Thomas Ranch is 60 acres located in the small community of Briones and surrounded by 12,000 acres of regional park and watershed. The ranch is equal distance (7 miles) from the East Bay towns Orinda, Pinole, Martinez and Laffayette, just 15 minutes from the nearest BART station and only 30 minutes from Downtown San Francisco.
Though close to urban life, the ranch has a rustic, rural, and natural feel. Deer, coyote, herons, red tailed hawk, and numerous other wild species share the ranch with the Thomas's, their horses and other livestock. Some of the barns and dwellings date back to the early 1900's. And cattle graze the hills just as they did when the ranch was headquarters to the Garcia land grant.
As a horse training center, the ranch boasts a covered arena, two outdoor cutting arenas, one devoted to a Cuttin' Critter (the world's most effective mechanical teaching aid for cutters and their horses), two round pens, 43 stalls and various turnouts.
Riding out is easy at Thomas Ranch. Other than a short ride through the cow pastures, gravel roads lead up the valley to Briones Regional Park; and less than five minutes in a trailer can deliver horse and rider to one of several entrances to either the park or Briones Reservoir. Once on the trail, rides can go for a couple of hours or all day. Either way, the horses love it and learn a lot about life outside the arena.
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