About Us


Courtship Ranch
Caters to the hands-on, active horse owner.

We are located in the equestrian community of Shadow Hills/Lake View
Terrace area, only half a mile from the Wheatland Avenue exit from the 210 freeway. Convenient to northern Los Angeles, we are minutes away from Pasadena, Burbank, Glendale, Hollywood, La Canada, and San Fernando.

With over 80 stalls, three lighted arenas, and a half dozen turnouts, we offer a wide variety of stabling options. Your horse can stay either in an enclosed barn, partially sheltered pipe stalls, or pasture board. Horses are fed twice daily, and automatic waterer provides continuous fresh water.

The choice of riding arenas consists of a 200×100 covered area in a lighted 220×140 arena, lighted 100′ round pen and a lighted 70×50′ oval. All new felt and sand footing was added in 2012 and gets regularly replenished. The ranch backs up to the Angeles National forest with direct access to over 800 miles of trails. If that isn’t enough, just through the ranch’s front entrance is a trail that leads to the Little Tujunga Wash, Angeles Golf Course, and the Hansen Dam area for even more miles of trails. All barns and tack rooms are equipped with motion sensitive lights. The commodious bathroom was just redone in spring 2012.

Community ranch activities include pot luck dinners, cookouts, play days, and movie nights. The picnic area now sports a fire pit for those cold nights. An additional picnic area has been landscaped in a quieter area of the ranch and overlooks a terraced hillside. If you get really tired after your ride you can hang out near the bottom turnout and nap in the hammock there.

We are fully perimeter fenced, behind a code-accessed electric gate, and have round the clock on-premises owner and ranch foreman.

We suspect hundreds, if not thousands, of horse owners have spent time at the Ranch in the last thirty years. If it’s been a while since you’ve visited, come see us. You won’t recognize the place!

Ranch History

Courtship Ranch has been a continuous boarding operation since the 1970′s. Jack and Barbara Thompson originally built the facility in Lake View Terrace at the base of Oliver Canyon, between Little Tujunga and Big Tujunga. At that time the J-Bar Ranch, as it was called, was known for breeding quality Quarter Horses and golden retrievers. Rumor has it the over 200 year old California Fig tree on the property was a way point on the Wells Fargo Butterfield Overland mail route!

Marc and Royan Herman bought the Ranch in 2003 to run in conjunction with their property, Peacock Hill.They renamed it the Horse House and made numerous upgrades and improvements over the five years that they owned it. When the Perkins family decided to move to California in 2009 they knew they wanted to own and run a commercial horse facility. Stevi Fielding, of Dilbeck Realtors, knew just the place.

With “good bones” already there it didn’t take long for Phil and Lyles to embark on another round of upgrades.The first round included replacing all the electrical, building 4 new turnout areas, replacing and repairing old fencing, and upgrading the existing barns and tack sheds. Next came a picnic area, landscaping, painting, new drainage systems, and new perimeter fencing was added. Further improvements came in the form of a covered arena  along with new covered wash racks, auto waterers in the turnouts, and a new tack room. Phil is hoping Lyles won’t come up with too many more ideas for improvements!

Meet the Family

IMG_1056Lyles as co owner and ranch manager, brings years of horse experience, having grown up in Virginia to a fox hunting family. She started riding at 7. Having no horse of her own she caught rides on anything she could. Teaching her to be comfortable on just about anything. She showed hunters until high school when a chance conversation got her into 4 years of riding jumpers. She rode several years as a groom for Lucy Coates, hunt master of the Deep Run Hunt Club.

Later she bought her first horse, a 3 year old QH/draft cross that she fox hunted until she realized that while his heart was in it, his jump just wasn’t and sold him to an endurance rider. He went on to become high point endurance champion for the state. Lyles resumed showing with the purchase of her next few horses and competed in amateur owner and adult amateur divisions riding under the guidance of Adair Frasier Roper of Beaufort Farm and Jan Simpson of Hampton Row Stables of Goochland, Va.

A stifle injury to her favorite mare got her into breeding and a new interest in TB/Warmblood crosses. Marriage saw a move to Florida, the sale of her place in Virginia, and a full time focus on showing the Florida circuit with Ken and Emily Smith of Ashland Farm in Delray, Fla. A move to Russia in the late 90′s seemed to forebode an end to riding for awhile but the chance discovery of a riding stable where the chef d’equipe of the Russian Olympic team taught gave Lyles the opportunity to pursue dressage training.

From there it was a few years riding in the UK then back to the States. In Pennsylvania, Lyles now joined by 2 of her children rode dressage with Anita Imms of Simple Gifts Farm. At the same time she volunteered to train horses at the therapeutic riding facility, Sebastian Riding Associates. This morphed into exercising and schooling horses, and working with the instructors in recognizing the horse’s needs.

Through this great partnership with Jenny Dec, the program coordinator, and all the wonderful instructors ignited an interest in providing horses for therapeutic riding programs. It is a long term goal for Courtship Ranch to find, train, and provide horses for use in therapeutic riding programs on a loan basis.

Philip, as co-owner, might have a job off the ranch but he still works long hours as the resident maintenance man. His love of tools and “fiddling” has led to some beautiful building improvements and well thought out upgrades to the ranch. Though he didn’t grow up riding he did come from an Oklahoma family of farmers. He became comfortable around horses acting as a groom for his wife at the many horse shows he attended. Several summers on ranches with the family convinced him that he was ready for full time life with horses. Phil ended up with Dundee, a dun paint, which he liked to cruise around on until he took a tumble and broke his wrist. (Lesson learned- always check your girth and don’t let your horses’ race home.) After a hard week at work he prefers to saddle up his QH and go on long trail rides through the mountains. His current horse is a big black and white paint named Drifter.

Alan managed to find himself a paint horse and during the search his Dad found one too! Alan and his chestnut paint, Partner, had fun riding the area trails and participating in ACTHA sanctioned trail rides. Lately however, it seems girls have taken over the place that Partner once held in Alan’s heart. But Alan can still be seen sometimes helping out on weekends on the ranch. His favorite job is driving the bobcat around and regrading the arena footing. While Alan is now off to college, Partner is happily being ridden and loved by one of our trainee students.

Eddie outgrew his pony Smurf pretty quickly, and then managed to wrangle Dundee from his father. He spent a few years showing Dundee on the local circuit in western pleasure and did quite well. He finally got his own horse in the spring of 2012, a coming 3 year old QH affectionately called Percy. The two of them enjoyed a successful few years showing until Eddie discovered airplanes. He now spends his time learning to fly and Percy has moved on to another owner in Northern California.

Neal managed to wrangle Smurf away from her brother Eddie and enjoyed great success at local shows. She and Smurf did well in hunt seat equitation classes. As Alan lost interest in riding, Neal moved up to riding Partner who turned out to be a really cute hunter horse. She showed him in 2011 and they ended the year as the High Point 10 and under Hunt seat team. Now as a teenager, her interests don’t expand past boys and makeup and horses are completely ignored.

Brian was the non riding child in the Perkins family who could be found helping around the ranch. Now he has taken an interest in riding and has inherited Dundee. He prefers to ride bareback because he says it’s too hard to put the saddle on! He is off to college now and Dundee has been regulated to the guest horse.

Other family members include  Michie  a grey and white Aussie . He is usually always following Lyles around the ranch or chasing ground squirrels with Gringo, the cattle dog owned by Juan the foreman. Sadly, Miss Penny, the Labrador, who could be found wandering around the property looking for jolly balls to play with or people to pet her, passed away fall 2014. Not long after that, Angel, a beagle/lab mix found her way to the ranch and is now helping to keep the lizard population scurrying. There are always a few goats in the back pasture, Juanita being the oldest one of the herd. Sometimes they escape their pen and enjoy bounding around the ranch until someone thinks to lure them back into their pen. Resident cats keep the rodent population away to some extent. And with various peacocks, roosters, and chickens around Courtship Ranch, don’t be surprised if you find eggs in your horse’s feeder.

They have grown in the 6 years they have been at the ranch!

They have grown in the 6 years they have been at the ranch!