Best 21 places for Horseback riding in California (updated)

Horseback riding is an activity open to people of all ages, fitness levels, and skillsets.  It can be a great way to explore the countryside or just have some fun with friends. For those who want to take their horseback riding adventures one step further, there are lots of places in California that offer guided tours by day or night. Below are some of the best venues for horseback riders in California.

1. Golden Gate Riding Company

Golden Gate Riding Company

The Golden Gate Riding Company is an excellent choice for riders of all experience levels. Located in Santa Clara, the company offers two guided trail rides per day: one at 10 a.m and another at 2 p.m., each lasting about three hours and covering between 15 and 20 miles. Riders must be eight years or older, weigh less than 260 pounds, have a helmet, and sign a waiver. In addition, visitors can choose to ride their horses or rent one of Golden Gate Riding Company’s horses.

2. Hilltop Trail Rides

 Hilltop Trail Rides

Hilltop Trail Rides is another excellent resource for horseback riding enthusiasts in California’s Santa Monica Mountains. The company offers guided and self-guided tours and has more than 40 miles of trails to explore riders of all experience levels. Riders must be at least six years old and weigh less than 220 pounds. An adult must accompany children under 18.

3. Casler’s Saddle Retreat

Casler's Saddle Retreat

Casler’s Saddle Retreat is another Santa Monica Mountains-based company offering guided horseback riding tours of various lengths, some lasting as long as four hours. The company requires riders to sign a waiver and provides helmets for those who need them, although riders can also bring their own if they prefer. Visitors can either bring their horses or rent one from the company, but first-time riders will have to watch a short orientation video before hitting the trails.

4. Chino Hills State Park

Chino Hills State Park

The equestrian trails at the Chino Hills State Park are open to riders who have their horses or those riding rented horses. The park offers 13 miles of trails that visitors can explore by themselves or with a guide. Riders must have proof of negative Coggins test results before being allowed on the trails, and an adult must accompany children under 18.

5. Los Angeles Equestrian Center

Los Angeles Eque

Another option for riders in California’s Santa Monica Mountains is the Los Angeles Equestrian Center. Visitors can either bring their horses or rent one from the facility, which has more than 100 available stall spaces for overnight boarding as well as plenty of grazing land for outdoor horseback riding. The center offers two guided tours daily, three hours long, and covers 15 to 20 miles. An adult must accompany children under 18.

6. Tejon Equestrian Center

Tejon Equestrian Center

The Tejon Equestrian Center is located in the central part of California and includes more than 800 acres for riders to explore on horseback or foot. The facility has horse trails for riders of all skill levels, with most areas open only to experienced riders who know how to ride without a lead rope and can ride at a reasonably quick pace when necessary. Riders must wear helmets while riding on the property, and children under 18 must accompany an adult.

7. Johnson’s Riding Stables

Johnson's Riding Stables

Johnson’s Riding Stables is another riding venue located in the Santa Monica Mountains. The facility offers guided horseback rides for riders of all skill levels, with most trails open to beginners, and some are open only to more experienced riders. Riders must be at least five years old, weigh less than 220 pounds, and have a helmet that meets or exceeds ASTM standards. An adult must accompany children under 18.

8. Los Angeles Horseback Riding Tours

 Los Angeles Horseback Riding Tours

Visitors looking for more adventurous equestrian tours should check out Los Angeles Horseback Riding Tours, round. Guides lead two-hour private tours through Griffith Park on weekends only; visitors can bring them. An adult must accompany children under 18horses or rent one from the company. Tours are available at 10 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, starting at the parking lot for Griffith Park Horse Rentals near the Los Angeles Equestrian Center. Riders must be at least eight years old, wear helmets, and prove negative Coggins results for their horses.

9 . Lions Club International Riding Program

Lions Club International Riding Program

Lions Club International Riding Program is located within Griffith Park. Still, it has a separate entrance, so riders don’t have to pay an additional fee to enter the park if they take one of the riding center’s tours. The facility offers guided horseback rides every day except Mondays, with options including two-hour private tours or three-hour group tours available all week. Each ride includes a brief introduction to horses and a safety orientation, and an adult must accompany children under 18.

10 . Santa Catalina Island

Santa Catalina Island

Riders can find plenty of trails on Santa Catalina Island. The island’s hills offer beautiful views of the surrounding area, and riders can either bring their horses or rent one from a company such as Island Packers Cruises, which offers round-trip boat rides for riders who wish to explore the island more quickly. Riders must wear helmets at all times while riding in Santa Catalina State Park, and an adult must accompany children under 18.

11. Pendleton Equestrian Center

Pendleton Equestrian Center

The Pendleton Equestrian Center in Palmdale offers guided, and visitors can bring their horses or rent one from the facility. Riders must wear helmets while riding on the property, and children under 18 must accompany an adult. Trails are available for riders of all skill levels, with most trails open only to experienced riders familiar with being around other horses at a reasonably quick pace when necessary.

12. Saddleback Ranch

Saddleback Ranch

Saddleback Ranch is located just outside Malibu and includes more than 300 acres for guests to explore on horseback or foot. The ranch has horse trails for riders of all skill levels, with most courses open to beginners and requiring advanced skills. The resort offers horseback riding lessons, but visitors must reserve their space in advance. An adult must accompany children under 18.

13. Santa Monica Mountains

Santa Monica Mountains

Horseback riders can find trails throughout the Santa Monica Mountains, with options for all skill levels and rugged terrain to challenge even experienced riders. However, most trails are open only to experienced riders who know how to ride without a lead rope and can ride reasonably quickly when necessary. Riders must wear helmets while riding on the property, and children under 18 must accompany an adult. The Saint Monica Mountains Recreational Area is home to more than 175 miles of equestrian trails that vary from one mile to 15 miles; some trails may require advanced skills.

14. Silver Strand State Beach

Silver Strand State Beach

Visitors can take a trail ride along the beach from May to October at Silver Strand State Beach. Riders may choose from four guided tours that vary in length from two to three hours, with most lasting just under three hours and covering about five miles total. Only experienced riders should book a horseback-riding tour, as an adult must accompany children under 16. All rides follow a designated route to see the same sights, and riders must wear helmets while on the property.

15. Strathearn Equestrian Park

Strathearn Equestrian Park

Riders of all skill levels will enjoy Strathearn Equestrian Park in Thousand Oaks, which offers around 100 acres for riding and more than five miles of trails. The park also has a riding arena, and an adult must accompany riders under 18. Riders can bring their horses or rent one from the facility, including stalls and paddocks, round pens, and round corrals for working with horses before and after rides.

16 . Pico Riding Park

Pico Riding Park

Pico Riding Park in Westlake Village is available to horseback-riding campers for $4000 per month throughout the year; summer months may require additional fees. The park offers plenty of space for members’ horses and outdoor riding arenas and access to trails through surrounding mountains. Riders who wish to house their horses at the park must provide proof of liability insurance, so visitors should contact the park before bringing their horses. Riders under 18 need to be accompanied by an adult, and riders must wear helmets while riding on the property.

17 . Rancho Sierra Vista

Rancho Sierra Vista

Riders will enjoy the trails throughout Rancho Sierra Vista in Newbury Park, which offers 1,000 acres for horseback riders of all skill levels. Visitors can bring their horses or rent one from a ranch employee, and horse stalls are available for members with stalls that guests may also use at no charge. A round pen is also available for working with a horse before a ride. The park has about nine miles of trails open to visitors, though some trails require advanced navigating skills over rugged terrain. Riders must wear helmets when riding on the property, and an adult must accompany children under 18.

18. Los Angeles Equestrian Center

 Los Angeles Equestrian Center

Riders looking to learn about horses or brush up on their skills can choose from more than 25 lessons designed for riders of all levels at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center in Burbank. Lesson types range from private lessons with a trainer to group classes that teach how to groom and care for your horse before riding, breaking wild ponies, jump courses, cross-country excursions, and more. Riders must wear helmets while riding on the property, and children under 18 need to be accompanied by an adult.

19 . Griffith Park Horse Rentals

Griffith Park Horse Rentals

Located within Griffith Park, approximately 13 miles north of downtown Los Angeles, this company offers horseback riding for riders of all skill levels. Visitors can reserve a ride on the property or bring their horses along; guides lead rides ranging from two to three hours and offer views of the San Gabriel Mountains and Griffith Park Observatory. Riders must wear helmets while on the property, and children under 18 must accompany an adult.

20 . Angeles Crest Equestrian Center

The guide at Angeles Crest Equestrian Center in La Canada Flintridge offers trail rides that vary from five miles to 15 miles long, with most lasting about three hours. Riders should expect the longer trails to take just over four hours with a guide as well as basic instruction given before each ride begins. The center also has a cross-country course available for riders who have advanced skills. Riders must wear helmets while on the property, and children under 18 need to be accompanied by an adult.

21 . Los Angeles Horseback Riding

Located in Griffith Park, riders of all skill levels can join this company for a 1,000-acre ride that includes views of the famous Griffith Park Observatory and access to trails through surrounding mountains. Visitors can bring their own horses or rent one from a staff member at Los Angeles Horseback Riding and make reservations in advance; children under 18 need to be accompanied by an adult during all rides. Riders should expect to spend around four hours riding with a guide as well as basic instruction before the ride begins.

conclusion:

Horseback riding is a popular activity for both adults and children. Many parks in California offer horseback riding opportunities, some of which require riders to wear helmets while others do not. If you’re looking to try out this exciting hobby or brush up on your skills with the help of an instructor, schedule a ride today!

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