The most significant place in The Red Pony is the ranch itself. The story takes place in the 1930's. Most of Jody’s life is confined to the ranch outside Salinas, California. Jody is clearly feeling trapped by the ranch. When he sees his father wearing boots, he wants to go too. Jody rarely leaves the ranch except to go to school, which holds little interest for him. Jody seeks life outside the ranch. He names his red pony Galiban Mountains, after the majestic mountains outside Salinas. He also listens intently to his grandfather’s stories of leading people out west.
The ranch consists of the house, bunk house, and barn. Jody lives in the house, but spends much of his time outdoors watching the men or doing chores. There is a hill behind the house, and a large vegetable patch. Life is simple on the ranch.
He went on to the sagebrush line where the cold spring ran out of its pipe and fell into a round wooden tub. He leaned over and drank close to the green mossy wood where the water tasted best. (ch 1, p. 5)
Jody lives a mile from school, and walks there. Jody does not care what happens at school. Only the ranch is important.