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

Photos from Southern Cross Ranch's post

Photos from Southern Cross Ranch's post

True but cheaper than rehab.

True but cheaper than rehab.

I've not seen a more perfect statement on a horse truck!


77 years ago - August 22, 1945 - US Army General George S. Patton rode Favory Africa, a Lipizzaner stallion from Vienna’s Spanish Riding School. The stallion was one of many under the protection of U.S. Army as the director of the School, Colonel Alois Podhajsky, had sought the safety of the American military to keep his priceless stallions and the art of classical dressage secure in the fallout from WWII.

On August 22, 1945, General Patton asked for the chance to ride Favory Africa, a stallion that Hitler had intended to gift to the Japanese Emperor Hirohito - the Emperor was almost always featured on a white horse in propaganda leaflets, and Hitler felt he could gain favor with the Emperor if he made him a present of one of the famous and intelligent Lipizzaner stallions. Colonel Podhajsky willingly granted the General’s request to ride the prized stallion:

“…At the end of the performance I rode up to the dais and thanked General Patton for his tremendous support, and with this the improvised show on the castle meadow reached its climax and fitting conclusion. Before the General left St. Martin he expressed a wish to see the horse that Hitler intended to give to the Emperor of Japan, and asked me whether he might also ride it, and was obviously delighted to be able to execute various movements with it.”

- excerpt from “My Dancing White Horses” by Colonel Podhajsky


Many Thanks to Ginny Belotti our working student over this summer!


Intro 573 would replace carriage horses with electric vehicles and put the equestrian horse carriage drivers out of work, but what about the horses opinions in this? Horses may not have a voice in a language we speak, but they have no problem communicating with those who can read their body language, facial expressions, and behaviors. Those closest to them understand them the best and should be the only ones able to speak on their behalf. Don’t you know how your dog or cat is feeling and what they’re trying to tell you most of the time? Why would anyone expect it to be different between a horse and their person?

If the horses remain working in the city the high cost of their care is covered. They may not be able to understand what a dollar is, but they do know that they enjoy eating hay which those dollars buy. They may not know how much their vet bill totals, but they know that they don’t like feeling ill which that financial transaction and practice fixes. Their NYC carriage regulations guarantee them at least two veterinary exams per year, routine vaccines, and regular hoof trimming/teeth filings. They may not understand they’re working when they’re giving rides with their carriage, but they certainly enjoy partaking in the activity with their human partner. When you throw a stick, you don’t force a dog to chase it, instinct takes over. Horses were bred to work, so it’s hardwired within them to crave a job.

Every equine veterinarian that has examined the horses has found them to be healthy. Every equestrian who has toured their stables has found them to be more than adequate. NYC regulations ensure the minimum stall size, that fresh water is always available, and that a salt block and enough clean bedding is in every stall. The horse’s lightweight work and routine benefits both their physical and mental health. Domesticated draft horses never existed in the wild and depriving them of work that keeps them physically and mentally fit would be cruel. It’s low impact work that’s much easier than pulling a plow on a farm or galloping over jumps when being ridden. Their shoes protect their hooves and every piece of their harness/collar/breeching/bridle make the work even easier & safe for them. Their regulations restrict them to the amount of hours they work in a day, how many breaks they get, how many weeks of vacation they get, and from working in extreme heat or cold weather, which other privately owned horses don't have to abide by.

Statistically accidents among NYC carriage horses are extremely rare and even more rare involving traffic, injury, or death. Typically traffic related accidents involving horses happen more frequently in rural areas where cars travel at faster speeds and accidental injuries among horses happen more frequently on pastures, rather than when horses are under constant watchful eyes like they are with their drivers or 24/7 stablemen in NYC. Horses often feel stressed when they're encountering something unfamiliar, but their human partners consistently reassure them that they're not alone and have nothing to fear when new situations arise, so it's rare that they spook. A recent peer-reviewed study on their Cortisol (stress hormone) levels that appeared in the American Veterinary Association journals revealed not only are the horses not at all stressed working and living in the city, but that they’re slightly stressed on the rural pastures they vacation on.

The horses live pampered lives fed, bathed, groomed, and loved by their drivers/owners and stablemen. Many of the horses come from Amish farms where they have worked, but never been spoiled. They actually have to be taught what treats like carrots are when they arrive in NYC. They primarily work in Central Park which was designed for and by horses. They get to safely interact with their equine neighbors passing them in the park or protected from their kicks and bites behind stall walls on a daily basis. They appear to be relaxed and content with their surroundings at work and lay flat out for their deep REM sleep back at their stalls. Only horses that feel safe will lay down for their deep sleep. Much of their workday is often spent relaxed on the hackline where they snack on oats/grain or have access to water troughs. They receive carrots and attention from the public every shift and they get to interact in an activity with their human partner where they can feel a sense of purpose and reassurance about the world around them. They get to show pride in their work rather than being sentenced to simply stand, exist, and drop manure in a field, isolated from the world they’ve thrived in for so many years.

There are absolutely no provisions to guarantee the future fate of the horses in the bill beyond stating that they must be “humanely disposed of.” Tens of thousands of horses wind up being shipped to slaughter every year because there just aren’t enough financially stable homes to take them in. Any place available to care for a horse should be looking to take in one of those in need of rescue and no one should be attempting to create *less* places for horses to thrive. This bill expands upon the definition of “humanely disposed of,” as stating the horses may not be shipped to slaughter, but there is absolutely no guarantee as to what happens to them if things don’t work out wherever they wind up if the bill passes. Feral horses have short life spans and tough lives dealing with things like starvation, dehydration, illness, injuries, no hoof or dental upkeep, stress of fighting for herd dominance, predators, harsh weather and lightening, or possibly being rounded by the BLM.

The horses wouldn’t want intro 573 to pass because they would be separated from the people they have known for years who have cared for them and been part of their routine. They would no longer be working a job they enjoy doing. Horses are creatures of habit that are most comfortable with a routine. Intro 573 entirely disrupts that routine from where the horses live and work to being with the people they are most familiar with. Imagine what your dog or cat would feel like if you were suddenly separated from them. We’re talking about suddenly ruining relationships some of these horses have developed with their driver over 5, 10, or even 20 years! Horses are herd animals and this bill would separate the horses from their herd family of horses and people in NYC. It’s a bill that would mentally cripple hundreds of horses and risk their condition in depression just so some people who have never even met them could feel like they had made their lives better or profit off the land their stables sit upon. It’s a bill that can’t be explained to horses in terms they would understand. They would simply wonder what they had done to deserve this punishment for the rest of their lives. It’s a bill that could ultimately leave these domesticated horses without the human care they depend on.

Why are people uneducated about the equine species being given the privilege to pass laws about them that will directly impact their lives without heavily relying on the facts from those most educated about them?

Please contact NYC council members with your opposition to intro 573:

Photos from Brock Veterinary Clinic's post

Photos from Brock Veterinary Clinic's post



𝙋𝙖𝙩𝙝 𝙞𝙣 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙒𝙤𝙤𝙙𝙨, May-July 1887. Oil on canvas, 45.3 x 37.7 cm. Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands 🇳🇱.

Van Gogh: The Life

I know, where are the horses? Enjoy!

I know, where are the horses? Enjoy!

Dutch Post Impressionist artist Vincent van Gogh's "The Red Vineyards" (1888), thought to be the only painting sold during his lifetime!

Photos from Art Uptown Gallery's post

Photos from Art Uptown Gallery's post

I know it has nothing to do with horse but it has a lot to do with my second love.

I know it has nothing to do with horse but it has a lot to do with my second love.

MORE NEW ART! Woodfield Fine Art Gallery is pleased to introduce another new artwork by Marc Brechwald. This is his latest colored pencil drawing entitled "Gitana." Gitana is a reference to the name given to Roma (gypsies) in Spain. It is beautifully matted and framed with a finished dimension of 20"x30". Stop by 2323 Central Avenue to view this compelling piece of art.

Photos from Sue Elliott Art's post

Photos from Sue Elliott Art's post

Timeline photos

Timeline photos

Some might call it 'character building'

There are a lot of substance abusers in the Horse Industry because it can be a thankless job if you let it. Don't sell y...

There are a lot of substance abusers in the Horse Industry because it can be a thankless job if you let it. Don't sell yourself short. If you think you have a weakness go take a class or ask a fellow professional to help you with it. As they said in the Seabiscuit movie " You don't throw away a life because of one imperfection."

I haven’t stopped thinking about my beautiful student who took her own life last week. This cloud of sadness has been looming over me for days. I’m so sad for her, her family, friends and all who knew her…what in inspirational light she was!

I’ve heard more and more about other veterinarians and horse trainers who have taken their own lives after my post went viral (35k, as of last night.) I can’t really speak from a veterinarian’s perspective, but I certainly have a word for most other professionals in the horse industry.

People who are horrible to you are NOT worth your life. It is only a reflection of their own shortcomings, problems, drama, baggage or insecurities. But man, it is so so hard to remember that when you’re inconveniently in the perfect position to be the punching bag.

I used to be there. I was that horse trainer. People were horrible to me. I was miserable. I wanted to help everyone, so I played the roll of that proverbial punching bag for a long time. One client at a time. I can say that those feelings of misery honestly didn’t leave me until the last few months. I wanted out, desperately. For the first time in years, I don’t feel that way anymore. I don’t have those kinds of clients anymore. Here’s why…

The best advice I can give you - stop selling cheap seats. Figuratively and financially. Get rid of those seats in your life and your business. There are 7 BILLION people on Earth and plenty who will see your worth, respect you and love you. Don’t waste a second thought on those who don’t value you.

Stop selling cheap seats and the toxic people will never show their face.

Stop selling cheap seats and you won’t have to work yourself into the ground.

Stop selling cheap seats and you will attract a different level of client, friend, etc.

Stop selling cheap seats and those who are not meant for you will get uncomfortable and see themselves out.

Stop selling cheap seats and you will enjoy your work.

Stop selling cheap seats and you will enjoy your clients because THEY are your tribe.

Raise your standards. Raise your vibration. Raise your prices.

The rest will fall into place, I promise.

You are more than enough.

❤️ Cara

Photos from USA Jumping's post

Photos from USA Jumping's post

Photos from Brandon Cobs and Connemara’s's post

Photos from Brandon Cobs and Connemara’s's post

Photos from Temple Gwathmey Steeplechase Foundation's post

Photos from Temple Gwathmey Steeplechase Foundation's post

This is so true!

This is so true!



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.


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.

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Cantatu, LLC Beteseb Farms Always There Horse Care, LLC Wildfire Equine Services and Blanket Washing Compass Rose Farm Laz E Hill Farm Sterling Harbor Stables The O'Aces