Equine Learning Center
2018 Equine Learning Center Report
2018 was once again 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 at the 2018 PA Farm Show Jan. 6th – 13th. We had our two Equine Ambassadors, Chic and Pete, working the chute for all to pet. This was Chic’s first Farm Show and she did great. Along with Chic and Pete we had a Donkey owned by Avery Sneed that took a turn in the chute. Once again, Linda Bunning joined us at the ELC Booth. She brought her Spotted Draft Mare and this time the mare had a month old filly at her side. This was a very big hit. We also had Mini’s owned by Prairie Fire Farm. These equine and their owners, along with our volunteers made this year’s Farm Show a great success. We have three 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 Days outside of State College, PA, from Aug. 14th to the 16th. Ag Days is always fun as it is the shortest and most relaxed of all our events. We had Gizmo, Appaloosa mare and Buck, a Buckskin Quarter Horse gelding working the chute. They are owned by Mike Kraft & Capri Stiles-Mikesell.
The 2018 York Fair took place Sept. 7th-16th. This is the longest of all our events. We had Mouse, an Appaloosa mare, and Chic, a Quarter Horse mare, taking turns in the chute. Both are owned by Skip & Aleta Seifert. Along with talking to the many visitors at our ELC Booth we also enjoyed watching the members of 4-H & FFA show their livestock during the Fair. At this event we have two shifts per day with five volunteers per shift.
The 2018 Bloomsburg Fair took place Sept. 21st-29th. The weather during the Fair was more normal…cool and wet. Joan Pauley did a great job chairing this event. She brought her Quarter Horse gelding, Birch, to work the chute along with Charlie, a 26 yr. old AQHA gelding, owned by Jen & Rachael Huff. Becky Keleno brought a yearling Gypsy Vanner which also took his turn 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. In order to continue attending this event we need many more volunteers as there were shifts with just two volunteers. We can’t have a horse in the chute with less than three volunteers. Joan tries to fill three shifts per day with five volunteers per shift. Should you choose to join our ELC family you will see 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 would not have an ELC without the many hours our loyal members volunteer.
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.