Natural Valley Ranch...In the News

Spring break ideas on Sunrise: Horsemanship camp

WTHR | March 16, 2017

BROWNSBURG, Ind. (WTHR) - Forget the beach this spring break. We have another idea for your kids to enjoy the outdoors this vacation season.
Natural Valley Ranch in Brownsburg offers Spring Break mini-camps where kids can learn about horsemanship.

"It is something different. It gives them an opportunity to be outside... It gives them an opportunity to learn how to be safe around the horses, how to be a leader with your horse and how to have some fun," said Marie Damler, owner of Natural Valley Ranch. read more and watch the segment...

Top 10: Hendricks County Holiday Events in 2016

Visit Hendricks County | November 1, 2016

Candy Cane Hunt
For something a little different, try visiting Natural Valley Ranch in Brownsburg for their Candy Cane Hunt on Dec. 10. Tickets are available for sessions at 10 a.m. and at 1 p.m., and kids can visit with Santa Claus, enjoy a petting zoo and munch on a snack from the popcorn bar while hunting for candy canes.

Fun to be had in Hendricks County

Hendricks County Flyer | May 31, 2016

Playing, dining and staying in Hendricks County can make for a seamless trip with the help of the website

Travelers can find nearly 30 hotels from which to choose that include everything from budget airport hotels to bed and breakfasts to quaint cabins. read more . . .

Bounty of Babies at Natural Valley Ranch

Hendricks County Flyer | April 12, 2016

BROWNSBURG — Bountiful Babies was presented last weekend at Natural Valley Ranch for the third consecutive year. This event is a annual springtime coming out party for all of the baby animals on the ranch.

Geared toward children ages one to eight, Bountiful Babies is an afternoon of family friendly fun.

Activities included feeding the goats their afternoon snacks, face painting, crafts, pony rides and a baby animal rest area where children were able to spend time with the animals in a smaller, quieter space. read more . . .

The Business of Animals

Hendricks County Flyer | December 26, 2015

... One local farm with live animals is Brownsburg's own Natural Valley Ranch.
Natural Valley Ranch owner Marie Damler has a lot to offer, including guided trail rides, horse boarding, horseback riding lessons, petting zoo, pony rides and more.
One new addition to the ranch is Petting Pals, the petting zoo that comes to customers.
read more . . .

Unique Family Accomodation: Natural Valley Ranch Log Cabin

Visit Hendricks County | April 27, 2015

If you're looking for an ideal vacation getaway that offers a tranquil setting - yet is minutes from Indy, you'll want to consider heading to Natural Valley Ranch in Brownsburg for a stay in their spacious cabin.

Marie and Chuck Damler, owners of Natural Valley Ranch, just added this stunning accommodation to their sprawling, beautiful 78-acre, family-owned horse farm known for its trail rides. The Damlers still have their spacious cottage available to rent on their property as well, so this is an additional and very different way to "rough it" with nature.

And to be sure this is no ordinary cabin, the 5,200-square-foot home features six bedrooms and five and a half baths and overlooks a beautiful pond. It truly offers the best of what we all want in a vacation destination. read more . . .

Fox 59's "Your Town Friday"

WXIN Fox 59 | December 5, 2014

This morning "Your Town Friday" is heading to Brownsburg in Hendricks County! And while it's close to downtown Indy, only about 17 miles away, it's definitely possible to get away from the hustle and bustle and really enjoy nature out in Brownsburg.

For the last 10 years, people from all over Central Indiana have been visiting Natural Valley Ranch in Brownsburg. watch now...

The Cottage at Natural Valley Ranch is a "Natural" Choice for Family Vacations in Hendricks County, Indiana | Oct. 2014

There is just something about a farm cottage that immediately relaxes me.

Maybe it's the wrap-around porch that I call all too easily imagine spending evenings relaxing on, listening to crickets chirp and birds twitter as the sun sets. ... read more...

Fall Fun in Hendricks County, Indiana | Oct. 2014

Fall weekends are perfect for enjoying the outdoors. Though it is still warm during the day, the air holds the seasonal change in ints every breath, cooling the evenings to a crispness ideal for light jackets....
When my horse-crazed girls learned that we could do a trail ride at the ranch we were staying on, there was no doubt that it would be part of our itinerary. Ourwfinal afternoon found us atop four of the ranch's horses, ambling along wooded trails. read more...

Road Trip! Horsin' Around Natural Valley Ranch

Haute Happenings | Sept. 12, 2014

As you may remember, our family visited Hendricks County in July. One highlight of our trip was a morning spent at an awesome water park...

While my water babies were thrilled to splash around the water park, the outing that has been talked about the most was the afternoon we spent at Natural Valley Ranch in Brownsburg, Indiana. The setting at Natural Valley Ranch is idyllic. read more...

Natural Valley Ranch Provides Fun/Memories

Indiana Insider Blog | Sept. 1, 2014

I admit up front—horseback riding is my favorite outdoor activity. I've loved horses since as a little girl, I took lessons and owned a Quarter horse. When my husband, John, and I took our family on vacations, we went horseback riding as often as possible. In recent months I've found a great place to ride without leaving the great state of Indiana! read more...

Indiana Summer Fun 2014

The Average Parent Blog | June 13, 2014

Natural Valley Ranch was a huge hit for us last summer. Located on 78 acres in Hendricks County, it was a quick trip from my southside home and well worth the visit. While they specialize in trail riding, we were most interested in the field trip. (Dont be scared off by the term "field trip," because there were just three kids and two adults... it's not like you need a huge group to take advantage of this.) They offer a variety of field trip options, read more...

Keeping Cool on Indy's West Side

Indiana Insider Blog | July 17, 2013

I'm not going to complain about the heat this summer because it is way cooler than last year, but we have still been trying to find activities to help keep ourselves cool and we scored really big in Hendricks County last week. If you aren't familiar with Hendricks County, it is located just outside of Indianapolis on the west side – think the airport … literally minutes from downtown. read more...

Horseback Riding in the Rain at Natural Valley Ranch

Midwest Wanderer Blog | July 1, 2013

I'm all for trying new adventures. Horseback riding isn't new for me, but I'm still a greenhorn, having only been riding once before in my lifetime. So when the opportunity came up for me to ride the trails at the Natural Valley Ranch near Brownsburg, Indiana, of course I accepted. read more...

Relax at the New Cottage at Natural Valley Ranch

Visit Hendricks County All Access Blog | June 19, 2013

Looking for a unique getaway this summer? Hendricks County's newest is the Cottage at Natural Valley Ranch in Brownsburg.

The Cottage at Natural Valley Ranch – Brownsburg, Indiana
The 3,100-square-foot cottage located on a 75-acre working horse ranch is perfect for a country retreat. read more...

Travel Writer Visits Natural Valley Ranch

Visit Hendricks County All Access Blog | June 12, 2013

An adventure that eventually would lead to Natural Valley Ranch in Brownsburg, Indiana, started with a pair of red cowboy boots.

Several years ago, my son who lives in the Western U.S., noticed during my visits to him my admiration for cowboy boots, particularly red ones since that is my favorite color. read more...

3 Sunsational Summer Trip Ideas to Central Indiana

Visit Hendricks County All Access Blog | May 1, 2013

With school nearing an end, we here at Visit Hendricks County are gearing up for a "Sunsational Summer," by providing some wallet-friendly summer vacation ideas in Hendricks County and nearby that families can enjoy over a long weekend or even longer. read more...

Indy with Kids: Horseplay and horse rides

Indy Star | April 1, 2014

If you or your kids love horses, now is the time to get out and play (with) the ponies.

... One of our favorite places to visit is Natural Valley Ranch in Brownsburg. Every now and then, we pack up leftover hot dog buns, carrots and cut-up apples and head over to feed the animals. Natural Valley has beautiful acreage for picnicking and lots of livestock to enjoy, including miniature horses, pygmy goats, chickens and more...

Enjoy Some Winter Fun at Natural Valley Ranch

Visit Hendricks County All Access Blog | January 28, 2013

If you think the winter boxes you in and relegates activities to only those you can enjoy hearthside, I have news for you.

This could be you on the back of a horse at Natural Valley Ranch.
Grab those warm winter wraps and picture yourself atop a fine steed enjoying the brisk air and snow-laden forest – seeking a glimpse of Bambi skittering through the woods at Natural Valley Ranch in Brownsburg, Indiana. read more...

Illinois family gets adventurous in Hendricks County

Visit Hendricks County All Access Blog | November 4, 2012

Back in August, I signed up to win a contest called "Win & Grin" promoted by the Hendricks County Convention and Visitors Bureau to encourage people to visit this Indiana county. Of the three different getaways they offered in the contest, I thought the Adventure and Outdoor Recreation would fit our family best, and was I right. read more...

Top Ten: Family-Friendly Hendricks County Halloween Activities

Visit Hendricks County All Access Blog | October 22, 2012

Looking for some Halloween fun for your family that's not too spooky? There are plenty of events in Hendricks County that are perfect for kids. Here's a top ten list of activities. read more...

Top Ten: Places to See Fall Foliage in Hendricks County

Visit Hendricks County All Access Blog | October 15, 2012

When I talk to friends who've lived in other regions of the country, such as California, they consistently say that one thing they missed about Indiana was witnessing the change of seasons in the fall. read more...

Natural Valley Ranch encourages horsin' around

Hendricks County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Tour Hendricks County | August 28, 2012

I have always loved horses. As a child, I always wanted one (I had no idea how much work one would be) and grew even fonder after covering the Kentucky Derby when I was a journalist in Louisville. But I must confess, I had never ridden a horse until a recent visit to Natural Valley Ranch in Brownsburg, Indiana. My 5-year-old daughter has ridden a pony at a zoo before and loved it, so she was excited to join me. read more...

Equestrian trails are drawing riders in Hendricks County

Indianapolis Star | July 25, 2012

For Karen Humphreys, horseback riding is about getting away from the hustle and bustle. It's also about getting back to nature, she said, as she and fellow horse enthusiast Jane Howard left for a recent ride out of Amo.

The meandering route through a forested corridor, seasonal stream valleys and the larger Crittenden Creek valley has made the Vandalia Trail popular among horse riders in Hendricks County.

For horse owners, building equestrian trails in the county is just as important as building trails for pedestrians. read more...


Take a Trail Ride in Indianapolis

Indianapolis with Kids | April 2012

The Indianapolis area has a lot of horses. Sometimes you'll notice them in someone's backyard or you'll pass a stable or a state park that offers horseback riding but if you are a someone who is new to the sport or deciding if you want to try it out, it's important to find a place that really takes the time to talk to you, answer your questions and educate you. Natural Valley Ranch was that place for us! read more...

Natural Valley Ranch to Host 3rd Annual Trail Ride Benefitting B&O Trail

Indianapolis Star | Sept. 22, 2011

The 2011 annual benefit ride for the historic B&O Trail is Saturday, September 24 at Natural Valley Ranch in Brownsburg. The rides will be staggered to allow for easier parking. Riders bringing their own horses may choose from 10 a.m., noon, 2 or 4 p.m. sessions. The rides are approximately two hours. The pre-registration date has passed, so please bring $25 to the sign-in table. Helmets recommended.
Riders on rental horses will be departing at 11 a.m., 1, 3 and 5 p.m. for a one-hour trail ride. The pre-registration date has passed so please bring your $35 to the check-in table when you arrive. The minimum age for rental riders is 8 years old. Please arrive at least 30 minutes before your ride time to sign in and be assigned a horse. Helmets are required for safety and are available at the barn. Come early to visit with all of the great animals at Natural Valley Ranch including chickens, goats (and baby goats), ponies, miniatures horses and much more. read more...

Chuck and Marie Damler on WISH-TV's "Daybreak" discussing Family Fun Night

WISH-TV, September 10, 2011

See more videos on our YouTube channel

Family fun nights return to Natural Valley Ranch

By Bart Doan, CNHI, Flyer Group | Sept. 6, 2011

BROWNSBURG — Originally birthed as a cost effective way to encourage families to spend time together, Natural Valley Ranch continues its third "Family Night" series tradition this Saturday when it kicks off the first of three events with special guest, Faith the dog, in attendance.

This will be Faith's first appearance at the ranch and will precede the mid September release of a new book, Faith Walks, which tells the story of the world famous two-legged dog and the struggle she originally had just to stay alive.

"The idea behind this is to offer families an inexpensive way to be together, see nature, and be with the animals," said Marie Damler, owner of Natural Valley Ranch. "We have six kids, and they're older now, but growing up we could never do anything together. Everything is so expensive now, and this provides a way to relax and enjoy the smaller moments of life." read more...

Natural Valley Ranch to welcome famous dog

Indianapolis Star | Sept. 6, 2011

Faith the Dog who has inspired millions by learning to walk upright on her hind legs (Faith was born badly deformed and only had functioning rear legs) will make a special guest appearance at Natural Valley Ranch this Saturday, September 10 from 6–9 p.m. Jude Stringfellow, motivational speaker and Faith's owner will also be on hand to share Faith's story. In addition to appearances around the globe, Faith has appeared on "Oprah."

"As a family-owned and family-friendly business," Natural Valley Ranch co-owner Marie Damler explains, "it is such an awesome opportunity to bring Faith's story to so many families at our first Family Fun Night of the Fall." Damler continues, "we know our guests will be thrilled to meet such an inspiring celebrity, and it's even more special because Faith the Dog is getting ready to have her new book "Faith Walks" come out in mid-September."

Our Family Fun Nights are a great opportunity for families to re-connect away from all the distractions that the digital age has brought. In addition to hay rides on our 70 acre property, we have a bon fire and welcome our guests to bring their dinner to cook over the open fire – and don't forget the fixings for s'mores! Plus we have a terrific petting zoo, pony rides, and fishing in our pond (catch and release only, must provide own bait and tackle). Of special interest in our petting zoo are the two baby goats, Dolly Madison and Cosmic, that were recently born to Suzy Q. read more...

New ranch welcomes public to trail ride, board, lease horses

Hendricks County Flier | June 5, 2006

Chuck Damler is getting back to nature at his Natural Valley Ranch off of County Road 350 North.

With the exception of the occasional hum of a lone aircraft passing far overhead, the place is quiet and peaceful. The wind rustles the trees, a lone cow wanders its pen, and horses prance and play in the fields.

Damler is new to the business of owning a horse ranch, but says he has a clear picture of what he wants.

"This is beautiful land out here and we want people to be able to come and enjoy it," he said, "right here in the middle of Hendricks County."

Damler's ranch is hidden behind rows of trees and brush, with more than 50 acres of trails winding in and out and around White Lick Creek and through the wild flowers.

Three years ago, around Thanksgiving, Damler said he was driving past a three-acre plot of land and noticed it was for sale. He and his wife, Marie, had been looking for a place they could settle with their six children and raise some horses and the place seemed to be perfect.

"What we really wanted was just to have a place where the kids could ride horses," Damler said. "We saw this and decided to give it a try."

Since that first purchase, the Damlers have added five other parcels of land and cleared enough under-brush to create about 50 to 60 acres of trails. This past year they had the property rezoned for an agricultural business and started the ranch.

An old steel bridge once used for foot traffic across the creek still offers a glimmer of hope for future use. But for now, it offers picturesque scenery.

"We plan to get the bridge repaired, maybe be able to take the horses across, but for now we just let them wade right through the water," Damler said.

Walking through the trails, purple wildflowers twinkle on either side and muddy footprints show tell-tale signs of deer.

"I have seen as many as 25 deer, in a group, just standing in the woods eating," Damler said.

His voice startles a group of turtles (called a 'shell') and they quickly make for the water. More than a dozen of the little creatures splash their way into the creek and disappear beneath the surface.

Eventually, Damler intends to offer an indoor arena for riding during inclement weather, and possibly expand services at the ranch. But for now, he is focusing on the trail riding.

Damler said his ranch is testing a new lease program, where riders can buy trail time on a monthly basis. For $100 a month, riders can use a horse for three days out of every week and for $200 a month, they have use of a horse seven days a week, 365 days a year.

Right now riders can join the Trail Club or rent one of the Damlers' seven horses by the hour. For beginning riders, on-site instructor Danielle Bryan offers lessons in Western Pleasure or contesting events, such as barrel and flag racing for more experienced riders.

Whenever possible, Damler has tried to mimic the natural environment for his horses, choosing not to shoe them and making certain they get enough "private time."

"A lot of people don't realize it, but horses need time to unwind, too," he said. "It's not a natural state for a horse to have a saddle on its back."

The horse pen is adjacent to the woods and hidden by the trees, with dusty places to roll and muddy places to splash. Damler said all of this helps them create a place that the riders and horses can enjoy together.

"What we are doing requires more of a partnership between us and the horse," he said. "The horse wants to trust us and we want to trust the horse. As riders, we need to trust the horse."

Family-friendly and family fun . . .  you will discover the difference that family makes when you discover Natural Valley Ranch!