TestimonialsIsabella Farms is the Best!!!
Nan B. says: I'm a novice, greenhorn, city slicker...and the one time I ever got on a horse (as an adult)... was many many years ago, I was scared stiff. It was supposed to be a one hour horseback riding lesson at Linda Mar Stables. They just put me on this horse and made us go around the ring. I was white-knuckled, cold sweating it and praying the hour would end soon. I don't recall any instruction or any introduction to the horse. Needless to say, I swore I would never do this again. Lo and behold, decades later, I rode an elephant bare back in my travels and I thought, well if I can do that, I can get up on a horse. Isabella Farms offered a Groupon special and I took them up on it. It was the best money I have spent on Groupons. I was apprehensive at first. I read everything I could about the experiences of reviewers and Yelpers. There were so many positive feedbacks. I can now now say with heartfelt sincerity and enthusiasm that all those 4-5 star reviews are absolutely accurate. Isabella Farms is the best place to go for an awesome horseback riding experience!! Julian and his team (Laurel, Jordan & Kelsey & the various free-roaming menagerie) provided a warm and welcoming environment. The stables are sooo clean. the horses are healthy and beautiful and well-trained. Instruction and bonding time with our horses were provided. I could sense that staff really cared for the well-being and safety of BOTH the horses and the clients. I was paired with a WONDERFUL horse named Beamer who took care of me. He knew what he had to do and where to go and he was responsive to my commands. It was an awesome experience to ride out over the scenic hills and back. I heartily recommend to anyone who is considering Isabella Farms---go there! GO! It's everything we all say it is...a great experience with horses and people and nature. If I possible, I would give them 6 stars...out of 5. .but we had a tricky time finding the place..I think having the address number in bigger letters over the mailbox would help or a bigger sign. Our GPS did not come through with an accurate location.! And, after reading the Yelp reviews,I was so looking forward to the much lauded chocolate chip cookies that Julian bakes for treats....and sad that we didn't get any on this day. If I score another Groupon or Living Social deal, I'll be back!! Five stars for Isabella Farms!
Looking forward to next time!
Sarah E. says: What a cool place! We played with the goats, which are more like dogs, while we waited for the rest of the group to arrive. There are also lots of chickens, a couple peacocks and some other critters running around. The lesson started with an intro to horse care - we were each paired with a horse and helped lead them back to the barn for brushing and saddling up. After we took some time walking around the yard, learning the basics of steering a horse, we left for the hills. It was a gorgeous ride up and down, and we got to do a little trotting here and there. The three guides were very knowledgeable and friendly. I'm definitely looking forward to going back for the advanced class soon!
Yvette N. says: We had a great time! Isabella Farm is a gorgeous facility - the barn, paddocks, arena, and horses. Julian and his staff were wonderful. Booking online and rescheduling was all no problem. Horses come nr 1 and they look great. We were out on a hot day but the horses were energetic and we had some great runs up some of the hills. Fantastic views. What a fun way to enjoy nature on horseback and relax. Great experience.
Adam Z. says: We purchased the 5 hour introductory ride through Groupon, and it was well worth it. The guides were extremely friendly and helpful, and the entire day (from grooming the horses to riding the trail) was clearly very well planned and thought out by the crew. I would absolutely recommend visiting Isabella Farms.
Stephen W. says: My girlfriend & I purchased the 5-hour introductory trail ride package through Groupon & we had an awesome time! The facilities are great, especially the beautifully built barn. As soon as we arrived, the friendly staff (our 3 guides) and the owner Julian greeted us, along with their dog & 3 goats. We both had essentially zero experience riding horses, but Julian & our guides each had us learning how to ride in no time. All of the horses were well taken care of and Julian matched each one of us up with a specific horse perfectly. I rode Courage and my girlfriend rode Maybelline and they were both a pleasure to ride. Before the ride, we learned to groom the horses, which was a great opportunity to spiritually bond with these beautiful animals, & then watched them get saddled-up. It's a wholesome process. The trail ride along the foothills of Mt. Diablo was fun & relaxing, with scenic views. Our guides were very attentive & helpful and the horses were exceptionally trained & well-behaved. After the ride, Julian even treated us with his delicious homemade cookies. The time flew by so quickly that I was actually disappointed that it was all over. I look forward to going back to Isabella Farms & riding Courage again. I highly recommend this to anyone who has ever wanted to ride a horse or just wants to get away from the city life for a bit & experience a totally spiritual & fun time with nature. Thank you Isabella Farms! Stephen W. & April L.
Yan Y. says: This was my second time riding at the Isabella Farms. Julian and his staff are very knowledgeable and nice people. The horses are very well taken care of. They are also very easy to ride. The trail is beautiful and have some great views. Would definitely go back!
Wonderful riding experience near Clayton
Mike G. says: My wife and I had a wonderful experience at Isabella Farms. Set on a property on the east side of Mount Diablo, the farm borders the state park and close to many trails. There are beautiful views of the rolling hills and on clear days, views much further beyond. Julian and his friendly staff made it a memorable and informative day. We learned many facts about the horses and riding, from care and behavior, to history and technique. A unique part of the experience is walking out to the pasture, selecting your horse (under guidance based on your skills, of course!), and leading your own horse back to the stables for preparation. It gives you a chance to bond with your horse while you brush and feed him/her and the staff prepare the saddles and leads. The two hour ride took us up several hills to a small plateau where we let the horses graze while we admired the views. The horses each had a distinct personality and you could see it come out on the trails. I rode Diego and he was gentle (for a nervous newbie like me) and responsive. He loved to sneak a nibble of grass when we lingered on the trail, too long! I would highly recommend Isabella Farms and we are looking forward to coming back with friends, too!
Loved the ride and the whole experience!
Anton C. says: That actually was PERFECT! We loved the ride, the views and the whole experience. They have excellent horses plus Julian and the team at Isabella Farms is amazing.
Gorgeous trail ride and absolutely wonderful team at Isabella Farms!
Mary c. says: What a great way to enjoy a beautiful afternoon with friends. Julian, Laurel and Jordan are incredibly gracious, knowledgable, super friendly, really patient and fun hosts/staff at Isabella Farms. Getting to know your horse, helping to prep, the lesson, a spectacularly scenic view from the trail and really cool company... I highly recommend the experience.
Awesome hourseback riding
Aster t. says: We just finished a 5hrs package for 3 couples 2 days ago. It was so much fun for all of us. The owner Julian is so very kind. There were 4 staff total for our 6 people group. It was perfect. The horses are amazing. They all know what to do. We learned to control the horses unlike our past experiences. Time passed by faster than we realized. The whole 5 hours experience feel like 3 hours. It was really amazing. We will for sure return to Isabella Farm again. We also loved the horses we were assigned to. They are all very wonderful animals with personalities. The view up the in hills was very pretty. We couldn't stop talking about the horses after we were done. I will definitely recommend this to anyone who had or had not try try horse ridding.
Bonnie b. says: Yesterday I spent a few hours at Isabella Farms-- it had rained the day before, so the trails were too wet for my scheduled ride. But Julian called & suggested that I come out for a lesson anyway, and then do the trail ride at a later date. A very generous offer that I happily accepted! What a stunning location--incredible views from the property, great facilities. So lovely to see horses roaming freely in a natural setting. It's obvious that Julian has a tremendous bond with each one of them. The two assistants, Jordan & Laurel, were kind & friendly, always looking out for my safety and comfort. Julian's instructions were clear and informative, and while we rode in the arena I so enjoyed talking with him about many topics relating to horses. All in all, a beautiful and memorable afternoon-- thank you, Julian, Laurel, Jordan, and Dakota!