Where To Go Horseback Riding

Where To Go Horseback Riding

The Clifton Horse Society

<bt>The Clifton Horse Society: P.O. Box 183

Clifton. Call 703-250-6188


The Clifton Horse Society was established in 1977 to serve horse enthusiasts in Fairfax County and the surrounding communities. A thriving club that responds to the equestrian community’s unique needs and addresses pending issues, CHS is here for all who want horses to continue to be part of Northern Virginia. The vast membership includes individuals and families throughout the metropolitan area, and in other states.

* Activities for everyone: CHS provides a variety of activities for horse owners and non-owners of all interests and riding persuasions. Each year’s events stem from a yearly planning meeting, and members can suggest activities and events.

* Recreational: CHS organizes a number of trail rides of both fast and slow groups on local trails or within a short trailer drive of Northern Virginia. In addition to the popular trail rides, other mounted events throughout the year may include:

* A judged pleasure ride in the spring.

* Fourth of July parade.

* Spring and fall rides at Fountain Head Regional Park.

* Christmas caroling on horseback.

If you don’t ride, but enjoy being around horses, there are unmounted volunteer opportunities all year long.

* Social functions: CHS hosts several get-togethers each year, including an annual Fall Harvest Social and a winter Champagne and Chocolate Party. Group trips are organized to area horse races, the Washington International Horse Show, specialty farms, and other equestrian attractions. The activities have also included picnics, barn dances, and dinner parties. Although CHS is a predominately adult riding club, social activities frequently include the whole family.

* Educational: CHS sponsors clinics on horse care, training, bomb-proofing, vetting, safety, trailering, tack purchasing and maintenance, and many more aspects of quality horsemanship. CHS also sponsors an annual competition for the highly coveted Proteus Award, which is designed to encourage members to stretch their own abilities (and those of their horses) by taking part in a variety of shows, clinics, lessons, and trail rides they may not have considered in the past.

* Stewardship and service: CHS enjoys a strong ongoing relationship with local park authorities and land owners. In cooperation with them, CHS helps maintain the local equestrian trail system, including historic trails, and also develop new trails. Also interfaces and partners with equestrian organizations at the regional, state, and national levels to pursue mutual concerns.

* Scholarships, grants, other awards: CHS supports riding programs for people with disabilities, those pursuing equine studies, and generally the local equestrian community that supports CHS' interests, such as veterinarian schools, equine hospitals, rescue organizations, publicly-operated equestrian facilities, and others.

* Membership: Most club members are horse owners, but membership is open to all horse lovers. Activities cover every base including recreational, social, educational and service. Yearly dues are $20 for individual or $30 for family membership.

For more information or to get a complimentary copy of the Clifton Horse Society's monthly newsletter, write to CHS, P.O. Box 183, Clifton, VA 20124. Call Mary Flowers at 703-250-6188. The Web site is www.cliftonhorsesociety.org.