There are two main equestrian disciplines, English and Western, but within those there are over 80 different styles of riding, spread out over the world. Fortunately for Angelinos, a variety of horseback riding activities can be found right in LA
. Just take a look with our guide to the best equestrian facilities, and don’t forget to bring a pair of boots.
Los Angeles Equestrian Center
The LAEC offers horse trails, boarding facilities, pastures, and arenas. Additionally, they have large venue spaces that can be used for hosting almost any kind of event, such as weddings, banquets, or fund raisers. As proof of the excellency of the facilities, LAEC is a host of the Special Olympics World Games for the equestrian athletes. The next two barns mentioned in this article, HYT Polo and Quiet Canyon, are both part of the Los Angeles Equestrian Center’s barn locations, and the trainers are listed on LAEC’s website. Despite being part of the same equestrian center, the barns are incredibly different, representing part of the wide range of training disciplines at LAEC: Dressage, Hunt Seat, Hunter Jumper, Polo, Reining, Western, and more.
Los Angeles Equestrian Center, 480 W Riverside Dr, Burbank CA, USA, +1 818 840 9063
While exploring the vast grounds of LAEC, make sure to seek out the Polo Barn in particular for a thrilling chance to watch the game or even play yourself. HYT Polo, a polo school and company with locations at LAEC and Will Rogers State Historic Park, enthusiastically offers lessons to every kind of rider, from beginner to expert. The LAEC location offers a shady escape in an indoor riding arena, while Will Rogers’ fields sing to the restless hearts of those who want wide open spaces to let their horses run. The game is like no other kind of riding the average horse lover has seen, involving the most intense manoeuvring and teamwork of any riding discipline. HYT Polo offers a range of clinics that embody the interdependent spirit of polo, especially their weekly Tuesday clinics and Thursday evening ‘chukkers,’ or games.
HYT Polo, Los Angeles Equestrian Center, 480 W Riverside Dr, Burbank CA, USA, +1 818 943 4339
HYT Polo, Will Rogers State Historic Park, 1501 Will Rogers State Park Rd, Pacific Palisades, CA, USA
A few barns away from the exciting uproar of the polo fields rests the peaceful stables of Quiet Canyon, open to the meditative mind. Enjoy a thoughtful riding experience when engaged in the training of Dressage, a discipline that dates back to ancient Greece, and involves almost dance-like movements of the horse. Tim Keeling, an LAEC trainer, patiently promotes the barn’s mission “to develop a mutually respectful relationship between horse and rider using the classical principles of dressage” The “classical principles” Quiet Canyon emphasizes are part of a tradition passed down from programs like The Spanish Riding School in Vienna, which can be seen in the beautiful performances of the barn’s Andalusian horses.
Quiet Canyon, Los Angeles Equestrian Center, Barn C, 480 W Riverside Dr, Burbank, CA, USA, +1 562 618 1408
Across the street from Griffith Park, Lincourt Stables beckons passersby with the white-fenced promise of horses. Much like Quiet Canyon, Lincourt Stables offers Dressage, and additionally their 10 acre facilities reserves room for 6 arenas to practice Hunter Jumper and Equitation. Experience the rush of flying on horseback at this beautifully green location, or kick back in the grass and watch around 20 horses play in the pastures. Make a day of it with a quick stop at the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens, or if tourist attractions aren’t appealing, try the abandoned zoo right across the street.
Lincourt Stables, 3919 Rigali Avenue, Los Angeles, CA, USA, +1 323 523 1277
Los Angeles Equestrian Vaulting Club
Gymnastics and dance meet in a complex and beautiful way with horseback riding to create the daredevil sport of equestrian vaulting. Rather than jumping off alone though, try a lesson with professionals at the Los Angeles Equestrian Vaulting Club. Blake Dahlgren, coach and founder, incorporates an entertaining atmosphere into the hard work that is necessary to perform the movements in vaulting. LAEVC’s team ranges from beginners to seasoned vaulters, and has gained national recognition in individual and team competitions. Much like polo, vaulting can be an incredibly interdependent sport, but it does not always have to be competitive. Recreational vaulting is another branch of the discipline offered by LAEVC, and may suit those who want try something new.
Los Angeles Equestrian Vaulting Club, Moonshadow Ranch, 9889 Helen Ave, Shadow Hills, CA, USA, +1 818 590 3319