The horse is the the State Animal of New Jersey as designated by a Joint Resolution approved by the Legislature and signed by Governor Brendan Byrne in 1977.
Image: New Jersey Department of Agriculture
Image: State of New Jersey
The horse's significance in the state's history also is illustrated by the prominent inclusion of a horse's head at the top of the State Seal originally adopted in 1777. Below the horse's head are three plows, signifying the state's agricultural tradition which was dependent on the power of the horse in cultivating fields and hauling wagons and equipment. Into the 1920s, the horse also was the dominant mode of transportation throughout the state.
Based on the most recent survey conducted in 2017 by the US Department of Agriculture, New Jersey had 23,374 horses on farms and ranches (excluding recreational riding and show horses)--the most horses per square mile of any state. The total, however, is sharply down from some 30,000 in 2007, with the decline partly attributed to the lower popularity of racing as it lost support in competition with other leisure activities offering gambling options such as casinos; the state's withdrawal of subsidies for race track purses in 2011; and the high costs of real estate and liability insurance. The state government has attempted to assist the racing industry, allowing on-site off-track gambling on races throughout the country, and in February 2019 Governor Murphy signed a law restoring subsidies ofabout $20 millionover the next five years to boost racing purses.
Horse farms have been impacted by development pressures, with several sold for more profitable uses as housing or other real estate ventures. They also have faced increased operating costs, including taxes and liability insurance, particularly for those which continue to be open to the public for lessons and trail rides. In some cases, county governments have sought to meet the demand for equestrian centers by adding such facilities to their existing park systems and recreational programs.
The US Equestrian Team is based at Hamilton Farm in Gladstone in Somerset County, which is also the site for special equestrian events such as competitions, training demonstrations, pony club camp and community events. Its nonprofit foundation supports the training, coaching, travel and educational needs of athletes and horses in competitions in the US and around the world, including the Olympics, the Pan-American Games and the World Championships.
* Bergen County Bergen Equestrian Center Owned by Bergen County, leased to private operators, located on 22 acres within County's Overpeck Park. Lessons from beginner to advanced in Jumpers/Equitation/Hunters/Dressage by trainers from local stables. Summer camp for children aged 7-13. Boarding and training. Stables with over 100 horses. Stable Life Project uses horses for addiction recovery program for those 14 and over. Located 10 minutes from New York City off I-95, I-80 and Route 4.
Ironside Farm (Paramus) Pony rides and parties on-site or off-site at parks, schools, homes. Lessons on nutrition, grooming, tacking for Boy Scout and Brownie troops. Summer Pony Camp.
Saddle Ridge Riding Center (Franklin Lakes) Located on over 28 acres of mountains, fields, and trails, 40 minutes from NY City. Boarding, leasing, lessons and trail rides. Facility includes fully-lit indoor and outdoor arenas, hot water wash stalls, round pen, a second working outdoor arena and numerous turnouts. Spring break and summer camps. Also offers group or individual tack-up and horsemanship lessons. Owned and operated by Gina DeMuro,
* Passaic County
Garrett Mountain Equestrian Center (Woodland Park) Full-service training, boarding, lesson and sales facility on 26 acres within 500-acre Garret Mountain Reservation. Lighted indoor and outdoor riding rings stocked with jumps for over-fence training year round; heated indoor viewing room and outdoor viewing booth; round pen for breaking and training; matted stalls with individual watering and wash stalls; tack room; over a dozen turnouts for groups and individual horses. Guided trail rides, birthday parties, group rides for scout troops, summer camps.
West Milford Equestrian Center (West Milford) Instruction and training for horses at all levels in hunters, jumpers, and equitation. Boarding, leasing and sales. Extensive horse show services, including training and riding; professional showing of horses; trailer transport to and from shows. Four barns, main barn houses 90 horses, also Pony Barn, Schooling Barn. Four outdoor riding arenas including a Grand Prix jumping ring and Dressage ring; two indoor riding arenas with heated viewing room; six tack rooms; indoor and outdoor wash stalls, heated grooming stalls. Resident vet and farrier.
Star Bright Farms (Newfoundland) Full service training, boarding, lessons, sales and leasing facility with two indoor and four outdoor arenas. Daily lessons for children and adults, summer camps etc. Dressage, hunter/jumper and Western training and lessons. Off I-287 and Route 202.
Echo Lake Stables (Newfoundland) Sales, training, lessons at all skill levels, trail rides including evening rides, hay rides, horse rentals have included for feature movies such as Spider-Man 3 and American Gangster.and TV commercials, carriage rentals for weddings and other events, 25-seat wagon, ponies for on- and off-site birthday parties. Off Route 23.
Oxbow Equestrian Center (Hamburg) English riding lessons on 80-acre farm with 45 horses. Primary equestrian disciplines Show Jumping, Dressage, Stadium Jumping, and Cross Country. Horse training, care, transportation, preparation for eventing competitions, summer Horse Camp, also leads rides to beach, public parks.
Morning Star Farm Riding Academy and Therapeutic Riding Center (Newton) Complete riding program for both individuals and groups from beginners to advanced, including after-school sessions. Sunday Horsemanship Program teaches total horse care, horse first aid, breeds, feeding, safety, grooming and tacking. Therapeutic Riding for those with special needs. Horse sales and leasing. Owned and operated by Judy Heim, Head Riding Instructor and Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor.
Staloff Performance Horses (Stillwater) Specializes in western style horse training, riding lessons, boarding and sales. Lessons from beginner to advanced in Reining, Horsemanship, Showmanship and Trail. Operated by professional trainers Noah and Megan Staloff.
Penwick Eventing (Newton) Located on nearly 37 acres off I-80 and Route 206. Training, boarding, lessons and sales. Opened 2013 new 25-stall barn with attached indoor area with skylights and doors and matted stalls with Dutch windows. Wash stall, bathroom, viewing lounge. Private or group lessons on own horse or on schooling or sale horses in eventing, dressage or jumpers. On and off-site clinics. Operated by professional rider and trainer Chelsea Nix, also owns Mystic Valley Hunt Club in Connecticut.
Legends Riding Stable (Vernon) Adjacent to Minerals Hotel and Spa in Mountain Creek hotel and amusement complex on Route 94 Offers guided trail rides for older children and adults in 350 acres of woods, lessons and group rides for schools, scouts, birthday parties.
Fox Ridge Farm Equestrian Center (Vernon) Lessons year-round for children and adults in indoor and outdoor arenas in both English (hunt seat equitation and jumping) and western (horsemanship and pleasure). Riders under 5 accepted on case by case basis, hand-led rides and pony grooming lessons available to youngest riders. Summer camp program. Facilities include boarding in 3 barns; tack rooms; matted stalls with windows and lights; secure fields; indoor ring; outdoor lighted sand ring.
Pine Valley Acres (Hardyston) Off I-80 and Routes 23 and 15. Horse boarding, training and rider lessons on almost four acres of fenced property surrounded by miles of trails. Lessons from beginners to advanced. Boarding includes private turnout and matted stalls, training round pen, outdoor ring. Transportation available for both local and nationwide locations.
On Course Riding Academy (Lafayette) Off Routes 94, 206 and 15. Full service boarding, and training facility owned and managed by trainer and competitor Katie Moriarty. Lessons English only for beginners to accomplished competitive riders in hunter, equitation and jumper disciplines, specializes in preparing students for competitions. Outdoor ring, two indoor rings, one heated. Also offers sales, coaching for shows.
High Point Equestrian Center (Montague) Specializes in importing, breeding, training, selling and rider lessons for Irish Draught and Irish Sport Horses. 80-acre farm established 1996 by Lester Murphy, trained with British Horse Society, also worked with other noted trainers. Lessons for the beginners through advanced rider in dressage and jumping, also cross country training on open fields with rails, posts, ramps and variety of other jumps. Holds shows and clinics on and off site.
Furlyn Farm and Stables (Green) Off I-80, owned by Bill and Denise Furtkevic and family. Individual and group lessons from beginner to advanced. Facility includes indoor and outdoor riding arenas and round pen; rubber mated stalls with dutch doors; indoor wash stall with hot and cold water; tack room; and heated/air-conditioned viewing room and lounge.Sponsors shows, Saddle Club meets monthly throughout year.
* Warren County
North Wind Stables (Hardwick) Focus on lessons for amateur riders of all ages, year-round riding in large indoor arena. Training for horse and rider in saddleseat, huntseat, western and driving, lesson horses, training, boarding and sales. Established 1999 by Nealia McCracken, trainer and teacher in English seat divisions, also became known as one of top western pleasure trainers in nation for American Saddlebred, serves as a director of Saddlebred Rescue, Inc. non-profit horse rescue organization. Just off I-80 in Delaware Water Gap area.
Top View Riding Ranch (Blairstown) Specializes in guided trail rides along 27-mile Paulinskill Valley Trail following abandoned rail line. All skill levels, full-day ride stops midway through ride at Blairstown Airport for lunch break. Also pony rides. Off I-80.
Patewood Farm (Blairstown) 40-acre farm off I-80. Three barns and two riding arenas (Indoor and Outdoor Dressage) and round pen, two fields and five paddocks. Offers boarding, training, lessons and horses for lease and sale.
Top View Riding Ranch (Blairstown) Specializes in guided trail rides along 27-mile Paulinskill Valley Trail following abandoned rail line. All skill levels, full-day ride stops midway through ride at Blairstown Airport for lunch break. Also pony rides.
The Ridge Farm (Asbury) Owned and operated by US Olympic show jumper Nona Garson. Elite hunter, jumper, and equitation training facility, hosts year-round show series catering to competitive equestrians, other facility in Wellington, Florida. Off I-78 and Route 173
Seaton Hackney Stables (Morristown) Facility of Morris County Park Commission leased to and operated by Equishare USA, LLC. Adjacent to County's Loantaka Brook Reservation with extensive bridal trails, offers lessons, trail rides.
North Jersey Equestrian Center (Pompton Plains) Largest equestrian complex in state. Features full-care indoor facility; two round pens; 100 stalls; heated wash racks; Dressage Ring; 30 turnouts; outdoor arena; Grass Prix Field; outdoor track. Lessons from beginner through advanced with summer camps. Opened in 2001 by Karl Bauer, breeder, trainer and rider of American Quarter Horses, past president of New Jersey Quarter Horse Association. Specializes in youth and amateur riders in western pleasure, hunter under saddle, equitation, horsemanship and showmanship at local, state, national and world levels. Horses and ponies available for lease or purchase. Located off I-287 and Route 23.
Global Equestrians International(Long Valley) Lessons for children and adults in hunter and jumper. Weekly and monthly clinics. Training and boarding, horses available to ride for practice and horse shows. Imports, investment horses and sales. Located at 78-acre GG Farms with grass jumping field, large indoor arena, outdoor arenas and lights for night lessons. Close to Chester, Gladstone and Morristown off I-287 and Route 206.
Mortonhouse Farm (Long Valley) 125-acre farm owned by John Crater, breeder of Hereford Beef Cattle. Lessons for all ages and levels conducted by Jen Mills Horsemanship, LLC, specializes in English and Western, horsemanship classes, and trail riding. Boarding, pony rides and parties. Off I-287 and Route 206.
Red Oak Farm (Long Hill) Training, sales, competition, lessons and boarding. Three large outdoor arenas with constantly changing grass and sand courses; indoor arena with lights, windows and mirrors connected to barn; 37 stalls (4 of which outdoor, open-air); large grass and sand turnout fields; round pen; indoor and outdoor wash stall (hot/cold); heated/air conditioned upstairs viewing room overlooking indoor arena; heated tack cleaning room. Summer camps. Off I-78 and 287.
Chester Riding Club (Chester) Full service 30-acre equestrian facility for all levels from beginner to International Grand Prix riders and horses. 60 stalls with connected indoor arena, grooming area, indoor walker, grand prix field with permanent obstacles including open water, outdoor ring and 20 large paddocks. Boarding, sales, leases, training, lessons..
The Paddock Club (Mendham) Small family-oriented stable with private and semi-private lessons at all skill levels and guided trail rides by recognized riding instructor Maria Banco. Situated behind Jockey Hollow National Park off I-287 and I-78. Off-site horse, other animal and pet sitting, feeding and care also available.
Oakeside Farm (Boonton) 100-acre boarding farm approximately 30 miles west of NY City off I-I80 and I-287. Four barns and two pasture board areas; box stalls with daily pasture turnout; lighted outdoor ring, miles of dirt roads and trails; indoor riding arena.
* Essex County
Essex Equestrian Center (West Orange) Boarding, sales, training, individual and group lessons for all skill levels in Hunter, Jumper, Dressage, and Western, summer camp, 35 horses and ponys for lessons. Olympic sized heated indoor arena with viewing area and party room; outdoor arena with full hunter jumper course; 100 stalls. National and local level show team.
Someday Stables (Montville) Boarding, sales, leases, individual and group lessons for all levels, show coaching. Outdoor ring with all-weather sand footing, jumps course, shaded viewing bleachers; grass turnout fields and sand paddocks; indoor ring with new GGT footing, jumps course, heated viewing lounge,.two barns with wash stalls with heat lamps, matted stalls, heated tack rooms, separate feed rooms.
* Union County
Watchung Stable (Mountainside) Located in 2,000-acre Watchung Reservation with 26 miles of bridal trails, owned and operated by Union County since 1933. Complex consists of main barn housing nearly 100 County and privately-owned horses, four riding rings, show ring and outside hunter course. Facility includes isolation barn, and paddocks, administration building with general assembly room and tack shop. Announced September 2016 project to build new indoor riding ring, along with renovation of three outdoor riding rings and six paddocks. Lessons and summer camp. Scheduled guided tours and programs available for Girl/Boy Scouts, pre-schoolers, senior citizens, and organizations serving people with disabilities.
* Hunterdon County
Kierson Farm and Riding Academy (Flemington) American Saddlebred training, boarding, sales and lessons. Individual and group lessons from beginner to advanced on 30 school horses with four full-time instructors. Horses and riders awarded National and World Titles. Summer camp with over 300 campers from across country with both day and overnight programs.
Brass Ring Farm (Pittstown) Located on 18 acres, offers full-service boarding, training, riding lessons, horse show coaching and sales services for hunter, jumper and equitation horses and talented young prospects. Horsemanship for riders to groom, care for, and tack horse before lessons. Focus in show-jumping with clients and horses competing at all levels. Owned and operated by head trainer Amber Mitchell Harte, 30-year professional riding career. Access from I-95 and I-78, Routes 12 and 519.
Scussell Farm (Pittstown) Owned and operated by Ann and Brad Scussell with over 40 years in training and teaching. Specialize in Morgan Horses, all disciplines, but shown and trained many breeds including American Saddlebreds, Arabians, National Show Horses, Quarter horses, Thoroughbreds, Mules, ponies and Miniature Horses. Lessons in Saddle Seat, Hunt Seat, Driving and Western. Large indoor and outdoor rings with stone dust footings; rubber matted stalls, most with windows; wooden fenced paddocks; separate boarders' tack room; heated lounge with view of indoor arena. Summer camp. Access from I-95 and I-78, Routes 12 and 519.
Smoke Hollow Farm (Pittstown) Focus on training, showing and riding lessons for American Saddlebreds. Lesson program uses experienced horses for beginners through accomplished riders in English or Western Tack. Lessons cover cleaning and tacking/untacking. Offers birthday party and other group services. Owned by Doreen Weston, with husband involved in Saddlebred industry as exhibitor and breeder, operating Smoke Hollow for over 20 years. Access from I-95 and I-78, Routes 12 and 519.
Wolfstone Stables (Stockton) Show jumping stable owned by world class show jumper Schuyler Riley. Concentrates on producing champion show jumping horses and riders. Boarding, training, horses for sale or lease. Facility also in Wellington, FL.
Upper Creek Farm (Stockton) Full service equestrian center on 52 acres. Established 1990 by Kim Herslow, gold medal dressage competitor and member of 2015 Pan American Team. Over 40 stalls, large indoor arena with second floor viewing area, covered European walker, two outdoor rings, 12-acre open riding field with dressage ring and jumping areas. and direct access to local trail association. 12 paddocks and pastures; Lesson programs focus on dressage for all skill levels.
Revelation Farms (Frenchtown) Located on over 300 acres of farmland on Route 12 between Flemington and Frenchtown. Specializes in selective breeding, training, and sales of American Saddlebreds. Farm home to several World Champion retirees and broodmares. Riding lessons and trail rides for all levels of experience, as well as private instruction for show riders. Seasonal clinics.
Quiet Victory Farm (Titusville) Show barn located on Delaware River near Lambertville and New Hope, PA. Catering primarily to showhorses and their competitive riders, offers full-care, full-service horse boarding with all standard amenities. Instruction program in all aspects of hunter-seat style horsemanship. Owned and managed by professional trainer Vicki Peters.