Keystone Haflinger Association


 


Join us in
celebrating
the Haflinger
Horse.

Good Friends, Good Horses, Good Times!
The History of Keystone Haflinger Association


MEAGER BEGINNINGS

Haflinger owners and enthusiasts from all over Pennsylvania turned out one September evening in 2004 for a meeting to discuss the possibility of starting a new regional Haflinger group.  The response was a unanimous and harmonious “YES!”  The time was right, and Keystone Haflinger Association was formed to represent owners, to promote the breed, educate the public, support our youth, and most importantly, “to enjoy the Haflinger with our friends.”

A tall order, to be sure, of a meager beginning with 29 charter members and a five-member steering committee.  Sub-committees evolved to meet the needs of getting KHA off the ground.  A huge membership drive began, printing and sending brochures to more than 900 Haflinger owners.  Membership was open to everyone – Haflinger owners, non-owners, registered or grade Haflingers, in PA and surrounding states.  Memberships were offered at $20 for families, $15 individual, and $5 youth.   By the time all the figures were tallied up KHA had a total of 100 members from five states and Canada. 

 

            THE ANNUAL DINNER   

The Kinzer Fire Hall (Lancaster County) was the site of the first January Membership/Dinner Meeting, and has continued to be the place where friends and families come together to enjoy a home-cooked meal and a brief membership meeting each January.  A reservation and a donation for your meal was all that was necessary for a place at the table.   We still hold the dinner/meeting at the Fire Hall in Kinzer, where you can expect the finest home-style meal anywhere.  A reservation and a donation is all KHA asks for the meal, the meeting, and entertainment. 

           

MEMBERSHIP

Well, some things change and some things do not.   Keystone Haflinger Association has kept true to its original focus - to “enjoy our horses with our friends”.   All events are kept “family-friendly”, with directors and committee chairs keeping that principle first and foremost. We average about 120 members; fees have remained the same, and KHA members nnow hail from 13 states and Canada.

 

CHANGING WITH THE TIMES

The Keystone Haflinger Sale In Harrisburg was held the week after that first Dinner Meeting in 2005, and KHA took advantage of the forum it provided to meet the public as a new association.  At that time KHA held its first Fun Auction as a fund-raiser for the club.  Members and friends donated all kinds of items to be auctioned – amazingly a whole flatbed trailer was filled with donations from horse related products and tack to jewelry, electrical tools, handmade wooden furniture, and everything in-between. The sale was a huge success and consequently it was held every year at the Keystone Haflinger Sale. KHA also held a Raffle each year offering the winner a choice of a Meadowbrook cart, a Yonie’s harness, an E-Z Fit Saddle, or a quality Western saddle. Last year saw the change from the raffle to a silent auction, which is now our main fund raiser at the annual membership dinner. KHA members are a resourceful group and because of their support, we have never had to charge for our activities. Donation boxes are set out at all events and in case of a shortfall KHA makes up the difference.

TO ENJOY AND PROMOTE

Throughout our brief history KHA has remained true to its founding premises; to enjoy the Haflinger horse and to promote the breed.  That first year plans were made to encourage family-friendly activities including trail rides, clinics, pleasure drives, and an annual wagon train.   Continuing on in that tradition, KHA schedules events from April through October, at least one per month in various locations.  We have been active with our promotion program and although it is more costly in money and hours, we continue to set up a booth at sales, PA Horse Expo, Horse Progress Days (when possible), fairs and other venues.   Each year the Horse Expo committee spends countless hours at the booth introducing the public to the Haflinger breed by handing out brochures, answering questions, and showing videos from shows and special exhibitions. A beautiful Haflinger stabled next to the booth always helps promote the breed by meeting and greeting the public.  KHA members  participate in the “Parade of Breeds”, driven in harness and ridden both English and Western, with all representing the breed well.

KHA contributes to the American Haflinger Association (AHR) and the National Haflinger and other Haflinger shows. After the Haflinger show was dropped from KILE because of the low number of entries, a KHA committee  lobbied and worked to guarantee sufficient interest in the show; Harrisburg reinstated the show which has grown significantly and the number of horses and riders attending far exceeded anyone’s expectations.  Today the Keystone Haflinger Show is alive and well because KHA felt it was too important to lose as a promotional tool.

 

            THE HAFLINGER EXPRESS & WEBSITE

KHA’s first newsletter was one page long and published in December of 2004.   A free membership was offered to the winner of the “Name the Newsletter” contest, and  the newsletter was christened “The Haflinger Express”.   The newsletter grew to 10 pages.  The Express first offered business card ads, then classifieds, and soon added online ads in addition to print. The KHA website made its debut online by the summer of 2005. Through the website, horse enthusiasts all over the world are getting acquainted with KHA and the Haflinger online.

IN CONCLUSION

So here we are. We provide quality activities so that we can enjoy our horses with our family and friends and we believe that KHA has made and will continue to make significant contributions to promote the Haflinger breed. We are committed to honoring the traditions we started in 2004.

Simply stated, KHA is good friends, good horses, and good times.

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