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
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.
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.
about the Activities and Benefits of CHS.
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.
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.
Grants and Awards Available.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
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
here to see details)
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'
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
P. O. Box 183, Clifton, VA 20124