2014 Here We Go!

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First Day Back!

First Day Back!

It has been a crazy winter! Let’s hope the Spring and Summer are more what we are used to! Hoofbeats began the session on Saturday March 1 with the Special Olympics team members in lessons and the Rockbridge Hunt Pony Club Dressage Rally team at their first practice as well. Our horses are very hairy and we all feel a little rusty but it was fun to get back in the saddle and especially wonderful to see everyone again!
Many thanks to our terrific and dedicated volunteers, and to all of our new ones, for coming out to help! Also many thanks to the Lexington Presbyterian Ladies for all the much needed new equipment and games!

Tentative Schedule for 2014!

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Pat and I are hard at work planning for 2014!

Pat and I are hard at work planning for 2014!

Jan./Feb. RHPC Quiz prep.
(Note the word “Tentative”! This is what I know right now but more is to come, I am sure!)
Feb. ODPC HB/HA prep.
March 1- April 6 Special Olympics Session
April 5-6 ODPC Dressage Rally
April 6 Special Olympics
April 12- June 6 First Session of Riding Lessons
May 11 Hear the Beat Horse Show Fundraiser
May 31 Dressage with a View (invitational show team)
June 1 Hear the Beat Horse Show Fundraiser
June 7 Dinner Theater “It’s a Circus!”
June 17- Aug.8 Second Session of Riding Lessons
June 28 Commonwealth Games at the VHC (Invitational Show Team)
Aug. 9 Games Rally and Breakfast
Aug. 29-31 Baroque Equestrian Games (Invitational Drill Team)
Sept. 2 – Nov. 1 Third Session of Riding Lessons
Sept. 7 Hear the Beat Horse Show Fundraiser
Sept. 8 Dressage with a View (Invitational Show Team)
Oct. 4-5 TRAV Show!
Nov. 14 Awards Ceremony 5:00

Hoofbeats completes it’s 19th year of service!

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Briiton Henley and Harry at the 2013 TRAV competition

Briiton Henley and Harry at the 2013 TRAV competition

Hoofbeats Rider arriving at a Dressage with a View show

Hoofbeats Rider arriving at a Dressage with a View show

the wash standpaux de deuxBaroque flag team
Riders feast after the Disco Dinner Theater!

Riders feast after the Disco Dinner Theater!

bath timeFlash and Company

Hoofbeats finished another successful year of Therapeutic riding! Our demographics stayed about the same serving 50% adults and 50% children, 50% male and 50% female students. We provided over 2,000 hours of instruction!
In our three 8 week sessions, our Hoofbeats riders rode in drill team and flag demonstrations for the Baroque Equestrian Games and the 4-H championships this year. Our show teams competed in the Dressage with a View series at the Virginia Horse Center, The VMI Games of Special Olympics Virginia, and we held a Spring Dinner Theater Disco and a Summer Games Rally.
The Rockbridge Hunt Pony club used Hoofbeats as their home base and served as volunteers for all of the Special Events and participated in our Unified Drill Team demonstrations as well as Quiz and Dressage Rallies, and open shows. The Old Dominion Pony Club used the Hoofbeats Community Center for it’s HB Prep clinic in Feb. Pony clubbers have become valued members of the Hoofbeats family.
Christopher Bidlack and Cody Robinson completed their Eagle Scout projects in service to Hoofbeats by providing additions to our Sensory Trail and a new Wash stall! Hoofbeats hosted numerous barn tours to community groups, group homes and High school classes.
Hoofbeats finished it’s activities with an Awards Ceremony honoring all of our volunteers, riders and family members, horses and staff, and people within our community who have supported our efforts in 2013. Jennifer Humphries was honored as the Volunteer of the Year, Chloe Kershal was honored as Junior Volunteer of the Year, Briiton Henley was honored as the Rider of the Year, and Flash was honored for his 17 service to Hoofbeats in a formal announcement of retirement to Weavy Fenses Farm.

Special Olympics Equestrian Games 2013!

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Mica and the cadet15074_10200288054941746_1270121851_n[1]28070_10200288077702315_1621991538_n[1]399838_10200288335308755_275749157_n[1]Champions! - Copyspecial olympics 2013 023special olympics 2013 01311738_10200287919738366_1459339015_n[1]




Champions! - Copy

Mica and the cadet

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special olympics 2013 013Hoofbeats again hosted the VMI Games Equestrian Venue with the Virginia Horse Center and Special Olympics of Virginia. Twenty two riders competed in Equitation, Dressage, Musical Freestyle and Working Trails. Many thanks to RATS (Rockbridge Area Transportation Services) for transporting the entire Equestrian contingent to the VMI Post for Opening Ceremonies!! Thank you to Lynda McGarry of Roanoke for judging the event, Subway of Lexington for providing lunch for our athletes, Papa Johns Pizza for feeding our volunteers, and Linda Clements and Jinea Kennedy for managing our hospitality. Special thanks also to the VMI Cadets who spent the day with us and to our volunteers and families who made it all possible!

Dressage with a View

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Alice and Penny (2)

dressage with a view 068The show teamdressage with a view 027Hoofbeats took a show team of 10 riders to the Dressage with a View Horse show at the VHC June the first. All of our riders and horses behaved impecably and we had a wonderful time! Thank you to the staff who make this show such a terrific experience foe the Hoofbeats team!!

Hoofbeats Therapeutic Riding Center in Virginia is Verified by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries

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November 30, 2012 (Lexington, VA) – The Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS), the only globally recognized organization providing standards for identifying legitimate animal sanctuaries, awarded Verified status to Hoofbeats Therapeutic Riding Center (HTRC) as of November 25, 2012.

Verification means that Hoofbeats meets the criteria of a true equine sanctuary/rescue and is providing humane and responsible care of the animals. To be awarded Verified status, an organization must meet GFAS’s rigorous and peer-reviewed animal care standards which are confirmed by a site visit and they must also adhere to a demanding set of ethical and operational principles.

“Hoofbeats Therapeutic Riding Center provides a valuable service not only for children and adults, but also for equines in need of new homes and new beginnings,” said Jeannine Alexander, GFAS Deputy Director-Equine. “Equines donated to the center find new careers and companionship and then upon retirement are placed in forever homes that provide a safe haven for the rest of their lives.”

“Hoofbeats Therapeutic Riding Center is delighted to be a member of the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries,” said Carol Branscome, director of the Lexington, Virginia facility. “We feel strongly that GFAS state-of-the-art animal care guidelines will benefit our hard-working therapy horses and enhance our program.”

The GFAS Equine Accreditation Program is made possible by generous grants from PetSmart Charities® and The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®.

About Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries

Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the sole purpose of strengthening and supporting the work of animal sanctuaries worldwide. The goal of GFAS in working with and assisting sanctuaries is to ensure they are supported, honored, recognized and rewarded for meeting important criteria in providing care to the animals in residence. GFAS was founded in 2007 by animal protection leaders from a number of different organizations in response to virtually unchecked and often hidden exploitation of animals for human entertainment and financial profit. The GFAS Board of Directors guides the organization’s work in a collaborative manner. They represent top leadership from Born Free USA, The Humane Society of the United States, International Fund for Animal Welfare, American Anti-Vivisection Society, and National Anti-Vivisection Society.

About Hoofbeats Therapeutic Riding Center
Hoofbeats is a nonprofit organization that offers therapeutic riding to children and adults with disabilities of all kinds as well as those suffering from serious illnesses and injuries. Hoofbeats is a premier center of the Professional
Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International and a member center of the Therapeutic Riding Association of Virginia. “Hoofbeats is powered by volunteers and built on the unconditional love that our horses give each and every rider,” Branscome said. “It is a place where horses make miracles happen each day.” For more information, visit or call 540-464-3337.

About PetSmart Charities®

Established in 1994, PetSmart Charities, Inc. is an independent, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that creates and supports programs that save the lives of homeless pets, raise awareness of companion animal welfare issues, and promote healthy relationships between people and pets. The largest funder of animal welfare efforts in North America, PetSmart Charities® has provided more than $134 million in grants and programs benefiting animal welfare organizations and has helped save the lives of more than 4.7 million pets through its in-store adoption program. To learn more about how PetSmart Charities is working toward its vision of a lifelong, loving home for every pet, visit or call 1-800-423-PETS (7387).

About the ASPCA®

Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first humane organization established in the Americas and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animal welfare. One million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. The ASPCA, which is headquartered in New York City, offers a wide range of programs, including a mobile clinic outreach initiative, its own humane law enforcement team, and a groundbreaking veterinary forensics team and mobile animal CSI unit. For more information, please visit To become a fan of the ASPCA on Facebook, go to To follow the ASPCA on Twitter, go to

Download Hoofbeats TRC Press Release

Rockbridge Hunt Pony Club Rocks!

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The Rockbridge Hunt Pony Club meets at Hoofbeats and the members are active volunteers for our center.  Henry and Halan are often Pony Club mounts as well.  So far this year, Weby Branscome, Conner McNeil, Olivia, Victoria, and Sofia Flemming, and  Madison Coslett have participated in the Quiz Rally at Virginia Beach with outstanding results!  Olivia and Victoria qualified for Championships in Quiz with the Old Dominion Region Pony Club!  Conner and Halan and Weby and Henry participated in the Dressage Rally and placed 2nd in Horse Management and 3rd overall on a scramble team with the Glenmore Hunt Pony Club!  Way to Go Girls!

Special Olympics on the news!

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TRAV Riders compete!

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Hoofbeats competed in the 18 th annual Therapeutic Riding Association of Virginia (TRAV) Regional Competition on Oct.8th and 9th at the Virginia Horse Center.  Lynda McGarry was the awesome show manager and she put on a great show!  Judges were Jan Fessler, Gabrielle Hooten, Hamlin Rainey, and Anthony Huff and Mary Jo Beckman was the behind the scenes master Secretary.

Hoofbeats took 44 riders and 9 horses to compete in Equitation, Dressage, Musical Kur, Trail, and Poles.  Everyone had a great time and came home tired,  loaded with ribbons, and with dreams of next year!  Thank you to all of the Volunteers and Fabulous Families that went with us and made it so much fun!  Thanks also to Tamara Hattersley who took all of the pictures!

Highlights of the weekend included a Pas De Duex with Jill and Betsy Dawson in honor of deployed soldiers.  Many Hoofbeats riders performed Musical Kur Freestyles that they helped to create.  Cody Robinson, Betsy Dawson, and Sebastian Dawson won Championship in their divisions.  Hannah Beard and Kayla McCoy won  Reserved Championships.  SHERMAN was voted TRAV THERAPY HORSE OF THE YEAR 2011

Show Team Pictures!

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Diane and Willie the Great!Michaela and Sherman