Horse aficionado launches website


By Karen Billing

Staff Writer

Local horse enthusiast Samantha Penley has created, a website that seeks to inform and entertain, promote responsible horsemanship and support organizations that help make a difference.

“I want to become a site where people come to learn and be inspired and help others,” said Penley.

Penley, 25, started building the site four months ago and has gathered information on horse breeds, training tips, safety tips, horseback riding vacations and nonprofits that are making a difference. Over the past few months, Penley said she has received a really positive response from it, noting that North County San Diego boasts a huge horse community to draw from.

Penley admits that she has been “obsessed” with horses since she was a young girl. A Sacramento native, she became involved with local horse camps and nonprofits such as Saddle Pals, a group that offers therapeutic riding. Two years ago she moved to San Diego and worked at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, doing video production work. When she moved to San Diego, she immediately got involved with several worthy horse organizations, including Pegasus Rising, which partners military personnel with post-traumatic stress disorders with horses to help with healing. She also became involved with Reins on Manes in Alpine, a group run by equestrian Bethany Pappani that connects children in challenging circumstances with a special team of horses to inspire courage and confidence.

She has worked on several Rancho Santa Fe ranches and loves riding the Ranch trails. “I feel so lucky to be able to ride here in Rancho Santa Fe,” Penley said. “The trails up here are safe, beautiful and it’s neat to go on a six-hour trail ride and pass others doing the same thing.”

In building her site, she hopes to raise awareness as well as create her own events. She is working on partnering with the American Competitive Trail Horse Association and World Equestrian Services on sanctioned rides that would help raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

“There’s a huge gap in the horse industry and it’s always really bothered me,” Penley said, noting the gap exists between the hunter/jumper and polo equestrian community and the regular ranch horse community. Penley said she wants to help the gap of people in the middle, teach those people how they can get involved, learn about horses, go for a ride or have a horse make a difference in their lives like Penley said they have done for her.

“I really think horses can heal people, they can heal a broken hearts, they can make a child smile,” Penley said.

For more information, visit