Horseback Riding California

A couple of people riding horses on a beach.

Horseback Riding California

Cowboy moving cattle on horseback

Horseback Riding California – Where to release your “inner cowboy”

Horses have been domesticated for at least five thousand years and used in a wide range of tasks: traveling, pack animals, as a motive force for carts and wagons, hunting, warfare and certainly for use in herding other animals.

In many places and at many times, the horse became the central focus of the culture, not unlike the Rohirrim in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

The Spanish colonial period was one of those horse cultures. They used their horses for all the above-mentioned uses, but they excelled in using the horse for herding cattle.

We still use words like rodeo and lariat which come from this time.

The era of “the old West” has a strong romantic tug on most of us, even for those who have never been out of a city. And perhaps those most of all, since the “cowboy” appears to us to be the very embodiment of a care-free and boundless life. “Don’t Fence Me In” is more than just an old cowboy song, but the expression of the desire to be free of the hobbles of daily life.

Where to find your “Inner Cowboy”

The reality is that most of us can’t or won’t be able to live that cowboy life “for real”. However, there are places in Central California where you can get a taste of that life, if for a short time.

If you want to combine horseback riding California beaches and a nice sunset, you can get the information on this page of this site.

Ranch Stays and Horseback Riding

In Santa Barbara County, the 10,000 acre Alisal Ranch provides ranch stays, riding, wine tasting and a spa. Not your “roughing it” sort of place.

In Monterey County, Parkfield is a wonderful place to visit. It’s a real working ranch kind of place with numerous 1000+ acre ranches, and you might get lucky and encounter a real cattle drive coming down the road. But if not, there is always the V6 Ranch Resort with many different riding adventures available.

Near Paso Robles in Southern Monterey County is found the Work Ranch.

Work is the name of the family, and they exchange money for horseback riding and will put you to work only if you want.

The Work Ranch is a beautiful 12,000 acre spread and they offer a wide range of horseback riding – rentals, ride your own horse, horse camping and a membership if you can’t get enough of the cowboy life. That’s all in addition to ranch stays.

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