Equine Learning Center
2019 Equine Learning Center Report
We again had very successful year thanks to our many loyal volunteers. We started the year as always with The Pennsylvania Fair show which ran from setup Jan. 5th through Saturday January 15th. The attendance for this event is between 400,000 and 600,00. As in the past we had different Breeds on display. Two American Spotted Drafts, Two Mini’s, Jethro the Donkey, Pete as Appaloosa, and Chic an American Quarter Horse. Pete, Chic, and Jethro took turns in the chute allowing approximately 50,000 people young and old rub their backs. This is defiantly the busiest event we attend. Skip again stayed in his Trailer in the parking lot and Charlie and I traveled back in fourth from home every day. We had twenty-three, four hour, shifts of 5 volunteers per shift. That equals 460 volunteer hours for the week. Although we had fun, we were glad when the week ended.
Our next event was Ag-Progress Days outside of Penn State University. Setup was August 12th and the event ended to the 15th. We had Gizmo an Appaloosa Mare and Buck a Buckskin Quarter Horse Gelding working the chute. Ag Days is always a little bit slower than our other events its attendance is between 42,000 and 48,000. We had seven shifts at four hours per shift with five volunteers per shift equaling 140 volunteer hours over the three days. I stayed in my Trailer on the grounds and Skip and Charlie stayed in a Hotel in State College. During Ag-Days on Tuesday evening we have our PEC Board meeting which is always open to all.
Our Longest Event is next. Which is the York Fair. The Fair runs from September 5th which is setup through September 15th. The Fair has an attendance between 800,00 and 900,00. This year Skip brought his Mares to work the chute. Mouse an Appaloosa Mare and Chic a Quarter Horse Mare. Skip wanted to try C.T. his two-year-old Quarter Horse mare the one day. She did a good job, but we used her just that one day. We now know we can use her in the future if needed. We have twenty volunteer shifts during the Fair each are four and a half hours long with five volunteers per shift equaling 450 volunteer hours. The Fair is always a fun week as we get to watch the 4-H and FFA kids show their project animals.
This year because of not having enough volunteers and horses to safely run the ELC booth we had to decline attending The Bloomsburg Fair. Down the road should the volunteers and horses become available we would consider rejoining this event if they would have us.
As we always say, we could not do what the ELC does without our many volunteers. This year they volunteered a total of 1050 hours. If you do the math that works out to one person working a 40-hour week job for 26.25 weeks. We can’t thank these volunteers enough.
The attendance number we use come from the different events web pages. On the low side we have the possibility of sharing our message with 1,242,000 people per year.
Skip, Charlie and I would like to thank all that help to make 2019 a successful year for the ELC and we look forward to seeing you next year.
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 stars of the Equine Learning Center are the live horses. These patient partners-in-teaching stand quietly while hundreds of eager little and not-so-little hands stroke and pat them. 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.
Assembling the Equine Learning Center
Equine Learning Center Photo Gallery — 2020 Farm Show