Our experience at Mar Vista Stables was outstanding. Parking is free and right in front. No reservations are needed, they make up groups as people arrive. We paid ($40 a person), signed the waiver (4 pages - thank the lawyers), had an orientation, saddled up, and headed out within about 15-20 minutes. There is a restroom but it's pretty primitive.
The one hour ride is divided into thirds, with about 20 minutes each spent riding to the beach, on the beach, and back. The scenery is amazing and our horses were well-behaved. My “horsecam” was a Canon point-and-shoot with the strap always secured around one wrist as it would be difficult, and sometimes impossible, to retrieve a dropped item. Be aware that any camera requiring both hands would be tough to use.
One hint – bring a bandanna or scarf if you’re sensitive to dust because it gets thick now and again.
Helmets are optional for adults. I wore one because I wear one on a bike so it makes sense that if there’s the slightest chance of being tossed off something the size of a horse, I’ll take the helmet every time.
We had two “wranglers,” one leading the group and the other bringing up the rear. We had read (and been amused by) reviews on other sites complaining about horses that “don’t listen” and so on. Our experience has been that for the most part, trail ride horses know what to do. This was no exception. There’s usually no need to “drive” or guide your horse – this is their job and they have plenty of practice. So while riders are given instructions on how to handle the reins (horses don’t respond to verbal commands!) and you definitely want to pay attention, be gentle and don’t overdo it.
Some of the descents are steep, but not frighteningly so. The trail occasionally runs within ten feet or so of steep dropoffs that may concern people with a fear of heights. With that said, I myself have that fear and it didn’t bother me at all. The vegetation also closes in pretty tight in a couple of spots.
Bottom line: the ride was a blast. We’d do it again and highly recommend it.
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.