Is there anyone out there who even remotely appreciates the equestrian lifestyle that’s not wowed by a horseback ride overseeing the glorious California views? Indeed, a love for the beautiful animals known as horses is shared by many from every culture, and in Los Angeles, equestrian areas tend to be tucked into the city and shared by all the residents with special zoning for those who maintain their personal horses on property. For visitors and those seeking a mere day of riding, there are many areas horses are available for rent on an hourly basis or other designation. When it comes to horseback riding near Woodland Hills, the following riding trail suggestions are sure to put the “giddy up” in your tail and a kick in your stride.

Los Angeles Horseback Riding voted The Most Beautiful Place to Trail Ride in Los Angeles by Los Angeles Magazine, with the Los Angeles Horseback Riding Ranch dramatically situated at the top ridge of the Santa Monica Mountains, which joins Topanga with Malibu. Views some 80 miles out from the top of the trails await, as do breathtaking vistas in every direction, and when your ride is over, you can dine at one of the myriad of neighboring restaurants. This horseback riding attraction offers rides in small groups of six to eight people, so you can be sure your experience will be a dynamically personal one; what’s more, private rides in Topanga, Santa Monica and Malibu are perfect for anniversaries, birthday parties and more, and the horses here are happy, healthy and much-loved. Los Angeles Horseback Riding is located at 2623 Old Topanga Canyon Road in Topanga.

Malibu Riders  has charted out the most beautiful trails in the national and state parks around L.A. to make a truly unique and natural round-trip loop – here, unlike other trails, you will never see the same view twice. Three riding packages are available through Malibu Riders, beginning with the Agoura Hills/Malibu Creek experience that starts at Paramount Ranch National Park and which takes riders directly into Malibu Creek State Park, continuing through the ranch once owned by former President Ronald Reagan; this trail ride is a three-mile loop located in the Santa Monica Mountains of Agoura Hills. The Agoura Hills/Paramount Ranch package takes you on a one-hour, three-mile loop located just behind Malibu and which goes right through a great old western town that has been used in hundreds of Hollywood films. The Malibu/Zuma Canyon package takes you into the Santa Monica Mountains, revealing breathtaking ocean views. Malibu Riders is located at 2903 Cornell Road in Agoura Hills.

Sunset Ranch Hollywood Stables enables you to take in the best possible view of all of Los Angeles during a two-hour evening tour to Mt. Hollywood with 360-degree views of L.A., the San Fernando and San Gabriel Valleys, the Pacific Ocean, Rancho Palos Verdes and incredible vistas of the famous Hollywood sign. The tour also includes a catered barbecue meal back at the ranch when you return, making Sunset Ranch Hollywood Stables quite the unique horseback riding venue in all of California. As one of L.A.’s premiere horseback riding coaches, Eric Ancker, has been working with beginning-to-advanced riders and owners at Sunset Ranch and around Los Angeles for over a decade, and offers private lessons in general horsemanship (both Western and English riding styles) with an emphasis on trail riding, natural horsemanship and the human/horse experience. The stables are located at 3400 North Beachwood Drive in L.A.

Westside Riding School is located at Will Rogers State Historic Park in Pacific Palisades and offers high-quality horseback riding lessons in English, Western, Polo and horsemanship, as well as guided trail riding through the park. Guided trail rides are available all days on a pre-scheduled basis; indeed, guided trail riding is one of the best ways to experience Will Rogers State Historic Park, with trail loops that begin at Bone Canyon in the historic zone and end up in the mountains in Inspiration Point – all while breathtaking views of the park, Los Angeles basin, the Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island beckon from just beyond. Westside Riding Schoolis located at 1501 Will Rogers Park Road in Pacific Palisades.

The connection one can feel with a horse defies description; despite what many people think, horses can interpret what a person is feeling, and that’s what makes the connection so real. Indeed, this is what normally garners such a deep passion in folks riding horses for the first time, changing their views about horses. When it comes to horseback riding near Woodland Hills, it just doesn’t get any more passionate than at the aforementioned ranches, stables and schools.