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the Northern Virginia

Coalition of Equestrian Organizations

This page was updated
Sept. 21,  2005

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Member Organizations

Battlefield Equestrian Society
Clifton Horse Society
Equestrian Trail Alliance
Frida Icelandic Riding Club

Great Falls Equestrian Society
(George Mason Univ.)
Equestrian Team

Horse Works
Mason Neck Horse Coalition
Nokesville Horse Society
Northern Virginia Therapeutic Riding
Old Dominion Endurance Rides
Rainbow Therapeutic Riding

Turner Farm Park
Equestrian Committee

United States Trail Ride

Affiliate Member

Cedar Creek Mounted Guard
No Man's Land
Back Country Horsemen


Commercial Members


Don't see your group here?
Contact Us to Add your Equestrian Organization

Tips for the New/Novice Horse Farm Owner
(By a New Horse Farm Owner)
Provided by the Nokesville Horse Society Newsletter

There are many people who have had the good fortune to purchase horse property recently. Some of those people have been horse owners for a long time and know exactly what to do on their new places. This article is for those of you who are new farm owners that are just starting out and may need some help. There is a big difference between boarding your horse and doing it every day yourself. I bought a place a short while ago and was thrilled to be taking care of my horses on a day-to-day basis. I diligently fed, groomed and fly sprayed my horses twice a day in this hot nasty weather. One day I noticed that my horse's chest seemed to be peeling and he had scabs on his neck. I used treatments that had worked in the past for boo-boos and skin and fungal treatments and got lots of advice from friends, but it didn't get better. Then I decided to ask for help from an older, wiser horsewoman who finally figured it out. I was burning my horse with the fly spray. All those years that I thought my horse was getting sprayed - he wasn't. So now, after getting sprayed twice a day for a few weeks - it was just too strong for him and the chemicals burned his skin. I stopped spraying him everywhere except his legs - and his neck and chest are almost healed. So be aware if your horse has sensitive skin, you could be potentially harming him with frequent spraying. The 'spot on' fly treatment might be the better choice for horses with sensitive skin.

You need to be careful not to overfeed your horses once that is one of your daily chores. Most of us who have boarded in the past probably wished we could care for own horse because they didn't seem to be getting fed well enough. But it can be harmful to overfeed so you need to watch the weight gain and try to keep your horses well fed but not too fat. Also, beware of lush pastures. If your horse was not on good grass before, it's a good idea to check their hooves every few days for excessive heat and pounding digital pulse at the heels to make sure they aren't getting ready to founder. I also called the vet and asked her for a worming chart so I'd know what type of wormer to give and when. She gave me a shot schedule as well. You can go to and get a FREE worming chart mailed to you. I've had horses for 12 years but the barn manager always made those decisions and now it's time for me to make these decisions myself.

After much research and phone calls, I finally found a reliable source for gravel for my driveway and stone dust for my sacrifice area. Who would have known how many different types of gravel and dust there are and all the many uses? The person who is going to deliver gravel to my place told me that pit find might be hard on my horse's feet. It has large chunks of gravel mixed in with the dust as opposed to just straight stone dust, which is what he recommends for setting up a dry lot. For those of you who have pit find in their dry lots and have no problem with it - great - do what works best for you. I am just telling you what I heard and I have decided to use stone dust because my horses don't wear shoes..
I have found that keeping your water trough in the shade during the hottest summer months is a way to keep the algae from growing too quickly. When the trough is in the hot sun all day it gets dirty a whole lot faster and needs to be emptied and scrubbed out once a week. When it's in the shade, the water stays cooler and it only needs to be scrubbed out every two weeks. There are some people who seldom scrub out their troughs and that's fine for them. I am one of those people who like the water to be crystal clear so this is how I do it. Since horses can drink up to 20 gallons of water a day in the summer, clean, fresh water is important for their continued good health.

I have been at my new farm for about 6 weeks and have already made many mistakes that I hope I have learned from. I jumped out of bed every morning at 6 am the first few weeks, just thrilled to finally have horses in the back yard. I still get up at 6 am to take care of the horses but lately I'm more tired than thrilled. My husband and I have spent most of our time mowing - makes me wish for winter. We decided to get a four-wheeler for dragging the ring and plowing snow and a lawn tractor for mowing. These decisions were based on advice from friends and our dwindling budget and work very well on a small place like ours, which is about 10 acres. We originally wanted about 15-20 acres and boy am I glad clearer heads told us that 10 would be plenty. I will write another article in the fall to let you know all the things I've been doing wrong from now to then. Hopefully my friends will keep giving me good advice in the meantime.




Northern Virginia Coalition of Equestrian Organizations, Inc.; P.O. Box 1971; Centreville, VA  20122-1971

Jeff Shoup, President, 703-754-4981