Ruthanna OldFor 55 years I have wandered the barn aisles in Orange County.  I started out as an 8 year old little girl obsessed with horses in a little stable called Meadowlark Farms in Huntington Beach, and found my way eventually to the stables in the beautiful picturesque town of San Juan Capistrano.  Before landing in this magical little town, I grew my dream and my Riding School in Irvine, Santiago Canyon, Orange, El Toro and Mission Viejo.

I remember fondly the city run facility here in Mission Viejo.  It was a haven for horses and ponies and all that loved them.  Nestled down in the ravine that is now Home Depot and the Animal Shelter, we had trails, lakes and open space.  Yes, I miss those stables.

As more and more stables close, horses become harder to find.  Once seen grazing by the edge of the road, you now must search for them.  However, if you do a little searching, you will find the Equestrian Industry alive and thriving in Orange County, even in Mission Viejo’s back yard.

Right next door to Mission Viejo, is San Juan Capistrano, the Equestrian Capital of the west coast.  In it are riding schools such as Bridges Equestrian, offering riding lessons, pony lessons, camps, competitions, school programs, Interscholastic Equestrian League, United States Pony Club, and all varieties of riding for the horse-hearted.  At these schools riders of all ages can still fall in love with the sport, and with the noble, magical animal we call team-mate.

Schools such as Bridges exist to bring riders into the sport, giving them the foundation and passion to enjoy for an entire lifetime.  Riding is a sport you can take up at any point, and excel.

Winston Churchill said “The outside of a horse is good for the inside of a man.”  This adage still “reins” true as horse enthusiasts search and google their way into our sport.  You can’t find us on the side of the road anymore, but we’re well worth the search.  Come join the magic and exciting world of the horse.

We’re here, where are you?

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