Thinking Outside of the Ring

Join Your Local Horse Council

The United States Park Police Horse Mounted Unit offer assistance during a protest at the White House sidewalk in Washington, D.C. in 2015. Credits: U.S. Park Police

As the saying goes, membership has its privileges. National and local horse councils help keep horsemen informed about government and other issues that can impact their rights to keep horses and enjoy the equestrian lifestyle.

According to its website, the American Horse Council is the only national association exclusively representing every segment of the vast equine industry in Washington, D.C.

Two categories of membership are available: Individual and Organizational.

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Individual memberships are for those with a personal interest in the equine industry such as a personal farm, small equine business, CPA, equine lawyer, etc. Individual memberships are limited to a single person per account.

Organizational memberships are geared towards those equine associations or organizations not only invested in the industry, but also interested in helping the AHC be successful in its mission, working with and supporting the industry as a whole, and increasing the visibility of the organization. 

See for more information about the American Horse Council.

New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania each have state horse councils. New York and Pennsylvania also have several regional and local councils.

State and local horse councils also help horse owners with local zoning issues, provide education on various equine topics, have guides to places open to trail riding, they sponsor scholarships and represent their states at the national level.

The state horse councils were instrumental in getting inherent risk laws passed in their home states. New York was the most recent to accomplish that task which limits liability in cases of equestrian accidents. Under these laws, the participant assumes liability when engaging in an equestrian activity except when gross negligence can be proven.

In New Jersey, one current issue being debated is sales tax on horse stalls. In 2006 changes to the state tax code required most boarding stable operators to collect a use tax on stall rental and other services.

Legislation has been introduced to repeal that tax.

 Under Assembly Bill 4241, the taxable service of “furnishing space for storage” would be redefined to exclude from the sales and use tax, charges for the lease or rental of certain stable stalls. The bill exempts charges for storing, maintaining, or servicing a horse, pony, mule, donkey, or hinny in a barn, stable, or other similar structure or facility by a person engaged in the business of boarding or stabling or otherwise keeping or holding horses, ponies, mules, donkeys, or hinnies.

The bill would take effect immediately and apply retroactively to Oct. 1, 2006. In addition, the bill would provide taxpayers a 24-month window to apply for a refund for any taxes, penalties, and interest collected or paid in connection with eligible sales and charges between that date and the effective date of the bill.

The tax issue is one that will be discussed at the New Jersey Agricultural Convention and Trade Show scheduled for Feb. 7-8 at Harrah’s Resort and Waterfront Conference Center in Atlantic City.

The Pennsylvania Equine Council is very active in education and trail issues. Upcoming events include trail stewardship workshops and a packing clinic. The council will have an education display at the upcoming Pennsylvania Farm Show and several other events throughout the year.

The New York State Horse Council is gearing up for its 50th anniversary since incorporation. A celebration will be held in September at the Horse Shows In The Sun (HITS) show.

For more information:

New Jersey


New York

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Equestrian Events January, 2018 onward

Dates listed for New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York, send dates to

Jan. 6 — Barrel Racing, Horse Park of New Jersey, Allentown, N.J., 908-963-1989,

Jan.  6-13 — Pennsylvania Farm Show, Harrisburg, Pa., 

CANCELED Jan. 9 and 11 — Developing Future Leaders for the Equine Industry, 8:30 ...

'Right To Farm' Seminar To Be Held In Monmouth County on 1/31

January 22, 2018

FREEHOLD, N.J. – The Monmouth County Division of Planning will host a seminar about the Right to Farm Act and how it applies to Monmouth County farms on Wednesday, Jan. 31 at the County’s Agricultural Building at 6:30 p.m. at 4000 Kozloski Road.

“We invite municipal officials, local farmers and anyone interested in learning more about the Right ...

2018 Stallion Breeding Auction to Benefit the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame

GOSHEN, N.Y. — The Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame is lining up its stallion roster for the 2018 season. Stallion or breeding owners are invited to put their breedings to work for the benefit of all – the breeding donor, the mare owner and the Harness Racing Museum.

For information on donating a breeding or placing a bid and would like more information, please contact ...

Tickets To 'Springsteen on Broadway' Among Auction Items

GLADSTONE, N.J. — On Friday, Jan. 19, the United States Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation will be hosting a benefit event at the International Polo Club in Wellington, Fla.

The "Triumph in Tryon" gala, co-chaired by Jim and Haity McNerney, will help raise funds for the USET Foundation to further support the USET athletes as they prepare to compete at the 2018 FEI ...

Museum Presents 1920s Thoroughbred Racing-themed Murder Mystery On Jan. 20

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. — The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame will play host to a 1920s thoroughbred racing-themed murder mystery event on Saturday, Jan. 20 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., sponsored by Foxwoods Resort Casino.

Tickets are $125 for Museum members and $150 for the public. They may be purchased at or by calling (518) 584-0400 ...

Help Out At The Horse Park of New Jersey

The Horse Park of New Jersey hosts many equestrian events throughout the year thanks to the help of many volunteers. More help is always welcomed.

Here's the Horse Park's Winter Wish list:

Plowing and salting the park roads, even just one time
Donating a chain saw or other equipment to help with post-storm clean up
Providing snow and ground maintenance equipment, ...

BB Advises Barking Dog

BB is a lovely, intelligent Arabian mare. Life can be pretty quiet at home and she had become bored with the daily routine. She discussed this with her owner, animal communicator Anita Curtis and she decided that she would like to give advice to animals who were having problems. Due to opposable thumb problems, Curtis agreed to do the typing and computer work as long as she was allowed to give ...