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The Best California Horse Communities?

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  • The Best California Horse Communities?

    I've been in San Diego county for many years, long enough to see our trails continue to disappear and the freeway traffic get crazier and crazier! I'm trying to figure out where the best equestrian communities are to live with direct access to trails and within fairly close driving (or riding) distance to the beach... that aren't mega-millions to purchase. I've been a hunter/jumper person my whole life but now just mostly want to trail ride. Does this place exist? Southern, Central or Northern California? Not looking for large acreage, just a small horse property in a horse community.

    Thanks!

    Joanne
    http://joannestephens.blogspot.com/
    https://picasaweb.google.com/1159092...46256687404737

  • #2
    They are definitely getting few and far between in CA. There are some communities that have recently been developed (past 15 years or so) up here in Norcal that are pretty horse oriented, however most are pretty pricey. They are around the foothills of the Sierras, most have a community arena, and trails throughout the community in addition to being close to the various lakes and other trails in the Sierras. I don't know about the coast though, most of those communities (like HMB) and staying expensive and no longer let horses on the beach. Maybe you would have better luck in Oregon?

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Thanks KateKat. Sounds beautiful but just can't leave my "beloved" beach! Where's HMB?
      http://joannestephens.blogspot.com/
      https://picasaweb.google.com/1159092...46256687404737

      Comment


      • #4
        This is a great website for what areas to start looking in. It list some good beach riding, then you could probably just go from there.

        I've hiked in Point Reyes and there are always horses there.

        http://www.best-california-beach.com...rse-trail.html
        Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Thanks Wonders12! GREAT link!
          I've ridden in a few of the places including Point Reyes (which was awesome)! I'll check all of them out.
          I rode a friends horse on the beach at Border State park the other day. It's not that far to trailer (30 miles) but the freeways are just NUTS! To many crazy people to haul that stretch on a regular basis... GASP! Was SOOOOO much fun. Could do that EVERY DAY! :-)

          This picture is from Border State Park.

          http://joannestephens.blogspot.com/
          https://picasaweb.google.com/1159092...46256687404737

          Comment


          • #6
            um......Southern Oregon???
            Kanoe Godby
            www.dyrkgodby.com
            See, I was raised by wolves and am really behind the 8-ball on diplomatic issue resolution.

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            • Original Poster

              #7
              Southern Oregon... I bet it's beautiful but probably to cold for a "Cal-Gal" like me!
              http://joannestephens.blogspot.com/
              https://picasaweb.google.com/1159092...46256687404737

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              • #8
                Love the photo! I was born and grew up in San Diego, and it's changed so much... I remember riding on the beach at Torrey Pines.
                You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"

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                • #9
                  How about Norco? Very horse oriented, and about 45 minutes to the beach. Well, 45 minutes if you're not stuck in traffic on the 91.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Quietann: San Diego has changed SO much! I don't think they even let you ride at Torrey Pines any more. :-(

                    Mypaintwattie: The perfect place would be a Norco-type place AT the beach! Am I dreamin'? It must exist SOMEWHERE!
                    http://joannestephens.blogspot.com/
                    https://picasaweb.google.com/1159092...46256687404737

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      HMB is Half Moon Bay. Its about 20 minutes south of San Francisco. Its a fabulous coastal town with a lot of riders but...its expensive, of course!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        It depends on what you are looking for.
                        If you are retired or don't have to commute daily or have a local job, S. ventura county/ N LA county on the 101 corridor is great . Lovely scenery and great parks/trails in Ventura county, Agoura, Malibu etc and Summerland beach in Santa Barbara is a short haul away. Santa Barbara has two or three beaches that allow horses and plenty of lovely trails too. If you don't have to commute to LA, those trails are spectacular and property prices aren't that bad-especially nowadays. It is a nice mix, not in the boonies -not a great deal of traffic-until you start hitting Calabasas or Camarillo. Or in Santa barbara, you have Sanat Ynez-supposed to be pricey-don't know how it is faring now.

                        This was my favourite trail up there. I used to ride for hours and hours up there.
                        http://s410.photobucket.com/albums/p...view=slideshow

                        Farther north you have San Luis Obispo county and Monterey counties . Both have plenty of beaches for horses allowed to ride them. Montana del oro park in Morro bay has a horsie campground on the beach-beautiful, pine trees , hills and the ocean. It gets cold there in winter and the wind starts picking up anywhere north of Santa barbara. You also actually have a real pasture from there on up north!It is also lot less crowded.

                        North of that Half moon bay in San Francisco bay area allows horses as well as two more beaches a bit more north of there. Then you cross the Golden Gate bridge and marin, Sonoma, mendocino counties are just beautiful. The coast starts to get a bit isolated and cut off especially going north into Sonoma past river Road, until the 1 curves back into the 101. But lovely beach riding and beautiful drive. Heavy wind and very rugged country. Sonoma county is great.

                        then in the bay area east, you have Oakdale etc, also the Sierra foothills. much cheaper-comparitively.That gives you beautiful riding in the summer all over the Sierras. Still a few hours haul from the beach sans traffic.

                        But the more North you go , the more wind you get in the ocean -it is not just a breeze! Santa Barbara and below is lovely weather!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          There is a planned community called The Sea Ranch in Mendocino county I think, off of Hwy 1, and they had a stable and bridle trails for the use of the community that was running at least in 2003. Very lovely in a windswept sort of way, but I can't get the site to open all the way so I don't know if that facility was axed. I recall rumors that they were having financial issues with the community facilities. http://www.tsra.org/

                          Sonoma and Marin have some wonderful trails, Annadel park, Sugarloaf park, Jack London park, GGNRA, Pt Reyes, Bodega Dunes and probably more, but unfortunately are not cheap. Of course the market has deflated enough that the million dollar places are now half million dollar places if you get lucky. Traffic on Hwy 101 used to be nasty all the time but the economy has made that a little better too - too late for me though, I reached freeway hour/day saturation and sold out and left. I do miss Annadel though, lovely country almost in the heart of Santa Rosa.
                          Last edited by ReSomething; Jul. 11, 2009, 03:42 AM. Reason: add the link that won't open for me
                          Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                          Incredible Invisible

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                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            KateKat: HMB, I should have figured THAT one out seeing as I was reading about trail riding on the beach there. Thanks. :-)

                            tkhawk:
                            Actually I'm from Santa Barbara. Rode in Hope Ranch for years. My mom is still there. But horse property in Hope Ranch is $$$$$$!!!

                            LOVE the pictures that you posted! Where IS that? Malibu? Is that state park land? That looks WONDERFUL!!!! Looks like that stretch between Malibu and Ventura. MUST-GO-VISIT-AND-RIDE! LOL! Can you ride ON the beach around there? Didn't realize Ventura County had so many trails.

                            I've driven through Montana del oro park... beautiful.

                            Marin is amazing. I rode in Point Reyes. Need to go back and research the horse community there too.

                            So many places to go check out. I guess I'll just have to take lots and lots of little riding mini-vacations and just ride in all of the different spots!

                            Thanks SO much for your suggestions!

                            Joanne
                            http://joannestephens.blogspot.com/
                            https://picasaweb.google.com/1159092...46256687404737

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Thanks ReSomething!
                              Sea Ranch sounds interesting. The site (which is sort of semi-private) has a number that I'll call to get more info.

                              Didn't realize Sonoma had so much to offer too!
                              http://joannestephens.blogspot.com/
                              https://picasaweb.google.com/1159092...46256687404737

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Calabasas is nice. It is home to Hidden Hills which is extremely horsey and far more organized and horse friendly than Bell Canyon where 7 years later the arena still hasn't been gutted and re-done after a promise/vote to do so. (I live in BC and board all of my horses elsewhere).

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I live in Berkeley. My horse is boarded 10 miles east in a small community called Briones. The stables there adjoin East Bay Regional Park and EBMUD (water utility) land. Thousands and thousands of acres of park trails are nearby. Here's a map to the park district. Here's a map to the water district trails.
                                  It's possible to trailer to Point Richmond or Pinole to ride along the bay shore.
                                  Housing is expensive but not as bad as La Jolla

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by beachpony View Post

                                    tkhawk:
                                    Actually I'm from Santa Barbara. Rode in Hope Ranch for years. My mom is still there. But horse property in Hope Ranch is $$$$$$!!!

                                    LOVE the pictures that you posted! Where IS that? Malibu? Is that state park land? That looks WONDERFUL!!!! Looks like that stretch between Malibu and Ventura. MUST-GO-VISIT-AND-RIDE! LOL! Can you ride ON the beach around there? Didn't realize Ventura County had so many trails.

                                    I've driven through Montana del oro park... beautiful.

                                    Marin is amazing. I rode in Point Reyes. Need to go back and research the horse community there too.

                                    So many places to go check out. I guess I'll just have to take lots and lots of little riding mini-vacations and just ride in all of the different spots!

                                    Thanks SO much for your suggestions!

                                    Joanne
                                    Yes that is Charmlee Park in Malibu. It averages about 800 ft above the ocean I think. On a clear day , you can see for ever -even the Channel Islands from horseback. I am actually thinking of moving back to LA. I guess I am just one of those oddities that loves the big city as well as the outdoors and nature. Plus with prices going so low, it is starting to look really attractive again.

                                    Ventura county south/North LA has some lovely trails. malibu creek state park, Paramount, Point Mugu state park, Wildwood canyon(it has a waterfalls and the views are great and if you go in the week, some lovely gallop trails)Hope ranch is great- driven through it a bunch of times-probably still in the multi-million range! But in other areas, you can find good deals now. LA county does not allow horses on the beach. Ventura-not sure. But Summerland and Goleta is not that far off and you can ride there so it is fine.

                                    Sonoma county is great-I have ridden in bodega Bay and Point reyes. I always wanted to ride on salt point park-never got around to it before I moved. I think north coast, fall is the best season-no winds. Otherwise it can get windy-I love it though-just love the weather better down south! Point Reyes has a horse campground-Stewarts I think. Nice place. They have a couple of trail riding strings there that take you to the beach in that general area.The s. bay area too is horsey area-Watsonville etc and you can haul to Monterrey to ride on the beach. That beach is lovely .

                                    The Sierra mountains have some great trails. i rode my mare up there a couple of times. there is just so much! Then if you wanted to go real north, Redding, Shasta , Weed on the 5 corridor. Lovely riding-but that is real out there. Again it depends-me I need both. But lovely trail riding country there. That is another on my to do list riding lassen peak-that is an active volcanic area and I have hiked it a couple of times and the lava tubes and way out N. east you have the caves monument. Oh well so much to do and not enough time!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I love San Luis Obispo- my dad is in SLO county, and I did my undergrad in SLO. I also grew up in SB (actually, the wrong side of the tracks in Goleta), but I'd actually live in SLO instead if I had a choice (I don't, LOL!).

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Horse property in Hope Ranch is definitely $$$$$. We trailer out to a place near More Mesa, and then ride through More Mesa to get into Hope Ranch, and ride through there all the time, and those houses have got to be big money houses. Sure is a nice ride though. Plenty of trails all over, and that's never going to go away.

                                        We've also been out to Gaviota State Park (better not close!) which wasn't a bad ride, but the ticks were awful (at least on the hayflinger) and we went overthe mountains to Santa Ynez and rode at Live Oak. There are other trails in this area. Not hard to find if you know where to look.

                                        The thing about beach riding here is the beaches at Coal Oil Point in Goleta (and I *think* just about everywhere else) are closed during the spring and summer to horses because of the Snowy Plovers.
                                        "My time here is ended. Take what I have taught you and use it well." -- Revan

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