Who hasn’t watched an old Western and wanted to be the cowboy (or cowgirl) tearing through the open range on a trusted steed? While you can’t travel back in time, you can recreate the experience by taking a trail ride or riding lessons at several stables throughout the Hudson Valley.
This farm, which is owned by an equine industry pro with more than 40 years of experience, is perfect for anyone who wants to try out horseback riding. The Stables takes a luxury-inspired approach to customer service in a family-style atmosphere. Not only does it host pony parties for up-and-coming cowboys and cowgirls, but it also offers boarding, training and exercise programs, and English riding lessons. The facility recently received a facelift, too.
Juckas Stables, which has been in business for more than 50 years, really does have it all. With 117 acres of breathtaking trails, a one-hour trail ride just might not be enough. There is also a 90-minute trail ride or a lunch special for a mid-week, two-hour trail ride. During the summer, those interested can enjoy a three-hour dinner trail ride that is made for sunset views. The kid-friendly spot offers children’s summer camp programs and campfire dinners.
A quick fifteen minutes outside of Rhinebeck, Calypso Farm has two barns, an indoor and outdoor arena, and a number of trails. It offers horseback riding lessons for riders of all levels, so don’t fret if it’s the first go. The barn manager resides on the premises to take constant care of the horses.
This horseback riding farm works in conjunction with Friendship Equestrian Center and Jess Riley Dressage, both of which offer horseback riding opportunities. Hudson on Horseback offers four trail riding times each day of the week, with groups kept at around four riders to enhance the experience. The trail instructors walk through what certain behaviors from a horse mean, how to navigate around hills and streams, and other pertinent information.
The beautiful farm is home to not only weddings, but riding for every style and level of rider. The 86 acres of private trails, indoor and outdoor arenas, and grass jumping fields leave no room for boredom. Throughout the year, the farm offers both lessons and riding camps as well. Rates vary depending on weekly or monthly lessons as well as private, semi-private, or group training.
Rivendell Riding Academy has not only horses, but ponies as well. The Academy believes that these animals can help teach children responsibility and sportsmanship early in life. The family-owned business offers lessons and summer programs for people of all ages. Small group lessons consist of three to five people and are an affordable way for beginners to learn. The summer program has a tiny tots option for children ages four to six, a half-day program for children ages seven to 14, and a full-day program for nine- to 14-year-olds.
Established in 1950 by Bob Smith, this farm is one of the oldest equine facilities in the mid-Hudson Valley. Today it is owned by Kristen “Krissy” Smith, who received her first pony when she was a mere three years old. Riding lessons are available for all levels, and visitors can either bring their own horse or ride one of the steeds onsite. Trail riding lessons are also available. Every year, the “Hunter Paces” take place in the spring and fall and feature teams of two or three riders competing over a flagged course for an ideal time.
Pond View Farm is an English riding school that offers non-competitive riding for children of all ages and abilities. The farm is part of the Arlington School District’s summer camp program. Throughout the 30 acres of breathtaking views, there are 10 miles worth of trails and facilities. Those who partake in the lessons start off with walking and trotting and eventually work up to cantering and jumping.
Emerald Creek Farm offers a relaxing, professional, and family-friendly atmosphere. Lessons vary from beginner to advanced and are available for all ages. The farm also holds after-school programs and day camps for young equestrians.
This riding club is open all year long for trail lessons and more. One does not need to be an experienced rider to enjoy a horse ride around this farm, and beginners can start off in the 10-acre ring before exploring the field and woods. Participants also learn proper care techniques to foster the bond between horse and rider.
Home of the Marist College Equestrian Team, this stable has two indoor rings and one lighted outdoor ring for training and lessons. The premier hunter and jumper facility is home to nearly 50 boarder and lesson horses with which children and adults can develop their riding skills. Stop in for lessons at Crosswinds to learn how to be a skilled and confident rider.
This stable gives trail rides in nearby Fahnestock State Park to those who can prove they’re experienced riders. Riders take participants to see remains of abandoned 18th century farms, old walls, and mysterious stone chambers. Don’t be surprised to spot deer, wild turkeys, or red-tailed hawks along the way. Trail rides range from short detours up to two-hour-plus jaunts. Come summer, the academy hosts a cowboy camp for children.
This ranch doubles as a home to exotic animals like tigers, lemurs, and kangaroos as well as a number of horses. Scenic mountain trail rides, pony rides, and lessons are offered all year long, including holidays. The ranch is located on 300 private acres at the foot of the Catskills, and all trails are guided with no experience required.