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Horseback Riding in the Adirondacks

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A Fun Way to Horse Around in Lake George and Chestertown

Horsing Around in the Adirondacks

Saddle Up Stables in Lake GeorgeHorseback riding is a rewarding physical activity that gives beginners and experts the chance to enjoy the outdoors while riding on trials in the Adirondack Mountains.

At Saddle Up Stables located three miles north of Lake George Village on Lake Shore Drive, riders are led by a guide on horseback. The guide takes them on an hour long trail in the woods that reach the top of the mountain with incredible views.

“We offer scenic trail rides that both expert and beginners enjoy and try to match the horse and rider to their ability,” said co-owner Lisa Armstrong.  “Even though our trails are well maintained, we are in the mountains and there are rocks so we try to provide the safest ride possible.”

The third generation of the Follette family manages the riding stable, which has been around since 1945.

Suzi Cocca, co-owner had a grandfather, Coot Follette, a horseman who brought horses from North Carolina up in the 1930s for visitors staying at summer camps to ride.

“In the 1950s, he started the stables for the Pohl Family at Sunnybrook Acres, now known as Twin Birches,” Armstrong said.  “His son, Henry Follette, moved the main stable to the current location in the early 1970s.”

Although Saddle Up Stables do not offer horseback riding lessons, the horse handlers will show each rider the basics of riding. Children under 14 are required by New York State law to wear a helmet.

“We have sparked the interest of many of our customers that have gone on to become accomplished riders,” Armstrong said.

Twenty miles north in Chestertown is Circle B Ranch, a special place for horses and people that enjoy horseback riding.

The Circle B Ranch in ChestertownChristopher Boggia and his fiancée Nancy are the owners of the four season horse ranch.  They not only offer lessons and trail rides, but board horses that have access to the grounds and facilities. The new indoor riding arena is attached to the full-board stalls so that horse owners can ride in all weather-even in the winter.

What makes Circle B Ranch different from other horseback riding stables in the area is the opportunity for experienced riders to ‘lope’ or ‘canter’ at a higher, but safer speed than the typical pony ride.

“For riders like me that is our biggest selling point,” Boggia said.  “I let good riders book a private ride if they want to ride at higher speeds.  This way the group is smaller and it is a bit safer.  Most importantly, the rider’s ability is what we assess it as, and not what someone tells us.  If a rider can truly ride at the canter, let him or let her show me in the arena. This weeds out a very large percentage of people who think their ability is better than it really may be.”

A working ranch that has been in business since 1953, Circle B Ranch offers one hour, one and a half hour, two hour and three hour rides through well-maintained trails in the woods.  An experienced staff person matches the riders with their large selection of horses.

Expert horse trainers, Circle B Ranch helps people get started in owning a horse. They help locate, purchase, board, care, train and ride. They offer special clinics and advanced training through Billy Smith, ‘natural horseman’ of Potter Mountain Farm. Smith teaches the natural horsemanship philosophy with tried and true cowboy wisdom.

“We have a lot of privately owned horses getting pampered just as their owners want them to be cared for,” Boggia said. “I do my own farrier work, raise my own hay and maintain hundreds of acres of trails, pasture and hayland all for the benefit of our horses.”

Circle B offers horse-drawn carriage rides on a 1908 Sears Roebuck model, hayrides in the fall and sled rides in the winter.

For more information about Saddle Up Stables located at 3513 Lake Shore Drive in Lake George call 518-668-4801 or visit 

For more information about Circle B Ranch located at 771 Potter Brook Road in Chestertown, call 518-494-4888 or visit

Diana Denner is a Contributor to The Free George.

The Free George is the online magazine and visitors’ guide of Upstate NY, covering things from Albany to Lake Placid, including Saratoga, the Lake George region and the Adirondacks. Check out our City Blogs section for our extended coverage areas as well.


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