.Arabian Delight: Point Reyes’ horseback riding

At Point Reyes Arabian Adventures, beginners and experts alike can come out and have an equestrian experience unlike any other, guided by the expertise of founder, owner and operator Susan Rowsell.

Rowsell’s passion for horses and ponies began during her early childhood when she spent time raising, training and showing championship award-winning English show ponies from her family farm in the United Kingdom. Through this, she made a name for herself in the equestrian world long before the age of 18, and she has since helped train horses and those who wish to ride them.

She has since spent her entire life learning to understand the language of her horses. Instead of becoming a horse whisperer, she is more of a horse listener. And rather than treating her horses like a herd, every one of her steeds is treated for its individual needs (such as the type and amount of feed it receives). Rowsell even caters to the individual preferences of each one.

“I have the horses do what they want to do, what they like,” she explained. “I listen to them and try to make sure they enjoy what they do because a happy horse gives a happy ride; a grumpy horse, however, does not.”

Although Arabian Adventures is mainly about the Arabian riding experience, many horses under Rowsell’s care are rescues. One such rescue is Rowsell’s oldest horse: 35-year-old Jigsaw, who has since retired from riding and is happily living out his glorious golden years in an expansive pasture.

“Jigsaw was my main guy for many years, and I even did some endurance races with him,” she said. “I got him when a client of mine put me in touch with Kern County Prison because they had rounded up 200 feral Arabians to train and help rehabilitate inmates, and they were selling them off. So I went and got two black ones, Jigsaw and Chainsaw, who has since passed.”

Point Reyes Arabian Adventures is located on 90 acres of rolling hills, the highest peak of which is where lessons are conducted with the sprawling view of most of Tomales Bay below. Rowsell’s helpers assist with the horses and their upkeep, including student apprentices and Peter Meyers, who has worked with Rowsell for the past 20 years.

The riding experiences available at Point Reyes Arabian Adventures include English and Western saddle options, both Arabian and Quarter horses, trail riding, lessons and more. Groups are kept small (up to seven people per session) to ensure both the safety and the quality of each riding experience.

“Because I love horses myself and because it is my life’s passion, I love being able to put someone on a horse and teach them what I know—it’s so immediately rewarding and such a beautiful thing to share with people,” Rowsell said.

Point Reyes Arabian Adventures is located at 11925 Highway 1 in Point Reyes Station, just across the street from Heidrun Meadery. The cost is kept low to keep the joy of horseback riding accessible to all. Given the cost-to-quality ratio, the tips they earn are well-deserved.

For more information, visit pointreyesarabianadventures.com. To book an Arabian adventure with Roswell and her steeds, call 707.477.7181. Rides may not be booked online, as Rowsell prefers to speak one-on-one with clients about their experience level, expectations and more before the booking.


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