Welcome to the Altadena Stables blog!

Thank you for visiting our blog. Altadena Stables is a professionally run full service equine facility, operated by Janell Gruss. Nestled at the foot of the San Gabriel Mountains and only 20 minutes from downtown Los Angeles, it is worlds away from hectic city life.

For more information on our boarding, lessons, and training services, visit our website.

Benefit of Horses For Children

Discipline, Patience, and a Sense of Accomplishment
As a parent today, there are many options when it comes to your kids’ activities. While the pleasant weather here in sunny California leaves us spoiled for choice, it is incumbent upon us to choose a worthwhile, rewarding activity that our kids get excited about. Horseback riding is a perfect example of something that offers so much more than other types of physical activity. The outcome is simple, but valuable: a sense of accomplishment. When your kids learn, and demonstrate how they have grown, it elicits pride in themselves for seeing a task to its completion. This sense of accomplishment, in turn, builds confidence. Children learn patience by reading the body language of the horse, and communicating with the horse with non-verbal cues. Things such as the squeezing of your leg on the horse or why the horse stomps take time to learn. A generous amount of preparation happens before each ride, causing children to learn self-discipline as they discover how to properly groom, saddle, and care for the horse. 

Rewarding In More Ways Than One 
Horseback riding by its very nature is an activity that engenders an emotional connection. You have the bond between horse and rider, working together as a team to navigate the terrain ahead. Then there is the connection between the rider and nature – out in the world, experiencing what the world has to offer at its most basic elements, the sun, the earth, and the wind in your hair. Each of these are rewarding, and make learning horseback riding all that much more worthwhile. In the end, all of these things (building patience, developing communication, and learning self-discipline) depend upon the understanding and strength of the relationship between the horse and rider. 

A New Year Brings in A New Trainer, New Summer Camp

We’re happy to welcome Janell Gruss - who has over 30 years of experience in a variety of equine sports - as the newest trainer and member of the Altadena Stables team.

Janell attended Michigan State University, after successfully showing nationally on the Quarter Horse Circuit, and majored in horse management. After graduation, she worked in a variety of positions including Breeding Farm Manager, Jockey and a licensed Thoroughbred Trainer. Janell has also assisted veterinarians for over 10 years, treating all types of injuries and illnesses.

Altadena Stables is thrilled to have Janell join trainer Teri Botfield and the rest of the Altadena Stables team as we expand our services. In addition to training, lessons, horse camp and the Social Saddle Club, we now also offer:

     Lay up and rehab for injured or post-op horses
     Starting and finishing of young horses
     Mare foaling and imprinting of foals
     New and “in-out” stalls with pipe corrals

Teri Botfield will continue to be the director for our summer horse camps. We are currently looking for volunteer counselors for our camps. If you are interested in volunteering or attending this years summer camp, you can find more info and our 2015 camp dates here.

If you have additional questions, please feel free to give Altadena Stables a call at 626-797-2012 for more information.

Horsin’ Around the States

We’re proud to recently have hosted special guest speaker Kathy Rittwage. Kathy was once an Altadena Stables member, but for the past year she has been traveling the United States with her two horses, one of which is also a previous Altadena Stables member (Kathy and Wildflower, right).

Over 43 states have been reached so far, with the help of many local residents and other kind travelers. While Kathy lived on the road with her horses (and pet dog and cat), she found strangers to be extremely kind and helpful more often than not. Kathy shared with us many experiences about how she had to rely on herself and what she could find nearby. Often local residents helped Kathy find water or gave her a place to stay in exchange for her helping improve the horse campground.

Thank you Kathy for taking the time to come back and speak with us! And from all of us at Altadena Stables to all of you, we wish you happy holidays and a wonderful new year!

Course & Commitment

We here at Altadena Stables are proud to announce a new dimension for our equestrians with the addition of our Trail Horse Course. This course provides an opportunity for horse and rider to learn to maneuver through, around, and over obstacles while building a better partnership through confidence. Many of these skills can be utilized while riding out on our beautiful canyon trails. Those who have participated in this new Trail Horse Class have been very enthusiastic!

This month we would like to recognize an individual equestrian who has recently stepped up her commitment to her chosen sport of riding.

Brianna (pictured with her proud parents and Gentleman Jack, owned by Altadena Stables) recently participated in her first equestrian competition in the Saddleseat Western School League of Greater Los Angeles. This league gives riders, grades 7-12, the opportunity to participate on an equestrian team and earn both individual and team points for their schools.

Brianna placed first in Freshman Saddleseat Equitation and second in Freshman Pleasure. Congratulations to Brianna on a job well done!

Altadena Stables

This time last year, the Altadena Heritage Association formally designated the area around our stables as the Altadena Equestrian Area.

To celebrate, we were happy to host the dedication of the Altadena Equestrian Area. Not only was it exciting for equestrians in the area, but it was a wonderful opportunity for the greater community to see an exhibition of many breeds of horses and different styles of riding, here in our own town.

Altadena Stables has been around since the early 1900s, and we’re proud to say multiple generations of family members continue to be involved

Whether you’re a horse owner or not today, Altadena residents have recently formed a Horse Club that is open to anyone who simply loves horses. The first meeting took place on Wednesday Oct. 15, at 6:30pm in the Altadena Equestrian Center Pavillion at Loma Alta Park.

If you’d like to attend the next meeting, or if you’re looking for a club contact for more information, you can reach Meredith at 626-344-9755, or at arroyolover@gmail.com