Take a Ride at American Dream Stables

Enjoy the New Hampshire scenery on horseback
Riding down South Summer Street with American Dream Stables in Nottingham. Photo by Jenn Bakos

There is no shortage of places that cater to horse enthusiasts in New Hampshire. From the Great North Woods to the Seacoast regions, you are bound to find a center for horseback trail riding that suits you. There are some age restrictions at most places for longer rides, but most anyone can ride a horse. And horses are so adaptable, they go most anywhere you would want. Horseback trail riding is a fantastic way to see a new part of the state and maybe even make some new friends.

American Dream Stables in Nottingham offers trail and beach rides, in addition to lessons and after-school clubs, but is also home to TROT — Therapeutic Riding on Thoroughbreds — which adopts off-track horses and employs them as therapy horses for students. The students greatly benefit from therapy time with horses, and some are afforded a freedom on a horse that they can’t enjoy on their own. Jonathan Hall, owner and therapeutic riding instructor says, “To me the most amazing thing is seeing someone who is bound to a wheelchair sit on a horse for the first time. Now, instead of looking up at everyone, they get to look down, and have the freedom to move about, over rocks or logs, or even trot.” TROT instructors focus on the development of riding skills while isolating specific muscle groups to stimulate muscle development, says Hall. “The walking gait of the horse mimics the human walking gait up to 80 percent, so just sitting on a horse for 30 minutes can have huge therapeutic benefits for certain individuals.”

Prepping for the trails

Before heading out on horseback, Hall recommends long pants/jeans for trail rides to protect your legs from chafing. Tops should be comfortable, and make sure to wear or bring some layers in the event of weather changes. Hats, sunglasses and sunscreen are also a good idea, and bug spray if your ride takes you into deeper woods. Hall also suggests bringing along a change of clothes, just in case. “Depending on where you go, some trail rides go through streams and you might get wet or muddy,” he says. And don’t forget water and snacks for yourself, along with some healthy treats for your horse.

Places to Trail Ride

American Dream Stables

40 S. Summer St., Nottingham
(603) 817-8926
Home to TROT (Therapeutic Riding on Thoroughbreds) and offers everything from trail and beach rides to lessons and horse boarding. For more details on their many programs, call owner Bethany Mauchly at (603) 817-8926 or visit trotnh.com for more on their therapy horses.

Lucky 7 Stables

154 Litchfield Rd., Londonderry
(603) 432-3076
Offering guided trail rides throughout the year by appointment.

Castle in the Clouds

455 Old Mountain Rd., Moultonborough
(603) 476-5900
Guided trail and carriage rides at the historic woods of Castle in the Clouds. Call (603) 476-8350 for reservations.

Franconia Notch Stables

1172 Easton Rd., Franconia
(603) 823-5058
Takes riders through fields and forests with stunning mountain views of Lafayette and Cannon.

Black Mountain

373 Black Mountain Rd., Jackson
(603) 383-4490
The ski area offers summer horseback riding with beautiful mountain views.  They also offer pony rides for young children and overnight horseback adventures for small groups.

Farm by the River B&B

2555 W. Side Rd., North Conway
(603) 356-2694
The family estate dates back to 1771, and the guided rides wind through meadows, forests and along the Saco River. Rides are open to inn guests and the public.

Rocky River Ranch

91 Vintinner Rd., Campton
(603) 726-8067
Rides are offered for all levels from beginner to advanced, plus overnight camping.

Charmingfare Farm

774 High St., Candia
(603) 483-5623
The farm’s trails pass through pasture meadows with grazing livestock and travel along old logging roads into the forest.

Visit www.nhmagazine.com/summerinnh for more great places to ride.

Categories: Outsider, Seasonal Guides – Spring