Progressive Riding Program

Progressive Riding Program With our passion for our horses & our students, & our dedication to the total horsemanship approach to riding, we offer the best riding instruction around.

At Progressive Riding Program, we have a real passion for our horses and our students. Our dedication to the total horsemanship approach to riding is what makes us special. With a goal of understanding full horse management, our students are trained by renowned instructors in riding theory, practical horse training, and management techniques. Laying a solid foundation for a future of equestrian pu

At Progressive Riding Program, we have a real passion for our horses and our students. Our dedication to the total horsemanship approach to riding is what makes us special. With a goal of understanding full horse management, our students are trained by renowned instructors in riding theory, practical horse training, and management techniques. Laying a solid foundation for a future of equestrian pu

Operating as usual


We are not a riding school, we are a program. This program is designed to give you the information you need to become a good solid horsemen, not just a rider. You are going to hear " no jumping today because the ground is too hard." bet you haven't heard that before. You are going to hear that you need to cool your horse out even if your ride is late getting to the bridge club. You are going to learn the horse comes first and exactly what that means.

Yup that is today's market.

Yup that is today's market.

“The horse market will never be the same. Welcome to the new normal. It has become a luxury again to be a horse owner. The great ones are going above $40k. One in MT brought $100k. A Gypsy Vanner brought $500k last week. The average cost of a decent and safe family horse that is well broke, nice looking, not lame and not old is over $10k now. If you want a cheap horse you have to be ok with green or old or some lameness. If you are waiting for the market to come down I personally do not think it will. We are in new territory. The audience that can be reached now for horse sales has no limit due to the world wide web. Horse auctions that use to only have buyers sitting in the seats in front of them now go live online and have bidders from all over the US and beyond. When you view one of these sales you will hear the auctioneer say "sold online!" Over and over and over. You may think that an auction in Montana or Texas has nothing to do with local private sale prices but it absolutely does. The internet has also made it possible for Private sellers to have a wider audience. We went from hanging up a "horse for sale" sign on telephone poles to online horse groups with thousands of members in such a short time. Now shoppers are willing to travel and some willing to buy and have the horse shipped just from viewing videos. Buying the horse is only the start. Everything else about horse ownership has gone up. Gas prices effect every bale of hay, bag of grain, dewormer and suppliment. Now we cannot even get our own penicillin. Equine Vet prices are triple what is charged for dogs or cats. I don't sell very many horses anymore because people are still expecting to get a great one for $3500. I cannot even get one for that price right now but IF I DID then I would need to tune up, vet up, feed up, haul around and experience up, farrier up, dental up, pay teen riders to test and test and test up to make sure it's safe for anyone AND then be able to price it so that I am covering all those expenses and still have good profit. Most people who enjoy improving a horse even if it's just to resale have invested their heart too. How can you not love them after all that time spent but you still have to come out ahead financially. The horse is only part of it. Sellers have to deal with hundreds of people. The just curious, just looking, just want a thousand questions answered on text and then ghost you without even a thank you, the not in my price range even though I knew the price before coming, the rode your horse for two hours then say I don't have all the money, the bring my trainer and my 3 friends and all of them ride your horse for 3 hours and then say we have 10 more to look at before deciding, the people who say they can ride then do not know how to get on, the know it all with attitude, the rude, the lonely who just like to test ride all over the state and talk for hours,, the loose kids running all around your property, the ones you coach and give free lessons to for hours and then say they do not plan to buy until next month, the can I make payments?, and the ones who just do not show up after you have bathed, groomed and braided the horse. And in my case I do it ALL with a smile and kind words because I like people. If you encounter a less patient seller keep all this in mind. They go through a lot 😅😅 The moral of this story is save up and increase your budget before shopping but still only live once! Buy the horse!”

Written by Donna Gardner-Hale


On this day in 1945, a coalition of American and German soldiers work to save the famous white Lipizzaner horses from an advancing Russian army.

World War II was not yet over, but the mission united the two sides, if only for the moment.

“The 2nd U.S. Cavalry put a hold on the war for two days,” one American soldier later said, “while we extracted a sliver of culture for the rest of the world.”

None of it would have happened but for Luftwaffe Colonel Walter Holters. The desperate German officer came to 2nd Cavalry headquarters in southeastern Germany, near Czechoslovakia. He waved a white flag, but his was no ordinary surrender: Instead, Holters demanded to speak to the American officer in charge.

That man was Colonel Charles “Hank” Reed, and he was stunned by Holters’s story: The Germans were holding hundreds of purebred horses at a stud in Hostau, just inside Czech territory. Among these horses were all the brood mares for the prized Lipizzaner show horses.

These horses were normally housed at the Spanish Riding School in Vienna, but the German high command had different plans: It intended to use the Lipizzaner mares as the base for a new warhorse. They were breeding (essentially) an Aryan horse.

But now the Germans were going down in defeat, and the Russian army was advancing. The Red Army had already shot Lipizzaners at the Royal Hungarian Riding School. They’d turned those priceless horses into steak. Holters feared his horses could be next. Would Reed help?

The two worked out a deal: Holters would surrender information he possessed, and Reed would try to get the horses out. Importantly, Allied POWs were also at the stud, so both could be rescued simultaneously.

The plan received an unofficial blessing from General George Patton: “Get them. Make it fast.”

“Fast” would prove difficult. Others at the stud didn’t realize that Holters had gone for help. Emissaries went back and forth, but, in the end, a plan was made. Americans would fight their way into Czechoslovakia. The Germans at the stud would surrender as soon as Americans arrived.

Unfortunately, no one could control the more political arm of the German army, the Waffen-SS. In other words, no guarantees could be made about the trip to the stud. Americans would have to get there on their own.

The operation began on April 28 with an artillery barrage that blasted a hole in the German forward defenses. Just over 300 men went in with light tanks and armored cars. They fought their way through, village by village, until they came to the stud farm. There, those German officers surrendered, just as promised.

They did it in style, marching down the street, holding a white bed sheet between them.

But the hard part was yet to come. “They were eighteen miles behind German lines,” historian Mark Felton describes, “a tiny American island in a sea of German troops, connected to the Allied lines by a single long and thin umbilical road that for long stretches was barely protected.”

Complicating matters still more, it was foaling season. Transports had to be contrived for pregnant mares and foals. Worse, the Waffen-SS attacked and had to be fought off.

Indeed, logistical challenges kept delaying efforts to leave—at least until a Russian advance guard showed up on May 14. The window to escape was closing. The time to leave was NOW.

Horses, vehicles, and cavalry all left together. The convoy stretched for miles, and it took two days to make the trip—but they finally crossed into Germany.

Not only Lipizzaners, but also POWs and local refugees, had been saved.

“We were so tired of death and destruction,” Reed concluded, “we wanted to do something beautiful.”

If you enjoy these history posts, please see my note below. :)

Gentle reminder: History posts are copyright © 2013-2022 by Tara Ross. I appreciate it when you use the shar e feature instead of cutting/pasting.

#TDIH #OTD #America #liberty #freedom #ShareTheHistory


It isn't all bon bons and roses with a young horse!


Our team deployed this week to assist Animal Control Officers with the emergency removal of 4 older horses in distress. This case, like all the others, is heart breaking. The horses had to be removed from the only world they had ever known. Over the past 10 years, they slowly watched all of their herd mates perish and were the only horses remaining. There was no water in sight, no nutritious food and no evidence of veterinary care. The temperature was dropping into the 20s at night and two of the horses were running dangerously low on the energy needed to survive. Thankfully, Animal Control was able to act fast and give these horses the best chance at survival. When the on scene veterinarian authorized an emergency seizure, DEFHR’s team deployed immediately, ready to welcome all 4 horses into our rehabilitation program.

Once the horses arrived at our farm, they were seen by our vet and an individual rehabilitation plan was created for each one. Our goal is to ease their current state of pain and suffering and give them the best chance at making a full recovery. All of the horses are suffering from severe dental neglect and are in varying degrees of starvation. Kleo, has the worst body condition scoring a 1 out of 9. Her coat is thick and wooly; our vet noted that her body is putting all of its remaining energy into growing fur to protect her from the harsh winter weather. At 25+, Kleo’s age and declining condition are major concerns, however, at the moment, she is bright, she is strong and she is stable.

She is ready to fight for her life – and so are we.

#4thehorses #DEFHRKleo

Photos from Savannah Simo's post

Photos from Savannah Simo's post

We are talking really windy and cold yesterday. These people braved it all on their clipped steeplechase horses. That fi...

We are talking really windy and cold yesterday. These people braved it all on their clipped steeplechase horses. That first horse over timber looks like he could make a very nice Derby horse in his next life!

Island Gallery West presents our Featured Artist for April — Pat O’Neill
Island Gallery West presents our Featured Artist for April — Pat O’Neill

Island Gallery West presents our Featured Artist for April — Pat O’Neill

Island Gallery West presents our Featured Artist for April — Pat O’Neill March 26, 2022 by Post Title:  “Art from the Heart” Acrylic Paintings by Pat O’Neill Dates: Friday, April 1 – Saturday, April 30, 2022 Pat O’Neill is a uniquely talented self-taught artist from Dora, Alabama wh...

Training and Bone Development - Kentucky Equine Research
Training and Bone Development - Kentucky Equine Research

Training and Bone Development - Kentucky Equine Research

The main role of the equine skeleton is to provide structural support. In addition to bones, the skeletal system also includes tendons, ligaments, and cartilage. Each element of the musculoskeletal system must be functioning correctly in order for the horse to travel soundly.

People need to read this. The more you drill "to get it right" the more often you are really drilling " to cement it wro...

People need to read this. The more you drill "to get it right" the more often you are really drilling " to cement it wrong".

What happens AFTER you know that you have had a bad day with your horse?

So, say, you had a bunch of refusals jumping---
Or lost your temper, and roughed up your horse---
Or know that you relentlessly drilled, and it made it all so much worse instead of better---
Or know that you worked him too hard for his degree of fitness---

There are lots of things that we do that are examples of poor riding, poor judgement, poor horsemanship. And I don’t think there’s a horse person alive who hasn’t “gone there.”

Usually we feel guilty, ashamed, remorseful, and these are, I think, good emotions to have, even though they feel terrible. Because we can use the remorse to work on ways to lessen the chances that it will happen again.

What we should NOT want to feel is being so frustrated that we just CAN’T WAIT to get back on the next day to revisit what went wrong today, because almost always, because of frustrated intensity, we will be right back in it, and now we have TWO bad days that the horse has to recover from.

We ALL know, deep down, I suspect, certain riders for whom every day is World War 3 with their horse, And the more bad days those riders stack up, the more scared and resentful they will have made their horses, so the more frustrated the riders will get, and it spirals out of control into long term disaster.

So, you had a bad day----Now what? Maybe go for a quiet walk the next day and AVOID going back to revisit the issue until both you and your horse have had a chance to recover. Think about WHY it happened, and what you could/should have done differently. Examine your thought process to be certain that you are not blaming the horse. Many riders can justify beating up on a horse if they can twist things around to say that “this horse was being bad.”

Once you start blaming the horse, it can get ugly fast. This is so key to understand, that the good trainers DO NOT BLAME THE HORSE.

The good trainers search for the real problems, and there are so many possibilities, the horse had anxiety, had pain, had no idea what the rider was asking, was tired, was excited by some outside influence, a million things OTHER than “being bad.”

It is a cliché that training a horse begins by training ourselves to control OUR emotions before we can begin to control theirs.

So you had a bad day? Join a big club---But now, try not to have two bad days in a row, Try to figure out the whys and the whats, and try again, but this time in a better way.


Just a seahorse made of stone
Credit Beach4Art
Join Our group 👉👉 Fantastic world


Horses and sweet potatoes?

Ulcers, 60-90% of show/performance horses have ulcers. Humans created stall confinement, grain and commercialized feeding. Horses are meant to spend all day, outside free grazing. “In a natural grazing situation, a steady flow of acid is required for digestion, so a horse's stomach produces acid 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – up to 9 gallons of acidic fluid per day, even when not eating.”

So what happens to that acid when there’s no roughage to break down, ulcers. How do we treat and prevent ulcers in our barn? We preventatively treat each horse with omeprazole paste the week before and during each showing. It’s cheap, easy and effective!! Want further benefits? It’s in the common grocery store sweet potato! Why?

“On top of protein and dietary fiber sweet potatoes also have a very good selection of vitamins and minerals:
* Vitamin A – As well as boosting your horse’s immune system and strengthening his bones, Vitamin A can also help to reduce the risk of cataracts.
* Vitamin C – Like Vitamin A, Vitamin C can help to improve your horse’s immune system but it can also help to heal wounds and keep your horse’s teeth, bones, and cartilage healthy.
* Vitamin B5 – Part of the B complex vitamin group, Vitamin B5 can help to keep your horse’s coat in good condition. It also works to aid digestion, especially in the digestive tract.
* Vitamin B6 – Another B complex vitamin, it’s known for its ability to reduce the symptoms of some forms of arthritis as well as keeping the eyes healthy. If your horse suffers from depression then Vitamin B6 can help with this.
* Vitamin E – Known for its ability to fight infection, Vitamin E also works to maintain healthy skin, eyes, and even a healthy coat.
* Potassium – You might not realize it but potassium is actually one of the most important minerals in the body, it works to keep a horse’s muscles working properly and will also help to reduce tiredness after exercise.
* Manganese – Not only does manganese help to keep your horse’s bones strong and healthy but it can also reduce inflammation. In my opinion, though the biggest role that manganese plays is in the regulation of blood sugar, this means that it may be good for horses that suffer from conditions such as Equine Cushings Disease.”

Maybe you will consider adding sweet potatoes to your show horses regimen, we have, and we have seen outstanding results! Our biggest sweet tater eater in the barn is 17+ hand gentle giant He’s Forrest Gump! They helped him gain over 300lbs and help to curb his proneness to colic. Thank you to Dr Mendenhall at Equine Services for your recommendation!



The Equine Disease Communications Center (EDCC) has confirmed an outbreak of Equine Influenza in Howard County, Maryland.

Twenty horses at a boarding facility have been exposed, with one case confirmed and a total of three suspected cases.

The confirmed case, a Quarter Horse gelding, showed onset of clinical signs of a fever, severe purulent nasal discharge and lethargy on Feb. 24. The diagnosis of Equine Influenza was confirmed on Mar. 4.

For more information about Equine Influenza go to:


3491 James Madison Hwy
Haymarket, VA

Opening Hours

Monday 8am - 8pm
Tuesday 8am - 8pm
Wednesday 8am - 8pm
Thursday 8am - 8pm
Friday 8am - 8pm
Saturday 8am - 8pm
Sunday 8am - 8pm


(703) 754-2982


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No Lessons today Saturday Jan 23.
Lessons this weekend $50 per group. Call by Thursday to get a spot.
Jan group lessons $50 weekends 1PM and 2PM weather permitting.
Judi please check your messages!
Congratulations to Megan De Michele for making the Emerging Athletes List!
Wednesday lessons 7 PM this week.
Oh, how I wish we lived closer, Cuz!
We are now offering blanket washing to local barns with free pickup and drop off. 25% discount on the total order of 10 or more blankets. Please let me know if you would like to schedule a time, or have any questions. Thanks!
This week PRP starts the Spring Session. We are going to be working on training techniques for the owner rider to prepare our students for horse ownership. Once you own a horse you become a trainer every time you ride. Learn how to do that. Come ride with us.