MORRISONVILLE - Karen Newton has had a love for horses for as long as she can remember.
Fifteen years ago, Newton started Tamarack Stables, a business offering horseback riding lessons and equestrian boarding. The business started out small, but soon grew beyond Newton's expectations.
"We built our original barn with 11 stalls and thought we'd never fill that and just have extra stalls," said Newton.
However, Newton's business soon grew and, today, Tamarack Stables is even expanding to include a new indoor riding arena. On the boarding side, her business also houses a combination of 25 horses, miniature horses and even donkeys.
"I never thought I'd have this many [animals]," said Newton.
On an average day, Newton can be found on her piece of rural landscape on outer Soper Street, caring for the animals and giving lessons. It's a job that many days lasts from sunup to sundown.
"In the summer, it's easily a 12-13 hour day, between feeding the animals, cleaning the stalls and getting them ready for night and giving lessons," she aid.
What has kept Newton committed to her business, besides her love for horses, has been the people she's met and the relationships she's formed. Whether it's teaching a 6-year-old to ride or even someone well into their 80s, Newton enjoys making new friends through her work.
"I just enjoy being around people," she said. "They're great. And, even though this is a lot of work, it's fun for me, too. I basically get paid to do something I love."
Amanda Schneck, a former resident of Plattsburgh who now lives in Saranac Lake, has been one of Newton's students for the past 10 years and said she's been coming back to see Newton because she's a "very friendly" and "very encouraging" person.
"I think the most impressive thing about Karen is that she goes the extra mile," said Schneck. "When you go to some places to take lessons, they have the horse all ready for you. You just hop on and they kind of dictate to you for the whole ride. Karen teaches you how to groom the animals, take care of the animals. It's a total experience with Karen."
Tamarack Stables is located at 394 Soper St., and may be reached at 643-0658.