Horse Farms in Loudoun County

Horse Farms in Loudoun County

courtesy of Red Gate Farm website

Written by Rebecca Faletti, Special Contributor to the Woodgrove Outlander

Spring has sprung for several horse farms around Loudoun County, as they open their doors for a new season of lessons and shows over the next few months.

The courses are being set, the ribbons pressed, and the saddles oiled as riders all over the county prepare for the many hunter shows, cross-country shows, and dressage tests that they’ll be participating in.

The shows aren’t just for those who ride professionally, however. There are a large amount of shows that allow student and young riders to participate, and some are crafted especially for them. While the student shows held by farms like Red Gate Farm in Hamilton aren’t commonplace, they’re often well-received when they are held.

The farms opening their doors around Western Loudoun are not a rarity, keeping horses on the land as an option for the children to use both in lessons and local shows. The shows are held as a unique teaching experience, whether professional or not.

“For the younger students who are trying to get show experience, it really helps start you off,” said Lacey Gordon, a rider at Red Gate Farm, who participates frequently in the barn’s Show Team.

Besides the shows set aside for students at their barns, the number of other shows held at local barns are usually open to other riders and non-students for a small entry fee, often opening up the use for both local and outside horses.

“I believe that horses and the activities associated with horses are wonderful tools to teach young people many valuable life lessons,” Said Dru Roia, owner of Lucia Farm outside of Lovettsville. Lucia holds shows and lessons year round, and Roia has had a schedule full of organizing and attending them.

The diverse selection of categories for the shows leaves many people open to choice, and the shows for the spring season are a mixture of everything from the more classical dressage tests to the student hunter/jumper shows. Also, more rarely, there are cross country and pure stadium jumping shows.

Several of the shows are put on by or in conjunction with the Virginia Horse Show Association (VHSA), an association of show members and individuals who manage shows around the Commonwealth in the hopes of promoting the sport and improving the breeding and conduct used in said shows.