By Linda Bottjer
Giddy-yap as you learn to ride or take your skills on nature filled trails. Even enjoy wine tastings with
a horse. From first-timers to experts everyone will have fun. Remember; leave flip-flops, sandals and
tennis shoes at home. A pair of boots with at least a one-inch heel is best. Jeans or riding breeches are
the best attire for taking a lesson in. Here are some of my favorite spots.


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Since 1974 Rudy Leone has been giving lessons to people of all ages and expertise. English style riding is
the most popular class. Leone’s is also renowned for their jumping facilities.

Helmets are required for every ride. If you do not have one, the riding school will loan you one. Lessons are priced individually or in a package with Rudy himself or another instructor during the entire year.

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Out in the rural part of Sacramento close to the Elk Grove border you will find the Lucky B Ranch. The Bowles family has offered horse boarding and lessons since the mid 70s. Their focus is on both Western and English equestrian disciplines.

Lessons are given with Kallie Bowles, a master instructor with Certified Horsemanship Association.
Dressage and jumping, along with all the safety issues, are taught.

Go solo or with friends. The more the merrier is not only a good saying but it also is a cost savings. Semi-private lessons are for two students and groups start at three or more people. For those in training
for horse shows the Lucky B also offers up to three rides a week on a monthly basis.

With two El Dorado County locations, one in Placerville and one in Shingle Springs, Paradise Ranch makes it capable to learn horseback riding year-round. Horses and ponies with names like “Peanut,” “Belle,” “Peanuts” and “Sean” are ready to help everyone from beginner through advanced learn the basics of walk-trot-canter to jumping.

Children as young as four years old are eligible for lessons as are seniors into their 80’s. Parents are
invited to do more than just watch on the sidelines and get in the saddle too. One popular class is the
weekly “ladies who lunch” class. The group gathers for lunch after safely horsing around. Other classes
can be arranged in horse care such as tack and tack cleaning, feeds and feeding and farrier and hoof

Horseback riding trails

On Longview Drive by Watt Avenue an equestrian trail runs past the Sportsman Horseman’s Association. You do not need to be a member to enjoy the county trails. There is a county charge for both the vehicle and trailer. Due to increased popularity, on holiday weekends there is an additional fee.

Yolo County
Cache Creek Natural Area (Blue Ridge Trail)
Highway 16 from Davis and Woodland.
Continue past town of Rumsey and until you see signs for Cache Creek Recreation Park signs on left.
Park accordingly and pay fee.

The Blue Ridge Trail’s elevation rises over 2,000 feet. Atop horseback you will enjoy sweeping panoramas of the distant Sierra Nevada, the foothills and parts of the Central Valley. You can usually spot Bald eagle in January and February.

El Dorado County
Dru Barner Campground
Eldorado National Forest off Forest Rd 13N58 7.5 miles east of Georgetown
No phone
More information

Not easy to find, but great trails that wind up through the foothills and fantastic colors that change
seasonally make it all worth the effort. New corrals were recently installed.

Fun Horseback Tours

Grab your spurs, sense of adventure and love of wine as you head with your guide and horseback through the Calaveras County’s rolling hills to several vineyards.

Other tours include up to Moaning Cavern or along the Ponderosa Trail. It originally ran from Mexico to

Now you need to learn how to get back in the saddle with horseback riding clothing and accessories right here.

Linda J. Bottjer is a full time writer. Her horseback riding career began, and ended, with the Bronx Zoo
pony rides. Follow her adventures at


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