Horsin’ around in the Hudson Valley
by Rochelle Riservato
Whether you’re seeking solitude and serenity in the saddle or a “family bonding” ride, you’ll find it at these renowned horse farms. An equestrian’s dream list, we’ve chosen the best places to saddle-up for the most rewarding rides on acres of trails through open fields and natural forests—with the bonus of incredible panoramic Valley vistas. Many farms offer additional amenities for family entertainment—from petting zoos to overnight camp trail rides.
Ashokan Horseback Riding Club – A full service riding facility with escorted and supervised trail riding on well-trained horses for both fun and education in a beautiful setting. Lessons, specialized for beginners, will take you from the ring into the field, down to the river, then up the cliffs into the woods. Lessons by appointment only. 363 Beaverkill Road, Olivebridge. 845-657-8021; ashokan.com/riding
Bailiwick Ranch and Zoo – Everything you can imagine in one place for the entire family! Year-round trail riding with scenic mountain views. Plus a petting and exotic animal zoo with picnic areas; open until end of October. Paintball park, games, horseback lessons, and pony rides also available. 118 Castle Road off Route 32, Catskill. 518-678-5665; bailiwickranch.com
Cogi Farm – A five-star equestrian facility with rolling countryside and hundreds of acres of bridle paths and trails. A perfect way to spend family time or immerse yourself in the quiet serenity far from the hustle and bustle of civilization. The shaded trails connect to 50 miles of trails throughout Harlem Valley. Lessons available. 15 Kirby Hill Road, Pawling. 845-855-5096; cogifarm.com
Coyote Ridge Stables – Provides visitors with beautiful, scenic trail riding right near the Hudson River. Enjoy hundreds of acres of spring, summer, and fall foliage guided by experienced staff. Trail rides are for age 7 and up. Pony rides for pee-wees. English and Western lessons available. 80’ x 150’ indoor arena. Open 7 days. 583 Lattintown Road, Marlboro. 845-236-1136 or 845-236-7556; coyoteridgestableny.com
Juckas Stables – Enjoy the friendly, family-owned and operated business on 117 acres of trails winding through the breathtaking Hudson Valley countryside. Any level of horse-riding ability is welcome as the horses are gentle, responsive, and part of the family. Come for a single-day ride or engage in overnight camping by horseback. Lessons are also available for any level. Bullville. 845-361-1429; juckasstables.com
Minnewaska State Park Preserve – Horse owners can enjoy the all-season trails within the dramatic Shawangunk Mountain ridge. The Preserve is part of the New York State Park System and is considered one of the most unique parks with waterfalls, sky lakes, cliff-edge views, and more. 5281 Route 44/55, Kerhonkson. 845- 255-0752; nysparks.state.ny.us
Mohonk Mountain House – Day visitors will find the best horseback riding trails around at this nirvana of magnificent enchantment. Besides being able to view a grand 266-room Victorian castle at one of America’s oldest family-owned resorts, visitors discover thousands of acres of pristine forest and winding trails. 1000 Mountain Rest Road, New Paltz. General info at 845- 255-1000; mohonk.com
Payne Farms Too – Enjoy the breathtaking views of the Shawangunk and Catskill mountain ranges from the saddles of this farm’s safe and sweet horses or ponies. This family-owned working horse and dairy farm also gives riding lessons for all ages. 125 Dubois Road, New Paltz. 845-255- 0177; paynefarmtoo.com.
Rocking Horse Ranch Resort – This ranch’s riding adventure takes you back in time with the flavor of the Old West with all the activities you would expect to find in a Westernstyle dude ranch. However, all horse related activities are a part of an allinclusive vacation package only. Enjoy trail riding and horse-drawn wagon and sleigh rides all year long! The trail riding program starts at age 7. For little Wranglers there’s a pony ride area. Riding instruction is available. 600 Route 44/55, Highland. 800- 647-2624; rhranch.com
Stone Tavern Farm – Trail riding at its best from private trail riding to groups. Children from 6 to 9 years must have a guide. Plus picnic lunch and dinner trail riding with full spreads to satisfy hunger after your ride. 2080 Upper Meeker Hollow Road, Roxbury. 607-326-3600; stonetavernfarm.com
The Hudson Valley Rail Trail – If you own your own horse this famous 3.7-mile rail trail stretches from the hamlet of Highland westward toward New Paltz. Once a rail line, this area has been converted into a natural wonderment for many activities. 845-691-2066; hudsonvalleyrailtrail.net
Wallkill Valley Rail Trail – Bring your horse and ride on the 23.7- mile rail trail and linear park running along the former Wallkill Valley Railroad rail corridor and stretches from Gardiner through New Paltz. gorailtrail.org
Planning to take those lessons you’ve always wanted to, but just haven’t found the time? Well, if equestrian edification is on your “bucket-list” or you want your children to be educated in the many riding styles, riding safety, trail etiquette, and the many other facets that factor into a great experience—summertime in the Valley is the time and place to do it. So get off your laurels and into a saddle and have the ride and time of your life.
Angelstarr Farm – Offers several types of lesson programs for both adults and children—specializing in beginner lessons. Lessons are one-hour long consisting of learning to groom, tack, as well as ride your horse/pony. Red Hook. 845-453-3394; angelstarrfarm.com
Ashokan Horseback Riding Club – Specializing in lessons for beginners. Your first lesson will take you from the ring into the field, down to the river, then up the cliffs into the woods. Must make appointment. 363 Beaverkill Road, Olivebridge. 845-657-8021; ashokan.com/riding
Cedar Crest Farm Equestrian Center – Lessons available at a brand new equestrian facility on 70 secluded acres. 200’ x 80’ indoor or 160’ x 160’ outdoor arena. 2054 Route 83, Pine Plains. Call for rates. 518-398-1034; equestcenter.com
Duchess Equestrian Center – We cater to all ages from beginners to advanced and also adult jumping. Indoor & outdoor arenas in a bucolic country environment. Open 7 days from 9am-5pm; Call for lesson times. 914-388-3128; duchessfarm.com.
East Mountain Farm and Stables – Manager/head trainer Karen Penney teaches with 25 years of overall experience in dressage, hunter, and Western pleasure; USDF Certified Associate Instructor; NARHA Certified. 543 Poplar Hill Road, Dover Plains. 845-877-3728; eastmountainfarmandstables.com
Flying Change Farm – Specializing in beginners and building confidence. Appointments are necessary. Also summer camps with private lessons. 235 Airport Road, Accord. 845-626-0020 or email Diane at firstname.lastname@example.org
Green Heron Farm – Provides quality riding instruction suited to every level of rider from beginner through advanced, including dressage, jumping, and pleasure riding. Children and adults. 446 John Joy Road, Woodstock; 845-246-9427; greenheronfarm.com
Horses and Hounds Stables – Hunter, jumper, equitation, and dressage lessons available with experienced trainers. Large indoor/outdoor arenas with safe and Travel Right dust-free footing. Beautiful 100- acre farm. 1470 Albany Post Road, Gardiner. 845-895-9376; horsesandhoundsstable.com
Lily Pond Stables – Lessons for Western, English, hunter, jumping, and all riding pleasures on the best and safest
footing. Gorgeous Valley views. All ages. 321 Skidmore Road, Pleasant Valley. 845-677-1248; lilypondstables.com
Lucky C Stables – Lessons in English instruction are available in the evening and weekends. Group or private setting. A perfect venue for beginners and experienced riders. Yankee Folly Road, New Paltz. 845-255-3220
or 845-389-7222; luckycstables.com
MLC Farm – Whether a beginner or advanced rider—this experienced staff helps you to achieve your riding goals in a family friendly atmosphere. Children and adults learn jumping, hunters, and equitation. Evening lessons available. 731 Cold Spring Road, Stanfordville. 845-868-7946; mlcfarm.com.
Norwegian Wood Farm – 150 hilltop acres boasting myriad amenities along with lessons for adults and children 4 years and up—beginner to advanced for pleasure, dressage, jumper, cross-country, or hunting. 15 Old Queens Highway, Kerhonkson. 845-616-3608; norwegianwoodfarm.com
Payne Farms Too – Enjoy the breathtaking views of the Shawangunk and Catskill mountain ranges from the saddles of this farm’s safe and sweet horses or ponies. This family owned working horse and dairy farm also has riding lessons for all ages. New Paltz. 845-255-0177; paynefarmtoo.com
Southern Dutchess Equestrian Center – Offers both private and semiprivate affordable riding lessons for students at all levels, disciplines, and ages. 187 Robinson Lane, Wappingers Falls. 845-226-1256; southerndutchess.com
Southlands Foundation – Equestrian lessons including equitation, showing, hunters, trail riding, fox hunting, jumpers, cross-country, and dressage. Beginner through advanced. 5771 Route 9G, Rhinebeck. 845-876-4862; southlands.org
Stone Tavern Farm – Western and English lessons for children ages 6 and up and adults. Pony rides for the wee ones. Helmets provided. 2080 Upper Meeker Hollow Road, Roxbury. Reservations necessary. 607-326-3600;