Throughout the years, we have always offered the opportunity to all of our own horses, who have faithfully served in our ranching operation, to have the opportunity to peacefully live out the remainder of their lives in the relaxed, natural setting of our ranch. Upon some of their visits to the ranch, clients began to inquire about offering the same opportunity to their show or performance horses who were now ready to enjoy retirement from their careers and spend their days relaxing in a much more stress free setting. From these inquiry's, we began to see a needfulness for this type of offering, and in 2009, created our Equine Retirement program.
Some of our current retirees have been retired due to age, or no longer having the stamina or physical abilities to compete, and others have had to be retired due to debilitating injuries or lameness issues which no longer allow them to perform, but they are still able to live a quality less stressful lifestyle, enjoying the lush green pastures of the Shenandoah Valley.
Due to Louis' extensive experience within the horse industry, we understand the needs not only of the horses, but also of the owners. We realize that in many of the areas from which our retirees come, that climatic conditions, limited stall and pasture space, and exponentially high feed and maintenance cost limit their owners abilities to be able to offer the lifestyle they wish for these horses to enjoy.
The unique combination of our experience, devotion to the horse, and abundance of space in a perfect geographic location enable us to offer these horses a happy, healthy relaxed lifestyle at a remarkably affordable cost to their owners.
The moderate climate at the ranch offers a comfortable setting for these older horses, and coupled with the rich soil, abundant rainfall and lots of warm sunshine, grass thrives in the valley providing lush pastures, and a generous harvest of our own hay for the winter months. All of our retirees live in compatible social groups, in pastures ranging from 5 to 23 acres, all with available shelter as desired, and fresh water provided from our own spring. This setting provides our retirees with the opportunity for the social interaction, and freedom of movement that helps them to remain mentally and physically happy and healthy. All horses are regularly checked on by our staff each day, and realizing that many of these horses come from stall kept environments with limited social interaction, we take great effort in seeing that they are gradually transitioned and socialized into their new social and living environments with as little stress as possible, and to ensure good compatibility in the herd setting. Older horses are usually in small groups of 5 - 8 per pasture in mixed herds, and younger retirees are integrated into a herd of their own sex, offering the opportunity to be with horses that they find more compatible than the older groups. Horses for the retirement program are normally accepted from May 1 to October 1 of each year to ensure a smooth climatic transition, and so that Louis may personally oversee their socialization process.
We realize that these horses have been a daily part of their owners' lives for many years, and try to keep them in touch with what's going on in their new lives at the ranch. We often text or email photographs of our horses to the owners and have created a facebook page just so that our clients get the opportunity to get a glimpse of our daily ranch experiences. And new this year, at our clients request, we are offering several equine spa experiences, tailored just for our retirees!
If you would like to offer your equine partner this wonderful opportunity, we encourage you to call or email us today to discuss your options.