When I go to check out, why am I charged Virginia sales tax?
By law we must collect sales tax from customers located in Virginia unless they qualify as tax-exempt. Our website automatically adds Virginia sales tax to all orders shipped to a Virginia address. If you are a tax-exempt Virginia customer, please call (800) 506-5344 to place your order. Please note that for-profit businesses in Virginia are NOT exempt from paying sales tax on purchases made for their own use. Customers outside Virginia are not charged sales tax, but may be required by laws in their own states to pay a use tax.

How quickly will my item arrive?
We ship primarily via UPS ground and USPS Priority Mail, which provides delivery to most addresses within 2-3 business days, and sometimes faster. Our default shipping option is for shipping in 1-3 days for $4.99, although in some cases delivery may take longer. We will select the service (UPS or USPS) that is best suited to get the item to you quickly. Orders placed before 3:30 PM weekdays are usually shipped the same day. We do not ship on weekends or postal holidays, unless UPS picks up. Orders shipped to Canada may be shipped via UPS or by U.S. Postal Service, and typically take two weeks, although significantly longer transit times are not uncommon.

How much is shipping?
If you select the default shipping option, we charge a flat fee of $4.99 per order for any order shipped to a U.S. address, regardless of weight, number of items, value of the order, or distance. This includes Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and APO addresses. Shipping is FREE for US orders, whose total is greater than $75. Backorders shipped separately from an initial shipment are not charged shipping. Orders shipped outside the domestic service area of the U.S. Postal Service are charged shipping based on the estimated weight and destination. When you check out, please select the appropriate destination region in the shipping options drop-down list. The shipping charge will be displayed before your order is placed. If you select a shipping option other than the default, you will be charged the amount indicated for that service, which is based on weight and destination.

How can I check on the status of my order?
Call us at 540-896-7100, toll-free at (800) 506-5344 or e-mail us. We use Delivery Confirmation or UPS tracking on every shipment, so we can tell you when the item was shipped and the estimated delivery time.

Can you ship overnight?
Yes. Call your order in before 3:30 PM Eastern time (weekdays only). We will make sure that your order is sent immediately via UPS Next Day Air. You can also select this option at checkout without calling us.

My credit card was declined, but I know it works. What went wrong?
To protect ourselves and our customers, we use address verification software to verify credit cards. Make sure that you enter the correct billing address where your credit card bill is sent (usually your home). Also, make sure that you enter only a 5-digit ZIP code for your billing address, and that the card number and expiration date are entered correctly.

Do you accept American Express or Discover cards?
We only accept MasterCard and Visa for online purchases. If you want to use American Express or Discover, call us at 540-896-7100, toll-free at (800) 506-5344 or use our offline order form.

Do I need a VTO account to check out?
No. To place an order without an account, simply click "Place order without account" when you go to check out. Having an account makes it easier to make purchases in the future, because your shipping information is saved for you. Having an account may also make you eligible for special pricing discounts in the future. As a security precaution, we do not save credit card information, so you must re-enter your credit card number each time you make a purchase.

I don't want to enter my credit card information online. Do you have other ways to order?
Yes. We have an order form you can download here. Use it to mail or fax your order to 540-896-3359. Instructions are on the form. You can also order by phone during our business hours by calling 540-896-7100 or toll-free at (800) 506-5344.

If I place an order, will my name go on any e-mailing lists?
No. We require a valid e-mail address in order to process your order, but this is used only to communicate with you about your order. We do have a periodic e-mail newsletter that requires you to sign up for it using our sign-up form, or you can indicate that you would like to be included by checking the appropriate box during the check-out process. Simply placing an order or sending us an e-mail will not place you on our newsletter list.

Can I return items that don't fit?
Yes. You can return or exchange items that do not fit. Our complete return policy is here. If your situation is not covered by our return policy, call us at 540-896-7100 or toll-free at (800) 506-5344. No reasonable request will be refused. Please note that items ordered using sale coupons may place restrictions on returns; in such cases, the restrictions for the coupon take precedence over our normal return policy.

Do these breeches make my butt look big?
Absolutely not.

Do you ship to destinations outside the United States?
Yes. We have customers on every continent except Antarctica. Please make sure you select the appropriate shipping option based on the world region where you are located. Note that we do not ship to certain countries, and reserve the right to refuse any order for which we are unable to verify the validity of the payment method.

Do you sell whips?
Yes, but we do not show them on our website because they are difficult and costly to ship. In fact, we carry hundreds of products, such as mounting blocks, saddle racks, supplements, shampoos, etc. that are simply not cost-effective to ship, especially at our $4.99 shipping rate. You can often talk us into shipping such items, but you'll need to call and an additional shipping charge will apply.

I live outside the United States. Can you mark the shipment as "Gift" so I don't have to pay duties?
No. We fill out customs documents so as to accurately reflect the underlying transaction. If the item truly is a gift from us to you, we will mark it as a gift; otherwise the item will be marked as merchandise with the purchase price as the declared value. In some cases we are able to mark the item as a gift if the buyer has a billing address in the U.S. and is different from the individual named in the ship-to address.

Do you have a catalog?
Our website is our catalog. We also have many items in our retail store not shown on our website, so if you don't find what you are looking for, call us at 540-896-7100 or toll-free at (800) 506-5344. We can order almost anything, usually at substantial savings for you.

Do you sponsor riders or make donations to clubs or associations?
We receive numerous requests for donations from all over the country. Due to the volume of requests, we necessarily must limit our donations to clubs, associations and rescue operations that are local to us, namely in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. However, we consider all requests and evaluate them on their merits. If you are with a riding club that is seeking donations for show prizes or year-end awards, we suggest you contact vendors in your local area. There is a very small number of riders whom we sponsor, but these sponsorships are extended primarily on the basis of personal relationships in our local area. Again, we consider all requests, but please do not be offended if we decline your offer.

Do you offer Pony Club discounts?
No. We support local riding clubs in other ways, but we do not offer across-the-board discounts. Instead, we try to keep our prices low for everybody, including members of clubs. The only discounts we offer are to active-duty U.S. military. If you or a member of your immediate family (parent, child, sibling or spouse) is active-duty uniformed military, please call (800) 506-5344 to place your order, and the discount will be applied over the phone.

I saw the same item cheaper somewhere else. Can you match the price?
We set our prices consistently low and we believe they are very competitive. But from time to time it is possible to find the same item a little bit cheaper somewhere else - perhaps on sale or closeout. We can't promise to meet a price we haven't seen yet, but would appreciate the opportunity to try. Call us at 540-896-7100, toll-free at (800) 506-5344 or e-mail us. By the way, if you see a higher price somewhere else, we will gladly match it! ;-)

What does "VTO" stand for?
Nothing. When we first opened we had a different, longer name. When we officially changed our name in 2001, we picked "VTO" because it's easy to say and type.

Can I send you pictures of my horse for a saddle fit evaluation?
Yes. We would be happy to take a look at your photos, however we still recommend having a qualified saddle fitter see your horse in person. What we CAN usually do from the photos is determine if the tree size is correct for your horse, based on the balance and position of the saddle on your horse's back. We can NOT usually determine how the panels are fitting your horse's back, bridging, gaps or pressure points. These are things that must be determined in person.

In order to be able to see the balance, we ask for the following: Photos of the WHOLE horse from the SIDE standing on LEVEL ground INCLUDING the horse's hooves and head. Let me stress this again: We need to see the entire horse in the photo in order to get an idea of the overall balance of the saddle. Put the saddle in the position that you would normally ride and tighten the girth. Do not use a saddle pad. If your horse has an unusual back conformation, you are welcome to send photos of the horse's back without the saddle.


Photo courtesy of Joanne M. Used with permission.