Misty Brae Farm, LLC and Pony Club Riding Center

Misty Brae Farm, LLC and Pony Club Riding Center Horseback Riding Lessons, Spring/Summer/Winter Camps, Horse Boarding & Showing

Misty Brae Farm, LLC and Pony Club Riding Center is a Summer Camp service in Aldie, VA, offering Horseback Riding, summer activities, and Pony Club services since 1991.



I hacked Alfred out this morning. He is only 5 years old, and he has taken a while to not panic when larger vans and lorries come past him. Every single vehicle today, big and small, bar ONE, was outstanding! This one driver was a local “horsey” family, well known for never slowing down for horses, who now seem to be into tarmac driveways. There’s zero point naming him/them as they won’t change until they kill a horse and/or rider, and probably not even then.

So, I thought I’d write a post for non-horsey people, on why it’s so important to slow down for horses on the road. About two weeks ago, a really lovely female driver stopped to ask me at what speed she should go past a horse and rider, so I’m hopeful that some drivers who don’t slow down, simply don’t know why, or at what speed they should go past a horse out on the roads.

Firstly, every horse is different. It’s really important to take advice from the rider on to how quickly to pass them, or whether to just stop for ten seconds. You can’t see what’s behind walls and hedges, and the rider may need you to stop if they are about to pass some sheep behind a hedge, or a lawn mower, for example. However well educated a horse is, they will always be a prey species, so should always retain their natural survival instinct to move very quickly away from what they perceive to be imminent danger. They are likely to only shoot sideways a step or two, but that could be straight in front of your car. The rider will likely have picked up on the horse’s fear, and by following his or her instructions to just stop your vehicle for two seconds, everyone stays safe.

Horse riders do not ask drivers to slow down or stop, because we are pompous a**eholes. We may indeed be pompous a**eholes, but that’s not why we are asking drivers to slow down or stop. We are doing it because we don’t want to cause a fatal accident.

Young horses need to get used to traffic. If vehicles constantly shoot past a young horse, they will be terrified of traffic for the rest of their lives. The ONLY way to get a horse safe on the roads, is to expose him/her to the roads. My aim with young horses, is to give them time to assess the vehicle they are about to pass. If that horse needs that big lorry to stop for a minute, whilst he assesses that the big lorry is safe to go past, then unfortunately that needs to happen. If the lorry continues to move past that horse, and the horse panics, whips round, and bolts in the opposite direction, then not only will the driver be held up for far longer, but that horse may either slip over in the road, or need five minutes to pass the next lorry. Yes, it’s extremely frustrating to be held up on the roads by a horse rider, but a minute or two really won’t change your life.

I thought I’d clear up some common misconceptions, too.

1. Yes, horse riders have as much right as cars to be on the road.
2. The Highway Code states to pass horses at 10mph. Therefore screaming out of your car window that you were “doing 30”, when asked to go slower, isn’t a valid argument.
3. We don’t want to ride on roads, and we don’t enjoy riding on roads. It’s unfortunately a necessity to get to quiet country lanes and bridleways.
4. We can’t just “ride in fields”. As much as we’d all like to chop off padlocks to all of the local fields, and use them, the farmers would get a tad unhappy.
5. We don’t clear up our horses’ poo, because it’s a very safe waste product. Human excrement is used as a fertiliser for many of the food that you eat. I know whose excrement I’d prefer on my tomatoes.
6. Horses have to be introduced to traffic in order to get used to traffic; they weren’t born knowing that cars weren’t going to kill them, or drive into them. In fact, they are right to be scared of fast moving vehicles, until they are older and experienced on the roads.
7. We pretty much all own cars, and many of us also own horse lorries, so yes, we do pay as much road tax as you.
8. If we ask you to slow down, please slow down. It is for your safety, as well as our own.
9. It is actually a lovely, brief, interaction when a vehicle is considerate to a horse, and stops if asked. The rider smiles and thanks the driver, and the driver smiles back. The horse is also happy, and has had a good experience.

Slowing for a horse may take as little as twenty seconds out of your day, but it may save that horse and rider’s life.

My final point is to also ask all RIDERS to always thank drivers, IF they slow down. There is nothing worse, even as a horsey person, to slow right down for a rider, and be given a blank stare. If you can’t take your hands off the reins, then a smile/nod/mouthed “thank you”, is fine!

Please share, especially with non horsey friends/groups!

Photo of wonderful Alfred today, after his hack. This was his first hack without a person on foot, since I injured my pelvis over 4 months ago!


Protective riding vests are a rarity among grand prix show jumping riders, but they've started popping up more at national shows.


Once virtually unseen at hunter/jumper shows, safety vests are now part of standard show ring attire for many riders, from juniors and amateurs to hunter professionals and international show jumpers. Instead of the full ASTM-certified body protectors required in eventing, air vests tend to be the eq...


Recent studies conducted by the Institute of Heart-Math provide a clue to explain the two-way ′′healing′′ that occurs when we're close to horses.
According to researchers, the heart has an electromagnetic field larger than the brain: a magnetometer can measure the energy field of the heart that radiates from 2.4 meters to 3 meters around the human body.
While this is certainly significant, perhaps more impressive than the electromagnetic field projected by the heart of a horse is five times larger than that of a human being (imagine an electromagnetic sphere around the horse) and it can influence straight into our own heart rate.
Horses are also likely to have what science has identified as a "coherent′′ heart rate (heart rate pattern) that explains why we can feel better when we're close to them. Studies have found a coherent heart pattern or HRV to be a solid measure of well-being and consistent with emotional states of calm and joy-that is, we exhibit such patterns when we feel positive emotions.
A coherent heart pattern is indicative of a system that can recover and adapt to stressful situations very efficiently. Many times, we just need to be in the presence of horses to feel a sense of well-being and peace.
In fact, research shows that people experience many physiological benefits by interacting with horses, including lower blood pressure and heart rate, higher beta-endorphins (neurotransmitters acting as pain suppressors), decreased stress levels, decreased feelings of anger, hostility, tension and anxiety, better social working; and greater feelings of empowerment, confidence, patience and self-efficacy.

By: Alejandro Pascual Puig
The artist is Valerie Eric. The copyright holder is Sarah Barnes, HeartMath certified practitioner. The image was inspired following a riding lesson on heart connection.


Share the trails! Hikers and bikers....did you know horses have the right of way? Since horses' movements are sometimes unpredictable, it's best to stop and let the horses know you are there. It only takes a minute to let equestrians go by and it's safer for all!


The Importance of Incorporating Horsemanship Lessons in Your Training Curriculum


It's so important that your equitation feels natural - there are important reasons for everything that compromises a good position. When you understand the function, the form gets easier. This is a well-said, simple explanation of why you want to keep your elbows in - essentially, it makes your arms an extension of your seat.


Everyone needs to pay attention to this. Two local riders have been seriously hurt this week after falls from their horses. Under no circumstance should you ever sit in a saddle without a helmet on. If you ride English, wear a helmet. If you ride Western, WEAR A HELMET. If you're jumping, you should be wearing a helmet. If you run barrels, you should absolutely be wearing a helmet! If you're out on the trails with your friend, both of you should be wearing a helmet! Check your ego and your coolness factor at the door. A cracked helmet could have been your skull. Not everyone comes away from a fall okay. Some people are left paralyzed and worse yet, some people die. Don't take your life for granted by not wearing a helmet.


Do this one simple thing to help prevent your student from getting hung up on the peacock stirrup and hanging off the side of the horse!

👉Move the stirrup leather so that it is in front of the knee roll.

Why? Clothing, belts, and body parts (yes....body parts!!! 😳) can get hung up on the hook or nob of the peacock stirrup.
Having the stirrup in this location during the dismount will help prevent the student from getting caught on the stirrup and possibly hanging off the side of the saddle!

Bonus: If suitable to your student, teach them how and why to do this so they can become more independent! Break it down into the three easy steps below.

I do recommend trying to move away from using peacock stirrups if possible and using a different type of safety stirrup (like an S stirrup). I do admit I still have one pair of small peacock stirrups in use since I've not been able to find an S set that small and the students that need it don't do well in cage or Devonshires.

👉CHALLENGE for YOU: try to move the stirrup leather of peacock stirrups forward during every dismount this next week!

For more free instructor education and resources visit HoofFallsandFootfalls.com or find me on YouTube

Get immediate access to over 160 educational videos made specifically for adaptive/therapeutic riding instructors check out IntuitiveInstructorClub.com
New content released every month by certified professionals with over 100 years combined experience in the Equine Assisted Services Industry (yes....we feel old)


Things your riding instructor wants you to know:
1. This sport is hard. You don't get to bypass the hard…..every good rider has gone through it. You make progress, then you don't, and then you make progress again. Your riding instructor can coach you through it, but they cannot make it easy.

2. You're going to ride horses you don't want to ride. If you're teachable, you will learn from every horse you ride. Each horse in the barn can teach you if you let them. IF YOU LET THEM. Which leads me to…

3. You MUST be teachable to succeed in this sport. You must be teachable to succeed at anything, but that is another conversation. Being teachable often means going back to basics time and time and time again. If you find basics boring, then your not looking at them as an opportunity to learn. Which brings me to…..

4. This sport is a COMMITMENT. Read that, then read it again. Every sport is a commitment, but in this sport your teammate weighs 1200 lbs and speaks a different language. Good riders don't get good by riding every once in awhile….they improve because they make riding a priority and give themsevles opportunity to practice.

5. EVERY RIDE IS AN OPPORTUNITY. Even the walk ones. Even the hard ones. Every. Single. Ride. Remember when you just wished someone would lead you around on a horse? Find the happiness in just being able to RIDE. If you make every ride about what your AREN'T doing, you take the fun out of the experience for yourself, your horse, and your instructor. Just enjoy the process. Which brings me to...

6. Riding should be fun. It is work. and work isn't always fun.....but if you (or your rider) are consistently choosing other activities or find yourself not looking forward to lessons, it's time to take a break. The horses already know you don't want to be here, and you set yourself up for failure if you are already dreading the lesson before you get here.

7. You'll learn more about horses from the ground than you ever will while riding. That's why ground lessons are important, too. If you're skipping ground lessons (or the part of your lesson that takes place on the ground), you're missing out on the most important parts of the lesson. You spend far more time on the ground with horses than you do in the saddle.

8. Ask questions and communicate. If you're wondering why your coach is having you ride a particular horse or do an exercise, ask them. Then listen to their answer and refer to #3 above.

9. We are human beings. We make decisions (some of them life and death ones) every day. We balance learning for students with workloads for horses and carry the bulk of this business on our shoulders. A little courtesy goes a long way.

Of all the sports your child will try through their school years, riding is one of 3 that they may continue regularly as adults (golf and skiing are the others). People who coach riding spend the better part of their free time and much of their disposable income trying to improve their own riding and caring for the horses who help teach your child. They love this sport and teaching others…..but they all have their limits. Not all good riders are good coaches, but all good coaches will tell you that the process to get good is not an easy one.

*thank you to whoever wrote this! Not my words, but certainly a shared sentiment!


With my budget staying ever stagnant, I looked around for another option and noticed something inspiring. It’s the rise of the schooling show, people!


The Dressage Foundation is proud to offer the Trip Harting Fund for Graduate or Current Pony Club Members grant.

The Trip Harting Fund will provide an annual $1,000 grant to a current or graduate rider with a Pony Club Rating of A, B, or C rating to attend an educational event of his/her choice. The online application and required documents must be received by TDF on or before March 25th. The recipient will have up to one year to use the grant.

Complete information and online application are here: bit.ly/3bwCGpu


The first unified concussion guidelines designed specifically for riders across all equestrian disciplines are unveiled by British Equestrian


So true!


Watch top eventing groom Emma Ford explain everything equestrians need to know about blanketing their horses. This video is brought to you by Horseware Ireland.


Dancing in the Rain aka Poncho clear show jumping!




Horse therapy ❤️



MBFPCRC D2 member Abby D. riding Agripin Rudy representing the Virginia Region Jr. Modified team at USPC Championships East.


MBFPCRC C1 member, Megan D. riding Captivate on the Virginia Region Senior Team at USPC Championships East at Tryon International Equestrian Center.

Congratulations to our members that competed in the USPC Championships East!

Congratulations to our members that competed in the USPC Championships East!


A Pimm’s gazebo in full flight overhead and jumps blowing down as you’re clearing them — it was just another day in the office for national champions Adrian Speight and Millfield Baloney. “We had a bit of excitement, didn’t we!” Adrian told H&H. “Bloody hell!” The combination were la...


40295 New Road
Aldie, VA

Opening Hours

Monday 7am - 9pm
Tuesday 7am - 9pm
Wednesday 7am - 9pm
Thursday 7am - 9pm
Friday 7am - 9pm
Saturday 8am - 2pm
Sunday 8am - 4pm


(703) 403-6422


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Apparel order is done 😁 Will be dropping it off at MBF in the apartment by tomorrow evening!
Congratulations to Tori H of Misty Brae Farm, LLC and Pony Club Riding Center! Thanks to Total Equine Veterinary Associates, Tori & a guest will enjoy Auditor Passes to Olympic Gold Medalist Will Simpson Show Jumping Clinic at Rutledge Farm on October 12