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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.


Site Location Search

We are in the process of evaluating sites for the Appalachian Horse Center, in a number of counties within Eastern Kentucky, particularly the coal-impacted area.  This area is where the most free-roaming horses are found, and is most convenient for visitors, students, individuals who will receive equine-assisted activities, and the community.  This mountainous area is beautiful, with a combination of forested valleys, creeks and flat pasture-like fields from reclaimed coal land that now are growing grass as well as trees.

The combination of horse herds, mountains and valleys will make the Appalachian Horse Center a pleasure to come visit and even participate in equine and other adventure tourism activities.