Best Place to Adopt a Pony - 2011
Fair Hills Farms
The rough road to Fair Hills Farms, rumbling past dry gulches and rock outcroppings, is so not Los Angeles and so not a phony excuse to own an SUV. You jostle along, inspired to blurt out unfamiliar words like "butte!" and "rattler!" The Brittan family — Mickey, Linda, Grayden and Alie — run a club for polo pony owners at their vast, hilly ranch a mile off Topanga Canyon Road. The USC polo team practices here, and the public can take classes (learn to handle a polo mallet by sitting on the very patient "Woody," a wooden horse). One recent day, visitors saw a tiny foal peek over a gate, and in an upper paddock watched as a stunning bay repeatedly put itself through a series of gallop-prancing exercises — sans trainer. Mickey Brittan says retired polo ponies are "perfect for adoption" because, like dogs, they're "trained all their lives to please. They're responsive to your body movement, even your thoughts." If you love horses, have the space and $900 or more for the adoption fee, the Brittans will assure your pony is the right fit. Call ahead for an appointment. 2735 Santa Maria Road, Topanga. (818) 347-5049, fairhillsfarms.com.