Free-Roaming Horse Taskforce is Extended

The Free-Roaming Horse Taskforce, established by the 2016 Kentucky legislature, has been extended into 2017.  Three meetings of the taskforce were held, each one featuring testimony from a range of people including the State Vet’s office, the Tourism Office, Equine Humane/Rescue organizations, horse owners, Judge-Executives, the Kentucky Horse Council, coal industry representatives, etc.

The taskforce members quickly realized the complexity of issues involving the free-roaming horses, from horses that are owned and cared for by their owners to abandoned horses that are on their own.  Coal reclamation properties being grazed down to dirt while reclamation bond funds are tied up; public safety issues when horses wander into the roads; outsiders taking horses with the intent to sell them for slaughter, etc.

Because of the complexity, the taskforce voted unanimously on December 20, 2016 to continue its work on discussing the situation.

Appalachian Horse Center Executive Director, Ginny Grulke, is on the task force representing the Kentucky Horse Council.

HOPE: The First Print in the Free-Roaming Horse Collection


I have had a lifelong love and admiration for horses. Their power and beauty is truly something special.  For the past 18 years I have supported many rescue groups through my art. It is my wish that through the sale of this print we will be able to support The Appalachian Horse Center to insure the preservation of these magnificent free roaming horses in Eastern Kentucky and give them hope for a better future.

“Hope” is the first print in the collection.  It is limited to 150 Artist Proofs  /  500 Signed and Numbered prints. The size of the print will be approximately 13 x 13 and was done in pencil.

How To Order
You may purchase this print directly from my web site at


2017 Calendars Now Available

front-coverThe NEW 2017 Appalachian Horse Center calendar is now available!  Filled with full color winning photos of free-roaming horses in Southeast Kentucky, it makes a perfect Christmas gift for a friend – or for yourself!  The calendar is a fund-raiser for the Appalachian Horse Center.

Read more about the calendar and purchase yours online at the following link:



On September 9th, twenty people from around the Commonwealth converged on HIndman, KY in Knott County to discuss and plan how to increase the economic impact of the horse industry in the region.

Kentucky is known as “Horse Capital of the World”, yet many of the economic benefits of that reputation have not been fully realized in Eastern Kentucky.  This group of individuals set out to identify how to increase job and business opportunities by growing and increasing the activities based on horses.

What rose to the top of all the ideas were TRAILS.  Because Appalachian Kentucky is already blessed with such scenic natural resources – mountains, creeks and rivers, wooded hollows – attracting visitors to come ride, and to RETURN, has the most opportunity for success.

The economic impact of trail riding visitors extends into numerous “side industries”, such as horse camps, cabins and lodges, cafes, restaurants and food options on the trail (chuck wagons), and full packaged trips that include not just riding but additional activities and tours to show visitors the rest of the region and culture.

There are two key steps to get this process started:

  1. Make the public aware of the existig economic impact of horses in the area by identifying horse businesses and telling the story of all the purchases and income that the businesses create.
  2. Inventory what currently exists in the region:  Number and types of horses, horse activities (Trail rides, shows, etc.), facilities such as show rings, boarding or breeding barns, etc., and the free-roaming horse population.

To see a full listing of all of the recommendations and actions from the planning session, CLICK HERE.

We will post here as progress moves forward in this effort to expand the equine industry in Southeast Kentucky.

Winners of Photo Contest Announced!!

This photo contest was incredibly competitive!  There were so many great pictures.  Thank goodness we had four sets of judges!  Below are the winners in 12 categories, which was designed so we can print a 2017 Appalachian Horse Center calendar. Also included is the photo for the cover, which was the Judges’ Choice..

THANK YOU to all who entered the contest.  Even for those photos that did not win, there are some great shots and we plan to use them for other things as the Center develops.

Best Photo Showing a Free Spirit:
Timothy Hudson


Best Photo of Horses at Peace:
Kayleigh Smith


Best Photo of a Running Horses:
Timothy Hudson


Best Photo of a Single Horse:
Autumn Cox



Best Herd Photo:
Hannah Dobson


Best Photo of Mare & Foal:
Marie Whitely



Funniest Photo:
Jack Dean


Photo Showing Nature at it’s Best:
Daniel Neace


Best Black & White or Sepia Photo:
Timothy Hudson


Photo with Most Beautiful Horse:
Hannah Turner


Photo with Best Overall Composition:
Jack Dean


Best Photo Showing Horses and Humans:
Cassandra Johnson


Timothy Hudson


AHC Participates in Kentucky Gives Day May 24

2016-razoo-banner_subpage full size


Appalachian Horse Center will be joining a number of other Kentucky nonprofits to participate in Kentucky Gives Day on May 24th, 2016.  This day is set aside in Kentucky to encourage Kentuckians to support their favorite nonprofits.

We are challenged to see how much we can raise during just 24 hours!  You may donate now however, and it will go to the 24-hour total!

The Appalachian Horse Center has a wish list consisting of items and services which donations can pay for.  Examples of these items include:

  • Halters ($15)
  • Feed for one horse for a week ($25)
  • An equine therapy session for child ($50)
  • Riding Helmets ($75)
  • Winter Blankets ($100)


We appreciate your support!

Community Sessions Held with Good Attendance Despite Winter Weather

On February 14, 15 and 16, 2016, six community sessions were held in Eastern Kentucky to explain the Appalachian Horse Center concept.  Despite bad weather (snow, ice, rain…) five out of the six were held, with only the Knott County session needing to be re-scheduled.

If you missed the Community meetings and would like to see the presentation material we used, click on the link below:

Community Presentation

Community Awareness Sessions planned

The Appalachian Horse Center will be having Community Awareness sessions Feb. 14-17. As soon as the locations and times are finalized, we’ll post them here. At this time, we are planning on 6 meetings. The last sessions were more horsemen oriented, these will be for everyone, including any horsemen who missed the last ones we had

Notes from the January Horsemen’s Listening Sessions

Below are notes taken of suggestions and ideas during the three Horsemen’s Listening Sessions on Jan. 17 & 18, 2016. Approximately 177 people attended the three meetings.
Sunday, Jan. 17, 2:00PM — Leslie County Extension Office
Model heritage of Frontier Nursing Service (Tourism, Visitor Center)
Recommend equine therapy, volunteers
Wounded Warriors
Job Opportunities
Children with disabilities
Liked that Center will offer hands-on experiences
Need programs for kids, including riding lessons
Look at grants from UNITE
Establish a 4-H Club for horses
Classes/Programs: Learn a craft (farrier, trainer, etc)
Need gelding to control population
Need a place to surrender a horse
Need job opportunities here in mountains
Best way to contact: Social media ie Facebook
Offer trail rides
Interns from Leslie County
Local horse history: Mary Breckenridge, coal mines, etc.
Pine Mountain sawmill may donate lumber, materials
Other places in Leslie County who might donate
Monday, January 18 at 10:00AM – Hampton Hotel, Hazard
Interest in therapy for children and adults with autism
Develop trails for horses and maps of other trails similar to Harlan County
Best way to network: Word of mouth and Facebook
Consider Eco-tourism
Adventure tourism
Trail town efforts fall right in line with Center
For funding, have an Adopt-A-Horse program
Monday, January 18 at 5:00PM – Mountain Arts Center, Prestonsburg
To add to revenue, add riding facilities or rent out for horse shows.
Offer camping

Horsemen’s Listening Sessions Scheduled

The opinions and support of horsemen in the region is VERY IMPORTANT to the success of the new Appalachian Horse Center.  We have scheduled three sessions for horsemen to discuss their ideas about the Center, and to get any questions answered.  Below is the schedule, and this information will also be going into the newspapers in the area.

On January 17th and 18th, the newly proposed Appalachian Horse Center is hosting listening sessions with the horse owners living in the counties of Breathitt, Floyd, Harlan, Knott, Leslie, Letcher, Magoffin, Perry and Pike. The initial work group would like to hear horse owners’ thoughts on the proposed Appalachian Horse Center, which will be located in one of the above nine counties.

All sessions are open to all horse owners in these counties and will be held on:

Sunday January 17th at 2:00 pm at the Leslie County Extension Office on Main Street in Hyden KY. Address: 22045 Main Street, Hyden 41749

Monday January 18th at 10:00 am at the Hampton Inn meeting room, Hazard KY. Address: 70 Morton Boulevard in Hazard, KY 41701

Monday January 18th at 5:00 pm at the Mountain Arts Center, Prestonsburg KY. Address: 50 Hal Rogers Drive, Prestonsburg KY 41653

Horse owners may attend any of the sessions that are convenient to their schedules. The work group will briefly explain the initial concept of the Center, but most of the time will be spent hearing HORSE OWNERS thoughts of what HORSE OWNERS want it to become. 

There will be a series of meetings open to the general public in February to present the plan. We first want to hear from the horse owners what they would like to see at the Center.