It was a cold December morning in Marin County as I pulled on my long johns, jeans and winter riding boots for a day of horseback riding. Not ideal horseback riding conditions, to be sure, but a day of riding is better than no riding at all.
I was on assignment for Diablo magazine to write about “One Fine Day in Olema.” The article will appear in the spring when the ferns are radiant green and the sun rays pierce the redwoods in the Point Reyes National Seashore.
Five Brooks Ranch sits on the site of a former saw mill. Back in the day, it was difficult to decipher if the ground was vibrating from the huge band saws that once operated here or if an earthquake was shaking the ground. That’s right, the San Andreas Fault runs underneath the Five Brooks Ranch. Quaking in our boots takes on a whole new dimension at the stables.
During my visit to the ranch I was joined by Adam who escorted me on the two hour Fir Top Trail. We saw three Osprey nests during our equitrekking adventure. For kids and first-time riders, Adam would recommend the one hour Stewart Trail ride. He recommends a private ride for experienced equestrians because he has to accommodate his ride to the least experienced rider.
My Bay Quarter horse, Hudina, was a nice ride, but she knew her role and was not about to ride alongside Adam’s horse. Whenever I nudged her forward she resisted as if to say, “I’m not supposed to be the lead horse.” All of the horses are well behaved according to Adam. “There are no barn sour horses here,” he remarked. “It’s simply not allowed.”
Five Brooks Ranch is open every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas for your horseback riding vacation. While the ranch accepts checks, cash is preferred. My two hour ride was $60. Check the website for pricing.
If you are considering an overnight horseback riding vacation, the Point Reyes Sea Shore Lodge is nearby. Lunch and dinner is served at the Farmhouse restaurant. If you like oysters, try the Hog Island Oyster Company.
Five Brooks Stable (415) 663-1570
8001 State Route #1, Olema, CA 94950