Favorite Equine Photography Locations in Southern California

March 11, 2022

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  1. Your Horse’s Barn

No seriously. 95% of the sessions I do are at the horse’s home where he or she feels comfortable! A relaxed horse is a photogenic horse, and most performance horses just aren’t comfortable in unfamiliar locations. When I arrive at your barn I’ll spend a few minutes scoping out the best spots. Since the emphasis is on you and your horse, I’m usually aiming simply to find a background that won’t distract from the main event. I pride myself on being able to see beauty in even the most modest locations.

But if you’re set on taking a field trip, read on for some of my favorite spots:

2. Loon Point near Santa Barbara, California

Just south of Summerland Beach is a parking lot with a trail leading to a stretch of beach that allows horses. The cliffs on one side provide incredible contrast to the ocean on the other side. I don’t recommend planning your session here unless your horse has beach experience, but if your horse is suited for it, you’ll be rewarded with amazing photographs.

3. Desert International Horse Park in Thermal, California

Thermal has always been an incredible place to photograph, but recent improvements have made it even better. The grass field, the mountains, the gallop track, the palm trees… all combine to make some pretty incredible locations. If you’re showing at the horse park and you can take a little time to acclimate your horse to the areas you’d like to shoot in before our session, this is a great option. For 2022 I have committed to offering private photography at National Sunshine Series I and II. See details here!

4. Galway Downs in Temecula, California

Galway Downs has some beautiful backdrops all year round, and haul-ins can be arranged. There is everything from huge oak trees to palm trees to large open areas, plus a racetrack. It’s no wonder it’s also used as a wedding venue in addition to equestrian sport.

5. Irvine Regional Park in Orange County, California

Irvine Regional Park is home to Peacock Hill Equestrian Center but also allows haul-ins. There are mature oak and sycamore trees, plentiful grass, and an equestrian trail with open vistas. On weekends the park can be full of families picnicking, so weekdays are recommended for a quieter experience.

Here are some tips for unfamiliar locations, and here’s the link to packages!

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