Competitive Trail Rookies

Welcome to the fun and friendly sport of Competitive Trail Riding! In our region of the U.S., the sanctioning organization is the Eastern Competitive Trail Riding Association (ECTRA). Always a good place to start, their website has an up to date listing of Competitions and the Rulebook. By becoming a member of ECTRA, you can ... Read more

GMHA & Willy Walker Take the Reins of the Full Cheek Cafe

GMHA is taking the reins of the Full Cheek Café with the help of Willy Walker, our new Cafe Manager. Although you won’t see Willy in the café every weekend, GMHA is confident the food and service will be up to Willy’s standards. Open positions include a part-time counter person and a full-time cook. Join the team … Read more

On the Trail

2010 was the 75th Anniversary of the Green Mountain Horse Association’s 3-day, 100-mile race. GMHA is the oldest horse organization of its kind, and it is still the most prominent one in the Northeast. People move to the Woodstock area to ride the hundreds of miles of mountainous trails here. Told by the riders themselves. … Read more

Endurance Rookies

Endurance Rookie FAQWhere do I start if I want to try endurance riding? Contact us to find a mentor – we may know someone in your area who is actively competing in endurance who can help you to get started. On the AERC website, look under Education for the Rider’s Handbook. Reading that is a great ... Read more

Landowner Profile: Tina Barr Tuckerman

Have you ever considered opening up your land and designating trails or wooded areas for Green Mountain Horse Association Members to ride through? Fifth generation South Woodstock resident, Tina Barr Tuckerman tells us about the benefits and pleasures of sharing her family’s Vermont farm with the GMHA community.

There have been Barrs on the family farm in South Woodstock, Vermont since the early 1900s.  According to Tina, Earl and Aggy Barr (Tina’s grandparents) opened up their land to GMHA sometime in the 1960s with the simple request, “that the land be used appropriately.”

Earl Barr installed a water tank on the property placed there expressly for the horses. One of his greatest pleasures was watching the horses come through and stop for a drink, which gave him a chance to exchange a few words with the riders. Tina says, “My grandfather loved the horses—my grandmother—not so much!”

The horse-loving part must have been passed on to Tina. She was inspired by her grandfather’s enthusiasm and says she literally “grew up” with GMHA, participating in 4-H and other events. Tina says, “I learned so much at GMHA. I was so privileged as a child to be able to go there and use real jumps instead of just hay bales and logs.”

When asked about the benefits of opening private land to GMHA, Tina is heartfelt in her response. “Being a horse person, I just love watching the horses go by—sometimes it’s the only way we see our neighbors! During the 100-mile event, a lot of the competitors stop in, remembering my grandparents. And the letters we get every year—oh, we get such great letters from riders!”

When asked if there are any drawbacks to sharing the family’s land with riders, Tina says with feeling, “I don’t know of any drawbacks. Everyone is so polite and nice! It’s a privilege to share our land and be an ambassador for Vermont. We keep our 125 acres neat and tidy and whether it’s on the back of a horse—or on the back of a snowmobile—it’s just so nice to share our Vermont farm with everyone.  It’s a nice way for us to give back to the community.”

Tuckerman, One Chicken at a Time

Latte’s Lathers, One Chicken At A Time Farm

In keeping with a time-honored family farm tradition, Tina Barr Tuckerman and her family own and run Latte’s Lathers, which features goats milk soaps containing all natural ingredients. Tina says, “the hand-made soaps are made the old-fashioned way, the way my grandparents used to do it.”

Apparently, “Latte” was the name of a goat that Tina took in. “Latte was found in a mud puddle and than lived with us in the house for three months,” says Tina. “And than one goat turned into eight goats. My husband finally said, ‘What are you going to do with all of these goats? This is no longer a hobby—you have to do something with these goats!’ So I thought to myself, what can a goat do? A goat can make cheese, a goat can make milk—and a goat can make soap. “ Providence stepped in when about that time one of Tina’s daughters developed sensitivity to certain soaps. The dye was cast; soap was the product of choice and Latte’s Lathers was created.

Eight goats soon became 30 and Tina says there are usually closer to 50 during kidding season. Tina says the goats are all “part of the family” and apparently love horses, and have their own horse, Araby. In addition to Latte’s Lathers, the farm sells maple syrup in the spring, and hay and garden produce in the summer.

Latte’s Lathers soaps can be found locally at the South Woodstock Country Store.  Or you can contact Tina directly at latteslathers@gmail.com or face book at www.facebook.com/One-Chicken-At-A-Time

 

 

 

 

 

 

Latest Dirt on Trails: Fall 2016 News

GMHA Trail Event Statistics

The Latest Dirt on the Trails

By Chelle Grald

Maintenance Roundup

Our year on the trails started early in 2016 with a warm, dry spring. We had the luxury of being able to safely check the trails on all of the Member’s Loops before Memorial Day. Other than some downed trees, there were very few maintenance needs. We smoothed out some ruts and damaged waterbars created by motorized vehicles on some of the local Class 4 roads that we frequently use. We enlisted a ‘clipping brigade’ of mounted volunteers who rode all of the Member’s Loops and clipped low hanging branches along the way. We made a few trips with the chain saw to do some heavier maintenance in a few areas. One small section of trail received a major upgrade, including new waterbars, ditching and an erosion control membrane under a new layer of gravel. This trail, called the Stone House Farm trail, was repaired in cooperation with the North Country Hounds and the two landowners. It is a part of the Blue Trail on the 100-Mile Ride and is an important connector to a very large system of trails in Hartland.

New Adventures Await

This year, we explored two new trail systems – one in Bridgewater and one around Mt. Ascutney in West Windsor. We ran small organized trail rides on both networks that were very well received. There is more exploring to do and more adventures to have in those areas in 2017. Through generous landowners, we were able to open up, repair and use a very helpful trail that enables us to avoid two rather busy and narrow roads in Hartland. We are working on opening up two more routes directly from GMHA that allow us to get on and off the property without traveling along the road.

Mapping Project

This year, we completed an ambitious effort to accurately map all of our Member’s Loop trails and the entire 100-Mile course with survey-quality GPS. We also mapped some of the additional trails used commonly for our pleasure rides. In 2017 we will continue to add more trails as we use them. The goal, slated for 2018, is to have all of the GMHA-utilized roads and trails accurately mapped in digital form to make course planning and maintenance much more efficient.

Easement Updates

The trail preservation work continues as we actively maintain our existing 26 trail easements and work within the community to identify more prospective trails. Together with the Easement Advisory Committee, we are creating a strategic map with short- and long-range goals. I have met with the Upper Valley Board of Realtors and the West Windsor Conservation Commission this summer to discuss ways that we can collaborate and spread the message about the value of conserved trails. We actively participate in joint care of the trails with the North Country Hounds, Upper Valley Land Trust, and VAST. This year we have also worked to strengthen communication with the local mountain bike groups who are becoming much more active with events and trails management.

Event Manager

Title:  Event Coordinator/Trail Secretary Reports to:  Executive Director Schedule:  Full-time   (32 hours/week) Will flex up to 40+ hours/week and include weekends and holidays during event season FLSA:  Non-exempt – Hourly Purpose:  In support of GMHA’s mission, provides management and support for specified competitive events. Key Responsibilities:   Event Management Manage GMHA’s schooling events and others … Read more

GMHA Getaway Raffle

And the winner is… Michael from Windsor! Thanks to everyone who purchased a raffle ticket supporting Phase III of the Upwey Roof project.

Annual Fund Update

Spring is now officially here!  Mother Nature was kind to us this winter, but there is still clean up to be done and repairs to be made before we officially open the 2016 Season.  The Annual Fund bridges the gap between our income and our expenses, making clean up and repairs possible. Thanks to our … Read more

We’re Hiring

GMHA has several open positions. Consider joining our team- these are fun jobs, and a great place to spend the summer: Ground Crew- Part Time or Full Time Position Available Seasonal Cleaning Staff Junior Horsemanship Clinic Instructors & Barn Managers Check out our Employment Page or contact Amber to learn more.

Welcome Shelley

GMHA welcomes our new Eventing Organizer, Shelley Spielman, to our team. Read the full press release below: The Green Mountain Horse Association is pleased to announce that Shelley Spielman will be taking the reins as our new Eventing Organizer. Shelley Spielman of Aiken, South Carolina, will lead the teams working on GMHA’s three USEF/USEA sanctioned … Read more

Latest Dirt on Trails: Fall 2015 News

2015: The Latest Dirt on the Trails

By Chelle Grald

Maintenance Roundup

A warm and dry year has been kind to the trails. The work we did last Fall to address erosion and water damage in West Windsor and Reading has held beautifully. This summer we took advantage of the conditions and repaired one very gooey but important section of trail at the end of Calendar Hill Road in Hartland. Member and volunteer Steve Grover from Hartland provided the expertise and the excavator. The result was cleaned and enhanced water bars and a system for handling water at the base of the trail that will helpfully halt the erosion in a major trail intersection. The rest of the maintenance this year has been an unprecedented amount of ‘tree-age’ – this year the conditions seem to be ideal for falling trees. Thankfully, our trail stewards and landowners have been vigilant and creative as we have worked together to keep the trails clear. As always, if you see anything that needs attention on the trail, I am all ears.

New Adventures Await

Thanks to the expanding generosity of landowners, we have been able to utilize more trails than ever. New sections of trail have become available in all 4 of our area towns. This year, we put together a section of trail in Woodstock that made it possible for carriage drivers to enjoy many more miles of off-road terrain on their competitive drives. We are working with another enthusiastic landowner to restore a vast section of carriage trails right in our backyard.

Members’ Loop Expansion & Mapping Project

Chelle shows off the Rush Meadow Ring kiosk and the new improved Members’ Loop maps, with the two new loops marked from the ring.
Chelle shows off the Rush Meadow Ring kiosk and the new improved Members’ Loop maps, with the two new loops marked from the ring.

The acquisition of the Rush Meadow Ring and its use as a trailhead is a great step forward for our trails program. Now, riders can park and ride from the Ring anytime our main grounds are otherwise occupied with an event. There are 2 new Member’s Loops from that location that are even carriage-friendly. Along with the new loops, we have improved our mapping of all Members’ Loops, so we can now offer accurate, easy-to-follow maps of all loops to our members.

Easement Updates

The trail preservation work continues as we actively maintain our existing 26 trail easements and work within the community to identify more prospective trails. Together with the Easement Advisory Committee, we are creating a strategic map with short- and long-range goals. I have met with the Upper Valley Board of Realtors and the West Windsor Conservation Commission this summer to discuss ways that we can collaborate and spread the message about the value of conserved trails. We actively participate in joint care of the trails with the North Country Hounds, Upper Valley Land Trust, and VAST. This year we have also worked to strengthen communication with the local mountain bike groups who are becoming much more active with events and trails management.

Landowner Relations

This year we have made great strides in increasing dialogue with neighbors, landowners, trail use organizations, and riders. One of the most encouraging things to see has been how eager the riders are to express their appreciation to landowners either in person when they meet on the land, or by sending hand-written expressions of what this area and these trails mean to them. Finally, we are gearing up to exhibit at Equine Affaire this year to bring our message and mission to a wider New England audience, which is sure to raise awareness of the advantages of GMHA membership for trail riders. There truly is no place like our area for sheer beauty, abundance, and miles of good trail. We end this season with great promise for 2016.