Boy Scouts &
Girl Scouts
Trail Rides AND Horsemanship or Merit Badge

The Natural Connection INC is an approved High Adventure Vendor.

We currently carry insurance for the following districts:

1) Nation's Capital

2) Virginia Skyline

3) Commonwealth

The Natural Connection INC is located at the beautiful Marriott Ranch. There are numerous options for participation from Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops. Remember, for trail riding, the minimum age is 10 years old, maximum weight is 240lbs and we, unfortunately, cannot accommodate special needs or therapeutic riders as per insurance requirements.

HOWEVER, as of 11/1/2018, we expanded our insurance coverage and
WILL BE ABLE TO TAKE SCOUTS AGES 8-9 FOR THE BADGE WORK THAT INCLUDES A PONY RIDE...ALTHOUGH CURRENTLY, THE CHILDREN WILL BE RIDING OUR SMALL HORSES!

Special Option for Ages 8-9: Book a Horse Fan Badge Session. (Price is $40 per person and is booked online, after approval and instructions via email, under the Boy Scout & Girl Scout Horse Fan Badge)

This is a 2 hour session, minimum of 5 scouts, maximum can be discussed, that includes a tour of the facility, discussion on horse behavior and communication, parts of a horse, some horse breeds, caring for a horse, horse careers, safety handling a horse on the ground, how to groom and saddle a horse, the differences between English and Western tack and riding, and each child's session will end with a pony (horse) ride, lead on the ground by a person. These sessions must be scheduled weeks in advance via email and are not open to book online without approval.

Option #1: Book a Public Trail Ride. (Price is $55 per person, $50 for group of 6 or more and is booked online under Public Trail Rides).

This is the easiest option. Simply go to the online system, select Public Trail Rides and book the date and time that best works for your troop. Keep in mind our maximum per trail ride is 15 riders. If you have a large group, please contact Ms. Jean via email @ naturalconnectionprogram@gmail.com to set up 2 trail rides on the same day, if possible.

Option #2: Book a Horsemanship Badge session + Trail Ride. (Price is $80 per person and will be booked under the Boy Scout/Girl Scout Horsemaship/Merit Badge tab on the online system).

This is a 3 hour session that goes into detail about basic horsemanship including reviewing safety around horses on the ground, catching, grooming and tacking up a horse, parts of tack, caring for the horse, prepping for the trail ride, mounting, instruction on how to ride a horse, and then the actual trail ride, followed by dismount, untack and caring for the horse at turn-out. This session would satisfy the Junior Horseback Riding Badge.

Option #3: Book a Merit Badge session (price does not include a trail ride).
(Price is $80 per person and will be booked under the Boy Scout/Girl Scout Horsemaship/Merit Badge tab on the online system).

The Horsemanship Merit Badge session generally takes 3-4 hours, depending on the start time, this could include a short lunch break. 3-4 hours is based on a group of 15 participants. If you have more than 15 participants, it may take longer. The Merit Badge Horsemanship is completed under-saddle in the round pen, 2-3 participants at a time. Merit Badge Horsemanship sessions DO NOT INCLUDE A TRAIL RIDE. However, a trail ride for both participants and troop leaders and parents can be scheduled separately with an additional cost.

All Merit Badge lesson plans come from the Boy Scouts of America Horsemanship Merit Badge Series.
https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/merit_badge_reqandres/horsemanship.pdf

Below is an example of the lesson plan for a 3-4 hour session.

9am-10am : #1-#8 - Review requirements, start with safety walk through of barn and feed room, then start #1-8 using live horses for parts of horse, sicknesses, breeds, hooves, and grooming.
10-11am : #9 - All kids learn to groom and saddle a horse and review parts of tack.
11-12: Lunch Break
11:45 - 1pm: #10 & #11 - Start teaching round pen work, 2-4 children at a time until 1pm.

Option #4: Prepping for Philmont Cavalcade (Please email Ms. Jean @ naturalconnectionprogram@gmail.com for pricing and setting up a series of rides)

There is a large demand for Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops needing training for trips such as the Philmont Cavalcade. Ms. Jean specializes in offering packages for groups preparing for the Philmont Cavalcade. Troops have done 3/4 day packages spread out within 2/3 months, with expectations including but not limited to:

Day 1: Horsemanship 101, Safety first & focus on learning to catch, groom and saddle your own horse, 1 hour lunch, learn to bridle and mount your horse. Ride for an hour at a walk and learn to untack, groom, bathe and turn out your horse.

Day 2: Review horsemanship 101 and ride for 3 hours.

Day 3: Lessons in the round pen, teach each student how to trot, stop and transition your horse safely, learn the one rein stop and emergency dismount is a safe enclosed environment.

Day 4: Day Ride, take the troops out from 10am until 4pm, giving them the necessary under-saddle time as preparation for the Cavalcade.