Are you looking to live in Los Angeles with horses? Real LA dwellers give us the scoop.
Los Angeles – the city of angels, home to celebrities, movies, entertainment, and horses? Yes, this thriving city filled with millions of people is also home to plenty of horses.
I’m still currently horseless but a lot of people often ask me if it is possible to live in the city and still have horses. The answer is yes. I talked to seven different ladies who shared their experiences living in LA with their equine companions. A huge hank you everyone who participated in this blog post!
Also known as @ZintaPolo on Instagram.
How many years have you lived in the greater Los Angeles area? Basically my whole life.
How long is your drive to the barn? Over the years it would probably average 40 minutes. When I boarded in Moorpark it was 50 miles each way from my house. When I boarded in South Pasadena it was four miles from my house.
Southland farms on Kanan Rd., Saddle Rock Ranch off Mulholland, the LA Equestrian Center and Silver Spur Stables both in Burbank, the Paddock Riding Club in Atwater, California Polo Club in Sunland, Arroyo Seco Stables in South Pasadena, as well as private ranches in Malibu, Moorpark, and Canyon Country.
How many horses are you currently boarding? Five, and I’m shopping, so soon to be six.
What is your riding disciple? Polo and trail. But before that hunter/jumper
What’s your favorite thing about boarding and living in LA? LA is a surprisingly horse friendly city, with many equestrian trails and even restaurants with hitching posts. There are several horse friendly neighborhoods, like the Burbank rancho district, and Shadow Hills, even Beverly Hills and Brentwood have equestrian properties.
I love the juxtaposition of experiencing an urban environment from the back of a horse. It’s a great feeling to sit a top your steed at the top of Griffith park watching the sea of rush hour traffic below. Or to be riding through a neighborhood to get a drink at a local coffee shop, and then maybe wave down the ice cream truck on the way and see the drivers surprised expression. I love riding to brunch at Brookside golf course, which is next to the rose bowl, or Viva Fresh in Griffith Park, or Ranch Side cafe near Hansen Dam. It’s also a wonderful experience to ride through a city park and hear all the kids scream “Horse! Horse! Horse!” And have them run up and tell you this is the first time in their life they’ve ever seen a real horse.
Can you give any suggestions to finding a barn to newbie’s moving to the Los Angeles area? There isn’t always a lot of information on line. Go to any stables you know of and start talking to the people that board there. Ask them what the atmosphere is like, how long they’ve boarded there, what they do and don’t like about the place. If the location is not to your liking then also ask if they know of other places in an area you would prefer. Also visit tack shops and look at the bulletin boards with local listings, many boarding places advertise there, especially smaller family run barns.
I’ve boarded at many places, some fancy, some not so fancy. In the end the places I enjoyed the most were the ones where I had fun people to ride with.
Also known as @Manda.Jumperon Instagram
How many years have you lived in the greater Los Angeles area? 18
What area do you live? Currently living in San Diego (freshman at the University of San Diego), but I also live in Manhattan Beach during breaks from school and have been riding in LA for the past six and a half years!
How long is your drive to the barn? 25 to 30 minutes
What area is your barn located? When I was living at home, I rode at Alderin SportHorses in Palos Verdes, California! I started riding there 6.5 years ago when I was just starting out!
How many horses are you currently boarding? 0 currently in LA, but I help ride ponies whenever I visit LA
What is your riding disciple? Jumpers.
What’s your favorite thing about boarding and living in LA? Great escape from the craziness of LA! Great small town feel and horses make everything better!
Can you give any suggestions to finding a barn to newbie’s moving to the Los Angeles area? Tour the facility and have list of important qualities in a barn to check off when you visit and look at their website! It is also a great idea to talk to current boarders about their experiences. Current boarders have great knowledge and might even mention something that you haven’t thought of that could be important!
Also known as @TheStyledEquestrian on Instagram
How many years have you lived in the greater Los Angeles area? 21 years.
What area do you live? Los Angeles.
How long is your drive to the barn? Eight minutes, all side streets….no freeway or traffic!
Where are you currently boarding? Sterckx Stables located at San Pascual Stables in South Pasadena
How many horses are being boarded at the stables? Probably 100-150 or so.
What is your riding disciple? Jumpers.
What’s your favorite thing about boarding and living in LA? Weather, proximity to major city with variety of arts, culture, food, and entertainment
Can you give any suggestions to finding a barn to newbie’s moving to the Los Angeles area? I love my barn! It’s literally 15 minutes out of downtown LA, but is quaint with grass, trees and a peaceful setting. It’s hard to believe it’s so close to Los Angeles. We also have an incrediblely strong community of riders….very much like a family. It’s such a special place. I think for a newbie on the hunt for a barn you should look for quality training, good community and of course a cozy feeling barn with good arenas. Visit the barns that are close to you and maybe even take a lesson or two to see if the barn is the right feel for you.
Also known as @PillKitty on Instagram
How many years have you lived in the greater Los Angeles area? I moved to Hollywood in 1988.
What area do you live? The hills of Studio City. It feels like living in our own mini jungle. I wouldn’t live anywhere else. I’m right over the hill from Hollywood.
How long is your drive to the barn? My barn is 6 miles away, door to stall.
How many horses are you currently boarding? Two Friesians. Musie (Edzer S) and Beatrix Renske, both under 24 hour surveillance cameras.
What is your riding disciple? My parents purchased me my first horse when I was four and I taught myself to ride. I really enjoy throwing on a bareback pad and riding in the hills of Griffith Park. After years of not owning a horse, I finally purchased Beatrix (horse #13) 5 years ago. She had quite a bit of dressage training but I just wanted a trail horse. I know, expensive trail horse, but after falling in love with the breed and years of doing research on Friesians, it was that or nothing for me. This past year I started training in Dressage because the IFSHA Friesian Nationals were being held at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center which is where I train. I was training four to five days a week with Tim Keeling, owner of Quiet Canyon. We ended up competing in Dressage Hack classes, all the way to Nationals and are currently ranked by the USEF (Friesian Dressage) #3 in the Region and #8 in the Nation in points. I’m really proud of my little mare, competing against approved stallions and horses that have been doing this for years. I’m taking time off from Dressage at the moment to focus on parades and exhibitions on my other Friesian, Musie.
What’s your favorite thing about boarding and living in LA? I’ve traveled all over the world but I always love coming home to Studio City. I love that I’m able to grab my Starbucks on the way to the barn, put it in my cupholder on my bareback pad and ride for miles in the hills. It’s not unusual to see deer, coyote, and bobcats. You can even see the elephants at the zoo from one hill, granted they look tiny.
I’ve ridden to the Observatory, the Zoo, and the Hollywood Sign. It’s always an adventure! The Rancho District, the community where I board is horse friendly, so you can ride on the streets. The cross walks have buttons placed high for horseback riders which is very convenient. It’s not unusual to see horses at the Baskin Robbins drive-thru. I’m guilty of that. I think the best thing about living in LA is I can ride my horses all day, drive home, get out of my breeches, shower, throw on a dress and heels and drive 10 minutes over the hill to Hollywood for cocktails and dinner or a show with friends. We have great weather, great restaurants and a great club scene. It’s the best of both worlds.
Can you give any suggestions to finding a barn to newbie’s moving to the Los Angeles area? I always had horses on my property growing up so boarding was quite a shock. My horses both live in 12×12 box stalls. You’re dealing with a lot of different personalities and people that have different levels of horsemanship, which can definitely have its ups and downs. I try to go when I know it’s quiet so I can spend hours grooming and doing my barn chores without being bothered. It’s my Zen place…
I think the Los Angeles Equestrian Center is great. It’s 75 acres of barns, show barns, polo ring, and several arenas. You also have the Equidome which holds 3,500 people. You have a variety of trainers to choose from and you have the beautiful hills to ride in. There’s also Rein Cafe that serves great food with a full bar which is nice when you’re watching the horse shows. LA Saddlery is there as well, so you can shop, ride and eat all in one place. There are several shows and events all year, so there is never a dull moment!
Also known as @RidingonRoan on Instagram.
How many years have you lived in the greater Los Angeles area? I have been living in LA my whole life. I was born In Hollywood, raised in Studio City and spent most of my life working in the film & entertainment industry. I have been riding horses since I was two years old and taking lessons at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center in Hunter/Jumper & Dressage disciplines.
What area do you live? My current location is Acton, California. I’m originally from Studio City but I moved here to be able to purchase land and a horse ranch which you can’t do in the San Fernando Valley as everything is so crowded.
How long is your drive to the barn? I own and live on a private ranch and horse property in Acton, and so I keep my horses at home. I currently have two AQHA quarter horses, soon to have a third in the spring.
What is your riding disciple? My current riding discipline is western, although my background is extensively english & jumping. I start colts, re-train problem horses, trail ride, and study Clinton Anderson training techniques.
Can you give any suggestions to finding a barn to newbie’s moving to the Los Angeles area? My advice to those new to LA looking to board would be to start with the Los Angeles Equestrian Center in the Burbank Rancho district. I took lessons most of my life and learned to ride there as a kid, it’s a fantastic environment for a horse owner & horse lovers: great trails, boarding, lessons, shops & more! A great alternative for those who aren’t able or willing to keep their horses at home.
How many years have you lived in the greater Los Angeles area? I was born and have lived my entire life in the LA area, 51 yrs.
What area do you live? Currently I reside in the city of Montebello.
How long is your drive to the barn? It takes me about eight minutes to get to the stables.
What area is your barn located? The name of the boarding facility is the Whittier Narrows Equestrian Center, located in Whittier about 15 minutes from the city of Los Angeles. The stable boards about 120 horses on over 22 acres and there’s room for more.
What is your riding disciple? I ride western and do trail riding along the many miles of trails that border the stables. The trails range from the river bed to the hills near Rose Hills. I also participate in trail trials, parades and patrolling with the LA County Parks & Recreation Whittier Narrows Mounted Assistance Unit.
What’s your favorite thing about boarding and living in LA? My favorite thing about boarding in LA is that it’s close to my home and work so I can spend a lot of time riding with my horses and it’s very affordable.
Can you give any suggestions to finding a barn to newbie’s moving to the Los Angeles area? If I were looking for a barn, the first thing I would consider is the type of riding I plan to do and in my case trail riding, so I would need a facility in close proximity to the trails and another important issue is the food and maintenance of the place.
How many years have you lived in the greater Los Angeles area? Just over 4 months! We recently relocated from Winter Park, Florida.
What area do you live? Venice.
Do you board or have horses at home? Since we live in a small bungalow not far from the beach, I board my quarter horse gelding!
How long is your drive to the barn? It’s 35 minutes without traffic. Since I work from home, I adjusted my daily schedule to start working earlier so I can go to the barn early afternoon and come back before traffic gets really heavy.
What area is your barn located? Courtship Ranch in Lake View Terrace, CA. It’s a large ranch located north of Los Angeles with a gorgeous covered arena!
How many horses are you currently boarding? One – my 23 year old quarter horse gelding named Justin (Just Another Tardy). I’ve owned him since he was 8—he’s went to college with me and moved all over Florida and he just made the long haul to his new home in California just a few weeks ago.
What is your riding disciple? Western dressage.
Can you give any suggestions to finding a barn to newbie’s moving to the Los Angeles area? If you’re used to barns on the east coast, you’re likely going to be shocked at the ranch style barns in LA. I definitely was! Most boarding barns don’t include grain/supplements or shavings in the cost of the board so that’s something you’ll need to factor into your budget. I recommend heading to local tacks stores in the area you’re looking to boarding. That’s where I started and most had a a bulletin board with several boarding listings. I ultimately found the ranch I board at online, after hunting for a barn that was laid back, had access to trails and a holistic vet.