Dear Riders and Friends,
Our horses are starting to feel better and are on the road to recovery. However, they have not yet been given the go ahead to return to lessons from the Veterinarian. Because we value our horses and their well-being, we have had to make the decision that classes will not be held the week of September 22 – 28. Hacking, Lead Line Pony Rides, and The Fall Nature Ride will also be canceled.
We know that many of you are disappointed that lessons have not begun and that you are not able to ride. It was a very difficult choice to make, but we want to ensure that we have our long-time friends and companions with us for many rides to come in the future.
We thank you for your understanding, continued support and well wishes. We do suggest that to get your "horse fix" – come out to one of the Lipizzan performances this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Tickets are still on sale at $20 per person through 5pm Thursday, and go up to $25 thereafter. We would like to remind everyone coming to the shows that the Lord Stirling Stable barns are closed to all visitors.
We will send out another update next week.
-The Somerset County Park Commission
Lord Stirling Stable offers a full complement of riding
activities for riders of most ages and abilities. The Stable is located at 256 South Maple Avenue in Basking Ridge, and the office is open daily from 8am to 4pm or may be reached by calling 908 766-5955. Riders may also call the activity hotline at 908 766-5955 ext. 32. All riders are required to wear an ASTM/SEI approved equestrian helmet and shoes or boots with hard, smooth soles and a moderate and definite heel. Helmets and boots may be rented for $4 each. Somerset County residents are required to show some proof of residency. All riders must be at least 9 years of age and activity-based weight limits apply to riding programs. For additional information, please visit our website at
Introductory Rides are offered to people who are new to horseback riding or have never ridden English. The fall rides will be held on October 5 and November 28, 2014. In addition, special Western Introductory Rides will be available on September 14 and October 12. The September and November rides begin at 10am with a brief lesson followed by a one hour trail ride led by one of our certified Instructors. The October rides begin at 1pm. Participants between the ages of 9 and 12 years must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian and all riders must weigh less than 200 pounds. Registration begins two weeks before each ride. The fee is $35 for Somerset County residents and $45 for non-residents. Approved equestrian helmets and boots are required and included in the program fee. Please call the Stable office for additional information.
Lead Line Pony Rides
Lead Line is the perfect way to introduce children to riding. Parents or legal guardians may rent a pony or small, gentle horse for a half hour and lead their child(ren) around the outdoor pony ring or the covered Pony Pavilion. A stableworker will demonstrate the proper and simple technique for leading the pony/horse. Children must be old enough to sit up and hold onto the saddle without assistance. An approved equestrian helmet is required and included with the program fee. Lead Line is available daily; please call for hours. The cost is $11 for Somerset County residents and $13 for out-of-county residents on weekdays; and $12 and $14, respectively, on weekends. Books of ten rides and gift certificates are available.
An unforgettable way to celebrate a birthday or other special occasion is unbelievably simple with a Lord Stirling Stable Pony Party! Our two-hour package includes the use of two ponies for the first 45 minutes, plus a staff member to provide, supervise, and remove the ponies at the appropriate times. Adults from the party lead the ponies. Guests spend the remaining time in the climate-controlled party room, where two tables with chairs have been set up; a third table holds your gifts, food, etc. The birthday child receives a special pony party sash and a stuffed pony. The fee is $175 for Somerset County residents and $250 for out-of-county residents. Horse shoes and other children's games are available to rent for $10 each. Call or stop by the Stable at least two weeks prior to the desired date to make your reservation! Pony Parties are available seven days a week. There is a maximum of 30 people (adults and children combined) allowed in the party room.
Group Trail Rides and Hayrides
Lord Stirling Stable has unique program options available for your group. Whether you are looking for a team-building exercise with a difference, or just want to try something out of the ordinary with friends, we have an opportunity for you. Savor some of the 14 miles of beautiful equestrian-use trails from the back of a horse or from our tractor-pulled hay wagon. No 'horse experience' is required!
Group rides for adults and youth include a brief lesson with a certified instructor who will then guide your one-hour trail ride. Guided rides are available on Sundays and weekday afternoons. The flat rate for 10 riders or fewer is $330 ($300 for youth groups under the age of 18). Please call the office for date availability and reservations.
Tractor-pulled hayrides are an excellent option for those who would love a trail experience but are not sure about riding a horse. They are also an option if your group is very large (up to 30 people) or if there is a broad age range to accommodate. A flat rate of $80 covers up to 10 people; additional participants may attend for $8 each.
By horse or by wagon, the trails of Lord Stirling Stable are definitely worth a visit. Call today to book your group's special trail experience!
Fall and Winter Riding Lessons
English style riding lessons are offered from beginner through advanced levels for juniors and adults. Trail, jumping, and various specialized flat (non-jumping) classes are also available. Sixty minute lessons are offered once a week for 10 consecutive weeks. Adults also have the option of a five week session. Students may register online or in person at the Stable office. Please refer to the online program registration section for details.
Fall Registration Dates
Registration for the fall lesson program began the last week in August. Lessons begin Monday, September 22 and end Friday December 5, 2014. To check availability, please call the Stable office.
Winter Registration Dates
Registration for the winter lesson program begins at 8am on Saturday, December 13, 2014 online and at the Stable office. Online registration closes on December 22 at midnight.
Lessons begin Friday, January 2 and end Thursday, March 12, 2015.
The schedule of classes will be available two weeks prior to the opening day of registration. Junior riders must be a minimum age of 9 at time of registration. Riders must be under 225 pounds for flat classes and under 200 pounds for classes over fences. A Classification Card is required for all riders except first-time beginners. Riders without a Lord Stirling Stable Classification Card may call for a testing appointment prior to registration; a $12 fee applies. Lesson fees for one hour classes are:
Somerset County Residents
Out of County
Students who do not reside in Somerset County may purchase an annual Non-County I.D. Card for $150.00. This entitles each individual card holder to a discounted rate on riding lessons. Savings multiply with each class registration. Please call the Stable office for more information.
Beginner Trail Rides
Beginner Trail Rides are one-hour guided rides that are open to LSS students at D-2/Beg. 2 through D-3/Beg. 3 levels. Registration begins two weeks before each ride date. The rides are scheduled for October 19 and November 23, 2014, weather permitting. Fees: $28 in county/$36 out of county. For more information, contact the Stable at 908 766-5955.
Moonlight Trail Rides
Moonlight Trail Rides are evening rides that are open to Lord Stirling Stable riders at the C-2/Intermediate 2 or higher levels on October 5 from 8pm to 10pm. An experienced trail guide will accompany participants in groups of no more than 10 riders. Three levels of rides are available; walk only, walk/trot, and walk/trot/canter. Registration is available beginning two weeks before the ride. Fees: $32 in county/$40 out of county. For more information, contact the Stable at 908 766-5955.
Moonlight Trail Rides for Private Horse Owners
Private horse owners are invited to participate in an evening ride on the beautiful trails of Lord Stirling Park on October 5, 2014 from 8pm to 10pm. An experienced trail guide will accompany participants in groups of no more than eight riders. Registration is available in the Stable office beginning two weeks before each ride. Fee is $15 for 2014 trail card holders and $20 for horse owners who do not have a trail card. A current negative Coggins taken within the past 12 months must be presented for each horse at the time of registration.
Experienced English saddle riders who can post the trot and are secure and comfortable at the canter may rent horses for a one hour ride in our large indoor ring, two outdoor rings, or 14 miles of well-maintained trails. Riders must be at least 9 years old (12 years old for trail riding) and weigh less than 225 pounds. Trailguides are available on Sundays. Groups depart every half hour during regular hacking hours with a minimum of two people.
The Hack Schedule is available to view on the Stable's webpage at www.somersetcountyparks.org. Hours for hacking vary and may be cancelled due to extreme weather conditions. Please call the stable office 908 766-5955 ext. 32 for daily information. Riders choose horses on a first come, first served basis. Hourly hacking fees are as follows:
||Somerset County residents
||Somerset County residents
|Ten ride hack books
||Somerset County Residents
For an annual fee, people who have their own horses may enjoy the trails or outdoor rings, weather and ground conditions permitting. The fee for a Trail Permit is $20 per calendar year for Somerset County residents and $32 for non-residents. Single day passes are also available for a fee of $10 for Somerset County residents and $15 for non-residents. The spacious indoor and outdoor rings are available for a rental fee of $15 per hour. The seasonal cross-country course may also be used for $20 per hour. A negative Coggins drawn within the past twelve months is required.
Horse Care Workshops
Revised and expanded Horse Care Workshops are offered for individuals seeking competence and confidence around horses through a combination of non-riding activities and hands-on experience. Classes take place on five consecutive Saturdays. The cost is $60 for Somerset County residents and $90 for non-residents. Registrations will be accepted up until the first day of class as space permits.
Workshop 101 will cover the basics of horse care, including how to groom and tack up a horse; understanding the different breeds, colors, and disciplines; and becoming familiar with the roles of the veterinarian, farrier, and other industry professionals. This class will meet from 1pm – 3pm from September 13 through October 18, 2014. (There is no class on September 20.)
Workshop 102, meeting from 10am – noon, expands on the basic topics of Workshop 101 and introduces subjects such as tack selection and fit, hoof care, and basic feeding.
Workshop 103 builds on topics covered in Workshop 102. Conformation and selection, advanced nutrition, and basic first aid will be among the subjects discussed in this class, which will meet from 1pm-3pm.
Horse Care Workshops 102 and 103 will begin on October 25 and end on November 22, 2014. Students may participate in Workshops 102 and 103 concurrently.
Girl and Boy Scout Program
Junior Girl Scouts, ages 9 and older, have the opportunity to learn about horse care. This two hour program includes instruction about safety in the barn and around horses; information and live examples to illustrate different breeds, colors and parts of the horse; and a hands-on grooming lesson. The fee for this program is $8 per person for troops in Somerset County and $10 per person for out-of-county troops. Minimum group size is six, with a maximum of 12 scouts. Leaders and chaperones attend free of charge. For more information and to reserve a time, contact the Stable at 908 766-5955.
Holiday Horse Shows
Lord Stirling Stable students are eligible to compete in our schooling horse shows held each spring and fall. While the competition is open only to riders participating in lessons at the Stable, the public is invited to attend. The Fall Holiday Horse Shows will be held on December 6 and 7 beginning at 9am and feature a performance by the Adult or Junior Drill Team at 1pm on each day. The event is sponsored by Marcello's ll Restaurant in Stirling.
Lord Stirling Stable has a large room overlooking the indoor riding arena available for rental. Amenities include bleachers, tables, and chairs. Audio/visual equipment and limited kitchen facilities are also available. Please call the Stable at 908 766-5955 for prices and availability.