This is where it all starts...
Heather Hill Riding Center is a small community-oriented barn located in the Horse Park at Woodside. We have nine arenas, a world class cross-country field, and miles of endless trails both in and outside of the park. We are also a short trailer ride from Wunderlich Park and the Pacific Ocean - two of our many favorite places to take the horses.
Almost all our horses are Welsh ponies and Cobs although we do have a feisty chestnut Mustang and a sturdy Percheron cross. We are a perfect place for riders who are passionate about horses and want to dedicate time improving their horsemanship and riding discipline.
Heather Hill Riding Center's program is highly individualized; our fundamental philosophy is based on excellence in well-rounded horsemanship. We primarily offer training in English riding, jumping, and trails. However, many of our students learn to also ride Western and learn to drive the ponies. Underlying all our instruction, students work to improve their understanding of the horse's body language and effective communication between horse and rider.
We offer two programs at Heather Hill Riding Center, an introductory Riding Academy and our lease and show program, Team Heather Hill.
We offer introductory lessons for people to get to know us and our horses - the Horse Park at Woodside has a discounted six month trial membership to give you time to see if we’re a good fit before leasing. For the youngest students, we have a nearby satellite location with gentle pint-sized ponies. Beginning lessons are on lead lines and are always one-on-one.
These introductory lessons are 30 minutes depending on the age of the rider, the goals of the ride, and rider fitness.
All new lessons are private and cost $100/ride.
Horse Park six-month trial membership is $250 for six months.
Team Heather Hill
Through our Team Heather Hill lease program, most of our students commit to riding at least two times per week. Some students ride five or six days a week. However, nearly all of our students have started as weekly riding students in our Riding Academy or at one of the nearby riding programs. Often our students begin as young as seven years old (some start when they're four or five!).
Once a student is able, they are invited to join in the small group lessons, join the show team, and enjoy our outings to Wunderlich park and the beach. Riders who lease their own ponies are invited to spend as much time at the barn as they want.
The lessor will learn how to provide all care for their pony as part of the leasing program. This is a great way to see if owning a horse is something you would like to do someday. It’s also a great way of getting many of the perks of owning a horse without the significant investment and responsibility of horse ownership.
It is Heather Hill Riding Center’s goal to provide our students with a realistic picture of what goes into owning a horse, from the daily care and health needs, to the ongoing expenses. Most importantly, through leasing, the rider is able to experience the joy of building a partnership with their pony and the satisfaction of caring for him or her.
Lease fees run between $1400 - $2800/mo. which includes board, grooming, training, vet and shoes.
Show fees vary but include trailering, entry fees, training/coaching, and stabling.
Horse Park annual membership is $1050 renewed every January.
Come say hi!
We love to meet new people and introduce our ponies. Feel free to stop by and see what we have to offer! Fill out the email from and sign up for our occasional newsletter on the contact page linked above.
We look forward to meeting you!
Laura Stevens & Team Heather Hill
The Quiet Work of a True Horsewomen
Here are the first few lines from an essay written by Becky Hanson in the Pacific Coast Journal that wonderfully sums up Laura's approach to her horses and riding school. You can read the entire article here.
There are horse trainers, horse traders and horse whisperers. There are show men, show boaters and show offs. There are fast talkers and would be magicians. [...] But then there are true Horsemen and Horsewomen, and these are harder to find and sometimes even harder to recognize because they are often tucked away in quiet hidden places, working slowly and silently without national recognition or appreciation.