Equine Council | Post Office Box 303 | 
    Windsor, PA 17366-0303 | 1.888.304.0281 | Attention PEC Members - Go to the Legislation page for proposed ordinances that may affect some South East residents.
Serving the Pennsylvania Horse Industry Since 1988.


August 1-4, 2019
* click for PEC Members Only Trail Ride Description

* click for PEC Members Only Trail Ride Application

* click for more information

* click for PEC Members Only Camp and Ride Application


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Open to the Public

Saturday May 18, 2019

11:00 a.m. (bring a snack)

Harrisburg Farm Show Administrative Offices

Conference Room

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

5:30 p.m.  (snack provided)

Ag Progress Days

Blue Horse Barn next to the arena

on top of the hill


Grantville Holiday Inn

604 Station Road, Grantville, PA 17028 

5:30 p.m. - Friday evening 

Board of Directors meeting (Public Welcome)  

8:00 a.m. - Saturday Issues Forum 

Registration - Lunch provided

Room rates TBA

More details to follow


The Pennsylvania Equine Council was a proud sponsor of the 2019 Friends of the Farm Show Celebrity Driving Event


Are you new to horses?  Do you have questions?

For a great source of information with many tips for buying, handling or riding horses, *click here 


In 2017 the AHC conducted an economic impact study of the equine industry nationwide. The Pennsylvania Equine Council made it possible to get a breakout study of Pennsylvania specifically.

*Click here to see the highlights
*Click here to see the entire PA breakout study


Pennsylvania’s Equine Population Ranked 6th in the Nation According to the Results of the American Horse Council’s Equine Survey

 Pennsylvania’s equine industry has made a prominent contribution to the Commonwealth through agriculture and recreation.  Knowledge of the current size and character of the Pennsylvania equine industry is essential to help shape the future of this industry.  The Pennsylvania Equine Council is excited to share in the announcement of the results of the American Horse Council’s Pennsylvania State Specific Equine Survey. There were only 15 state specific surveys completed as a part of the American Horse Council’s National Survey and Pennsylvania’s was primarily made possible through the financial support of the Pennsylvania Equine Council. 

The horse industry is a diverse, broad-based activity with stakeholders that range from track owners to Olympic riders to large numbers of recreational and show horse riders; from small acreage owners to moderate and low-income families.   Involvement in the horse industry is not based on any one demographic group.  A horse can fit into any type of lifestyle and horse owners are very diverse. In 2016, there were 223,628 horses, mules, donkeys and burros raised on locations across Pennsylvania.  There are an estimated 7.2 million equids in the United States and Pennsylvania ranks 6th in the nation, up from a ranking of 9th in the 2005 American Horse Council Study.  Equine owners devote 793,000 acres of land in Pennsylvania for equine purposes with associated assets annually totaling nearly $1.7 billion (GDP).  In addition, a total value added of $3.3 b contributed to PA by the equine community.  Overall, the equine industry provides 43,114 direct employment positions and 60,133 total employment impact jobs to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

In total, 30.5% of Pennsylvania households or 1.6 million, contain horse enthusiasts.  Horse ownership tends to be skewed toward older age groups.   Participation in horse events is skewed toward youth. Minors comprise 38% of horse participants, whereas the under 18 age cohort represents only 23% of the U.S. population.  This bodes well for the future of the industry. The percentage of U.S. households in 2016 that participated in: 

Trail riding is a main equine recreational activity and 512,000 households ride horses for recreation, while 87% reported to utilize public lands.  And 430,000 Pennsylvania households take horseback riding lessons.

According to Bud Wills, (acting) Pennsylvania Equine Council President, “The project has assessed the composition and nature of Pennsylvania’s horse industry including its direct and indirect impact on the state’s economy through sales, employment, and taxes and its less tangible contributions to the quality of life of equine owners and participants in equine activities.”

The Pennsylvania state breakout survey was made possible and funded by the Pennsylvania Equine Council and supported by the PA Livestock Association.  Census forms were mailed by the Innovation Group, New Orleans, LA contracted by the American Horse Council, Washington D.C., this past summer to national and Pennsylvania horse owners and stable operators in all segments of the industry.  The results reflect the number of equine animals in Pennsylvania in 2017 and expenses and assets during the previous year. 

The state breakouts, along with the National Economic Impact Study, can be purchased on the AHC’s website here:  If you have any questions, please contact the Pa Equine Council.  To learn more about the PA Equine Council and how PEC promotes the horse community contact  or visit our website





Are Your Truck and Trailer Properly Registered?
Pennsylvania Regulations

Over the last several years, trailer and truck registration has been somewhat of a mystery to many Pennsylvanians.  The well-intentioned get conflicting reports, and recently, fines – a frustrating situation.  Recently a friend of ours got stopped by the State Police and DOT inspectors. The result was a fine for not being in compliance. The gooseneck stock trailer he was pulling had a GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) of 12,000 lbs. His truck had a combination gross weight of 20,000 lbs. Keep these weights in mind as you read this article.

Trailers with a GVWR from 0 to 10,000 pounds may be towed by a driver with a standard Class C drivers License and require only normal licensing of the tow vehicle and trailer.

When a trailer has a GVWR of 10,001 pounds or higher, Pennsylvania requires that the tow vehicle (pickup) has a combination weight registration. This type of registration is on the tow vehicle only and doesn’t affect the trailer registration. This registration can be applied for at the time of purchase or changed on a truck you already own. The maximum combination weight you may register the vehicle (truck) is established by its manufacturer.

If your weight class is at 17,000 pounds or less nothing additional is required for your driver’s license, a standard Class C is fine. If your weight class is between 17,001 and 26,000 pounds the following requirements apply.

1. Driver must have at least a standard Class C Drivers License.
2. Trucks must be equipped with a fire extinguisher and reflective triangles
and/or flares. Fire extinguisher must be attached to the vehicle,     
preferably inside the cab.
In Pennsylvania, all trucks must enter the weigh stations. The other surrounding states have requirements that apply to weight and if commercial or not. A person traveling out of state should check before going.  These requirements do apply even if you are not pulling a trailer at the time.

The above regulations apply to most of us who trail ride and use our equine recreationally. You can not use farm registration on your truck for any recreational use.

These regulations also apply when pulling a recreational camping trailer, in Pennsylvania there is no exemption for what some call a (house vehicle). No exemption for a horse trailer with living quarters.

If you are involved in the horse industry being compensated for hauling or as a trainer being compensated you are considered commercial and must register differently.
Also, Pennsylvania does require that any trailer with a GVWR of 3,001 pounds and up pass a state inspection and carry an inspection sticker. They are also required to have brakes & safety chains. Safety chains are required to be crossed and hooked, even goosenecks and working breakaway system. Trailers 3,000 pounds and under on the GVWR are exempt from the state inspection requirements.

If you are in doubt as to what your rig weighs, the next time you are hooked up and loaded with all you take with you and have full fuel tanks go to a truck stop and get weighed. It may surprise you and remember we are subject to being weighed. It’s not “the go”, we can pull with a truck that is way under sized for the trailer and load, it’s the “whoa”!  Getting that loaded rig stopped is what this is all about...

These are the requirements to the best of my understanding...

Bud Wills, Vice President

Class A Non-Commercial Driver’s License



Lately, there have been a lot of folks with horse trailers and camping trailers being stopped and issued citations for not having a Class A Non-Commercial driver’s license.

We have been getting questions about the Class A Non-Commercial license, why you need one and what you do to get the license. So here is the scoop right from PA Department of Transportation, Bureau of Driver Licensing | PPC Unit.


This has nothing to do with needing a combination gross weight for your truck and trailer.  That is the registration for your towing vehicle and not a driver’s licensing requirement. We have covered that in earlier newsletters.


If you are in any business for profit including with equines, like training, showing or hauling for pay, you will need a Commercial or “CDL” license. Commercial is interpreted as receiving any compensation even as simple as winning a ribbon.  A Class A Non-Commercial driver’s license is for towing any trailer, like many of us do to trail ride, when the combined registered gross weight of the trailer and towing vehicle exceeds 26,000 pounds.


It is really very simple to figure out if you need to obtain this Class A Non-Commercial driver’s license. If the registered gross weight of your trailer and the registered gross weight of your truck added together exceeds 26,000 lbs. and you are not operating commercially, a Class A Non-Commercial driver’s license is required.


As an example, Gwen and I use a Ford F450 to pull our living quarters trailer. The registered gross weight of the trailer is 14,000 lbs. and the registered gross weight of the truck is 15,000 lbs for a total of 29,000 lbs. This total is over 26,000 lbs. and therefore means we need a Class A Non-Commercial driver’s license because we are not in business and only trail ride.


We have a stock trailer that has a 12,000 lb. registered gross weight; so, when we tow it with that F450 that has a 15,000 lb. registered gross weight, we need the Class A Non-Commercial driver’s license because we have a combined registered gross weight of 27,000 lbs.  But, if we tow that same trailer with a 12,000 lb. registered gross weight with our Ford F350 that has a registered gross weight of 11,200 lbs., the total combined registered gross weight is only 23,200 lbs. which does not exceed 26,000 lbs., so no need for a Class A Non-Commercial driver’s license.


FOLLOWING ARE THE STEPS TO OBTAIN a Class A Non-Commercial driver’s license.


  • Driver goes into a Driver License Center with the DL-31 form (filling the form out is pretty straightforward).  If you already have a class C license, no physical examination is necessary. You can go on line at and enter DL-31 LEARNERS PERMIT and the form will come up.
  • The transaction to get the permit is processed (there is no knowledge [written] test that needs to be taken).  The fee is $5.00. They only take checks.
  • Once the permit is obtained, the operator can schedule an appointment for the skills test.  This can be done by either calling 1-800-932-4600, or scheduling online at  The permit is valid for the period of one year from date of issuance.
  • While practicing on the permit, the driver must have an accompanying driver with the same class license being applied for or higher (the accompanying driver can have either a commercial or non-commercial license – it just needs to be the same class or higher). When taking the skills test the permit holder must be accompanied by a driver with the same class or higher license. 
  • When the skills test is conducted, it consists of: 
    • A quick walk-around of the vehicle, for safety purposes;
    • Knowledge of vehicle controls;
    • An Air Brake check (if the vehicle is so equipped);
    • The on-road portion, which may be performed on a CDL course or actually  out on the road is still scored as a non-commercial test would be.  As of now, there are no Basic Control Skills maneuvers that are performed (subject to change).

Once the skills test is passed, the driver will obtain the proper class of non-commercial license.

Hope this helps you out in obtaining the license. 

Bud Wills, Vice President



*click for more perks Information



Want to learn accurate and reliable information on disease outbreaks in YOUR area and around the United States?  This website is an awesome informational tool:



PEC is proud to announce that the organization is now making grant money available for groups interested in offering educational programs that benefit the horse and the horse industry.  Grants can be used to support projects in the following program area  

       Equine health and well-being                
      Environmental stewardship                
       Public awareness and understanding of horses and the industry

More information and an application can be downloaded by clicking here.



*Click to open



First, you have to have a strong and dedicated core group who believe in what the PEC stands for.

Your meetings can be anywhere… someone’s house, a fire department, church, restaurant…anywhere there is enough seating.

Set your first meeting with your core group to decide on the best place that can accommodate your needs. We at Crawford County have been having our meetings at Perkins in Meadville in the banquet room. They don’t charge us for use of the room because a lot of us have our evening meal at that time. You may want to have the meeting at a church or a fire dept. Anywhere is fine if it can accommodate your needs in space and availability. If you use a church or fire department, you may want to raise funds to make a donation to your meeting place.

The most important point we can make here is keep it consistent on TIME AND PLACE. Once you decide on a permanent place to have your meeting, keep it the same day of the month (ex: the first Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday etc.) and also the same time. Ours are always the first Thursday of the month at 7 pm. We try to get there at 6 pm to eat and have a little chat time.

We also have guest speakers every month and buy their meal since they have come to donate their time. Our past guest speakers have consisted of equine massage therapists, Equine dentists, veterinarians, people involved in 4H, people who specialize in breed specifics (gaited horses, Quarter Horse, etc.) We had the President of the Paint Horse Association, farriers, reiners, bit and saddle fit experts, equine chiropractors; we had Pam Kline-Eikleberry from Ohio who sold everything she owned and rode her horse from the east coast to the west coast in the 1980’s. Others include horse rescue personnel, people involved with therapy horses, Bud & Gwen Wills from our own Pennsylvania Equine Council were here and became our guest speakers at a meeting when our scheduled speaker had an emergency and couldn’t make it. We had one guest, Kathy Beahon of Allegheny River Ranch, who spoke on training your horse for obstacles, Pam Bradshaw on cutting and sorting cows, manure management, parasite control, the hazards and benefits of owning a stallion. Youth Rodeo is another one, equine photography … there are endless possibilities for choosing people who are more than happy to talk about their particular equine passion. Use your imagination and share with your fellow equine lovers.

We also have fund raisers. Tack Swaps, 50/50 raffles, currently we are having an Equine Calendar sale from a photo contest we sponsored. Again the possibilities are endless.

And the last thing to remember is to use everything at your disposal to get the word out about your meetings and who your speakers are. We use social media (facebook), email, newspapers; you can also use the radio or put up fliers in local businesses; whatever works for you particular situation. Invite everyone who owns a horse and even those who may not be able to own one of their own but share your passion for horses, mules, ponies and donkeys. We do not restrict these meetings to members only. We welcome everyone with the hope that they may decide to join PEC.



Association Membership Plus for Equine Organizations

- Associations must have:
   1. Elected Officers and/or Directors
   2. A minimum of 10 members

- Membership fee is $80 annually

- Benefits of Membership Plus include:
   1. $1,000,000 Liability insurance for your equine organization
   2. All "member only" events are insured
   3. Insure additional "public" events for $65/day. One set-up and one tear-down day included.
Click here for "Public Event Days Application".

Call 1.888.304.0281 or email for more information.

Click here for Association Member PLUS FAQs


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Click here for application request if you will be paying by check.  Member $45.00  Non-member $70.00 includes a one year membership. 

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 PEC Scholarship


IT'S TIME TO APPLY FOR THE PEC SCHOLARSHIP! Opens January 1, 2019 with deadline June 1, 2019
Click here for more information.


Renew Your Membership Today!!!  And be aware, the PEC is now offering Excess Liability Insurance.