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Blenheim’s Back!

- April 30th, 2021

San Juan Capo action highlights new season of hunter-jumper activity

Special to the Horsetrader

Nicole Haunert of Encinitas and Concolue were the only pair to jump clean en route to their win. (Amy McCool photo)

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO — Horse shows may not yet be all the way back from their pre-pandemic experiences, but they sure have come a long way from where they were last spring.

Why horses?

- April 30th, 2021

Let’s remind our neighbors — horsey and non-horsey — of the benefits for all

By Equine Land Conservation Resource

While most horse people can easily explain the benefits our equine friends have on our lives, we should also be aware that they have a strong positive impact on our communities. Horse business and industry can be a significant economic driver, creating tourism and cottage industry for communities. Horses also have a positive impact on human health and local ecology.

The economic benefit of horses is hard to deny. According to the American Horse Council 2005 National Economic Impact of the U.S. Horse Industry Study the equine industry accounted for 460,000 full-time jobs with an annual impact of $39 billion annually to our economy, generating $1.9 billion in taxes.

Horses require many professionals, from vets to hay growers and from farriers to trainers. A community that is open and receptive to horses will find that the economic impact of these cottage industries far outweighs the cost of providing municipal services for them. A well-maintained and equine friendly fair ground or trail system will also lead to horse tourism, a great advantage for local businesses, hotels and restaurants.

In addition to the economic benefits horses have on communities, they have an amazing impact on human health. According to research conducted by the University of Brighton and Plumpton College on behalf of The British Horse Society, horse activity can be classified as a moderate intensity exercise.ii This is especially important when coupled with the information that horseback riding appeals to traditionally underserved populations like the physically disabled and older women.

Carolyn Read photo

Therapy programs have also shown that horses have a positive impact on our emotional and mental well-being. Programs exist for mentally disabled individuals, children with learning disabilities, those suffering with PTSD and even prison inmates. These programs are typically provided by local nonprofit groups and have a great impact on the lives of those who need it most.

Horses also have a very positive impact on an area’s ecology. Well managed horse facilities protect groundwater and water ways, reduce brush load, lowering the instance of wildfires; conserve soil; and encourage biodiversity. View sheds are also a benefit of having horses in your community. A large sprawling field with healthy horses grazing has been believed to increase real estate sales and tourism.

Knowing about the benefits that horses have on communities as a whole is vital to ensuring that horses maintain their place in our local communities. Whether it be planning and zoning commissions, city councils, park commissions or community groups, non-horse people make decisions that impact us all. Educating them that horses are important, not to just to a small group of recreationists, but to the economic, physical, emotional, and environmental well-being of the entire community, helps keep horse lands at the forefront of the conversation.

ELCR has recently introduced a new section to its website: Benefits of Horses to Our Communities. The new section includes information on all the positive impacts horses make on our communities. Arming yourself and your equine group with this information could make all the difference when you are advocating for your local horse facilities.

More online: http://bit.ly/horsebenefits


- April 30th, 2021

Rancho Cucamonga

Once a rural area known for grapevines and agriculture, Rancho Cucamonga is located about 40 miles east of Los Angeles. Alta Loma is a subsection of Rancho Cucamonga that is home to most of the area’s equestrian-zoned properties as well as several large boarding/training facilities. Natalie Beechler, president of the Alta Loma Riding Club, submitted this account to “Close To Home” — sharing her community’s challenges and the tactics required to preserve the area’s horse heritage.

I want to share some stories of what has been our strategies in our quest to maintain an area that is overrun with developers attempting to rezone our historically preserved equestrian overlay that the founders of the city put into place many decades ago.

Moms and Horses

- April 30th, 2021

Our new “Horsetrader Archive” feature revisits an old favorite from May 3, 2012.

What is YOUR favorite horse story shared with your mom?

Born with manure in my hair…

Jenny O’Curran, Escondido, CA
My mom gave me the love of horses at an early age. She was an avid horsewoman who told me I was born with manure in my hair. She had my sister and I on horses before we could walk — one in front and one in back…out on the trail we would go! My mother fox-hunted and did the open jumpers in her day. She literally rode up until the day she went into a coma and passed away. My favorite memory with my mom was to watch the grand prixes…every one we could get to!

Hail storms and steel umbrellas…

Diane Netter, Escondido, CA
A hail storm — we didn’t notice the dark, suspicious clouds looming on the horizon that hot summer day. “Mom, I’m going riding with Janell!,” I yelled over my shoulder as I ran out the door in shorts and a tank top. “Put some shoes on!,” Mom yelled out the window. I smiled and waved but, being a typical 13-year old, completely ignored her request. Janell and I always rode bareback and barefoot during those carefree teen-aged years. The noon day sun bore down on us, as we headed out of my backyard corral toward a nearby river. We didn’t see the storm that was following us until we got to our picnic spot, and by then a strong breeze was blowing and it started to sprinkle. The unfriendly clouds were directly overhead and the temperature had dropped dramatically. We hopped on our horses and headed back home, as the sprinkles turned into pouring rain. Then it started to hail. Hard balls of ice struck our bare arms and legs, producing large, red welts. Our horses were running now, tossing their heads nervously in response to the pelting ice. Janell and I tucked our heads into our horses’ necks, letting them have free rein to find their way home. It seemed to take forever, but finally my trusty steed bolted into the corral and under her protective shelter. I jumped off, crying from the painful welts. Just then my sweet mom appeared, running from the house with a metal washtub over her head for protection. Grabbing my arm, she pulled me under her steel “umbrella,” and together we raced back to the house. The hail pelted the metal, causing a deafening roar, but I was glad for the protection. I know Mom must have been anxiously watching for me out the window when the unexpected hail storm arrived, and I was so grateful she was there to rescue me with her makeshift shield that afternoon. It made me realize that no matter how grownup I felt, I would always need Mom’s loving umbrella of protection.

She worked so we had horses…

Doris Findley Lora, Tehachapi, CA
It is more about my mom, Myra, than a horse. She wasn’t much into animals, although we had every farm animal you could name. She supported our interests in 4-H club and would haul us to various shows. But, the best of all is that she was willing to work at a very hard and dirty job moving the U.S. mail, before the machines came in to sort it. She worked this job so we could continue to have horses. It was and still is an expensive lifestyle. She passed 11 years ago. We still have horses in our life and I am thankful for her endurance to keep us enjoying our livestock. I hope all young equestrians will give thanks to their mothers who support them in their endeavors.

A perfect day…riding the trail

Stephanie Williams, Torrance, CA
My favorite horsestory with my mother was many years ago. One day my mother and I took our two horses out on a two-hour trail ride. It was the first time my mother had ridden for an extensive period of time. It is by far one of my favorite memories of us riding Silver and Retso through the trails. I will forever cherish those kinds of memories, and it was essentially a perfect day. I love my mom and she continues to be my main supporter even now before I go to law school.

My horse in her hands…

Carmela Bozulich, Rowland Heights, CA
My mom was diabetic and suffered from kidney failure the last few years of her life. I bought my first horse, Spirit, a bit before she passed. She never understood my horse passion, being a New York City girl herself, but one day she asked me to drive her to the stable where I boarded Spirit so she could meet “her grandson.” I remember taking her out there, and she couldn’t get out of the car easily, so I walked him over to the passenger side window that she had rolled down, and he stuck his head in. She actually petted him and didn’t seem at all bothered by his attentions. I will always have that picture of her hands on his head in my heart.

Through love, much is learned…

Molly Rush, Riverside, CA
As a child, my mother and I supported our family by delivering newspapers. At 12, I was, of course, wanting a horse more than anything else in the world. The newspaper cost $2 a month and we collected door to door. She found an untrained 2-year old for sale for $200 and told me that we had to collect enough to pay for the horse before we could even go look. We did, and soon “Babe” was mine. I got a little help from a trainer and a lot of good advice from my mother who had been quite the horsewoman prior to starting a family. The first time that Babe dumped me on the trail, the horse went to our neighbor’s house where they had an outside haystack. The neighbors called my mom, who panicked and searched until she found me, walking my dusty self home. From then on, each time the neighbor called mom to say Babe was at the haystack, my mom would just say, “Well, if Babe is there, then Molly will be soon, too.” My mother has been gone for 19 years. Thanks to the discipline she taught me, I no longer deliver newspapers. I had a great career as a Deputy Sheriff for nearly 30 years and now own several businesses. I own my “dream barn” filled with cherished items, stylish new saddles, lovely antique saddles, genuine Navajo rugs, bits made by famous makers, antique and new carriages and harness. My mother’s saddle, bridle and breast collar sit proudly there with all of my other treasures. I don’t know anyone who was loved by their mother as much as I was. She would have me pick out a “poor” family every year, and we would buy them a Thanksgiving turkey or give them a Christmas tree so that we could share our good fortune with someone who had much less. She never told us that Rice-A-Roni and Mac-and-cheese were side dishes, for us, they were the main course at dinner often because she could not afford groceries, but she made sure that I had a horse — and what that horse and my mother taught me gave me the life I have today. My mother left this world seemingly poor. The day she left, I learned that things that seem to be tangible are not real at all, since they cannot be carried with you when you leave this life. My mother went to heaven carrying the one thing that is truly tangible — and she proved that, too — LOVE was the only thing she could carry along with her.

Horse-crazy daughter has 10 horses…

Janean Huston, Escondido, CA
My mom wasn’t a horse gal, but I was from birth, and she always supported my addiction! She drove me to the barn for my riding lessons, attended my horse shows, and even attempted to hold my horse when I needed an extra hand! Not to mention, she was the “wallet” behind her horse-crazy daughter! Thanks for enabling my addiction when I was younger mom. Now I’m living the dream with a small ranch and 10 horses

Fears aside for horse-crazed kid…

Cynthia Murphree, Ojai, CA
My favorite horse memory shared with my mom is when I was around three years old. My mom would take me to ride — not ponies, but horses. I got to ride all by myself, around a horse shoe track with a small fence between lanes. As I was only three, they put me in the slow lane. I would hop the horse over the little fence and come down the home strech at either a trot or sometimes a canter. I would be laughing, my mom would be almost ready to run out and get me, and the ranch hand would put me back in the correct lane — and we would do it again and again. I know it must have really scared my mom to see me running on the horse, but she kept taking me back week after week because she knew how much I loved it. That says a lot when a mom puts her fears aside for the happiness of her horse-crazed kid. I belive that my mom gave me my passion for horses.

Inspiration of her lifetime…

Barbara Harris, Anza, CA
From 2009 through 2011, I rode the vast trails on my beautiful mule, Scooter, dedicating to my mother those rides in Montana, Oklahoma and Arizona. She inspired me my whole life to enjoy our beautiful country, sitting a saddle. Thank you mom. I miss you.

She rode into her late 80s…

Marlene Rold, Oroville, CA
We were heading to the Trinity Alps on a pack trip with my folks, sister and a friend who had several pack mules. My mom had mentioned her hip was bothering her on the drive to the trailhead, saying she may not be able to ride once we got there. However, once at the trailhead, it was evident no one wanted to stay and camp at the trailhead with her, so she climbed on the back of my old Appaloosa who was a retired distance horse. Rearing to go, off we went following the pack mules. Not far down the trail, I noticed that old appy was really acting up, chomping at the bit. When I asked Mom if she wanted to trade horses with me, I was thinking her hip must be killing her. She replied, “no my hip’s not bothering me.” Go figure — all that jumping around took her mind and any pain away, and she rode the rest of the 13 miles to camp and back. She never complained of any soreness. This was just one of many rides we took together. Mom was in her mid-70s at this time, and she continued to ride occasionally when her joints would act up. She always said it was good for her, and she felt it loosened her joints up. Even into her late 80s, she would occasionally say she needed to go for a ride. I miss her…

Spring forward

- April 30th, 2021

Open HiDHA show offers variety, competition, fun

From Horsetrader staff reports

PALMDALE — What a difference a year makes!

Horse activity abounds in the High Desert, as was evident by the well-attended classes at the April 18 High Desert Horse Show Association All Breed Show. From Ranch Horse to English to Western Pleasure and more, exhibitors helped make the second 2021 HiDHA event, a double-point show, a success.

Eli Green and Chase Helton bested 167 other teams. (BFI courtesy photo)

GUTHRIE, Okla. — The Hooey Jr. Championships during Wrangler BFI Week are designed to showcase today’s youth superstars, and the Jr. BFI did that perfectly on March 18.

While 18-year-old Texans Kreece Thompson and Kaden Profili took the Jr. Open at the Hooey Junior to split $54,000, a pair of California teens captured the Junior 10.5 Division and earned $20,000 of their own.

Where do our trails lead?

- March 31st, 2021

Equestrians, working together and allied with supportive partners, make a difference in perpetuating riding trails. Here are some tips — and some easy-to-access online resources from ELCR.org

By Denise O’Meara / for Equine Land Conservation Resource

Public riding trails like this one in San Marcos are a treasure worthy of protecting for the next generation. (Horsetrader photo)

Here’s a question that you may ask yourself every time that you load up your horses to trailer to the nearest equestrian accessible trail — wouldn’t it be nice to ride out my back gate, get on a local trail and head out to the park, the woods, the shore or anywhere that didn’t involve a fill-up or two? Some of you are very lucky and have that situation. The vast majority of us are not.

Community Planning — Are You In or Are You Out?

Urban and suburban community members need to see and understand horses and their riders. Unless they learn how joyful and useful horses are to humans, and how they can interact safely with non-equestrians, these folks can help deny horseback access to trails and other equine facilities.

ELCR Vision

A future in which horse lands have been conserved so that America’s equine heritage lives on and the emotional, physical and economic benefits of mankind’s bond with the horse remain accessible to all.

The Issues

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the U.S. is losing 6,000 acres of open land every day. Large open spaces and contiguous tracts of land are critical to providing the space we need to support our nation’s equestrian heritage and economy. With the current rate of loss we may not have enough land to support our horses and equestrian-related activities in as little as 15 years.

Upcoming monthly ELCR Topics in California Horsetrader

  1. Planning for horses in your community
  2. Conservation tools for horse lands
  3. Equine access to public lands
  4. Equine access to private lands
  5. Best management practices and the benefits of horses in communities

Access the organization’s information, resources and tools that help horse people take action: http://elcr.org

ELCR Impact:

Since 2007, ELCR has assisted in the protection of more than 200,000 acres of land and more than 1,200 miles of trails. American Horse Publications and Pfizer selected ELCR as the 2012 Equine Industry Vision Award recipient.


- March 31st, 2021

Is your club or community organizing an effort to preserve its horse heritage? Let us know! Send your info to communities@horsetrader.com

San Juan Capistrano

Shelly Barker photo

The Non Profit San Juan Capistrano Equestrian Coalition is fighting to advocate and keep horses in SJC as well as Southern California generally. The SJCEC has launched the 100 Horsemen challenge, and it seeks another group to pair with in the fight at state and federal levels in regards to water run-off and other issues: https://sanjuanequestrian.org/100-horsemen-strong

Also check our the great maps, directory and events: http://sanjuanhorses.com

Golden cow work

- March 31st, 2021

Competitors shine at SCRCHA Pot Of Gold Show

By SUSAN CARTER / for the Horsetrader

Giacomo Mattioli takes Coal Creek Ranch’s Annies Smarty Cat down the fence at the SCRCHA Pot Of Gold SHow March 13-14. (Danger Dingo photo)

TEMECULA — Weather-wise, it’s always a bit of a crap shoot to hold a March show, but the Southern California Reined Cow Horse Association held its second 2021 show on March 13-14 at California Ranch Company.

The covered arena was a saving grace, as the previous week’s rain forced all classes into the indoor arena. Competitors held great attitudes with the decreased warm-up areas and smaller spaces. If 2020 taught us anything, it was “be grateful for the ability and opportunity to show!”