- Master of Science (MS), Business Administration and Management, General
- Bachelor of Science (BS), Aerospace, Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering
Saddleback 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.
What makes us different - Unlike our competitors, our management never changes and ideals never waiver. We may have a new name and new location, but over the years our message has remained true and we are the only Equestrian Stable in Northern NY to practice what we preach. Supporting Saddleback Ranch helps support our efforts to better the lives of horses in need.
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.
We enjoy taking extra time out of our day when groups like the Girl Scouts or Universities like Clarkson, arrive for informative horsemanship clinic sessions. Companies such as Pepsi, find that an afternoon of horseback riding is a fruitful course for employee bonding. Our years of experience teaching and training both horses and people allow us reach far beyond our competition. Our mission is to spread love and compassion for these wonderful animals and that begins right here at home in our community.
Our proficiency and ethical conduct record is impeccable. Before supporting any riding establishment, determine the horse condition, long term care arrangements, safety precautions, and experience of the staff.
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"Committed to helping children achieve their dreams, build independence and develop team leadership"
Year Round Assistant Instructor
Year Round Equine Instructor
An engineer, a VFR certified pilot enjoying the work he cultivated at the family ranch business. With over 25 years of experience in the field, Travis had lead many programs for children of all abilities at his ranch in his native Saranac Lake.
During the late 80's Travis, an avid downhill skier, was on the way to Olympic stardom. The talented alpine racer became a ski instructor bor 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
The high standard of our counselors recruited each year contribute greatly to the success of Saddleback Horse 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 20 - 26 years of age) who have significant experience working with children of all ages. They are responsible for the safety, supervision, leadership and planning of the daily operation of the program.
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 an intensive 5-day staff training program.
Quality Staff Make the Difference
The attribute and main component of Saddleback Horse 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 Saddleback, we want our campers to be proud of what they accomplished as we look forward to seeing many of them back every year.
Travis and Natalia and our full time administrators are committed to hiring, training and supporting the best camp staff.
A fanatic of equine psychology and large animal medicine, Natalia has over 10 years experience working with horses of all shapes and sizes. The husband & wife duo, as a team, lead many equine programs for children on the family ranches in Lake Placid & Saranac Lake.
When Natalia is not working with horses, she enjoys web development and design, hiking, skiing and snowmobiling in the winter. Although not an alpine racer, the Natalia spends her cold days on Whiteface Mt.'s slickest peaks.
Staff Selection & Screening
Saddleback 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 Saddleback 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 Saddleback organization.
Saddleback Staff Selection Process
- Applicant completes staff application
- Saddleback checks applicant's four references
- Applicant interviews with personnel recruiter
- Applicant has personal,vis-a-vis interview with the Camp Directors
- Saddleback 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
- AAS Veterinary Technology
- Mohawk Valley Community College
Danyell, a lifetime trainer, had over the years ground worked, instructed and educated many horses and horse owners. From the ground up, Mrs. Swain teaches respect, control and friendship between the horse and rider. This method of instruction firms up the bond and encourages positive behavior reinforcement.
When Danyell is not working with equines, she enjoys outdoor recreational sports such as atv trips and hiking.
Brittany enjoys to work with horses on the ground, developing a life-long relationship between the trainer and her horse. Ms. Irvine works closely with young adults to improve their bonding skills with their horses. "Motivation is the key ingredient" explains Irvine, as she works with Jessica and her horse, Cleo. "Motivation is what fuels the purpose that a horse is looking for in his friend, master and co-worker." Brittany explains that in order for the horse to continue his progress, the trainer cannot lose focus, motivation and hope. Hope is everything.
In her free time, Ms. Irvine enjoys barrel racing & competing, fishing, snowmobilling, atv trips, the Adirondack outdoors.
- AAS Equine Science & Management
Lake Clear, NY 12945 Phone: 518.302.6227 or email us now © Copyright 2013 Lake Placid Equestrian Academy. All Rights Reserved
Ranch Horse Wrangler
Riding & Balance Instructor
- Monterey Peninsula College 2005
- Boise State University 2008
- Construction & Masonry Engineer
Nick is an American bobsledder who has competed since 2008. Nick Cunningham is a Sergeant in the New York National Guard in the1156 ENG CO. Vertical, and his job is a Construction and Masonry Engineer.
While at BSU he was an elected team captain for the track team. When he is not bobsledding, Cunningham enjoys football, track, surfing, and rodeo. His favorite sliding memory is accepting his first gold medal and standing on top of the podium with the National Anthem being played.