Heather and her husband Scott Van Pelt just recently purchased nearly a 100 acre horse farm in the heart of The Piedmont Hunt Country this past August in 2021. This is the third location over the past 15 years for Van Vixen Farm. Our business has grown so much and we needed a facility to accommodate our lesson program, full board training business, and summer camps. Van Vixen Farm is conveniently located in the Bloomfield VA area, ten minutes from the Upperville Show Grounds, ten minutes from the town of Bluemont, 25 minutes from Leesburg, and 15 minutes from Middleburg Virginia.
Heather has been teaching riding for over 35 years. Retired from a career as a publisher of a national magazine and focused on raising her two young children. After 20 years in corporate America Heather changed gears and gave it all up to follow her passion which allowed her more time with her own family. Her devotion to the community is to teach adults and children the true essence of Horsemanship, riding well, and following the passion of horses that drives us all. Her talent in training thoroughbreds in particular and young horses has been a lifelong journey. With over a 100 plus horses she has trained, her love of the young horses to bring along slowly and thoroughly, to not skip basis is her stamp on every horse that comes out of her training program. Van Vixen Farm is one of the few businesses that have “Hirelings” for the nearby hunts. Heather has clients that come from all over the country that rent horses from her to hunt with nearby pack including Blue Ridge, Loudoun Fairfax, Loudoun, and Snickesville Hounds.
Heather started her own training/lesson/ and camp equestrian business to be more with her daughter, Allison who is now twenty one and riding on the Virginia Tech IHSA team. Scott, Heathers husband is the overall handyman, can do or make anything addition to Team Van Vixen. Heather’s son Clayton, is eleven years old and has started his showing career at age two in leadline. Heather is a Loudoun County native, growing up on her family’s Thoroughbred breeding farm, she started showing locally when she was five, participating in pony club, and began fox hunting when she was 7 years old. A graduate of Va Tech, a founding member of the first-ever in the nation student-run intercollegiate riding program, a former Whippers- In for Loudoun Fairfax Hunt and Loudoun Hunt, breeder of hunter horses, an A show competitor, and former competitor in driving draft horses and mules. Heather first started her career as an equine nutritional consultant for one of the largest equine companies on the east coast, then later switched careers at the Washington Post Companies as a publisher.
Heather’s strong background in running businesses helps her understand the needs of busy parents and also providing a very professional atmosphere focused on keeping riding financially reasonable and obtainable for those children and adults in love with horses.
Heather’s training style with young horses consists of focusing on ground manners, round pen work, ground driving, and creating a positive experience for the young horses that she brings along to develop them into quality sporthorses.
Van Vixen Farm has top quality show ponies and horses, that not only show, but fox hunt, compete at the highest level in the state VHSA shows, North American Field Hunter Championship, and have the great minds and training to teach new students to ride. We have adult and children students, young and old who are learning from one of our 20 horses or ponies on the farm.