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Sausalito Marin County Horseback Riding and Stables

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Featured Story
Marin County Horseback Riding Options, Horse Camps and Stables

Horseback riding skills have been appreciated in the San Francisco Bay area for decades. During the 1860 elections, local California newspapers received word of Lincoln being elected to office only seven days and 17 hours after the rest of the country due to the talented horseback riders that were working for the Pony Express. Throughout American history, horseback riding has been an esteemed sport that is suitable for all ages of riders.

In Marin County, many of the horse-friendly wilderness trails are contained within local, county, state or/and federal parks. While riders are exploring these trails on horseback, it is helpful to have a well-marked county trail map that shows the paths that horses are allowed to navigate. It is possible to ride in rugged settings, along sandy beaches and on structured nature trails that are banned to motorized traffic, and spaced away from hikers.

Today, most stables that rent the use of their horses, will not allow their animals to go out on trails for safety reasons, unless a stable-sanctioned chaperone is along for the ride. In Marin County, it is possible to rent horses for trail rides, wedding ceremonies and riding lessons. Some stables cater to the local visitors who are traveling with horses; long-term and short-term horse boarding arrangements can be made without leaving Marin County.

There are summertime horse camp opportunities for children and adults who want to learn new horsemanship skills. Normally, the Marin County stables that offer camps will start taking reservations quickly during the first few months of the year. When people desire a horse camp experience, it is wise to register early for the limited amount of camp spaces. Most facilities will give a slight price-break to the campers that bring a horse.

For more information about horseback riding in Marin County, please contact the phone numbers on our listing of stables. Each facility sets their own rules and prices; all services are not available from all Marin County horse riding establishments. Directions to reach the horseback riding locations are provided by each stable for their local regions. In most sections of California, rules will require that helmets are worn at all times while riding.

Marin County horseback riding choices:

Five Brooks Stables: The 5 Brooks Stables offers beach rides through the Point Reyes National Seashore district, on nature trails and along the waterfront. This well-run establishment offers a variety of services that include riding lessons and full-service horse boarding facilities. It is possible to rent guides and horses from the Five Brooks Stables for pack trips, community hay rides, festival pony rides and private local daytime trips.

Distance from Sausalito: About 20 miles.

Five Brooks Stables
8001 State route 1
Olema, California 94950
Phone: (415) 663-1570
Notes: Call for details and directions.

Miwok Stables Center: This establishment is a non-profit organization that is sponsored by the National Park Services, nearby to the Marin Headlands attractions. The horse-oriented programs at the historic Miwok Stables include therapeutic riding lessons, special needs riding sessions and educational presentations for nearby communities. Public riding opportunities and horsemanship training classes are at the Miwok Livery.

Distance from Sausalito: About 4 miles.

Miwok Stables Center
701 Tennessee Valley Road
Mill Valley, California 94941
Phone: (415) 383-8048
Email: MiwokStablesCenter@EarthLink.net

Miwok Livery: The Miwok Livery Stables offers a full-service blend of horse boarding, indoor-outdoor riding lessons and summertime riding camps. Miwok Livery is located within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area; child and adult riding classes fill fast. Summertime horse camp schedules are posted in January each year and camp registrations start near the beginning of the month. Walk-up rentals can be reserved.

Distance from Sausalito: About 4 miles.

Miwok Livery
701 Tennessee Valley Road
Mill Valley, California 94941
Phone: (415) 383-8048
Email: MiwokStablesCenter@EarthLink.net
Notes: Small 1-4 people rides can be arranged for Marin Headlands locations.

Sunset Corral: The Sunset Corral establishment operates through reservations. This facility offers horse show structures, covered riding rinks, trail rides and lessons for all ages of riders. It is possible to register for adult and child summertime riding camps, scheduled trail rides and for temporary boarding arrangements. Full-time boarding is offered when space is available. Call this large facility ahead of time for best results.

Distance from Sausalito: About 17 miles.

Sunet Corral
2901 Vineyard Rd.
Novato, CA 94947
Phone: (415) 897-8212
Notes: May have chaperoned wedding horses available.

Willow Tree Stables: The friendly Willow Tree Stables is located at the base of the Indian Trees Open Spaces section of the Marin Headlands. There are numerous trails nearby for guided trail rides, Saturday adventures for all ages of horse lovers. Willow Tree offers a variety of lessons, horse-oriented camps and horses for birthday parties, parades and weddings. Full-service boarding is available; specialized clinics are offered.

Distance from Sausalito: About 17 miles.

Willow Tree Stables
3777 Vineyard Road
Novato, California 94947
Phone: (415) 897-8212
Notes: Call ahead for directions and reservations.

Halleck Creek Ranch: The Halleck Creek Ranch partners with the Marin County 4H Youth Programs to provide therapeutic riding lessons, disability-friendly equestrian opportunities and volunteer horse-oriented positions that can be beneficial to new owners. The horses at this facility are gentle. Call ahead to discuss program and scheduling dates. Wheelchair ramps are provided; covered riding areas are available and all ages accepted.

Distance from Sausalito: About 19 miles.

Halleck Creek Ranch
10-miles west of San Rafael in Nicasio Valley
P.O. Box 159
Nicasio Valley, California 94946
Phone: (415) 662-2488

Morning Star Farm: This active Novato stables offers a variety of horseback riding lessons for all ages, horse camps, jumping lessons and equestrian-oriented group rides that can be purchased for use over multiple weeks. Morning Star Farm stables offers a full-service boarding plan, discounts for lessons with your own horse and fun-filled horse-lover events. This facility has horses for birthday parties, weddings and festivals.

Distance from Sausalito: About 17 miles.

Morning Star Farm
885 Sutro Avenue
Novato, California 94947
Phone: (415) 897-1633
Toll Free Phone: (888) 782-8088
Notes: Summertime camp registration starts near February 1, each year.

Photos copyright by Jay Graham Photographer