Why Buy From SSH?

You know what you are getting. Our 100% disclosure policy means that you will know everything we know about our sale horses, including the good, the bad and the possibly ugly!

We understand what you want. Alice listens and asks questions until she has a good sense of what a buyer is looking for. If she doesn’t think any of her horses are a match, she will tell you so, and spare you a wasted trip.

We will send you in the right direction. If none of her horses match a clients needs, Alice contacts local professionals and finds other candidates through her network of trainers and sales contacts.

We want your referral and repeat business
more than we want to sell you a horse today.

 

We are a NO PRESSURE farm. Word of mouth is the best advertising, so we want you to enjoy your experience and tell your horsy friends. Not every horse fits every rider, and not every showing results in a sale. We will be happy you came to try!

Safety is ALWAYS our priority. Riding is inherently dangerous, but we take every precaution to make our client’s experience safe and pleasant. Helmets are required for junior riders and strongly encouraged for adults. If our footing is slippery or frozen we transport horses to a nearby farm to show. If a client doesn’t feel comfortable riding a horse or trying a particular exercise, we respect their judgement and never, ever pressure them. Alice is a conservative (or timid, depending on who you ask!) rider, so she understands feeling nervous, particularly on a new horse.

Your horse will be ready to go. All of our coggins are current and vaccines are up to date. He/she will be shod or trimmed appropriately, have a dental done within the last year and any necessary chiropractic or muscle work performed. All records go with your horse so your vet and farrier will have his/her information.

We want to have a good time! Horse shopping is stressful, but exciting, and it can be fun—come ride with us and see!

Sales Philosophy

Shenandoah Sporthorses believes that creating and maintaining a horse’s mental happiness and physical well-being are the most important aspects of horsemanship.

We want our horses to be relaxed and comfortable so they can perform to the top of their ability. It’s a simple goal, but not an easy one! A horse’s mental state is largely dependent on their physical one—no horse is going to be at it’s best if it’s body, feet, or stomach is painful. Alice evaluates every sale horse, looking for signs of ulcers, chiropractic misalignment, shoeing problems, or subtle lameness. If necessary, she confers with other professionals to work up a treatment plan, and resolves any physical issues before she begins serious riding. Because of her holistic approach, Alice pays ongoing attention to each horse’s diet, supplementation program, shoeing plan, turnout arrangement, and every other aspect of each horse’s life. There are no substitutions for good, old-fashioned, quality management and the endless attention to detail it requires.

Riding Theory

With any new horse, Alice begins by teaching dressage basics. This is a great way for her to get to know a new mount, and dressage training is beneficial for all horses, regardless of what their discipline will eventually be.

As soon as possible, horses get on the trailer and go somewhere. We travel to other farms to school and expose the horses to different environments, preparing them for possible show careers. We love to trail ride and go out in big and small groups, improving our horse’s fitness and introducing them to new experiences in a low-key way. Our horses are often introduced to jumping by following their friends over little obstacles on the trail, and we hack around the kennels so horses get used to being around hounds.

When a sales project has achieved three balanced gaits, can bend and stretch, trot little courses if appropriate and stay quiet off the farm and on the trail, Alice decides which career is most suitable. Sometimes she will ask the opinions of other professionals, and she takes stock of a horse’s talents, temperament, likes and dislikes, physical limitations, and quality of movement and jump.  At this point, she will begin to fine-tune them for the discipline they will enjoy the most, and/or begin the sale process. Not all horses are cut out to be field hunters! Alice has produced horses for the show hunter ring, eventing, Pony Club, trail riding, and even a few Western mounts.

Feeding

Our feeding method is not the cheapest one, but we believe that a top-notch diet pays off in the long run.

We believe that top-notch forage is the best foundation for any horse’s diet.  Our horses have constant access to grass hay, and we usually supplement our Thoroughbreds with alfalfa. Equine nutrition is an ongoing interest of ours, and most of our horses are on some type of supplements. We always feed grain twice a day, and although our feeding method is not the cheapest one, we believe that a quality diet pays off in the long run. Himalayan salt blocks are available in every field and stall, stock tanks are cleaned several times a week and water buckets in stalls are checked and refilled multiple times a day so our horses always have clean water. 

Veterinary Care

We value our horses, and value their health.

We vaccinate twice a year, in the spring and fall. Although our hay comes from an excellent farm, we still give the botulism vaccines because we feed round bales. Horse’s fecal samples are checked quarterly and we de-worm as necessary. Every horse is brought in daily to eat their breakfast and/or dinner and be checked for injury.

Our horsey chiropractor and acupuncturist, Dr. Martha Moses, visits the farm regularly, and visits from our regular veterinarian (Dr. Tracy Bell) dental technician (Stephanie Supernant) or farrier (Brandon White) can be scheduled as needed. We are happy to work with other veterinarians or farriers.