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 www.somersetcountyparks.org.
Introductory Rides are offered to people who are new to horseback riding or would like to try a different riding style. The fall English-style rides will be held on October 16 and November 25, 2016. In
addition, Western Introductory Rides will be available on September 4 and October 2 & 30. The rides begin with a brief lesson followed by a one hour trail ride led by one of our certified Instructors. 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 ride times and additional information.
Novice Trail Rides
Lord Stirling Stable is pleased to offer guided trail rides to individuals who do not have experience with horses. These special walk-only, English saddle trail rides are available Mondays through Fridays from 1pm – 2pm; check-in time is 12:30pm. Experienced trail guides will go out with at least two riders.
All riders must be at least 9 years of age and weigh less than 200 pounds. Participants between 9 - 12 years must be accompanied on the trail ride by an adult. Approved equestrian helmets and boots are required and may be borrowed from the Stable office. Fees: $35/Somerset County residents; $45/out-of-county residents.
This program is not available on weekends or on weekdays when other programming is scheduled for the novice-level horses. There are a limited number of horses available daily. To avoid disappointment, please call the office a day before your intended visit. Reservations are required at least 24 hours in advance if your group has 3 – 4 riders. For more than 4 participants, please call to book a Group Trail Ride. PLEASE NOTE: There will be no refunds for Novice Trail Rides unless the ride is cancelled due to weather issues.
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 three tables and 30 chairs are provided for your use. 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. After the first 12 children, a per person fee applies to additional guests. Horseshoes 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 $380 ($350 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 $100 covers up to 10 people; additional participants may attend for $10 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 12 and end Saturday, November 19, 2016. To check availability, please call the Stable office.
Winter Registration Dates
Registration for the winter lesson program begins on Saturday,
December 10, 2016 at 8am online and at the Stable office. Online registration closes on December 19 at 11:59pm. Lessons begin Monday, January 2 and end Saturday, March 11, 2017.
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
| Flat class
Students who do not reside in Somerset County may purchase an annual Non-County I.D. Card for $170.00. 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 Lord Stirling Stable 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 16 and November 20, 2016, 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 September 17 and October 15 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 September 17 and October 15 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 2016 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 200 pounds. Trailguides are available on Sundays. Groups depart every half hour during regular hacking hours with a minimum of two people.
Hours for hacking vary and may be cancelled due to extreme weather conditions. Please call the Stable office at 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 $30 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 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 17 through October 15, 2016.
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 22 and end on November 19, 2016. Students may participate in Workshops 102 and 103 concurrently.
Troop Horse Program
Scouts ages 9 and older will learn skills to help them earn horse-related badges, where available, or just have fun learning about horses. Topics include safety in the barn and around horses; an introduction to breeds, colors, and parts of the horse; and the important roles of the veterinarian, the farrier, and the equine dentist. Each scout will have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience learning to groom a horse. The fee for this program is $12 per scout for troops in Somerset County and $15 per scout for out-of-county troops. Add a hayride for an additional fee. Minimum group size is 6 with a maximum of 12 participants. Leaders and chaperones attend free of charge. For more information and to reserve a time, contact the Stable at 908 766-5955.
"Pony Pals" is a family oriented program that will introduce young children to ponies. Age appropriate activities encourage parent-child interaction. Pony Pals programs are offered on various dates and times from September to December. Please call the Stable office or visit our website for more information. Pre-registration is required.
For ages 2-4 years, a 30-minute parent-child program includes a pony story, game activity, and pony ride. The fee for this program is $5 per child/parent pair. Additional siblings 2-9 years old are $3 each.
For ages 5-7 years, a 60 minute parent-child program includes a pony story, game activity and/or craft, and a pony ride. The fee for this program is $10 per child/parent pair. Additional siblings 5-9 years old are $5 each.
Meet the Ponies Program
This youth program targets horse enthusiasts between 7 and 9 years old. It is ideal for scout troops and other youth groups. The 90-minute program introduces participants to hand-on experience with ponies. Under the guidance of experienced barn staff, students will be able to groom a pony, learn about what ponies eat, and the work involved in taking care of a pony. Participants will also make a horse-related craft and take part in a pony ride. The fee is $15 per child. Additional siblings 7-9 years old are $10 each. Programs are offered on various dates and times from September to December. Please call the Stable office or visit our website for more information. Pre-registration is required.
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 3 and 4 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 Berkeley Heights.
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.