Attraction runs during the month of December at SYV Horseback Rides at Buellton’s River View Park

By Pamela Dozois
Contributing Writer

The Santa Ynez Valley Horseback Rides stable facility in Buellton has been open for fun and equine frivolity for one year, and celebrates its anniversary on Dec. 15. The fun continues this month with a unique family holiday experience called “A Cowboy Christmas,” which has been in full force since Thanksgiving, welcoming people from across the Central Coast.

With only a short time left until Christmas, there is still time to take the family to enjoy the long list of activities offered at A Cowboy Christmas, which includes Santa’s Petting Zoo, a Christmas Hay Ride, the North Pole Mercantile, The Village Shops, Official North Pole Mailbox, The Daring Elf Adventure (a pony ride through the North Pole), Tipsy Ornament Challenge (horseback challenge for grownups), Jr. Reindeer Games Obstacle Course, North Pole Carnival Games, Christmas Pony Decorating (with real ponies), Horseshoe Ornament Decorating, Santa’s Speakeasy, North Pole Café, Mischievous Pony Bounce House, and photos with Santa and his mini “reindeer,” along with other special guests.

“We wanted to create an immersive experience that allows both children and adults to experience some North Pole magic,” said Evie Sweeney, event manager for A Cowboy Christmas.

She and her husband Bob own Santa Ynez Valley Horseback Rides. They are both long-time horse professionals in the Valley, originating from the Arabian horse industry.

This colorful new family holiday event invites guests to experience a “rustic version of the North Pole” as they enter the horse stable facility located inside River View Park at 151 Sycamore Drive, Buellton. The doors are open until 8 p.m. Friday through Sunday all through December, then Monday through Friday Dec. 17 to 23, closing Dec. 24 and 25 and reopening on Monday through Friday, Dec. 26 to 30.

Certain activities — but not all — require a punch card, which can be purchased onsite or at checkout. Tickets are on sale now, with limited tickets available daily, and are $20/adult and $14 for kids under 12. Children under two are free. All paid admission tickets include a complimentary 5-hole punch card to get guests started. A limited number of Season Passes and VIP Wristband Tickets (offering unlimited activities) are also available.
The Sweeneys hope to make the event a beloved annual holiday tradition, creating new Christmas memories for Central Coast families.
For tickets or more information, call or text (805) 705-5458 or visit

For some North Pole magic, visit “A Cowboy Christmas” and make new Christmas memories. Contributed Photo