Equine Learning Center
PA EQUINE COUNCILS EQUINE LEARNING CENTER
2017 PA FARM SHOW
The Pennsylvania Equine Council Equine Learning Center (ELC) just completed another successful run at the Farm Show. Only one day out of the eight days was a little slow; the balance of the week was busy. A staff of five is necessary to handle the crowd at the Farm Show and the volunteers who make this possible cannot be thanked enough. We again had our North American Spotted Draft who learned to relocate her stall each evening until we devised a solution for that problem. Next in line were our minis who escaped one evening and went to the food court where, after some effort, they were corralled by the Farm Show security officers. Jethrow, the burro, owned by Bob Sneed's daughter, follows in our line up and is always a hit. He managed to bray several mornings just as the National Anthem was played. We had our chute horses, Pete and Sarah, relieved by Jethrow and a new addition. Dave Rorhbaugh of Bee Tree Trail Carriage and Wagon Tours graciously loaned us one of his big Percheron hitch horse, also named Pete, who drew lots of attention while he was in the chute.
I won't attempt to list all the volunteers because I don't want to miss any but I must mention Bob Sneed and Charlie VanAuken who were there every day. We had some youth members and first time volunteers assisting. Many thanks to each and every one of you.
The Farm Show conducts a photo contest from candid shots taken during the previous year's Farm Show. First and third place photos were taken at our ELC booth.
Additional thanks goes to Bill Achor at York Ag Products for his generosity in donating a PA Preferred product known as Horse Stall Odor Eraser to help us to keep odor under control in the stalls at the Farm Show. When applied properly, it will effectively manage stall odor and help keep the stalls dry resulting in the use of less bedding. Information about this product can be obtained from Bill Achor at 800-632-1895.
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.