For fifteen years, the Keyes family and their 20 horses have lived on Running Horse Ranch, Los Angeles California.
In 2000, Daniela and Michael Keyes found a beautiful spread of land situated in the Angeles National Forest.
Construction of the ranch was shortly underway after the land was purchased. The prime focus of the ranch was to create an environment where horses live a holistic, and natural life style. It is very important to the family that each horse has protection from the weather or sun. Large pastures wore essential in providing opportunities for the horses to stretch, run and play. The ranch was up and running in 2002, complete with large pastures, large three-sided run in sheds, two hay barns, tack room, an arena and a round pen.
The location of the ranch was selected for another significant reason other than space. The land could provide the opportunity to develop an endurance-training track, to feed the family’s love and passion for long distance racing. This track includes long sandy roads, winding trails, long rigorous mountains, ridges, narrow ravines, rocky riverbeds and other obstacles for horse and rider to accomplish. Another attractive drawing card was the direct connection to the large, and challenging trail system in part of the Angeles National Forest. This trail system also includes a section of the 2,663 mile national scenic wilderness path, known as The Pacific Crest Trail. This trail system offers an additional variety of obstacles, terrain, and elevation for horses and their riders.
Daniela Keyes is the head of Running Horse Ranch. She was born and raised in Berlin, Germany and worked with horses since she was six years young. She lived in the outskirts of Berlin with a dog and four horses. On a plane flight to the United States Daniela met her husband Michael and they married shortly after. The new family imported Daniela’s three horses and a dog. Out of the four horses, her first pony, Sus, is 39 years old. Sus is still roaming on the ranch. Daniela and Michael have three girls, Bonalee, Ichella, and Ricarda. The girls are mainly involved with training mustangs, but also compete very successfully in endurance races.
Over the years friends and family from all over the world have ridden the spectacular trails on the ranch, mountains, and deserts while visiting. Many have expressed the wonderful experience of trail riding, and as a result Daniela decided to turn the ranch into a small business. The riding vacations offered were mostly directed towards European and African visitors who wanted to experience the ultimate trail ride. Additionally many visitors have sought out a peaceful, and simple location away from crowded Los Angeles. In addition to European and African guests, US guests have called to ride as well. As a result the Keyes family decided to expand the business throughout the US- travelers, horse and nature- lovers, and share the experience of a private, fun, and extraordinary adventure.
In Endurance racing the horse of choice is the Arabian. However the Keyes Family has also chosen to work with the American Mustang. Sturdy, trail savvy, and highly intelligent, the American Mustang is a worthy competitor in the races and a devoted partner on the trail. These remarkable, and capable horses have captivated many of the guests. The girls lead many years in the regional’s and even won the National Championchips three times!
The Keyes Family is very passionate about nature, spending time with their horses and exploring new trails. They thoroughly enjoy sharing the beautiful ranch, horses and trails with their guests.