Equine Learning Center
2017 Equine Learning Center Report2017 was a very successful year for the ELC. As in past years, our many volunteers stepped up and made our year great. Without these volunteers the ELC could not do what it does.
Our year started out Jan. 7 – 14 at the 2017 Pennsylvania Farm Show. This year we had our two Appaloosas, Sara and Pete, working the chute for all to rub on. Along with Sara and Pete, we had a Percheron owned by Dave Rohrbach and a donkey owned by Avery Sneed that also took their turns in the chute. Again this year we had a Spotted Draft owned by Linda Bunning and minis owned by Prairie Fire Farm on display for all to enjoy. These equine and their owners, along with our volunteers, made this year’s Farm Show a great success. We have 3 volunteer shifts per day for the 8 days we are there with 5 volunteers per shift. As you can see, this is a lot of volunteer man hours.
Our next event was Ag-Progress Day’s Aug. 15-17 on the outskirts of State College, PA. Ag-Days is always fun as it is the shortest and most relaxed of all our events. We had Sara and Mouse, two Appaloosa mares, working the chute. They are owned by Skip & Aleta Seifert.
Sept. 8-17 was the 2017 York Fair. This is the longest of all our events. This year we had Sara, an Appaloosa, and Chic, a Quarter Horse, taking turns in the chute. Both are owned by Skip & Aleta Seifert. Along with talking with the many visitors to our ELC Booth we also enjoy watching the members of 4-H & FFA show their livestock in the ring directly across the aisle from our booth.
Sept. 22-30 was the Bloomsburg Fair. This year the weather during the Fair was extremely warm; 90 plus degrees for many days. Finally, by the end of the week, we were back to normal Fair weather. Joan Pauley did a great job chairing this year’s Equine Learning Center at the Bloomsburg Fair. If Joan hadn’t agreed to do this we would not have been able to attend. Our President, Charlie Van Auken, was there all week to assist Joan. We had Pete, an Appaloosa gelding owned by Charlie; Turbo, a Percheron gelding owned By Dave Rohrbach; and Charlie, a 26 yr. old AQHA gelding, owned by Jen & Rachael Huff taking turns in the chute. There were a couple other horses that were tested in the chute. Joan is working hard to build a volunteer group in the Bloomsburg area. If you’re a PEC member we would love to have you join our ELC Volunteer Family. We have a lot of fun no matter where we go.
Thank you to all that helped the ELC in any way this year. We truly appreciate your volunteer hours and cannot do what we do without you.
The Equine Learning Center (ELC) is the Pennsylvania Equine Council’s (PEC’s) educational program targeted at new and prospective horse owners. It provides handouts of science-based information about the care and costs associated with horse ownership. It also provides valuable facts concerning the unwanted horse problem so potential buyers
understand the ramifications of purchasing an equine. The Equine Learning Center debuted at the 2007 Pennsylvania Farm Show. Since then, subsequent Farm Shows, the York Fair, Penn State University's Ag Progress Days and a horse celebration by the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh have hosted our program. In 2015, the Bloomsburg Fair has agreed to host our ELC.
The star of the Equine Learning Center is the live horse. This patient partner-in-teaching stands quietly while hundreds of eager little and not-so-little hands stroke and pat him/her. The ELC is built so that children young and old can safely touch our equine friend. To make this possible we have built a
deck attached to a 3-rail fence. On the deck there is a large step along the fence on which the children stand to pet the horse. This system safely keeps the children from getting stepped on and also prevents them from slipping beneath or behind the horse.
The display at the ELC touches on basic care, including teeth and hooves. It also has an assortment of equine related accessories and equipment. There is a quiz book that tests the equestrian's knowledge.
A real equine skull is the Station's second-biggest attraction. This skeleton teaches about equine teeth, brain location, shape of the horse's mouth and how the use of a bit has developed over time to accommodate the natural large gap between the incisors and the molars.
Agriculture is the largest industry in Pennsylvania and the fastest growing segment of that industry is involved with equines. The PEC strives to help the equine community in our Commonwealth grow and thrive. The ELC, by reaching new and prospective horse owners, allows the PEC to distribute information addressing responsible ownership, costs, basic care and shelter as well as liability issues, nutrient management and accountability in land use and stewardship.
We would like to continue to expand the program to attend other agricultural events where prospective first time equine owners may be. This includes county and area fairs. If you are involved with a venue that would be appropriate for the ELC, please contact the PEC office at 888.304.0281.
The PENNSYLVANIA EQUINE FOUNDATION
The Pennsylvania Equine Foundation (PEF) helps provide financial support to the ELC. Your donations to the PEF, a 501c3 non-profit corporation, are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. Click here to learn more about the PENNSYLVANIA EQUINE FOUNDATION.
The PEC would also like to thank this year's sponsors for helping the ELC grow! Click here to learn more about sponsorship.