Rancho de los Cielos - About Us


Jacob riding our Peruvian Paso stallion, Companero del Sol

    Jacob  was riding a horse before he got his first bike.  I started in my teens.  Ten years ago, we started out with a Mustang Mare and a Peruvian Paso gelding.  In 2000, we moved to the 20 acres we now have in Riverside, CA. We began by breeding Peruvian Pasos, and just sold our last 3 in January of 2007.  We still recommend Peruvians to our friends who need a locked-in gait more than they need versatility, speed, athleticism, or endurance. We definitely believe in gaited horses.  You have to choose from among them by where you want to go and how you want to get there. What we found is that, the more characteristic the gait was for the breed, the smaller were the steps, the higher the energy expenditure for the same mileage, and the less adaptable the horses seemed to be to the gully-jumping, rock-climbing  trails we pursue.  Also, the best are bred to ride like "leashed lightning."  Jacob and I want  partners dedicating their "fire" to burning up the trails. 

    Jacob and I like to ride the trail. In 2002, we test drove about 50 Peruvian Pasos, and couldn't find one "fit to last" (and gait) over the  terrain we like to ride. Then,we saw an article in Conquistador magazine about Mangalarga Marchadors.    We were sold from our first ride, and had our stallion and our first mare home with us by New Year’s Eve..  There are fewer than 200 of these horses in the US, and we are proud to say that 14 now live at Rancho de los Cielos.  
Hidalgo rearing
oranges and grove

Rancho de los Cielos is a place, a dream, and a legacy.  We are traditionalists, bringing back a way of life where we identify ourselves with the satisfaction of hard work well done, with loyalty and respect for our families and the traditions of Early California, Mexico, and Italy. Ours is the way of stewardship, not ownership, of our postage stamp of free soil. We are part of a greater whole, with a duty to the land and all that live on it. We farm the back wall of a canyon where it would be desert if not for irrigation. Nearby roads instantly connect us with the world, yet we revel in our seclusion. Of the 20 acres, 7 acres are planted in mature navel and valencia oranges. Another 3 acres are young avocados and Asian pears that might make a crop in 2 years.

Currently, we have one steer fattening for the family on grass, oranges, and grain.  We've raised up to 3 cattle for sale on the hoof, butchered and delivered from our land. Why grow fruit when it can be done cheaper in Chile?  Why raise your own beef?  We believe that growing beautiful fruit and raising cattle naturally, is contributing to the health of our community and providing an example of land use that we hope others will follow. 
Why raise horses?  Why on earth put the money into hay-burners that have to be  nurtured and trained instead of ATV's that  run down the road with the turn of a key?  Check any paper.  A rideable horse is cheap and costs just as much as a $100K horse to maintain.  Jacob and I choose to breed horses rare in the U.S. but of a quality and usefulness unmatched by any other horse breed in North America.  It costs $10,000 per horse to import them. Importation is currently extremely difficult because of regulations to protect Americans from imported diseases. Of course, when Mangalarga Marchadors  become numerous here, they will also become more affordable, a horse for everyman.  
Hermosa newly born, with Jaina

Jacob and I tried the market for everyman with Peruvian Pasos.  Now, we are aiming to bring distinguished horses to the discriminating riders that truly want them  We have the best of the foundation horses of this breed in the U.S.  We're serious: we have a plan and the resources for breeding, training, and marketing that relies on our best research and the cooperation of experts locally and in Brazil. We've got youngsters that came out of the womb gaiting, older horses under saddle that ride like the wind, the best bloodlines, and the facilities and expertise to make sure our riders and horses  perform to the satisfaction of all. The horses we breed are like our children.  The riders we pair them with become like family to us.


old wagon and orange trees   Jacob and Theresa
Horses and oranges.  The tradition of a working ranch. A place in the sun for hard work and peace.
Jacob and I are Rancho de los Cielos and this is what we do


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