Horseback riding is a wonderful way to explore the open spaces and wilderness. San Ramon, in particular, is surrounded by some of the most interesting and beautiful parks and open spaces. Visitors will enjoy riding in the trails, in addition to hiking and biking around the parks.
Horseback riding has a long history in the San Francisco Bay area. In the days when the west was settled by the pioneers, equestrian skills were essential to travel and work the farms. The legendary Pony Express made it possible to send communications across the country in less than two weeks. Today, in nearby Livermore, the annual rodeo remains one of the city’s most anticipated events.
Most of the wilderness trails accessible to horseback riders are in local, county, state and/or federal parks. It is best for riders to follow marked trails on horseback. Most of the trails go through rugged land and on structured nature trails that are closed to automobiles.
You can rent horses for trail rides, events such as wedding ceremonies, and riding lessons from the stables. Children and adults can learn how to ride and polish their horseback riding skills with lessons. In the summer, horse camps are open for children and adults who want to spend more time learning new skills.
Las Trampas Stables opened in 2002 and is a family owned-and-operated business. At Las Trampas Stables you can take Western and English horseback riding lessons. Horse camps are also available in week-long camps and one-day camps. The stable also offers equine boarding services and training.
You can rent horses or the ranch for birthday parties and events.
Sacred Cross Horse Services was founded in 2005. Sacred Cross offers horse camps and training in Livermore. Students may start with no experience and are guided to improve their skills and confidence. Riders may participate in the Polished Pony Show Team to gain experience and learn how to navigate shows. In addition, hoses, saddles and tack are also available for purchase.
Paul duBray Performance Horses in Castro Valley specializes in complete body dynamics for the horse and rider through a rigorous training program. Riders are able to find the right horse from independent breeders and competitors. The services offered at Paul duBray include horse sales and service, Lessons through weekly lessons or Summer Camp, barrel racing, gymkhana, speed events, extreme cowboy racing and cowboy mounted shooting.
Kelly Maddox Riding Academy in Castro Valley specializes in riding lessons for young and amateur riders. Trainers work with all levels of riders, from riders with no experience to the most advanced levels of horse showing. The Academy which was established in 2003 offers horsemanship classes, riding clinics, and summer camps.
Kelly Maddox Riding Academy has been at the Shiloh West Equestrian Center for eight years. The facility has two large indoor arenas for winter riding and two large outdoor areas for the summer.
Trails for Horseback riding
Alameda Creek Regional Trail goes along the banks of Alameda Creek in southern Alameda County for 12 miles. The north side trail is designed for horseback riding as well.
Mt. Diablo State Park is a Tri-Valley landmark. Mt. Diablo offers a great view of the area and lots of activities. The Summit Museum at the peak stands 3,849 feet high. The trails in Mt. Diablo State Park include Isabel Trail and Horse Trail.
Sycamore Grove Park in south Livermore has 742 acres of land. There trails are ideal for hikes, mountain biking, and horseback riding.
Lake Del Valle is another nice trail for horseback riding. Additional activities at the Del Valle Reservoir are swimming, boating, wind surfing, hiking, and bicycling.
Bishop Ranch Regional Preserve is spread over 529 acres on a ridge top to the west of San Ramon offering many trails for horseback riding.
Other parks with horseback riding trails are Morgan Territory, Sunol Regional Wilderness, Lake Chabot, Mission Peak, and Ohlone Regional Wilderness.