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February 2022 Newsletter

(Please share this newsletter with local horse friends you know who are passionate about saving land for horses and horse related uses.)

Warm weather is quickly approaching and bringing show season with it. I am feeling very business like today so I am going to skip the chit-chat and get right into the newsletter for the month. Lots to do before show season arrives. I have been doing a lot of learning about saving land for horses and horse-related activities. So guess what we are going to learn about…. LAND COSERVATION!!!! YAY!! Boring – I know. But so absolutely necessary. Scroll if you want to skip to the land conservancy info.

Upcoming Events

AAHC Organized Events:

We are always looking for inspiration for events, new merchants, local equine news. How can we help? What problems are you facing? If you have an idea or suggestion, you can respond to this email and reach the AAHC team.

There are A TON of other events coming up. Make sure you check out the Event calendar to see what you want to do. Remember, all horsey events within an hour or so of Athens are welcome to register and we add events that we happen to come across. (LET US KNOW about events we need to add.) Here are a few we want to feature:

Additional resources available on this website:

Volunteer Opportunities
Help with Loose Horses

I know I keep harping on the new website, but it is truly awesome. Another shout out to thank Mary and Cathy for updating it.

News You Can Use

Ask-A-Pro Weed control

A winter annual, burrweed sprouts in December or so and sets an extremely spiney and painful seed in early spring. Now is the time to act if you have it in your pasture or high traffic areas. Click to learn how to identify and manage Burrweed.

Ask-A-Pro Leather Care

Susan Akins of Akins Tack Repair answers the question: “How should I take care of my tack?”

The answer is really simple and true for both english and western tack.

Clink here to read her tips and tricks.

Okay – now what you have been waiting for – LAND CONSERVATION!

We are starting to find some organization around land conservation for horses. I have discovered a ton of resources and learning opportunities. We are working towards a land conservation wing of this website, with resources organized by county and information on projects – but all things in time. For now, you can visit our page on Land Conservancy to read more about our projects and plans.

ELCR has a free webinar coming up March 5th: Webinar: Sustainable Equine Management. Like other grazers, horses can be employed to degrade the land or to heal it. Join us in learning pasture management, composting, erosion control, confinement area innovations, manure and mud management, natural insect and weed control, drainage, integrated habitat restoration, fire preparedness, and more! Main Presenter: Alayne Blickle, creator of award-winning Horses for Clean Water
Guest Speakers: Sonoma RCD, NRCS, SF Bay Water Quality Control Boards

Back Country Horsemen of America and their Northeast GA chapter.

From the BCHA website: “Back Country Horsemen is the organization that speaks for horseback riders about our right to ride on public lands and keep trails open. Every BCH membership counts when our representatives talk to legislators. We work on a local, state and national level. Please join today and make your voice known that you care about keeping trails open for equestrians!”

The Middle and South GA chapter is having their Annual Meeting in Monticello on March 19th. More details here. Trail riding opportunity prior to the meeting.

State Park Equestrian Volunteer Work Day.

March 12th is our Annual GA State Park Equestrian Workday. Each park will have different plans, so reach out to the Ranger’s office at your local state park and ask how you can get involved. It is hard to overstate how important it is for horse people to show up and help at these workdays. Seeing our faces and knowing that the local horse community is willing to invest in the local riding green spaces is essential to continuing to have these trails available to us in the future. Additionally “The Friends of” the state parks organizations receive compensation for every volunteer hour donated. These funds go back to help support the Equestrian Area.

Watson Mill Bridge State Park – Volunteer Workday. Join or learn more about Friends of Watson Mill Bridge State Park.
Hard Labor Creek State Park – Volunteer Workday. Join or learn more about Friends of Hard Labor Creek State Park.
AH Stephens State Park – Volunteer Workday. Join or learn more about Friends of AH Stephens State Park.

Looking ahead – AAHC Plans – Saving Land for Horses in Athens Area – Strategy Meeting

If you are passionate about saving land for horses and horse related activities, please respond to this email asking how you can get involved. We are hoping to hold an Equine Land Conservation strategy meeting on March 6th at 4pm at a private location. Agenda to cover: What organizations already exist that we can support? What projects do we want AAHC to focus on? Appointing county leaders, Connective Trails Project, Heritage Park Project, potentially joining American Horse Council… and probably lots more that I don’t even know to include here. There will be lots of opportunity to get involved and if you start volunteering with us now, you can help us with our vision and basic strategy.

If you like what you’ve read, please consider sharing this newsletter with a friend.

Okay, that is all I have energy and time to cover. See you a the barn! -Amanda McCoy