The Ranch's philosophies and experience began over 35 years ago on a small Adirondack family ranch here in Saranac Lake. Our expertise shows in everything we do. We were the first to develop motivational riding camp programs and to take safety to higher standards. In fact we know you are only as good as your fellow equines are. As opposed to other stables, we don’t lease or sell our horses (certain stables will lease their horses for the summer and then dispose of them at the auction house) and when they retire, they retire with us.; after all, we are their family.
Adirondack Horse Rescue
We developed this company with the horse in mind. Most of our horses have been rescued an/or taken from unfortunate circumstances such as owner surrenders or slaughter auctions. Funded strictly from our own pockets, we rehabilitate these animals, provide them with the necessary nutrition, health care and attention, and depending on the horses' performance we provide them with a permanent home here with us or selectively adopt them out to great, local homes in the area.
Most of our equine working crew, that consists of a mix of quarter horses, appaloosas, paints and drafts, come from the New Holland Auction Stables, in New Holland, Pa.
This auction is known to be the largest kill auction east of Mississippi.
By joining us for any of our equine activities you are supporting our mission. This support ensures that these rescued animals will have a good and healthy home, and avoid the gruesome transport to a meat processing plant in Canada or Mexico. These trips are usually very inhumane and many horses arrive dead or crippled to their final destination. We rescue as many as we can, so like us, join us and save a life or two !
Community - We have the horse knowledge and people experience to work with a wide variety of community groups and organizations. Our doors are always open for such programs as the Adirondack Residential Center where troubled youth are given a second chance at learning a better way of life.
"Committed to helping children achieve their dreams, build independence and develop team leadership"
The high standard of our counselors recruited each year contribute greatly to the success of WildHorse Camp. The directors individually select the entire Camp staff from a large source of applicants. From college sophomores to university graduates, the list is long and stakes are high ! Every applicant goes through rigorous interviewing, reference and background checks. These individuals, so dear to our heart, are selected based on experience in working with children of all ages. We require a positive attitude, love for children and the Adirondacks, maturity, companionability, individuality, and qualities of leadership.
We search for individuals who can serve as role models and mentors to the children.
Our counselors are young adults (usually between 18 - 23 years of age) who have significant experience working with children of all ages. They are responsible for supervision and leadership. Counselors also assist in various programs such as safety, and program planning to ensure that everyone is on schedule.
All counselors are supervised by Directors and Administrators, who have had many years of experience in the fields of education, sociology and equine science & medicine. All staff members participate in a 10-day staff training program.
Quality Staff Make the Difference
The attribute and main component of our camp has always been the distinct adult staff we hire to work with us at our Camp Programs. We know that it is the enthusiasm of our counselors who COMPLETE the camp experience and make it special for our campers. Our Staff serves as a proactive role model for our campers to create a nurturing environment that strengthens and enables them to develop, grow and flourish. Every day we encourage growth, independence, strength, trust and confidence. Here at WildHorse, we want our campers to be proud of what they accomplished as we look forward to seeing many of them back every year.
Staff Selection & Screening
The Camp spends much of its off season in selecting the best staff available for the camp. We view our staff as both role models and representatives of the WildHorse community. All staff are an extension of our high standards and commitment to excellence. The many steps that staff applicants go through as part of our hiring process ensures that each fits well with our camp and that their work here will be beneficial for them, our campers, and the ADK WildHorse organization.
WildHorse Staff Selection Process
- Applicant completes staff application
- ADK WildHorse checks applicant's four references
- Employment History Review with a background in education
- Applicant interviews with Directors
- Applicant has personal,vis-a-vis interview with the Camp Directors
- ADK WildHorse Staff Screening Process
- Background investigation complete
- Complete staff orientation prior to start of staff training
- Complete all staff certifications prior to start of camp
- Submit to random drug and alcohol testing
North Country Horse Rescued
A horse rescued by our program agency.
Dreamer, an owner surrender from Moira, NY. Dreamer is an approximately 20 year old mare, that is slowly gaining weight. However, it will be a little while before Dreamer manages to get her muscle back, especially in her hind quarters.
She is currently being fed with soaked Standlee Alfalfa Pellets, fresh grass hay, and several supplements to improve her red blood cell count due to anemia. Dreamer was wormed with panacur, single dose on 8/29/13.
Lake Clear, NY 12945 Phone: 518.302.6227 © Copyright 2016 ADK WildHorse Ranch. All Rights Reserved
Program Enrollment & Information
An enthusiast of equine psychology and large animal medicine, Natalia has over 10 years experience working with horses of all shapes and sizes.
Natalia lead many equine programs for children on the family ranches in Lake Placid & Saranac Lake.
When Natalia is not working with horses, she enjoys hiking, whitewater rafting and mt biking in summer, skiing and snowmobiling in the winter.
Although not an alpine racer, Natalia spends her cold days on Whiteface Mt.'s slickest peaks.
- AAS Veterinary Technology
Camp General Manager
- Master of Science (MS), Business Administration and Management, General
- Bachelor of Science (BS), Aerospace, Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering
An engineer, a VFR certified pilot enjoying the work he cultivated at his family ranch business.
With over 25 years of experience in the field, Travis had lead many programs for children of all abilities at his old ranch in his native Saranac Lake.
During the late 80's Travis was an downhill skier,
The talented alpine racer became a ski instructor for both Gore & Whiteface Mountain and a teacher at the prestigious Northwood School.
Today he enjoys to spend his snow days on one of the most popular Olympic Mountains in the US - Whiteface Mt. in Lake Placid, NY
Coming Soon !
Coming Soon !
The camp is hosted on the grounds of a working farm that operates all year round. There are very few horse farms in the Adirondacks, as horse keep is challenging, especially in the winter months. With winter temperatures going down to as low as -40 at night, and -10 during the day, the obstacles can potentially be severe.
Our winters are long, lasting at times up to five months, immediately followed by a muddy spring.The Adirondacks are famous for their rich and fortified soil, which continuously retains water, and is not the most accommodating environment to raise horses. With limited pasture space, the horses at our farm are very lucky to be able to graze on a 25 acre field by the main cabin along with a view that could not be beat: Whiteface Mountain and The High Peaks.
The ranch shares the ideology of an unspoiled, natural environment that promotes its Adirondack recreation. A large portion of the area is under the protection of conservation which cannot be altered. The Adirondacks
Here at ADK, we enjoy giving opportunities to young women. We believe that giving young women the opportunity to anchor and develop their skills prepares them for a much rewarding future. Aside from working with children, our counselors also work with horses. When ADK's instructors lead lessons, all counselors are present to assist in grooming, tacking and preparing the campers for their lessons. A large percentage of our counselors also take the role of riding assistants - where campers practice disciplines assigned by instructors.
All staff demonstrates safety rules, answers questions and ensures that every child has a safe experience. In fact, we believe in taking proactive safety measures rather than reactive measures.
Relationships - everything we do at WildHorse revolves around building and maintaining relationships. Our counselor's primary responsibility is to not only love each camper but to also construct the solid foundation on which campers feel safe, encouraged, understood, motivated, and empowered.
Our counselors connect with our campers one-on-one, seeking to come alongside them and meet them where they are in life. These young women are excellent role models who are living examples of propriety, leadership and discipline.
Our hope is that we would provide and cultivate an environment that allows our counselors to wholly invest into each of their campers. This opportunity is mainly accredited to our 6:1, camper to counselor, ratio.
While summer camp is heavily structured around fun, activities, and programs, we are confident that these tools will help bring out the best in our campers. The operating force behind all of these things are our counselors. Without the partnership of these young adults, our campers would not have people to look up to, model after, and take positive, leadership examples from.
- ADK senior counselors are between the ages of 18-23 years of age.
- All counselors have a background in Equitation. In fact, many of them have horses of their own and are an important part of lesson programs.
- Counselors come from all over North America, as we do not have state hiring restrictions
- A percentage of our counselors once attended ADK Wildhorse Summer Camp