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2022 / —

PRINCETON, MA, USA, September 21,

Cornerstone Ranch has used the time since the pandemic to update its facilities, resulting in more comfort and enjoyment for the horses, employees, and customers. The ranch has added new fencing, upgraded customer areas, and expanded parking, and erected new barns and a covered hitching post.

A group of people riding horsesHorseback riders enjoying the beautiful horses and facility at the Ranch

They have also purchased six new horses in preparation for the coming winter. Visitors can look forward to a fun-filled season at the ranch with plenty of activities for people of all ages. Susan Connell, founder, carved Cornerstone Ranch out of a 24-acre, completely wooded parcel 21 years ago. The first years were spent trying to get things up as inexpensively and quickly as possible to stable a few of Connell’s horses.

Person with a horse

Julia Connell, MA licensed riding instructor with Boone, one of the newest horses

Connell also purchased a 31-acre parcel of land in Rutland, Massachusetts, which abutted her property in Princeton. The land is located in the state’s geographical center and is a haven for natural beauty. The previous land owner allowed Connell to use the forest for trail riding. In recent years, development pressures Classes held outdoors in the riding ring, with indoor options in inclement weather have increased in the area, and Connell was concerned that the land might be sold for development. To preserve the land for trail riding, Connell arranged financing and purchased the land in 2018.

The ranch now occupies 51 acres of land spanning Princeton and Rutland, all of which is owned by Connell. The ranch has recently added six new horses to its stable. Boone and Falcon are a pair of 5- and 7-year-old Percheron/Welsh cross-draft horses purchased to be trained for riding as well as horse-drawn wagon and sleigh rides. Frick and Frack are 3- and 4-year-old Percheron draft horses trained by the ranch for riding and horse-drawn sleigh and wagon rides, too. Hank is a 3-year-old Percheron gelding purchased mainly for pulling sleighs and wagons. Twigs is a 2-year-old Appaloosa purchased from his former owner in New York after coming from a breeder in Canada. All of the new horses are healthy and have adjusted well to their new home at the ranch.

Cornerstone Ranch has come a long way since it first opened its doors. What was once a simple trail riding and lesson facility has now transformed into a bustling horse-adventure destination. The newly built customer area is comfortable and inviting, and the oak fencing gives the ranch a rustic yet luxurious feel. This, coupled with the various activities offered, has made the ranch a popular choice for solo riders, families, groups and couples. Schools, corporations, and social groups are regular visitors to the ranch, taking advantage of the many programs and workshops. From horse-drawn rides to trail riding and lessons, there is something for everyone at the ranch.

a group of people walking on a wooden benchClasses held outdoors in the riding ring, with indoor options in inclement weather

Connell works hard running the ranch with two of her three kids and the help of 10-12 part-time employees. A view of Boston is visible from the skyline at a high point along the path used for  rail rides and horse-drawn wagon and sleigh rides. Ice cream, light meals, and snacks are served May-October from the Wild Child Express concession trolley. From November-March, customers are treated to hot chocolate and s’mores by the campfire, or they may opt to wait before/after activities by the wood stove to keep toasty warm. There is always something happening at Cornerstone Ranch!

For more information and to choose a horseback adventure, visit