Situated in northern California, Rollin F Ranch is a family owned ranch offering horseback riding in Sonoma County. The Fiddler family is a ranching family, having planted their first vineyard on the Sebastopol property in 1906. Rollin F Ranch offers private interpretive trail rides in west Sonoma County wine country.
If you want to learn about the flora and fauna or experience a little bit of Sonoma County ranching history, you’ll want to join Owner Nancy Fiddler or her daughter, Melissa, on a one hour trail ride through their working ranch in Sebastopol, California. Located on a quiet lane in rural Sonoma County, the Fiddler family has been growing and selling their Pinot Noir and Petite Sirah grapes to world famous wineries such as Buena Vista Winery and DeLoach.
Horseback Riding in Sonoma County for First Time Riders
As Melissa mentioned in the above video, Rollin F Ranch welcomes riders from as young as six, to as old as you want to go. With two hip replacements myself, I was pleased that they offered a mounting block in an enclosed arena. In truth, this is more for the benefit of saving the horses’ backs, but we riders appreciate the mounting block, as well.
Equestrians lead their horse into the round pen in order for the horse and rider to get acquainted with one another before their trail ride. This a good idea for first time riders and those of us who do not ride on a regular basis.
Like most animals, horses are very intuitive. They can sense fear, anxiety and even sadness. That’s why horses are used with so many therapeutic programs. Regardless, the walk into the round pen is like a first date; a brief chance to get to know one another before your trail ride.
Our trail ride was an easy walk on even, flat terrain. While this is a walk-only ride, you have plenty of opportunity to look for wildlife such as deer, fox, coyote, red tail hawk, quail and wild turkeys.
You also may notice some larger-than-life metal sculptures scattered throughout the property. See if you can spot the rearing horse sculpture by Ranch Manager Zack Fiddler.
Need to Know Before You Go Riding
In case this is your first time going horseback riding in the age of novel coronavirus, I’ve written a Guide to Horseback Riding Vacations while Social Distancing. Know that Rollin F Ranch keeps their rides small and private.
You may visit their website to become familiar with some of the ranch horses before your arrival. Once safely seated in the saddle, your wrangler will adjust your stirrups and show you how to neck rein the horses. Soon you will be walking out of the arena and enjoying your interpretive trail ride along side the vineyard and into the wildlife corridor.
A couple of other general tips to remember:
- Wear closed toe shoes; preferably cowboy boots with a heel.
- Wear long pants and leave your purse or backpack at home.
- If you enjoy wine tasting, your guide will provide you with a discount tasting room card courtesy of Rollin F Ranch.
- Remember that I mentioned that Rollin F sells their pinot noir and syrah grapes to Buena Vista Winery and DeLoach Vineyards, among others.
If You Go Horseback Riding in Sonoma County
Rollin F Ranch (707) 480-0800
100 Sparks Road
Sebastopol, California 95472
Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown was a guest of Rollin F Ranch in Sebastopol while horseback riding in Sonoma County, California.