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Old 12-30-2020, 02:27 PM   #1
LisaM
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Question owning / boarding a horse in the Adirondacks

Hello ADK Forum,

My spouse and I hope to eventually--ignoring the current real estate boom--own a place in the Adirondacks, spending increasing amounts of time there as we transition to retirement (10-15 year plan). We've been visiting regularly and researching to hone in on a locale.

Our biggest priorities are hiking and paddling. But I would also love to own a trail horse -- and house it at a boarding stable, not on our own property.

None of my Googling or exploring has turned up the sort of boarding stable I have in mind. I see fancy show stables near Lake Placid, and I see commercial barns renting horses for tourist trail rides (e.g., near Old Forge). But I don't see places where recreational riders board horses they own and take out on trails.

Does anyone have insight for me on where I'd find these types of stables--and if they exist there? (Or do the folks riding horses on the trails typically have their own horse properties?) My hypothetical dream location would be in reasonable distance of a low-key boarding stable--and paddling, and hiking.

Thanks for any insight!

Lisa
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Old 12-30-2020, 04:41 PM   #2
JimVroman
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I think that your first concern would be to choose where you want to live in the ADK's. Then ask your real estate agent about local people who own small farms in that area. You're not going to find that info on Google.
Hope that you find your spot.
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Old 12-30-2020, 05:20 PM   #3
Wldrns
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https://www.ottercreekstable.com
Western Adirondacks, outside of Lowville.
Lowville has a large horse lovers community.
Good paddling not far away.
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Old 12-31-2020, 08:36 AM   #4
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I have a couple of friends in Elizabethtown who have their own horses and may board others' horses. The Newcomb area might be a good place to look, since there are horse trails which start there. I assume you will have a horse trailer.
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Old 01-02-2021, 11:18 AM   #5
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Stables

Yoder Stables, Lake Pleasant, NY. They have a Facebook page. Nice people.
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Old 01-02-2021, 06:09 PM   #6
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There are horse trails in Newcomb but they don't exactly get a whole lot of use by horseback riders. I'm not aware of any farms that board horses in the Newcomb area (or have horses to begin with) but that doesn't mean that such a thing doesn't exist (it's admittedly not something I have ever consciously looked in to).
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Old 01-02-2021, 07:03 PM   #7
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Is there still a horse/wagon service that makes trips into Camp Santanoni? If so I would think they must be based somewhere nearby.
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Old 01-03-2021, 09:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zach View Post
Is there still a horse/wagon service that makes trips into Camp Santanoni? If so I would think they must be based somewhere nearby.
The horse and wagon service is provided by a concessionaire under official contract with the state. In season (late spring through autumn), the state provides a small stable at Santanoni to house the horses owned by whoever holds the contract to provide the wagon service- in part because there really isn't an abundance of other options for boarding the horses in the area. This stable is not available for public use, nor is it usable on a permanent, year-round basis even by the concessionaire. The current holder of the contract is a farm that is actually based in Whitehall, NY, which is not particularly close to Newcomb.

Santanoni does get some use by other horseback riding groups but even so, use along these lines is generally light and infrequent. While it is true that there's more opportunities for horseback riding in Newcomb than in some other areas of the ADKs (between Camp Santanoni and the Essex Chain), it's nevertheless still fair to say that Newcomb is not really a hotspot of horseback riding by any means.

Last edited by DSettahr; 01-04-2021 at 07:33 AM..
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Old 01-04-2021, 05:55 PM   #9
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Thanks for the information, that's interesting that the DEC provides the accommodations. I don't know why, but for some reason I had thought back in 2010 when I bicycled in there that the horse and wagon people were local, maybe from the ad that was posted in the gatehouse. My mind is nothing to write home about at the best of times, and after 10 years it's even worse. I think I also heard something about the contract changing hands at some point since then, but I can't recall the details of that either.
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Old 01-04-2021, 08:43 PM   #10
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Your confusion may have stemmed from the name of the holder of the contract, which is coincidentally very similar to the name of the town: Newcombe Farms. The farm is named for the family of the owners, not the town. Larry Newcombe is the proprietor, and the farm (as mentioned above) is in Whitehall, not Newcomb.

A brochure for Newcombe Farms can be viewed online here: https://www.aarch.org/wp-content/upl...ombefarm14.pdf

I know that Newcombe Farms has had the contract for a while now. I'm not sure if they held it back in 2010 but it is certainly possible and again, would explain the confusion.
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Old 01-04-2021, 08:57 PM   #11
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Thanks very much, that looks familiar. I appreciate your finding the brochure, and clearing up my confusions.
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Old 01-06-2021, 03:22 PM   #12
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Thank you, everyone; great leads. JimVroman, you may be right that I am going about this backwards -- though I'd hate to hone in then find out I'm in the wrong spot. Maybe I'll need to flag down some riders next time I'm up there, and ask where they keep their horses! I'll definitely check out Lowville, Elizabethtown, and Lake Pleasant. We've spent time near Newcomb and didn't turn anything up, but know folks with family there and can do more research.

MTVhike, I am guessing I'll have a trailer so I can check out trails I can't ride to -- though sometimes like-minded riders at a boarding barn share a trailer. My main concern is the length of the drive from home to barn.

Thanks again!

Lisa
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Old 01-11-2021, 08:31 AM   #13
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I would say the biggest horse community in the Adirondacks is built around Otter Creek. Boarding your horse just outside the park on this side might be your least expensive option. Hay supply and prices are generally better than any other place I know of. There are a number of stables around Otter Creek and lots of trails. I live in Forestport, about an hour by truck and trailer from Otter, an hour and a half from Brookfield trails. Lots of local trails and the BREIA trails in Alder creek just 10 minutes away. It's a couple hours to drive a
truck and trailer up to Newcomb. The first time I went up there I camped at the Newcomb campground just after they had built their stalls with a $30,000 state grant. This past year though the new owners decided they didn't want horses there, so I ended up camping at Frontier Town. Frontier town was nice, but there aren't much in the way of trails there, and trailering back to Newcomb was a pain.

Friends of Otter Creek website: https://friendsofottercreekhorsetrails.com/

Polaris Bridge over the Hudson 2020


Farm at Santanoni
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Old 01-13-2021, 01:45 PM   #14
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Conibear, thank you! Great info.
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Old 01-15-2021, 09:27 AM   #15
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There's also a few horseback riding trails in the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness (in addition to the trails in the Lake George area). The trail into Pharaoh Lake is well maintained, with a generally wide corridor along an old road bed and gets some occasional horseback riding use.

There's also the Sucker Brook Trail, but honestly the DEC has had a tough time keeping this trail open and accessible... it gets very little use, and beyond a few miles in or so the beech grows into the trail faster than DEC trail crews can cut it back. I had heard that a horeseback riding club had adopted this trail and planned to help maintain it, but the last time I hiked the trail it looked like they hadn't done much work on it. In any case, the first couple of miles of are well maintained and would make for a nice ride, I'd think- it traverses level terrain along an old road through re-forested farm land. If you poke around you can find foundations from old farm houses, barns, etc.
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Old 01-17-2021, 04:20 PM   #16
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A couple of years ago, I went in to the Boreas Ponds area and there was someone with a horse trailer parked on the access road, and I saw them (and their horse) on my way back. The area around Boreas Ponds is riddled with old logging roads, on which bicycles are prohibited but horses are allowed (Wilderness Area).
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Old 01-17-2021, 07:28 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTVhike View Post
A couple of years ago, I went in to the Boreas Ponds area and there was someone with a horse trailer parked on the access road, and I saw them (and their horse) on my way back. The area around Boreas Ponds is riddled with old logging roads, on which bicycles are prohibited but horses are allowed (Wilderness Area).
I've been on most of those roads- without maintenance many of them were very rapidly becoming overgrown, rocky and rutted, etc. Also, with the Wilderness designation, a lot of those roads that were still in decent shape were "naturalized," and are no longer readily accessible by horse (or by hiker, for that matter).

The DEC appears to no longer be promoting the use of these old roads for horseback use- probably for these reasons. The former interim access plan (and associated map) showed some of these roads beyond the Boreas Ponds dam as being open to horseback use. But if you look at the current DEC map for the Boreas Ponds tract (PDF Link), there is no indication of access for horseback riders beyond the dam.

Legally, horses are still allowed beyond the dam (but that may change if foot trails are designated in the area) but realistically a lot of those old roads are already no longer nearly as accessible as they were even a year or two ago.
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