Horseback Riding for Adults

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Dressage lessons for adult

May 2012

Hello all - I rode dressage many years ago and am interested in taking lessons again somewhere in the Oakland hills. I am looking for recommendations for a patient, understanding instructor who is willing to work with someone with physical limitations (i.e., back issues). Many thanks. Linda

I recommend Carol Jackson at Skyline Stable. I've been taking riding at different locations around the East Bay and dressage from Carol Jackson at Skyline for a couple of years now. I really appreciate Carol's teaching style. I know that I am not only learning how to ride but also understanding the horse's movement to encourage flexibility. Carol is serious about teaching how to ride so the horse and rider are both safe and sane. She teaches adult riders and children and she's very patient with both. You couldn't ask for a better teacher. I'm going to get my kids started with her this summer. Carol's contact info is: 925-963-3473 and her website (which is under construction) is: patricia

Adult horse riding at a friendly, well-run barn?

April 2012

The horse I bought and trained myself when he was 3 and I was 19 recently died. He was 25. He was one of those gentle, wise souls who touched a lot of people's lives and made even non-horsey folks comfortable. I learned a lot from him and have so many fond memories of trail rides and adventures and lazing about with all the sounds and smells of horses in grassy fields and the nearby barn. Loved it. In the last ten years while I was working and raising kids, I moved away from him and only visited about four times a year (he ended up in the hands of a wonderful second owner who gave him the best).

Now, as I grieve his passing, I'm realizing how much I miss that part of my life and considering how to get horses back in. I'm looking for the kind of well-run but low-key barn where horses and people are both well treated, and where things don't feel competitive or intimidating, and there aren't over-sized personalities running the place. I want to feel comfortable as I try different things and look for a path back into some kind of horse relationship. I don't have a lot of time or money at the moment, so I'm not sure what that path will look like. I just want to be around horses and horse people in some way. In the past I spent a lot of time training my horse and going on trail rides -- not so much in the way of competition or jumping. I might be interested in dressage, but not sure. Maybe just pleasure riding. Does anyone have suggestions? I'm in the Oakland hills.

missing my horse

I'm boarding and taking lessons at a barn in Briones called Double G that sounds like it might be a good match for you. It's friendly and low drama, with two very good instructors who have a few nice lesson horses. It has a large indoor arena and access to the gorgeous Briones trails. Mia Yellin teaches my younger daughter and several other young riders but also has a sizeable group of adult riders. She does some dressage training and basic horsemanship, as well as trail skills. On Sundays she usually has a group that heads out on the trails together. Her number is 925-228- 6554.

If you are more interested in dressage, I take lessons with Susie Braun, who is unfailingly kind to both horse and rider and has helped both my older daughter and I start to really love dressage. She also teaches jumping lessons and we have a small group of eventers (horse version of triathlon) there who take lessons with her. Her number is 925-228-8541. I've boarded and taken lessons at many barns over the years, and I can honestly say this is the friendliest and most enjoyable place I've been at, and they take excellent care of the horses. Both instructors are very experienced and safety oriented, and there isn't much turnover. Feel free to email me if you have questions. Vali

Want to help groom horses

August 2010

I'm just back from a 5 day horse retreat in Montana, where I learned some basics of horse back riding. I'm just a beginner, but I'd like to find a way to continue my contact with horses. I can't afford to take more than occasional lessons, but am most interested in finding someplace where I can groom or otherwise help take care of a horse on a weekly basis. How do I go about finding such a situation? I live in the Oakland hills.

Good for you for pursuing your horse interest! I recently returned to riding after a 20+ year break and I'm loving it! Here are some resources for you:

1. is the go-to website for the bay area horse community. There is a list of people who provide lessons in your area. You could also post for exactly what you are looking for.

2. Once you have gained some basic skills, leasing or sponsoring a horse is a good low-cost way to continue riding. Some horse owners include monthly lessons as a condition of the lease. Craigslist 'community' section and both are good resources for leasing.

3. This is a little outside of what you requested, but I've found R-Ranch in Napa to be a great way to have horse time for my whole family. For about 1k per year, you get access to a 1,000+ acre ranch with 40 well-trained western horses for trail rides, a huge pool and cabins to stay in.

Feel free to email me off-list if you have any more questions. Happy trails to you! Katia

Riding lessons to get adult up to speed

October 2006

Hi, I'm looking for updates to recommendations for adult horseback riding lessons. I am in Oakland and would like someone in the East Bay (Grizzly Peak thru Skyline preferred). I have been sporadically riding since I was a little kid, from bareback to western to english but not competitively. I would like to spend a few months getting my muscles back in shape and then move towards a sponsorship and trail riding. Emphasis on good form (english, western), confidence building, strength and control. My timeline is to start in March or so of next year. Thanks for the tips LR
Good place for kids and adults in El Sobrante for horse back riding lessons. The owners have a noble mission for saving horses from destruction-retired racing horses and others. Good luck, David

There are 3 places in the Oakland hills that have riding lessons: Anthony Chabot Stables on Skyline near Keller Skyline Ranch on Skyline at Redwood Rd Foxridge Stables on Skyline at Redwood Rd. You might also try Grizzley Peak Stables in the Berkely Hills. If you want to go farther there are many places in Briones Valley along Bear Creek Rd. I recommend Rancho Del Lago, which is out there. I believe you can find phone numbers for all these places in the yellow pages under riding academies. You might also look on the bay are equestrian site

For the person seeking horseback riding lessons, I would like to recommend my instructor/trainer Mia Yellin. Mia teaches english style riding in Briones Canyon. She has lots of experience teaching children, novice adults, and adults returning to riding after many years (like me). She has two wonderful gentle school horses. If interested, give her a call at 925-228-6554.

Lessons and/or hourly rentals for adult?

March 2002

Does anyone know of a good place for an adult to take horseback riding lessons? Or of a place that rents horses by the hour without a guide? Somewhere in the East Bay would be preferable, since we live in Berkeley. Thanks a lot! Gen

Hi, I have my own horse, but began by taking lessons at Eagle's Nest Ranch in Castro Valley. The best trainer there for riding is named Beverly Vreeland. She is kind and encouraging. Their contact information is: Eagles nest ranch (510) 538-8249- Ranch office Bev's direct number: 886-6851 Best of luck. Michelle

One of the best sources of horse related info for the Bay Area is at: They have a listing of trainers and barns in the East Bay at: Recommendations are hard to provide without more info on the type of riding that the adult is interested in... english, western, etc. Hope this helps. BergaHoo