My daughter has turned into that obsessed horse girl one reads about. She is anxious for lessons and would willing keep a horse in our backyard if space and money would allow. Thankfully the Adirondack Equine Center in Lake Placid welcomes visitors along with taking anyone who wishes on a western-style trail ride.
We are unable to go on a trail ride this time but we watch while a family celebrates their child's 5th birthday with a family outing on horseback. Saddles, stirrups and a 45-minute horse trail ride with Mirror Lake in the foreground and a glimpse of Whiteface Mountain seems to be an idyllic gift.
There is a short video lesson that refreshes the more experienced rider while reassuring the novice. Helmets are fitted and a quick tutorial is given about rein handling before even gaining access the animals.
Steps stools are required for the smaller riders while the adults manage to propel themselves onto the saddle of these magnificent animals. We watch in wonder while they prepare to go.
To date public carriage rides around the village of Lake Placid has not been approved but there are still plenty of opportunities to experience Lake Placid by horseback. According to Adirondack Equine Center owners Natalia and Travis DeValinger their trail ride is taken with a western saddle that allows the rider a more comfortable seat. The saddle is larger than the English saddle so allows all levels of rider to enjoy this outdoor experience.
Natalia knows that those riding English style may have a bit of an adjustment because the commands for the various English, Western and Australian riding vary enough to send the horse in a different direction. Not to worry though she, Travis or their staff accompanies each trail ride to provide the best and safest ride for all.
There are about 20 horses at the Adirondack Equine paddock at any given time. Horse trail rides will be available through mid-October. When the snow comes Adirondack Equine Center switches gears and prepares for another winter season of sleigh rides.
All the horses love a treat but the apples, carrots and horse sweets need to be limited. Natalia asks that if you bring a carrot for the horse to wait until after the trail ride to treat the horse. If you aren't able to ride, like us, then to always ask permission before feeding the horses.
Trail rides are located at 101 Morningside Drive as part of the Lake Placid Club and Resort. From the Lake Placid public beach on Mirror Lake Drive turn onto Lake Placid Club Way for 0.1 mile. Take the first left past the tennis courts and follow the signs and horses.
All photos and content © Diane Chase, excerpt from Diane's guidebook Adirondack Family Time: Tri-Lakes & High Peaks: Your Four-Season Guide to Over 300 Activities (with GPS Coordinates), covering the towns of Lake Placid,Saranac Lake, Tupper Lake, Keene/Keene Valley, Jay/Upper Jay and Wilmington. Diane next guidebook of Adirondack Family Activities in this four-book series will cover the Adirondack Coast from Plattsburgh to Ticonderoga.