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Anna Waclawiczek

Anna Waclawiczek

Chief of Staff, Department of Agricultural Resources (DAR)

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horseback riding

As any horse hobbyist will tell you, great outdoor adventures and horseback riding are synonymous! DAR’s Linda Harrod offers some great tips to prospective horse enthusiasts that start with riding lessons from a licensed stable and licensed instructor. Linda recommends that you first watch a lesson and make the following observations:

  1. Are students required to wear helmets? (All students should wear a properly fitting riding helmet.)
  2. Inquire about the horses used in the lesson program. Are they experienced, good natured horses? Do they appear to be alert and comfortable in their surroundings?
  3. Do the students appear comfortable with what they’re being asked to do?
  4. Is the riding area safe and without obstacles that might injure the horse or rider?
  5. Is the tack (bridle and saddle) that is on the horse clean and in good repair? 

You might also ask your friends for references to riding stables, and find out if students can swap barn labor (such as stall cleaning) for lesson time if finances are a constraint.

Go and explore on horseback any one of the forty-one state parks across the Commonwealth that feature horseback riding trails.

List of horse trails at state parks

Licensed stables and instructors

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With a migration pattern that stretches thousands of miles, it is no surprise that Massachusetts is home to four types of turtles during the summer, all of them protected by local and international law. And while you probably know that sea turtles often frequent the Massachusetts beaches, can you identify them?

2014 DAR Agricultural Calendar: August posted on Aug 25

2014 DAR Agricultural Calendar: August

Augusts’ Massachusetts Agriculture Calendar Photo Contest winner was Cara Peterson, who photographed a high tunnel greenhouse at Flats Mentor Farm in Lancaster.

Not From Around Here: Green Crabs posted on Aug 22

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As part of its work to assess salt marsh health, staff from the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) have frequently observed abundant green crabs, often burrowing in the banks of marsh creeks. This summer, CZM is examining the potential impacts of green crabs in salt marsh habitats, including the impact of burrowing activity.