Karen got the idea to start a horseback riding stable when people would often stop by her house on Main Street in Pine Bush, and ask to ride the horses her husband was selling for just an hour. So many people stopped that finally it was decided that instead of selling horses they could be rented. Juckas Stables began in a rented barn on 60 acres with a small herd of 10 horses. Karen painted signs, practiced riding, and on Memorial Day weekend, in 1965, opened the barn doors and took out her first ride at just $3.00 an hour. The next summer she moved to a bigger property and hired a few wranglers. All in all, she rented property at 6 different locations until 1979 when she purchased her own property where the business still continues today. Karen loved her horses, her wranglers, her customers, and being on her tractor mowing her fields.
Juckas Stables became more than just a place for people to ride. It was a place where you could unplug and reconnect with nature. A place where you could get life lessons and advice; relax, reminisce, and always find Karen there ready to listen to your story. Her greatest joy was being at the barn when former students or customers stopped by to visit. Karen taught many a person how to ride a horse, and was an integral part of the Pine Bush community. Karen scheduled horseback rides over the phone until she passed on to greener pastures in June of 2020 where she surely met up with all her horses from the past 55 years.
Nicholle’s passion for horses started when she got a Rockin’ Rider spring horse toy for Christmas at just 3 years old. Soon she was riding real horses and made sure to take a pony ride at every fair and zoo. Nicholle attended Morrisville University to study equine science and management. She’s worked at horse farms, horse camps, and trained horses. Nicholle moved to Pine Bush with her husband and children in October 2019 and feels she found her true home at Juckas. Her management and horse skills make her an excellent addition to the Juckas Stables staff.
Onon started riding when he was 13 and first started coming to Juckas Stables. Born in Mongolia, raised in California, Onon moved to NYC on a whim. That was in 2013 at age 21 when he was on an annual family, summer visit East to visit Grandma Karen with Pam, Shanga, and Andrea. Once settled as an east coaster, he often came up to visit grandma Karen and help out around Juckas Stables. Onon has a caring, attentive nature and has been an integral part of Juckas Stables since the passing of his Grandma in June of 2020. He’s been working 5-7 days a week to keep Juckas Stables fully staffed during our summer of transistion and continues to seek out opportunities to be helpful.
Wrangler & Licensed Vet Tech
Crystal’s been riding horses since she was five years old, and they’ve always been her passion. Professionally she rides in show jumping competitions with her horse, and last year she was the champion of her jumper division in the Hudson Valley Horse Show series. Sometimes Crystal goes home after a long day of leading trail rides at the barn just to ride her own horse because she can never get enough of these magnificent animals she loves so much. Crystal has worked at Juckas Stables since 2018, and in her own words “enjoys every second of it”. She takes pride in keeping a watchful eye over the horses at Juckas Stables.
Pam Juckas grew up working at Juckas Stables. She started and ran horse camp from 2010-2019 with her kids. She has been teaching children in the outdoors and in school for over 30 years. She is a credentialed teacher in California, holds a Wilderness Recreation Leadership degree, is CPR and First Aid certified and a Girl Scout leader for 10 years. She currently teaches in a high school and welcomes this opportunity to keep her mother’s legacy going and serve as a financial officer for Juckas Stables.
Joy has always loved animals, horses in particular, from the beginning. Her love for these animals blossomed when she attended summer camp and took lessons starting at age 9. When she was 12 she started taking English lessons where she quickly learned to jump. She started volunteering at Juckas Stables in July of 2020 and was hired the next month. Joy can often be seen tending to the horses’ hooves, grooming them, and caring for their well being. She also volunteers at a dairy farm and once she graduates high school she will be going to college for a bachelor’s degree in large animal veterinary medicine.
Camp Counselors (Past)
Andrea is Karen’s granddaughter. Also known as AJ, she has been riding since she was 6 years old both at Juckas Stables and where she lives in California. She worked from 2010-2019 at horse camp and enjoys taking out rides in the summer whenever she visits. AJ says, “my happy place is on a horse”. AJ rides English or western and is sure to show you a great ride.
Shanga is Karen’s granddaughter. She was a much loved camp counselor the first 10 years of horse camp from 2010-2019. Campers love her sparkle and fun spirit and Shanga feels the same about the campers. She especially loves it when they come back year after year. Nowadays Shanga is pursuing her dual career in both art and early childhood education.