Bright Valley Farms. Take riding lessons or join a trail ride on the winding paths of the Sweetwater River valley. 12310 Campo Rd., Spring Valley, CA, 91978. 619/670–1861. www.brightvalleyfarms.com.
Sweetwater Farms. Join the farm's guides for horse rides through the stunning nature trails of inland San Diego County's Bonita area. Sweetwater Farms also offers lessons and training. 3051 Equitation La., Bonita, CA, 91902. 619/475–3134. www.sweetwaterhorses.com.
Vineyard Trail Rides. Forty-five minutes northeast of San Diego, this company offers 90-minute horseback rides through Milagro Farm Vineyards and Winery, a 110-acre private estate with 100-year-old oak trees and wide valley views. The ride includes a wine tasting paired with a selection of chocolates. 18750 Littlepage Rd., Ramona, CA, 92065. 951/595–3503. vineyardtrailrides.com. $100 per person, $160 per couple.
San Diego Beach Rides. This family-owned business south of Imperial Beach has been operating for 30 years and offers mostly private rides by appointment. The quarter and painted horses are carefully matched to each person for rides that can include a jaunt through the Tijuana River Valley Preserve, a sunset ride along the beach, or a swimming adventure, where your horse actually goes with you into the water. The monthly moonlight ride starts with a campfire cookout, complete with barbecued tri-tip and baked beans, followed by a 1½-hour ride to the top of the Grand Mesa. 2180 Monument Rd., San Diego, CA, 92154. 619/947–3152. www.happytrailssandiego.com. $50 per person for Riverbed Rides, $100 for Sunset Rides, and $150 for Swim Adventure Rides.
The Ranch at Bandy Canyon. At this historic ranch in Escondido, you can ride horseback by taking group or private lessons. Trail rides go past old dairy farms and orange groves. 16251 Bandy Canyon Rd., Escondido, CA, 92025. 760/871–6494. bandycanyon.com.