Special Events

This unique property enables us to offer some special events that would not be easily found here on the east coast.

For example, our façade of an old western town is located a few miles from the trail barn, only accessible to the public if attending one of our special events, either via horseback, jeep or hay wagon.

(ALL PRICES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE YEARLY)

SPECIAL EVENT OPTION 1:
DINNER RIDE - $150.00 PER PERSON
**2018 Dates: Saturday July 28th and Saturday August 25th**

Dinner rides are offered occasionally throughout the year and are open to up to 15 riders. These unique experiences include grilled food, bonfire, live guitar player or musicians, and of course, horses in the corral, all gathered in one place, Western Town. Guests will enjoy a trail ride from the trail barn to Western Town, where they will dismount and go enjoy a relaxing dinner, dessert by the fire, story telling and then mount up and ride back to the trail barn as the sun is setting. Open to adult beginner riders, this is an all walk trail ride and is particularly popular for couples and groups of friends looking for a memorable experience.


SPECIAL EVENT OPTION 2:
CATTLE DRIVES - $175.00 PER PERSON
**2018 Dates: Sunday May 27th and Sunday September 2nd**
(Pre-requisite for cattle drive is Skills Assessment Private Ride, you must qualify to participate in the Cattle Drive, which can be 4-8 hours in the saddle and does include lunch)
SKILLS ASSESSMENT PRIVATE RIDE - $100 PER PERSON, up to 5 people, offered Monday - Friday 10am, 12pm and 2pm.



IMPORTANT NOTE...The purpose of the Skills Assessment Private Ride is to establish the rider's capabilities or proof of skills to the management, however, riding on a private ride DOES NOT guarantee a slot on a cattle drive. The rider's horsemanship skills determine eligibility. In the past, riders have been declined based on a lack of skills or stamina, riders have been asked to follow up with up to 4 more private rides in order to build skillsets and other riders were accepted immediately since proof of ability was obvious after trotting and cantering. Riders should expect to be able to mount and dismount from the ground and show balance at both trot and canter.

IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO DO THE SKILLS ASSESSMENT PRIVATE RIDE(S) AS A PRE-REQUISITE, PLEASE DO NOT ASK TO PARTICIPATE IN THE CATTLE DRIVE.

Cattle Drives are generally offered on Memorial Day weekend and on Labor Day weekend. With a growing herd of Longhorn Cattle living free-range on the 2,000 acres where the trail barn is located, there is a need to gather these cattle multiple times a year for care. The terrain is rough, rugged, and dangerous at times, so this ride is OPEN TO EXPERIENCED RIDERS ONLY.

Riders essentially become Wranglers for a day. Here is a breakdown of the day.

8AM - Meeting, meet and greet, group leader introductions and agenda for the day
9AM - Groom and saddle horses in groups, mount from ground and head out on trail
10AM - The first hour under-saddle, after warm-up, is spent at the trot and canter. This enables the riders to get to know their horses in a group setting and learn the about the appropriate pressures with reins and legs. Forming a proper working relationship with the horse is imperative before "working cattle."

NOTE: This is also the time frame used for group leaders and the Manager to confirm rider's skill sets, IF ANY RIDER IS UNCOMFORTABLE, UNFIT MENTALLY OR PHYSICALLY, OR SIMPLY UNABLE TO RIDE COMFORTABLY DURING THIS WARM-UP, GROUP LEADERS WILL TAKE RIDERS BACK TO THE BARN AND THE REST WILL CONTINUE ON WITH THE CATTLE DRIVE. SORRY, NO REFUNDS.

11AM - 1PM - Search for cattle and bring herd back to the trail barn
1PM - LUNCH TIME!!
2:30 - 4PM (Sometimes longer) - Search for cattle and bring strays back to the trail barn

SPECIAL EVENT OPTION 3:
TRAIL RIDING IN THE SNOW - $45.00 PER PERSON



Virginia often blesses us with a mild winter and we want to encourage our riders to enjoy the beautiful views that wintertime offers! Even though these rides are essentially a Public All Walk Trail Ride, they are special in that the scenery is unforgettable! Keep us in mind when you feel a little cabin fever is setting in!

SPECIAL EVENT OPTION #4:
VACATION PACKAGES - SEE MARRIOTT RANCH WEBSITE
**2018 Dates: April 9-12, July 9-12, September 3-6**

The Marriott Ranch is home to the beautiful Inn at Fairfield Farm. During certain times of the year, The Natural Connection INC and the Bed and Breakfast partner up to offer a vacation package to our dedicated equestrians! Vacation packages are designed to allow guests to stay at the B & B, and enjoy trail riding, arena riding, and other horse related activities for up to 3 days! Packages cater to the level of all riders in the group. Packages can be adjusted for beginners, intermediate and advanced level riders.

An example of a previous Vacation Package Agenda: Horsemanship 101

Monday Night

Meet and Greet! Ms. Jean has dinner at the B & B with all vacation package guests and we discuss their riding history and goals for the next 3 days. This dinner is important as the information provided is how Ms. Jean creates a lesson plan for the next 3 days.

Tuesday

9 - 12: Horsemanship 101/Arena: Meet at the arena and Ms. Jean brings horses for each student to work with for 3 hours. Guests learn to halter a horse, lead a horse, groom a horse, saddle a horse and mount a horse.
12 - 1: Lunch!
1 - 4: Horsemanship 101/Arena: Guests learn to ride their equine partners in the arena setting, learning about pressure and release, contact, legs, reins, as well as walk, stop, and trot, in groups and alone.

Wednesday

9 - 12: Horsemanship 101/Arena: Guests repeat the under-saddle work at a more intensified level and learn more about turning at the trot and working around obstacles.
12 -1: Lunch!
1 - 4: Horsemanship 101/Trail: Guests learn to trail ride using their new skills!

Thursday

9 - 12: Horsemanship 101/Trail: Guests repeat the trot work on the trail!
12 - 1: Lunch!
1 - 4: Horsemanship 101/Arena: Guests learn to canter in the arena and then get to test their new skills in a gymkana and learn pattern work for barrel racing, polebending and egg races.