Santa Barbara Horseback Riding - Alisal

Take a Ride Through the Heart of California

Explore Alisal from an unforgettable vantage point. Ride horses through canyons, shaded hillsides, past grazing cattle and babbling brooks. Our string of 100 horses can accommodate first-time to advanced riders. Small groups are provided personal attention by our experienced wranglers. See below for the variety of rides we offer.

*Please note: Horseback riding is available to overnight guests only. As a courtesy to other riders and to get the most riding time, please arrive at the Barn 15 minutes prior to your scheduled ride time.

Horsemanship from the Ground up:

This program is designed to offer an interactive experience for those who are interested in learning more about our horses. Come on down to the barn and learn from our wranglers about how they interact with our herd when they are not out on the trail. From catching, leading, brushing and saddling, to learning the ins and outs of the equipment we use, this is an opportunity for the entire family to expand their knowledge of horses. Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

Price: Free
Time: Contact our Barn for dates & times
Maximum Capacity: none

Introductory Horsemanship Skills:

This program provides an opportunity for guests to acquire new skills in a small group setting. Lessons will take place in our Rodeo Arena, where you will learn new ways to maneuver your horse through different exercises and patterns. You will also learn practical skills that can be implemented out on the trail in the form of the day’s “Trail Tip”. Whether you are a novice rider just getting the swing of things or one of our more seasoned advanced riders, you are sure to learn something new. For more information and to sign up, please speak with a wrangler at the Barn or by calling ext. 130 between 7:30-11:30 a.m. and 12:30-4:00 p.m.

Price: $65
Maximum Capacity: 5 Riders
Ages: 10 and up

 Breakfast Ride

Giant sycamores and a crackling campfire provide a beautiful backdrop for a western breakfast at our historic Adobe Camp. After you have had some of the best flapjacks you’ll ever taste, you will saddle up and be on your way. Guests may also choose to hop aboard the hay wagon for an unforgettable ride of a different sort.

Season: year round
Days (excluding summer & holidays): Wednesday and Saturday
Days (during summer & holidays): Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday
Duration of Ride: 45 minutes-1 hour each way by horseback (plus breakfast)
Beginner Riders arrive at Barn at 7:30 a.m.
Intermediate Riders arrive at Barn at 7:45 a.m.
Advanced Riders arrive at Barn at 8:00 a.m.
Hay wagon departs at 8:45 a.m.
Rate: $85 per rider; hay wagon is complimentary

Scenic Trail Rides

We offer scenic trail rides twice daily:
Season: year round
Days: Every day
Morning: 9:30 a.m.
Afternoon: 2:00 p.m.
Duration of Ride: Approximately 2 hours
Rate: $85 per rider

Evening Rides (June through August)

Evening is a magical time at Alisal. You will have the opportunity to see deer, coyotes, quail, wild turkeys, or even a bobcat–all with the backdrop of a stunning sunset.

Season: June through August
Days: Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday evenings
Time: 5:00 p.m.
Duration of Ride: 2 hours
Rate: $85 per rider


We offer one-hour private riding lessons on the trail daily 12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m. Lessons are recommended for infrequent riders who wish to join a higher level group ride and those who want to assess their riding ability. Lessons may be scheduled at the Barn or by calling (805) 686-7630 8:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m. or 12:30 p.m.-3:00 p.m.

Rate: $65 per hour
By appointment only

Children Arena Lessons (June through August)

Available Monday, Wednesday, and Friday
10:00 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 11:00 a.m.
Ages 4-6
Rate: $40/30 minutes

Children Instructional Lessons (June through August)

Available Monday, Wednesday, and Friday
Please inquire for times: (805) 686-7630
Ages 7-12
Rate: $60/hour

Alisal Rodeo (June through August)

Join us for a Country Fair and Rodeo extravaganza every Wednesday evening at 5:30 p.m. during the summer. Our wranglers demonstrate a wide variety of rodeo events including roping, barrel racing, team sorting, and quick draw. We also offer a lesson from 12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m. on rodeo day for those adults who wish to participate in the team sorting competition. Please contact the Barn for more information and to sign up. After the rodeo, enjoy our Western-style BBQ at the arena, complete with live country music and dancing.

How to Enjoy Your Ride at Alisal

Ride Sign-Up

Once you arrive at the Ranch, sign up for rides at your earliest convenience or at least one hour prior to ride departure. Our wranglers will need to determine your riding ability and choose a horse suitable for your riding level. You may sign up at the Barn or by calling (805) 686-7630. Our wranglers accompany you to ensure the enjoyment of all riders. Horses are assigned based on guests’ height, weight, and assessed riding ability.

Please note: A wrangler will also be in the dining room the evening prior to all Breakfast Rides to talk with guests about the experience and to sign up guests for the following morning’s ride. Guests unfortunately cannot sign up for rides prior to arriving at the Ranch, and during peak times there could be a stand-by list.

What to Wear

Long pants, preferably jeans, are recommended.
Cowboy boots, English riding boots, or other hard, slick-soled heeled shoes (tennis/running shoes are acceptable). Please note: Hiking boots with heavy tread are not safe; they can bind up in the stirrups. Slip-on shoes and sandals are not allowed.
If you wear a hat, a stampede string is recommended.

*Events/Meetings/Large Groups: For large groups, depending on availability, we offer rodeos outside the summer months. Please contact the Sales Department at (805) 686-7613.

For more information

Alisal Barn : 805-686-7630


Horseback riding at Alisal is for overnight guests only.

Breakfast Ride $85/Rider

Hay Wagon Complimentary

Guided Trail Ride $85/Rider

Evening Trail Ride (June – August) $85/Rider

Lessons $65/Hour

Children Arena Lessons $40/Half-Hour

Children Instructional Lessons $60/Hour

All lessons are by appointment only.