Where it all begins
Learn about the activities of CHS
Info on Proteus and Scholarship Programs
Learn about the benefits of CHS
Activities and mail-in applications
Items of interest to the equestrian community
Information, maps, etc. for riding locations
Sample articles, etc. from our newsletter, The Lead Line
Photos from recent CHS events
Submit a comment, ask a question, or ask for information
Useful links to other websites

About CHS

Learn about the History of CHS.

The Clifton Horse Society was formed in January 1977, by a small group of horse owners in the Clifton area who felt that their equestrian experiences would be enhanced by the coordination and cohesiveness of a club; a club with a substantial membership to draw upon financially, physically and mentally that would be able to offer educational clinics, put on competitive activities, sponsor deserving individuals or groups needing money to increase their abilities or services, have trail rides, encourage the development of a trail system, work with landowners and county and park officials to promote good relations between riders and those whose goodwill is essential to riders, and generally have a great time enjoying their horses and each other.

The original group wrote up a prospectus and stuffed it in mailboxes all over the Clifton area, and then reserved the Clifton Fire Hall for a meeting for March 1977, holding their breath to see if anyone would show up. To everyone's relief and delight, over ninety people came to the first meeting, and the Clifton Horse Society was born.

The idea caught on like a house afire and the club has never slowed down. It immediately began publishing a newsletter, originally called Hoofbeats and later changed to Lead Line after a contest to choose a name.

Among our original members we discovered that no one equestrian discipline dominated. The club had trail riders, dressage enthusiasts, hunter/jumper showers, fox hunters, saddle seat riders, civil war re-enactors, parade riders, combined training buffs, and even more. It was decided that variety was the spice of life and that CHS would actively encourage its members to venture outside their own particular disciplines to try other forms of equestrian life. Eventually, of this philosophy was born the Proteus Award, given each year to the horse and rider team demonstrating the most versatility.

Since 1977 there have been clinics, competitive rides, Ride and Ties, horse shows, barn dances, dinner dances, trail rides, farm tours, picnics, gymkhanas, knowdowns, trips to the races, cocktail parties, monthly board meetings, pony rides at Clifton Day, parades, trip to the Washington International Horse Show, auctions, hay rides, Christmas caroling, and scholarships. Plus CHS has helped to establish a viable trail system all over the Clifton area and has cooperated in saving and producing trails in our local parks and developments, and even influenced horse-oriented legislation.

In accomplishing these phenomenal goals, CHS has enjoyed the support of neighborhood tack shops, veterinarians, farriers, local park authorities, various county officials and offices, but mostly CHS has been successful because of the real interest and support of its members. Some members join CHS mainly to receive the Lead Line, and that is fine; but hopefully, once they get a foot in the door, CHS, we hope, will lure them out to join in its activities and eventually contribute to produce those activities for the better enjoyment of all.

It's a funny thing, but very true, that the more you join in, the more fun you have in CHS, and the more you learn and progress as an equestrian. Every year CHS produces a whole new year of exciting events and projects. Don't just read about them. Come out and join in the fun.

Learn about the Activities and Benefits of CHS.
Click Here for Membership Application

The Clifton Horse Society (CHS) was established in 1977 to serve the needs of those interested in horses in Fairfax County and the surrounding communities. Our club membership consists of horse owners and non-horse owners, all of who want to see that horses continue to be a part of the future of this area of Virginia as they have been in the past. Our members participate in many different disciplines, using many different breeds.

Although founded in Clifton, CHS's membership has continued to grow over the years to reach a level of 300+ and includes people throughout Virginia, in other states, and overseas. Our club activities are recreational, social, educational, and service.

  • Recreational - Organized monthly trail rides with fast and slow groups are on local trails or within a short trailer drive of Northern Virginia. Other mounted events throughout the year have included horse/fun shows, competitive trail rides, the Fairfax 4th of July Parade, and Christmas caroling on horseback in the town of Clifton. We offer overnight camp outs to various locations such as Graves Mountain Lodge and Gettysburg, which have proven to be highly successful.

  • Social - Activities include picnics, the Harvest Cocktail Party, Champagne and Chocolate, Knowdowns (a "Trivial Pursuit/Pictionary" type of event) and Christmas Caroling on Horseback. Although we are an adult riding club, some social activities and riding events frequently include the whole family.

  • Educational - CHS sponsors clinics on horse care, training, safety, trailering, purchasing and maintaining of tack, and other aspects of quality horsemanship. We also sponsor the Proteus Program which is designed to encourage our members to stretch their own abilities (and those of their horses) by taking part in shows, clinics, lessons and trail rides they had not considered in the past. Each member receives a point for specific activities in different categories, and prizes are awarded at our Annual Meeting in March. Many previous participants have commented several times that they would not have attempted a particular activity if not for the Proteus Program:

    The CHS Proteus Award
    is given each year to the horse and rider/driver team that demonstrates the greatest versatility.
    Click here to learn all about it.

  • Service - In cooperation with local park authorities and landowners, we maintain trails and develop new ones. We have a strong, on-going relationship with the Fairfax County Park Authority and the Northern Virginia Park Authority. In addition, one of our members serves as a liaison between CHS and the Fairfax County Trails and Sidewalks Committee. Proceeds from various activities, such as our Judged Pleasure Rides, Bombproofing Clinics, and other events go to support equine-related charities: for example, Therapeutic Riding, Equine Rescue League, Equine Medical Center at Leesburg and others. Additionally, we provide funds for scholarships and grants for those pursuing equine studies:

CHS Scholarships, Grants and Awards Available.
One of the great benefits CHS offers is providing financial assistance to individuals or organizations in pursuing research, careers, or other activities that will benefit the horse industry. CHS has helped many individuals fulfill their goal to contribute meaningful research or other services to advance the knowledge and well being of our four-legged friends. Individuals or organizations engaged in an activity that contributes significantly to equine knowledge or services are encouraged to apply for financial assistance through the CHS Scholarships, Awards & Grants Program. If you have any questions, call the Scholarships, Awards and Grants Committee Director. Click here to download the criteria and forms. (Click here to see details)

Participation in CHS activities provides camaraderie with others of similar interests and fosters sharing, learning, and meeting new friends. CHS's monthly newsletter, Lead Line, includes articles about horse care and horsemanship, trail and pasture maintenance, other articles of interest, classified advertisements, and a calendar of CHS events and other area horse organizations' activities.

Members also receive a club roster with members' telephone numbers and addresses (postal and e-mail). Annual membership dues are $20 for individual or $30 for family membership. We also have biannual memberships for $35 for individual or $55 for family membership.


Clifton Horse Society
P. O. Box 183, Clifton, VA 20124


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