Since its early days as a Spanish rancho, horses have been part of this North San Diego County town’s fabric. They still are — in exciting new ways.
SAN MARCOS — Times are challenging for horse people in desireable places with natural beauty, accessiblity and a perfect climate. Competition for land and local government attention can be brutal as population increases while available property does not. Some California horsetowns are seeing a reduction in equine activities, and even less people owning horses within the community. But in the San Diego County town of San Marcos, horses still reign supreme.
One reason for San Marcos stability as a horse community is the dedication of horse people within the Twin Oaks Valley, the northernmost section of town. Equestrian properties line the nearly 10-mile long Twin Oaks Valley Road, and are thriving.
Horsepeople unite to fight new, proposed Lake View Terrace route
Three alternative routes surfaced in December after an original plan for the leg from Palmdale to the Burbank airport, a 51-mile stretch along the Highway 14 corridor, was criticized by residents and officials. Called the East Corridor, the newest trio of alternative routes cuts through Lake View Terrace and would impact horse ownership throughout the San Fernando Valley. Further, the redirection of the Highway 14 route would require a 35-mile tunneling beneath the San Gabriel Mountains and the Angeles National Forest, with the bullet train screaming from a tunnel and over the Tujunga Wash, an equestrian paradise.
Volunteers who take the reins and look ahead guide futures
When Lynn Brown first took to the Griffith trails on horseback, the daughter of a Texas rancher saw a piece of half-buried steel rebar sticking up from the path, and she called the City of Los Angeles. They fixed it.
Twenty years later, Brown remains vigilant – and effective. Her view has expanded beyond her beloved local trails, as she now is Vice President of the Los Angeles Equine Advisory Committee, an official City advisory body she helped launch in 2009 that reports directly to the 15 L.A. council members.
Entering its seventh year, the EAC has an impressive achievement list on behalf of equestrians, from protecting vast city horse trails to fending off extreme activists attempting end-runs to squelch horse ownership. Tireless campaigns by Brown and her colleagues have provided insights, none greater than the importance of positive community involvement.
Equestrian communities continue to thrive in East San Diego County
EASTERN SAN DIEGO COUNTY – In the not-too-distant past, Eastern San Diego County was mostly grazing land for cattle, dotted with small farm towns. Today, this part of the county is a growing bedroom community, only 15 miles from downtown San Diego. Yet despite its significant growth over the last 50 years, Eastern San Diego still holds on to its agricultural roots. The evidence? Horses are still a big part of life here.
Tom LaBonge, Councilman Fourth District, was front-center of the ceremonies, which also featured words from Los Angeles Equine Advisory Council President Dale Gibson and Vice President Lynn Brown. La Bonge patiently took time to thank and be photographed with each group, including the likes of the Equestrian Trails, Inc. Junior Ambassadors and ETI Corral 20, the Enterprise Farms U.S. Pony Club Riding Center, the Interscholastic Equestrian League, the L.A. Equestrian Vaulting Club and others.
Brown, a longtime equestrian advocate in her hometown who has urged equestrian groups to reach out to local city councils for a rapport with bureaucrats and horse people, was thrilled to see the turn-out of young riders.
'A' circuit to trails to polo to charros, equestrians appreciate Lake View Terrace
LAKE VIEW TERRACE — If you love California, you will appreciate Lake View Terrace. In the wintertime, the snow covered ridges of the San Gabriel Mountains stand as a backdrop. In the spring, wildflowers color the foothill slopes. On summer evenings, the smell of sage rises up from the creek beds. And in the fall, a crisp wind blows down from the hills.
Ranches, history, wineries paint Paso Robles landscape
Paso Robles, located in northern San Luis Obispo County, is home to 30,000 residents. Incorporated in 1889, the name Paso Robles comes from the Spanish El Paso de Robles, or “The Pass of the Oaks.” Situated 230 miles north of Los Angeles and 210 miles south of San Francisco, this 19.9-acre city is a haven for horse lovers.
BONITA — Thanks to a campaign by members of a local riding group, a popular recreational trail near the Sweetwater Valley reservoir reopened June 25 after being closed for six months.
Trail Trials gives riders the next step to compete
PALMDALE – Equestrian Trails, Inc. may be in its 65th year, but the group’s energy is more like a young colt.
One of ETI’s most active corrals, ETI Corral #138, held a Trail Trial April 3 from the new Barrel Springs Arena in northern Los Angeles County, and 45 riders competed at the fun, well-attended event.
“Trail Trials are a fun competition on the trail that friends and family can do together,” said organizer Kimberly Dwight, adding that judging is based on safety and control in negotiation of 10 obstacles. “You’ll also learn lots about your relationship with your horse and how he responds to your cues.”
San Diego County
Los Vaqueros Group Horse Camp
This group horse campground is available by reservation from mid May until mid September. You may make reservations by contacting Reserve America.
The group horse camp is located on Los Caballos road, about two miles east of Highway 79, inside Cuyamaca Rancho State Park. The park offers over 100 miles of hiking trails with pine and oak forests, meadows, streams, ocean and desert views.