arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up play-button plus tab-indicator dots close menu search facebook google-plus instagram pinterest rss twitter youtube rss-two heart Check FeaturedBadge linkedin minus apps placeholder linkedin

Horseback Riding with the Family

Giddy up!

From the best guided trails to lessons for the kids, to its world-renowned racetrack and gorgeous polo fields, San Diego is a top destination for horse lovers.

By: Chelsea Gladden; Mommy Blogger at Breezy Mama

Saddle Up for a Trail Ride or Lesson

Whether you’re looking for an expert to lead the way or lessons for a novice, astride a horse is a prime vantage point for soaking up some scenery. Read on for locations around the county for horseback riding with the family.

Guided Trails

San Diego Beach Ride (aka Happy Trails)

Located in Imperial Beach, at the very south end of San Diego county, is San Diego Beach Rides. Here, guided tours take riders on the only stretch of beach in the county where horses are allowed. Enjoy the fresh breezes as you admire gorgeous white water waves as they hit the sand. Happy Trails also offers lessons, camps and more.

Bright Valley Farms

Take in 52,000 gorgeous acres on a guided tour around the Bright Valley Farms, located in South/Eastern San Diego. Riders must be ages 7 and up and tours stay on the grounds. Catch flowers in bloom as you enjoy mountain views. Lessons, camps and pony rides are also available.

Sweetwater Horses

If you're in town for a longer stay, horses are available for lease at this one stop destination in San Diego's East County. Or take the guided tour through beautiful Bonita trails. In addition to lessons and training, host a birthday party or enjoy the hunter/jumper shows.

Camp Pendleton Stepp Stables

In the furthest point of North County San Diego, active duty military personnel, family members, retirees and MCCS and DoD employees can enjoy guided trail rides on the military base of Camp Pendleton. Private and group lessons are also offered.

The Ranch at Bandy Canyon

Nestled among a gorgeous Eucalyptus tree-lined setting in Escondido, The Ranch at Bandy Canyon offers guided trail rides as well as a pool and spa to end the day. With 144 acres, cottages are available for overnight stays as well. A popular destination for weddings, prepare to have the setting take your breath away. And for a bonus, horse drawn carriages are available for a group rate.

Lessons and Camps

Lessons throughout the county can include all types: English, Western, Trail, etc. Below are a few of the camps to choose from in San Diego County for families to learn how to ride before hitting the trails.

Silver Spur Riding School

Located centrally in Carmel Valley, Silver Spur Riding School is for the horse novice looking to learn how to ride. Known for their experienced instructors—including Lindsay LaPlante, an AQHA World Champion rider—lessons include arena riding, versus trail.

Raintree Ranch

Famous for their pies, Julian is about an hour east from downtown San Diego and a popular destination for families to pick apples. Worth the visit when in town, Julian's Raintree Ranch, a part of the YMCA, offers family horse camps. Their summer horse camp is offered to ages 9-16 and is a specialty overnight camp that teaches horseback riding as well as caring for the horses.

Rawhide Ranch

Head to Bonsall for a family hands-on experience of living in the Wild West. Families are ranch hands for a full experience including horseback riding. Or sign up the kids for a summer camp of riding lessons that include Western riding and the option for Vaulting lessons (gymnastics on a horse). A week long camp, kids ages 7-15 will also be introduced to a rodeo, roping and more.

Find a place to stay

Book online or call 1-800-350-6205 to speak with a local expert

Related Articles and Features

Deals just for you

Accommodation

Kimpton Summer Offer

Kimpton Solamar Hotel
Valid: May 21 - ongoing

Book direct to receive 20% off our summer best available rates or join IHG Rewards to receive 25% off at Kimpton Hotel Solamar or Kimpton Hotel Palomar.

Accommodation

Kimpton Summer Offer

Kimpton Hotel Palomar San Diego
Valid: May 21 - Jul 31, 2019

Book direct to receive 20% off our summer best available rates or join IHG Rewards to receive 25% off at Kimpton Hotel Solamar or Kimpton Hotel Palomar

Accommodation

Stay Cool in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter!

San Diego Marriott Gaslamp Quarter
Valid: Jun 1 - ongoing

Book a Summer stay at the San Diego Marriott Gaslamp Quarter! Stay Cool in the heart of the city, surrounded by restaurants, nightlife & shopping.  We’re 90 steps from PETCO Park, home...

Events to check out

Event

Comic-Con International: San Diego

Jul 18 - Jul 21, 2019

Comic-Con International is the largest comics and pop culture event in the United States, attracting thousands of artists, celebrities and fans of comic books, movie memorabilia and all things related...

Event

Supergirl Surf Pro

Jul 26 - Jul 28, 2019

The world’s top professional female surfers are back in Oceanside, CA for the 12th Supergirl Surf Pro, a 3-day event July 26-28, 2019. The weekend will be jam-packed with world-class...

Event

2019 Junior Over The Line Tournament

Jul 28, 2019

The Old Mission Beach Athletic Club (OMBAC) invites children and young adults from the ages of 5-20 to participate in the 2019 Junior Over-the-Line (OTL) Tournament. The Junior OTL Tournaments will...

Stay in touch

Sign up to receive the latest news, events, and updates about San Diego. Our monthly and weekly newsletters will keep you informed about the latest and greatest happenings in the destination.

Sign Up

Visitor planning guide

For the ultimate guide to planning your San Diego vacation, view and download the San Diego Visitor Planning Guide, packed with useful information that will help you plan the perfect San Diego getaway.

Read More

Partners

Explore

Plan

Stay

Follow Us

Language:

English | Change Language

Select your country or region

China FlagChinaGermany FlagGermanyGreat Britain FlagGreat BritainJapan FlagJapanMexico FlagMexicoKorea FlagKoreaSwitzerland FlagSwitzerlandBrazil FlagBrazilFrance FlagFranceAustralia FlagAustraliaCanada FlagCanada USA

Or use Google Translate

Afrikaans Albanian Arabic Belarusian Bulgarian Catalan Croatian Czech Danish Deutsch Español Estonian Filipino Finnish Francais Galician Greek Haitian-Creole Hebrew Hindi Hungarian Icelandic Indonesian Irish Italian Japanese Korean Latvian Lithuanian Macedonian Malay Maltese Nederlands Norwegian Persian Polish Portuguese Romanian Russian Serbian Slovak Slovenian Swahili Swedish Telugu Thai Turkish Ukranian Vietnamese Welsh Yiddish