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Lord Stirling Stable

256 S. Maple Avenue, Basking Ridge, NJ • 908 766-5955

Musical Stall Rider with Horse
Rider leading horse with view of the stables in the background
Rider and Horse crossing a stream

The Lord Stirling Stable equestrian trail system is open to horse owners who wish to ride. Trails are open to horse owners daily between 9AM and dusk. Riders must have a daily or annual trail permit. Please call the office before arriving to confirm trail availability.  Thank you.

"Stuff the Turkey" Hunter Pace Results

General information
Lord Stirling Stable (LSS) 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. 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

The 4th Annual "Stuff the Turkey" Hunter Pace will take place on Sunday, November 5, giving riders the opportunity to make Thanksgiving a little brighter for Somerset County residents in need. Participants who bring non-perishable food items for donation to the Somerset County Food Bank Thanksgiving Basket program will receive a discounted entry fee for the event.

Teams of two to three riders are invited to follow a well-marked course that is 7 to 8 miles in length. There are usually more than 30 fences, up to 3' in height. Fences 2'6" and higher are identified with a cone and there is a way around each fence.

Registration is done in person on the day of the event. For this special pace, there will be only 2 divisions: Adults (open to all) and Juniors (at least one rider must be under 18 years of age). Entry fee is $35.00 for juniors ($30 with food donation) and $40.00 for adults ($35 with donation). A separate check or cash in the amount of $5.00 is required to obtain a pinney with the team number, and will be refunded upon return of the pinney. Spectators are invited to attend free of charge. There is ample parking for cars and trailers.

Ribbons are awarded to the first six teams in each division finishing closest to the "ideal time" set by the Pace Team. The first team will take the course at 9:00AM; the last team must be at the Start by 1:00PM.

All riders must wear an equestrian helmet that meets current ASTM/SEI standards and provide a negative Coggins taken within the past 12 months when registering. No alcoholic beverages are permitted on Park property.

Introductory Rides
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 8 and November 24, 2017. In addition, Western Introductory Rides will be available on September 3 and October 1 & 29. 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 $40 for Somerset County residents and $50 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: $40/Somerset County residents; $50/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 is a limited number of horses available daily. To avoid disappointment, please call the office at least one 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.

Pony Parties
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. Add a 30-minute campfire for an additional fee; please call the office for details.

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 in August. Lessons begin Monday, September 11 and end Saturday, November 18, 2017. To check availability, please call the Stable office.

Winter Registration Dates

Registration for the winter lesson program begins at 8am on Saturday, December 9, 2017 online and at the Stable office. Online registration closes on December 18 at 11:59pm. Lessons begin Tuesday, January 2 and end Monday, March 12, 2018.

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 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 8 and November 19, 2017, 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. Moonlight Rides will be held on September 3 and October 7 from 8pm to 10pm, weather permitting. 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 3 and October 7 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 2017 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.

Horse Rentals
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 or two outdoor rings. Trail rides on our 14 miles of well-maintained trails are available with a trailguide only. 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 for daily information. Riders choose horses on a first come, first served basis. Hourly hacking fees are as follows:

Weekdays - Somerset County residents $23.00
  Out-of-County residents $30.50
Weekends - Somerset County residents $26.00
  Out-of-County residents $34.50
Ten ride hack books -    
  Somerset County Residents $218.50
  Out-of-County residents $289.75

Private Horses
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. 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 16 through October 14, 2017.

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 21 and end on November 18, 2017. 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
"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 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 2 and 3 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 Restaurant in Berkeley Heights.


For your safety the trail system at the Somerset County Park Commission Lord Stirling Stables will be
CLOSED on the following dates for FALL 2017.

Click here for PDF

Thursday November 30 ALL DAY
Monday December 4 ALL DAY
Wednesday December 6 ALL DAY
Thursday December 14 ALL DAY
Tuesday December 19 ALL DAY
Friday December 22 ALL DAY
Monday December 25 ALL DAY
Wednesday December 27 ALL DAY

Your cooperation is appreciated.
For your own safety do not ignore this notice.

For more information contact the
Bernards Police Department Deer Management Program  908-766-11220

Follow @Rebelthepony on Twitter! 

     • Directions
     • Adult Release & Waiver
     • Minor Release & Waiver
     • Epinephrine Authorization
     • 2015 Fee Increase to Riders
     • Park Map
     • Park Brochure
     • Participant Health Form - Adult
     • Participant Health Form - Minor
     • Riding Lesson Brochure
     • Class Cancellation, Make-Up Lesson &
       Refund Information


     • 2018 Winter Registration Information
     • 2018 Winter Adult Morning & All Rider Saturday
     • 2018 Winter Adult Evening Schedule
     • 2018 Winter Junior Schedule
     • New and Special Classes
     • Hack Schedule

Lord Stirling Stable Welcomes
New Riding Instructors

Friends of Lord Stirling Stable
are friends indeed


black horse logo

Friends of Lord Stirling Stable

The Friends of Lord Stirling Stable (FLSS) is a 501(c)(3) organization that supports the equestrian activities of the Somerset County Park Commission Lord Stirling Stable. By contributing their ideas, volunteering their time, and donating revenue generated from sponsoring events, the Friends help provide a continuous and expanding program of activities. Additional information about the Friends and these events is available on the internet at Registration for FLSS events is not currently available online.

Private Horse Hunter Pace
If you have your own horse and enjoy riding in Hunter Paces, Lord Stirling Stable is where you will want to be on September 10, 2017. The goal of a Hunter Pace is to ride a marked course in teams of two or three riders setting a safe hunting pace. The distance is 6 to 8 miles with 30 to 40 fences. The jumps along the well-marked trail vary in height up to three feet with ample room to go around each. Participants may register beginning at 9am, and the last team departs at 1pm. Teams may choose to enter one of five divisions: Open, Family, Junior, Senior or Hilltopper. Specifications are posted on the Friends' website. All riders must wear an equestrian helmet that meets current ASTM/SEI standards. Western riders are welcome. There is ample parking for cars and trailers.

Dog Walks
Dog Walks along the equestrian trails are offered every Saturday. Beginning September 2 and continuing through May 19, 2018, check-in time is between 10:15am - 10:30am with the walk from 10:30am - 11:30am. The cost is $3 per dog; there is no fee for humans.

Fall Nature Ride
This leisurely horseback ride at a walk along the trails is set for September 24 with check-in time at 8am. The hour long ride goes from 8:30am – 9:30am. This ride provides individuals with little or no English saddle riding experience the opportunity to enjoy the trails and nature from the back of a horse. The fee is $35 for Friends of Lord Stirling Stable members and LSS students; $40 for Somerset County residents; and $50 for non-residents. Pre-registration is required; please see the Friends' website for more information and forms.

Riding Clinics
A clinic will be held on November 12. The clinician will be announced.

Lord Stirling Stable's certified instructors will also be available on certain days and times to share their experience with one to three students for a one-hour lesson. This can be videotaped with the option to review the tape with the instructor afterward. The clinics will be held November 20 through December 22. Pre-registration is required.

Winter Holiday Festival
On the weekend of December 2-3, 2017, the Friends of Lord Stirling Stable will host the 19th Annual Winter Holiday Festival from 10am – 4pm each day. Festivities will include free hay rides through the woods to visit Santa at Santa's House; pony rides at designated times throughout the day; and holiday craft activities. Enjoy seasonal music and refreshments while browsing through the enticing array of gift baskets at the School Horse Retirement Fund Silent Auction.

   E-mail Lord Stirling Stable with any questions or    comments.