New to OC & rusty on horseback, looking for a good riding place
I'm sorry for a long post, but I feel like in order to explain what exactly I am looking for I need to tell you a part of my story.
I moved from another country 5 years ago. Back there, I was close friends with a person in the horseback riding business for a long time, and that's how I got my horseback riding 'education'. Back there, it felt like I was part of a family, mostly I guess because I was friends with the owner more than I was someone to her to get money out of (although for most of my lessons I still payed, she still gave me fair discounted prices until I started working with her). I really loved it that way, but since I came to Cali horseback riding never felt the same. I lived in bay area, and the few places I went there during the past years were not very welcoming. To be honest, I just felt used for my money -- the people at those stables didn't care enough to be nice to me, let alone to become my friends. Like seriously, they only smiled when they got to swiping my credit card. That is, I guess, the main reason I stopped riding altogether.
But now I moved to OC, and I'm thinking about giving horseback riding businesses another try. I know my way around horses, but, unfortunately, I'm unfamiliar with the riding styles in the US (which seem to be a big deal around here). I'm looking for a place with nice people to take lessons from, people who ultimately care about horses and not just how much they can charge me. I know my English horseback riding vocab is pretty limited, but I'm not new to horses (like I said, I used to work with horses). I'm looking to catch up and learn the 'American' way of horseback riding, get back to being on a horse, and to make some friends. Maybe it's not the way horseback riding is here, but I guess I wouldn't be able to forgive myself if I didn't try to get back into my used-to-be favorite activity.
So yeah, what I'm asking is whether any of you guys are from around Newport Beach - Irvine area and know places around here that fit my probably high expectations? Or if not, just let me know the way it is around here...