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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug. 4, 2011
    Posts
    5

    Default Horse scene in Orange County, CA

    I'm contemplating a move from Maryland to Orange County, CA for graduate school (UC Irvine). From my preliminary research, it seems that horsey living in CA is quite different than on the East Coast - limited (if any) turnout, pipe corals, and mostly hay or hay cubes for feed. I'm looking to get some more information about what it's actually like to ride and/or keep a horse in this area.

    I'd also love some suggestions for good boarding places in the area. I know there are a lot of threads on SoCal boarding, but they seem to be focused further north in the LA area. I would love an eventing place, but convenient location is probably more important. Thanks!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct. 2, 2012
    Posts
    1,885

    Default

    http://www.ocfairequestrian.com/default.htm

    Depending on where you live, this is probably closest to campus. Otherwise there's Huntington Beach Central Park Equestrian to the north, and south of there, Sycamore Trails. San Juan Capistrano is very horsey.

    UCI is a great school! Zot!
    A helmet saved my life.

    2014 goal: learn to ride like TheHorseProblem, er, a barn rat!



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug. 4, 2011
    Posts
    5

    Default

    Thanks! Do you know what traffic is like heading south (towards San Juan Capistrano)? Google maps says it's only 20-25 min, but I'm not sure if that's realistic. I'm a complete newbie to SoCal, in case you couldn't tell.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun. 17, 2001
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    down the road from bar.ka
    Posts
    31,807

    Default

    More like 30-60 minutes depending on time of day and there aren't any alternate routes or short cuts to help out if there's a problem due to terrain.

    SJC is prettier but IIWY, I'd start with Orange County Fairgrounds or Huntington Beach just to get your feet wet and meet some people. They aren't perfect but, IMO, will get you started and there are several routes you can take to reach either of those that shouldn't take more then 30 minutes or so.

    Brace yourself for severe sticker shock, alfalfa and brown grass if there is any at all. But the weather is great.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct. 2, 2012
    Posts
    1,885

    Default

    If you do go to the fairgrounds, I hope your horse is Ferris wheel broke.

    Actually, I've been there during the fair and it's a big yawn to the horses.

    If you go inland, there are barns in the Orange hills, but my impression is that this area is more Western. The commute to SJC also depends on your class schedule and riding times. Maybe you can work it so you're riding mid-day. Findeight is right, though. Start with the OC Fairgrounds until you get to know the area. And the horses here do just fine with hay and limited turn out.
    A helmet saved my life.

    2014 goal: learn to ride like TheHorseProblem, er, a barn rat!



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun. 29, 2008
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    2,208

    Default

    I boarded at HCPEC in Huntington Beach for 5 years and loved it, only reason I moved was because I got married and hubby lived in San Diego so I had to move there. From UCI Huntington Beach is probably your best bet, they have box stalls or pipe corals and access to trails. I much prefered there to the fairgounds, they only have box stalls and no trails. Serrano Creek Ranch is in Lake Forest, that's a nice facility too, smaller than some of the other barns. There are many barns in SJC but evening and morning rush hour traffic can be miserable, ie over an hour to get there from UCI. Pasture is pretty much nonexistant, the barns have areas to turn your horse out to stretch their legs but that's about it. Lots of places feed cubes, but most offer hay, but will charge more for it. Alfalfa or Timothy hay are most popular, better than the Bermuda all the barns down here in San Diego feed . Be prepared to see lots of horses on small acerage, most of the barns in OC have 100-500 horses there.
    Proudly Owned By Sierra, 2003 APHA Mare
    In Loving Memory of Tally, April 15, 1983 - June 2, 2010


    1 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar. 26, 2001
    Location
    Los Angeles, California
    Posts
    706

    Default Brian & Lisa Sabo

    You should speak with Brian and Lisa Sabo. They are based out of the OC Fairgrounds (where I got the info below.) Not only are they phenomenal trainers and horse people, but could probably steer you towards other boarding situations in the area if you wanted.

    Sabo Equestrian
    Brian & Lisa Sabo
    (949) 244-8615



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar. 20, 2013
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    399

    Default

    You've gotten a lot of good advice. If you're a serious eventer, I'm thinking SJC may offer more options for you, especially with The Oaks and the like down there. The commute really isn't that rough, and there is a toll road (73) that you can pop down there much faster from the Irvine area. It all depends what time you're headed down South.

    My folks used to live in Orange Park Acres, which is the equestrian community in east Orange (right next to Irvine). I board my current boy at a private barn there. Most of the facilities in this area are private residences that cater more towards the trail rider, as we back up to hundreds of miles of canyon and park trails as well as well groomed residential ones. I think there are a couple places that cater to jumping, more low level schooling I believe.

    There is a boarding stable inside Irvine Regional Park, but when I boarded there (think 20 years ago), the trainers were primarily western (pleasure, trail and reining). There may be an English trainer there now, but no idea of quality. Facility is called Peacock Hill (for googling purposes).

    There are a couple stables in Anaheim and Anaheim Hills. But if you are looking for a more competitive barn, OC Fairgrounds or something in San Juan Cap is probably your best bet.

    Unfortunately there are very few pockets of equestrian living left in the area...and it's growing smaller all the time. When I was a kid, we rode all over Anaheim Hills (where I lived) and Yorba Linda. Now you'd be hard pressed to even find a house you could keep a horse on property. They are there, but are a rarity nowadays.

    Good luck! The weather is great and riding all year long can't be beat!



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun. 30, 2006
    Location
    SF Bay Area, California
    Posts
    4,489

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TuxWink View Post
    You should speak with Brian and Lisa Sabo. They are based out of the OC Fairgrounds (where I got the info below.) Not only are they phenomenal trainers and horse people, but could probably steer you towards other boarding situations in the area if you wanted.

    Sabo Equestrian
    Brian & Lisa Sabo
    (949) 244-8615
    I second this! I ride with Brian once a month when he comes to NorCal and he is great. Lisa is also fabulous.
    Proud owner of a Slaughter-Bound TB from a feedlot, and her surprise baby...!
    http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e350/Jen4USC/fave.jpg
    http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e3...SC/running.jpg



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