Nellie Gail Ranch Equestrian Center

Nellie Gail Ranch Equestrian Center

Are you a horse enthusiast? Do you enjoy horseback riding and learning or practicing equestrian disciplines? Do you reside in Orange County? The Nellie Gail Equestrian Center is the right place for you! They are conveniently located near both the 73 Toll Road and the 5 Freeway in Orange County. They stand surrounded by miles and miles of scenic trails within the rustic and beautiful community land of Nellie Gail Ranch. It has a quiet and relaxing environment available for your enjoyment at the great and unique Equestrian Center.

The Operations Manager, Manuel Ruelas, has been working at the center for over twenty years, making sure the facilities are in optimum conditions to always ensure that the horses and clients are being given the best care and service.

Inside their facilities, with hours that go from 6 am until 10 pm, you will find 96 horse stalls; the box stalls size is 12×12 as well as 12×24 pipe corrals; also three large lighted sand arenas that work wonders as a shock absorber for your horse. They provide their members with two sun pens and round pens, a covered Euro-walker to exercise your horse and many grooming stalls with hot and cold water wash racks. They also count with a clubhouse equipped with a full kitchen to serve for their members.

The Equestrian Center has three world-class trainers who are all masters in their disciplines. These instructors have extensive experience with riders and horses of all levels.  

They offer lessons and training programs in many disciplines such as:

Dressage. A highly skilled of riding method performed in exhibition and competition, it is considered an art sometimes pursued solely for the sake of mastery. As an equestrian sport defined by the International Equestrian Federation, dressage is “the highest representation of horse training” where “horse and rider are required to work from memory a series of predetermined movements.”

Equitation.  It’s the art or practice of horse riding. Judging criteria comprises the rider’s execution and control of the horse, use of riding aids, correct attire, proper form, and usually factor in rider composure and the neatness and polish of horse, rider, and equipment used. The performance of the horse is not assessed per se, but a poor performance of the horse is recognized to reflect the ability of the rider.

Hunters and Jumpers. The biggest difference between hunters and jumpers is the way they are judged. Expert equestrians judge hunters subjectively by their technique and movement, conformation (in some type), and overall picture, as well as on the good quality of the rounds. In the jumper divisions, judging is entirely objective, based on faults incurred for refusals, runouts, rails down, falls, and seconds over the best time.  In the jumper round, the quickest clean round always wins regardless of style. Hunter classes were formerly designed to test the qualities necessary in a field hunter: excellent manners, efficient and comfortable trots, and a good, safe jumping style.


Natural Horsemanship.  Includes a variety of horse discipline techniques which have seen rapid growth in popularity since the early 1980s. The techniques differ in their precise tenets but share systems of developing a rapport with horses, using methods said to be derived from observation of the natural behavior of free-roaming horses and rejecting abusive training methods.

The South Orange County Pony Club equestrian instructional programs place equal importance on the teaching of riding skills, horse care fundamentals, and team cooperation with sportsmanship. From the very first moment children (youth 6 -24 years old) join Pony Club until they graduate, they are part of a vast network of activities and educational programs that promote the health and safety of both horses and their riders. They gather on Sundays and after school hours at the Nellie Gail Ranch Equestrian Center.

The Pony Club refers to the age of the riders and not the size of their horse, their mission is “to provide a program for the young ones that teaches riding, mounted competitions, and the care of horses and ponies, through developing responsibility, moral judgment, leadership, and self-confidence.” If you need further information on Pony Club, you can visit the United States Pony Club.

You can get in touch with any of the trainers for their training rates and more information.

Nellie Gail Ranch Equestrian Center also takes great pride in its events with gatherings that promote riders of all disciplines and all experience levels. For further information about any of the events, or if you have a great idea for a new fun and exciting event, please email them at [email protected] or to the Equestrian Center Manager, Susan Johnston at [email protected].