This is an equestrian’s dream! MCCS provides recreational horseback riding with a range of services to include lessons, trail rides, hayrides, and stagecoach rides for a fee. MCCS also offers Private Stables that provide boarding and care for privately owned horses, as well as products for resale.
Open to the Public for Boarding and Lessons Enjoy some of the best of the best trail riding in San Diego! Stepp Stables offers boarding, training, and lessons. Friendly staff and trainers/instructors provide guidance for all levels of horsemanship at a competitive price.
- One-hour lessons for ages 7 and up in a variety of disciplines.
- Private lessons are available for ages 3-6.
- One-hour trail rides for ages 7 and up.
- Instructors provide beginning to advanced training for horses to boarders.
- Training must be paid in advance.
- All lessons and trail rides are limited availability and by appointment only.
- Three arenas
- Three round pens
- Miles of scenic trail riding
- Pasture boarding
- Wash racks
- 24' x 24' Mare Motels
- Individual tack room included
- Automatic fly spray system
- Automatic water
- Reservations required in advance for trail rides and lessons. Call to reserve: (760) 725-5094.
- Group lessons and group trails available to those from the same household
- Patrons must call to make lesson appointments
- Lessons must be paid in full over the phone at the time of reservation
- Lessons will be scheduled 15-30 minutes apart to allow time for disinfecting equipment and to allow patrons to depart the facility before new patrons arrive
- We are accepting volunteers on a minimal basis. Volunteers are required to wear personal gloves
- Lessons by Contract Trainers available for Boarders with personal horses
- Single patron trail rides, private lessons, and private trail rides available
- Patrons, please go directly to the lesson tack room, not the office
- Riding gloves are encouraged
- Please practice social distancing
- Horses will be used once a day only to keep contact with horses and equipment at a minimum
- The front gate will remain locked. Staff will open for the gate for lesson patrons and volunteers
Fire Season InformationNOTICE: Dry landscaping, warmer temperatures, and Santa Ana winds may provoke fires. Causes include lightning, vehicles/machinery, ordnance, arson, cigarettes, electrical malfunction, and loss of control with controlled burns.
For your reference:
- If you see fire or smoke on-base call: Base Fire Dispatch at (760) 725-4321
- For extreme emergencies call the Fire emergency line at (760) 725-3333
- Trail Riders please be aware of your location and know multiple ways to quickly and safely exit the area.
- Stables stalls are made of pipe corrals with metal roofs and dirt floors surrounded by large dirt aisle ways wide enough to be considered fire breaks
- In the event of a fire, consider leaving your horse in the safety of its own stall
- Smoking near stalls and tack rooms is a fire hazard and not allowed at Stepp Stables
- During fire emergencies, water service may be interrupted – Consider having a water bucket in your stall and ensure it is full.
- Ensure a halter/lead rope with your name and phone number is with your horse to allow for quicker contact and return if emergency services or rescue volunteers evacuate the horses to safety
- In cases where fires encroach the area around Stepp Stables, access to the area may be limited or denied
- If it is necessary to access the stables during a fire, please make your trip fast and exit as quickly as possible (Please Note: In some instances, you may not have access)
- Smoking or cooking in or around Tack Rooms is prohibited for your safety as Tack Rooms contain hay and other flammable materials; keep all heat sources clear and use picnic areas by the lower arena for smoking or cooking
- During times of major fire emergencies, coordination efforts are handled by the Camp Pendleton Fire Marshall and stables management. If you are not directly involved in the coordination and defense efforts, please minimize your presence at the stables.
Come Ride With Us! Apply for base access!
Stepp Stables History
Our namesake, Sergeant Major William F. Stepp, was a Korean War veteran and Bronze Star with Combat “V” recipient. Upon retirement, he held a post as the stables manager for 20 years.
We are honored as the final resting place of Staff Sergeant Reckless, a famous horse veteran and Korean war hero. She was awarded two Purple Hearts, a Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, was included in her unit’s Presidential Unit Citations from two countries, as well as other military honors.
Colonel A. C. “Ace” Bowen was a horse lover who wanted to revive the equestrian traditions of the Marine Corps. He instituted the Camp Pendleton Rodeo and the Mounted Color Guard with the primary goal of representing the Corps’ tradition of Marines on horseback and was influential in the revival of the base’s Western heritage. The retired rodeo grounds were dedicated in his name.
Memorials for both Col Bowen and the final burial grounds of SSgt Reckless are located at the main gated entrance of the Stepp Stables.
Stepp Stables Rules
Ensure that your horse has proper medical care, hoof care, feed, and exercise.* Owner must ensure that the horse receives proper care as approved by the MCCS Stepp Stables Manager as outlined in the boarding agreement. Horses may be placed on full feed or full cleaning without owner permission at the discretion of Stables management and may be reported to Animal Control. Animal abuse will not be tolerated at any time. Animal abuse and/or neglect may result in border being evicted from the stables and a report submitted to the Humane Society.
Pen façades must be kept neat and clean. Equipment such as muck rakes must be hung up and off the ground. Halters and lead ropes may be hung from wall hooks. All other equipment must be stored in tack sheds. Stables staff at management’s discretion will remove all items not stored in the tack rooms. Please keep all stall gates closed and latched at all times. If gates are opened, please open to the inside.
Clean up after yourselves, your horses, and dogs in common areas. Clean up any trash or mess that you create. This includes hay outside tack sheds and stalls, waste from grooming and clipping, and all manure, equine and canine. Owners are responsible at all times for controlling the behavior of their pets. No dog shall be allowed to roam free at any time. Dogs must be on a leash at all times.
Stalls must be cleaned a minimum of four times per week. Water troughs, buckets, automatic waters, etc. must be cleaned at least once weekly. Frequent stall cleaning reduces the number of flies in boarding areas. Stalls that have not been cleaned in four days will be cleaned by Stables Staff. Cleaning fees shall be assessed as outlined in the Stepp Stables Boarding Agreement.
Manure should be disposed of inside manure pits. Manure carts shall be empty after use. Manure shall be placed as far back as possible in the pit. Manure carts shall be returned alongside their correlating manure pit. Leaving manure carts in front of pits blocks other boarders from dumping manure. Do not dump manure in aisle ways, if a pit is full dump manure in the next closest pit.
Turnouts must not exceed 15 minutes regardless of the number of horses being turned out together. Lessons and riders always have priority over lunging and turnouts with no time limit. Be courteous to other boarders. One should not have to be asked to take their horse(s) out of a turnout. The practice of “I didn’t see anyone waiting,” is not acceptable. All turnouts must be supervised. Owners may not put their horses in an arena and leave the area or facility. Horses shall not be left unattended at any time while in the arenas, round pens, wash rack areas, on the hot walker, or at the tie rails. Horses are not to be tied to fences, shrubs, cars, tack rooms or led by an owner operating a vehicle. Use the designated hitching rails.
The speed limit is 5mph throughout the stables. Speed limits will be kept traffic slow in common areas and adhered to whether in a vehicle or on horseback. Drive vehicles no greater than 5 mph and keep horses at a walk in the Stables areas unless in an arena, round pen, or trail course. While on trails please keep horses at a walk when passing other riders. Avoid military training while riding in training areas. Do not approach uniformed personnel, vehicles, or tents.
Smoking is not permitted. As a courtesy to other boarders and to mitigate fire risk, smoking is not permitted in stall areas, around tack sheds, arenas, and round pens, or on trails. Smoking is permitted in the parking lot and pavilion area.
Children age 12 and younger must be under the direct supervision of an adult at all times while at Stepp Stables. Parents or guardians must supervise and assume all responsibility for their children at all times.
Helmets. Approved riding helmets must be worn by all persons jumping horses at all times (No exceptions). Anyone under the age of 18 must wear an approved riding helmet.
Providing services. Unless contracted through MCCS, boarders and guests are not authorized to receive monetary compensation for lessons, stall cleaning, or any other services provided to boarders. For information on becoming a contracted service provider, please contact the Stables Manager.
All feeding arrangements and or stall changes must be processed in the office. Changes to feeding arrangements and stall assignments must be approved by the Stables Manager before going into effect. All feed changes will go into effect on the first of the month; no changes will go into effect mid-month. Boarders shall not move their horse to a different pen without the stables manager’s approval and all applicable fees paid.
Work Requests should be filled out in the office for any desired work. The Stables Manager will schedule your work/repair request. All associated fees, if applicable, must be paid prior to work/repairs. Staff are not authorized to work on pens or provide additional devices to owners without prior approval of management, and accompanying work order request. Owners are not allowed to modify their pens without a stable manager’s approval.
Parking is only allowed in designated areas. Designated parking areas are defined on area maps available at the office. Vehicles must not block stall gates, trailer access, tie rails, tack rooms, wash racks, etc. Do not leave doors open impeding others’ travel. Active loading/unloading at tack rooms is permitted for no more than 15 minutes. Parking in designated areas will increase the usability of stables amenities for everyone. The Stepp Stables parking map applies to all boarders, vendors, guests, and visitors. For the safety of trail rides and children’s lessons, there is to be NO parking, loading, or unloading of horses between the office and the lesson barn without special permission from the Stables Manager. There is to be no loading/unloading of horse trailers in the paved parking lot without special permission from the Stables Manager.
Boarder Trailer Parking. Boarders’ horse trailers must be parked in the trailer parking area across the bridge from the lower arena. This is fee-based parking and trailers must be parked within specific assigned/marked spots as depicted on the trailer-parking map. Trailers may be staged in the pen areas for early morning departure only by permission of the Stables Manager. Late arriving trailers may remain in the pen area overnight and must be removed by no later than 9AM.
Haul in Guests. Guest trailer parking is available between the hay barn, shop area, and sand barn. Parking is on a first come first serve basis and is not always guaranteed. Guest trailers and horses are not allowed at any time in the boarder pen areas. All haul in guests must check in with the office, sign a liability form, and pay a grounds usage fee.
Conduct. Rude, disrespectful, and/or abusive behavior, verbal or otherwise towards any person or animal will not be tolerated at any time.*
If you have any concerns, please notify Stables Management as soon as possible. As a Boarder, you are responsible for the compliance of all your guests, vendors, and their animals.
Violations of these conditions may constitute grounds for loss of stable privileges.
Stepp Stables Rules and Guidelines are subject to change at any time, with or without notice at the discretion of the Stables management and Food, Leisure, Hospitality, and Services leadership.
Stepp Stables Guidelines
Children must be supervised and accompanied by a guardian at all times. Children must remain with an adult or guardian at all times. This will ensure the safest environment for all children participants.
Parking is only allowed in designated areas. Specific parking areas are defined on Stepp Stables area map available in the office. Boarders will not block stall gates, trailer access, tie rails, tack rooms, wash racks, etc. Parking in designated areas will increase the usability of stables amenities for everyone.
Keep traffic slow in common areas whether in a vehicle or on horseback. Drive vehicles no greater than 5 MPH. Horses must remain at a walk gait in the Stables areas unless in an arena, round pen, or trail course. While on trails please keep horses at a walk gait when passing other riders.
Smoking is not permitted. Smoking is only permitted in the parking lot and picnic area. There is no smoking permitted install areas, arenas and round pens, or trail areas as a courtesy to other boarders and to mitigate our fire risk.
Turnouts must not exceed 15 minutes regardless of the number of horses being turned out together. Be courteous to other boarders. One should not have to be asked to take their horse(s) out of a turnout. The practice of “I didn't’ see anyone waiting,” is not acceptable. All turnouts must be supervised. Owners may not put their horse in an arena and leave the area or facility. We also ask that there only be one horse in the round pen at a time to prevent injuries.
Ensure that your horse has proper medical care. The owner must ensure that the horse receives medical treatment at a level of care approved by the MCCS Stepp Stables Manager for all horses under the control of the MCCS; and that if emergency medical treatment is not provided by the Owner the horse will be treated by a veterinarian and the Owner will be charged for services rendered.
Ensure that your horse has a proper feed. MCCS and the Owner agree that if, in the opinion of the MCCS Stepp Stables Manager, that the horse does not receive an acceptable quantity of feed or is not fed twice daily at approximately twelve-hour intervals, such horse, shall be placed on full feed and the Owner will be charged the prevailing rate per month for such boarding.
Stalls must be cleaned a minimum of four times per week. Frequent stall cleaning reduces the amount of flies in boarding areas. Stalls that have not been cleaned in 4 days will be cleaned by Stables Staff cleaning fees will be charged as outlined in the Stepp Stables Boarding Agreement.
Clean up after yourselves, your horses, and dogs in common areas. Clean up any trash or mess that you create. This includes hay outside tack sheds and stalls, waste from grooming and clipping, and all manure, equine and canine.
Dump manure carts and place them neatly alongside manure pits. Please do not leave full wheel barrels anywhere at the stables. Dump manure as far back in the pit as possible. After dumping wheel barrels leave them alongside the manure pit. Leaving wheel barrels in front blocks other boarders from dumping manure.
Communicate. If you have any concerns, please notify Stables Management as soon as possible. [/su_tab] [/su_tabs]
Take a ride through the scenic hills of Camp Pendleton and learn to apply basic horsemanship skills to trail challenges. All trails are one hour in length. Novice group and private trails are offered for a relaxing ride that is perfect for the beginner, intermediate or advanced rider.
|Military / Civilian|
|One Hour Group Trail
NOTE: Five or more or instructor scheduled times
|$45 / $50|
|Private Trail||$55 / $60|
Lessons in multiple disciplines and skill levels are taught by qualified instructors. Students learn all aspects of horsemanship in a group or private lessons. These lessons are one hour in length and include saddling and cool down time. School horses are available for riders who do not own their own horse.
Teeny and Tiny Tot Lessons
(Teeny – ages 3-4; Tiny – ages 5-6)
A fun private lesson that is a great first step for any eager young rider. This class teaches the foundations of good horsemanship geared toward a young audience. Instruction may vary with age and skill of the rider but will include grooming, saddling, balance, and the beginnings of basic controls of the horse.
Teeny Tots – 15-minute lesson (ride only) | Tiny Tots – 30-minute lesson
|Military / Civilian
|One Hour Group Lesson
NOTE: Three or more or scheduled time
|$35 / $40|
|One Hour Semi-Private Lesson||$50 / $55|
|Therapeutic Lesson||$50 / $55|
|15-min Teeny Tot Lesson (ages 3-4)||$10 / $15|
|30-min Tiny Tot Lesson (ages 5-6)||$20 / $25|
Private boarding is available for Active Duty, their family members, Retirees, DoD, DoN, GSA employees, and civilians. Stepp Stables has 101 private stalls that are 24’ x 24’ mare motel-style pipe stalls and a shared lot pasture. A wide range of affordable boarding services is offered to fit your horse care needs. Boarding available for mares and geldings only. Stallions may not be boarded at any time.
- Three lighted arenas
- Hot walker
- Trailer parking for an additional fee
- Automatic fly spray system
- Automatic drinkers
|Monthly Boarding Rates||Military / Civilian|
|Self-Feed (owner feeds horse)||$350 / $375|
|Half-Feed (barn feeds horse once per day)||$410 / $435|
|Full-Feed (barn feeds horse twice per day)||$475 / $500|
|Lot Pen Pasture||$395 / $420|
|Stall Cleaning 7 Days Per Week||$100|
|Supplements (owner supplied & fed daily by barn)||$30|
Feed Choices: Alfalfa & Bermuda. Orchard is available for an additional fee.
Additional services offered by request.
Add a painted pony to your party for $25
|$65 military/per horse | $75 civilian/per horse|
|Boy Scouts/Specialty Youth Organizations||$30/per child|
Please call the Stepp Stables office for more details or email us.