Hi, I don't own a horse so I must rely on riding stables. I take English riding lessons at Lakewood Stables in West Hempstead and am very happy with them. They have great instructors and a good lesson program.
However, I also like to explore new places for recreational trail riding. I basically ride there and at Jamaica Bay Riding Acad. In Brooklyn. Jamaica Bay is great as they take you out to the ocean. Also they are one of the few places that you can ride English on trail so it won't interfere with my lessons.
Any recommendations? I can probably drive 100 or so miles for a good place. Google is no help. They leave out a lot of places and some places they do list are out of business.
Try Sweet Hills Stables, on Sweet Hollow Road in Melville. Nice trails on West Hills Park. www.sweethillsstable.com
There is a stable in Babylon ((Babylon Riding Center - North Babylon, NY)
) that does trail rides. It has been years since I have ridden those trails, but they never really impressed me.
Parkview Stables may do trail rides. They are on Connetquot Park (exit 57 on the LIE). Minieri's Parkview Riding Center, 989 Connetquot Ave, Central Islip, NY 11722 Phone:(631) 581-9477
Caumsett State Park (north of Huntington) has some pretty trails. I _think_ the stables there do trail rides, although I am not 100% sure. I did some checking and could not find their contact info.
(Side note: I find it amazing that so many local stables either have no website or a horrible website. These folks need to get into the 21st century)
Nassau Equestrian Center in Muttontown is on the Muttontown trails. Their website says they do "instructed" trail rides. nassauequestriancenter.com
I am not sure about "riding English" on trail. I don't recall ever seeing a trail string "rental" on Long Island with an English saddle. A typical local trail ride is not really english or western riding (not sure I would call it riding at all). :) The saddle used on a hack horse shouldn't have any effect on your lessons.
Unfortunately, most trails on Long Island do not offer trail rides/rentals... Connetquot State/Bohemia County Parks, Blydenburg, Muttontown. There are loads of trails out east (Ridge, Manorville, etc.), but I don't know of any barn out there that does these kind of trail rides. We do a ride through the North Fork Vineyards every year and I am just finding out about an organization sponsored ride along the beach on the north fork.
If you have been riding a while and have some skills, maybe you could borrow/rent a horse to trailer out with an experienced rider(s)? I know plenty of people who don't have a horse or trailer who do that. A half-lease may also be something to consider (again, based on level of experience/ability). These are options which provide much better trail riding as well as training/learning opportunities.
Edited to add: I know they closed the stables in Central Park, but I think there are still stables in Prospect Park (Brooklyn). You may want to look into that - they may still do trail rides there.