The Horses of TNC

THE HORSES of
THE NATURAL CONNECTION INC


With so many horses in need in Virginia and surrounding states, The Natural Connection INC has made it a primary focus to bring in horses that are "in need."

To clarify, our program specializes in:

Retraining Repurposed Horses of Virginia

Here's a little information and common questions we are asked from guests:

Where do you find your horses?
Horses are found through private homes, with the hopes that owners can provide a little history/knowledge on his or her personality, needs and abilities. They also will already have their Coggins and Immunizations up to date, which helps with transition here after quarantine.

Do you take horses that have not been started yet under-saddle?
All horses coming in must be saddle broke, with the ability to be ridden at a walk and trot, at minimum.

What kinds of horses are chosen?
Many different breeds, from quarter horses, appaloosas, mustangs, mixed breeds

Do you take all types of horses?
Our herd consists of non-gaited horses, as that way they can all travel at the same pace.

Do you take mares, geldings, stallions and babies?
We only take geldings and a small select few mares that have regular cycles.
We do not have the facility or the time to breed, have babies or stallions on the property.

How much do you purchase horses for?
Very little. The concept is to find horses that need repurposing, or a new job. Generally those horses cost very little, BECAUSE, Ms. Jean and her Wranglers have to spend the time and money to retrain these horses to fit into this program. The initial purchase cost for the horses must be kept minimal because it's the upkeep that costs so much.

What age are the horses that you bring in?
Horses can be as young as age 5 and up to the mid-teens. We prefer to bring in horses that will be here a few years.

What is the age range of horses in the TNC herd?
The horses range from age 5 up to age 29. Horses will tell us when they are ready to retire.

Can customers purchase TNC horses when they are ready to retire?
Absolutely! When horses can no longer keep up with this lifestyle and are ready to downgrade, we often rehome them for light riding or companions.

Do you have an acclimation process?
Absolutely. They will go through quarantine upon arrival, then be introduced to the herd over the fence for multiple days. A horse from the main herd, generally low man in the hierarchy, will generally go in with the new horse, to help the new horse feel at ease with a new herd member, and then he/she will have a friend they have bonded to at turn out.

When do horses start training?
When they tell me they are ready...that means, the horse must be settled into his/her new home, have herd mates, is eating and drinking well, and is showing NO signs of anxiety. It is best to start groundwork training with a horse that is confident about his surroundings.

What is the training process you use?
We follow the Circles for Success Program, created by the Owner.
Circles for Success, Intuitive Learning Program!

How long does it take to train a horse for trail riding?
Every horse has a different learning curve, no different than a human. In general, we see many horses complete training in 6 months to 1 year.

How many horses do you have normally for the trail riding outfit?
Anywhere from 35 to 40 head is a good number. This enables us to be able to take up to 15 riders out on a public ride, and have 4 horses available for Wranglers. Then, if a second ride goes out that day, there's a whole separate herd ready to go if needed.

How many rides can they do in a day?
Depends on weather. If it's a cool fall or winter day, they can easily go out on 2 rides, with a break in between for fresh water, snacks and rest.

Do you have different horses for different types of rides?
Absolutely! Not every horse wants to do every job. We have horses specifically for Public Rides (all walk), Private Rides (walk, trot and canter on trails), Round Pen Lessons, Private Arena Lessons and Cattle Drives.

What makes this herd of horses so special or different from what you see at other outfits in Virginia?
1) Many of these horses came from homes where they were no longer wanted, in need of repurposing...these are horses that might or might not have found hope somewhere else.
2) Because they are cared for by the Owners and Wranglers, there is great continuity of training and care. That makes horses feel at ease, feeling that regardless of who works with him/her, the horse is treated the same, fair and with kindness.

Fauquier Times Article

Horse Talk Magazine Article