Mountainview Ranch is the remainder of an original land grant, which was granted to Louis' family in the year 1750. It is located in Augusta County, Virginia, and lies in the heart of the lush Shenandoah Valley, nestled between the Blue Ridge Mountains to the east, and the Allegheny Mountains to the west.
The original home was burned by the Union Army on September 28, 1864, and the home in which Louis and his wife Sharon reside in today was built in 1865. The home was updated on numerous occasions throughout the years, and with great effort to maintain its original historic presence, had a total update and modernization in 2009. The main portion of the barn and several other structures located on the property are original structures which predate the Civil War.
Since its inception, the management of the ranch has been devoted to the production of livestock, primarily cattle and horses, and at one point in the 1980's, with rental properties throughout the valley, encompassed approximately 1200 acres to support it's large cow-calf operation. Today, it's size has been downscaled to include the remaining 120 acres of that original land grant, and is entirely devoted to the proper development and betterment of the horse.
Our equine facility includes a fenced 100 x 200 riding arena, 50 ft permanent round pen with elevated viewing deck which will seat up to 25 people, numerous shaded high ties, and our stable, which contains grooming bays, a tack room, and several stalls. Wide entryways provides easy trailer accessibility, and there is ample parking available for trailers and guest parking. A large lawn area, separated from the privacy of the main home, encompasses our equestrian facilities creating the perfect area for our guests to gather and enjoy during clinics and visits.
We have several small segregated paddocks which are perfectly suited for clinics, layups, or temporary accomodations when we receive our new arrivals. Our other numerous pastures vary in size from 5 to 23 acres in size, and we are diligent in rotating our pastures regularly to maintain proper pasture management practices. All of our fences and gates are designed with a smooth energetic flow which ensures smooth and easy transitions of the horses from one pasture to another. All of our large pastures have access to shelter, some with turnout sheds, others with the availability to our main barn area, and all have smaller holding areas connected to the shelters so that we may limit turnout availability as needed.
All paddocks have available fresh water at all times and all of our larger pastures are equiped with Mirafount freeze proof waterers. Water is pumped from our own original spring which has served the ranch since it was founded, and in the event of electrical failure, the ranch has it's own propane generator capable of producing enough electricity to service the entire ranch for several weeks. Backup water supply is also insured with our own spring fed lake which remains constantly free flowing, and holds several hundred gallons of water in reserve at all times.
The ranches' hay, primarily an orchard grass, timothy mix, is grown and harvested on the ranch so that we may insure the quality and condition of the hay that we feed. Accessibility to the ranch and feeding during harsh winter conditions is insured by our 4 wheel drive cab tractor.
All of our horses live out in socialized herds, and are generally grouped by mares, geldings or retirement horses, which are usually mixed groups of mares and geldings. We sometimes accept young stud colts for social integration into a mixed group of geldings, however we are not equipped to accommodate older intact studs. All horses are socialized into their respective herds under the personal guidance of Louis' watchful eye, and great care is taken to insure that good compatibility occurs within each herd. Average herd size in our 5 to 7 acre pastures is 5-8 horses, and slightly larger groups in our larger pastures are the norm. All horses have continual shelter and come and go as they choose to do so.
All of the horses living on the ranch are horses that are in one of our programs. Other than temporary weekend boarding for our clinic participants, WE DO NOT HAVE OUTSIDE BOARDERS HORSES!!! Most of our retirees are our clients ex performance and show horses who have been sent to spend their final days in the peacefulness and tranquility of the valley, living in the manner which the good Lord designed them for. The horses in our young horse program are usually sent to us at weaning, or shortly thereafter, offering them the opportunity to grow to maturity in a mixed age herd setting, where they learn appropriate social skills and boundaries, as well as an appreciation for being accepted and becoming a functional member of the herd setting. This gives them a tremendous head start in the developmental stages of their education by humans. Other horses on the ranch may be there while being started or restarted, as well as our own personal horses.
We have a very capable, efficient, hardworking staff assembled who communicate clearly with each other to ensure that all of our residents and guest are treated with the utmost of care and respect. Our farrier is David Kaschel, and our primary veterinary practice is Blue Ridge Equine Services, one of the top equine veterinary practices in the state.
Throughout our entire staff, and in every aspect of our operation, we strive to create a peaceful, relaxed setting with positive energy where horse and human can live in harmony with each other. A continuing comment that we have heard from our guests for a number of years now is that Mountainview Ranch is a magical place! We hope you will come and visit us soon to experience the magic for yourself.