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Facing Fire

- July 1st, 2019

Hoping wildfires will leave us alone isn’t enough; preparedness is our best bet to protect our horses

(Katharine Lotze photo / SCV Signal)

What does it mean to prepare for a disaster? Preparedness is important for all animals, but it takes extra consideration for horses because of their size and the requirements for transporting them. If you think that disasters happen only if you live in a floodplain, near an earthquake fault line, or in a coastal area, you may be tragically mistaken. Disasters can happen anywhere and include barn fires, hazardous materials spills, propane line explosions, and train derailments, all of which may necessitate evacuation. It is imperative that you are prepared to move your horses to a safe area.

The federal government enacted rules almost two years ago that continues to cause confusion across the livestock industry, including how it affects the transportation of horses. Last year, the American Horse Council worked with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to clarify concerns.

Bottom line: In general, these rules do not apply to the occasional, short-haul transportation of horses, provided it is not for compensation or commercial purposes.

The result of the AHC-FMCSA meetings were these two pamphlets:

http://bit.ly/non-businesstransport

http://bit.ly/commerciallicenseorno

Back Country riders made it from Norco to Bishop!
Follow their journey…

After months of planning—and training—Mike Williams and Rebekah Wan completed a 320-plus mile trek from Norco to Bishop. A foursome of Mike, Rebekah, Linda Wesch and Carol Kelly left SoCal Equine Hospital on Sixth Street at 8:02 a.m., Friday, May 3, and Mike and Rebekah reached Bishop Wednesday, May 22.


Day 20:  Made it!…we arrived in Bishop!

Wednesday, May 22
20.2 miles / 5 hours, 21 minutes / 482 ft. / 3.8 mph

We made it! 320-plus miles in 19 days through mountain ranges, desert, flood plains, aqueducts, streams, train tracks, trestles, wind, rain, heat … and patience. All the horses are showing the wear-and-tear, as are the riders, but they all made it! Mike and Rebekah are ready for some good R&R —  no more midnight waterings, 4 a.m. feedings, 7-8 a.m. starts in the saddle, and riding from dawn to dusk. The horses are ready to relax, heal up from some minor scrapes and soreness. After 320-plus miles, Mike has lost weight, Rebekah is already talking about another ride, and the horses all look healthy. They have kept their weight and look stoic, and the spouses are ready for their loved ones to be home.

Upon their arrival in Bishop, Mike and Rebekah were greeted by Backcountry Horsemen of California members Alan Sanderson, the Moslers, and Terry Jorgenson. What a day! Here’s the final leg of the journey: http://bit.ly/190522-Day20

Mike Williams and Cowboy look good at the end of the 320-mile trail

Day 19: It’s the homestretch

Tuesday, May 21
14.5 miles / 3 hours, 55 minutes / 446 ft. / 3.7 mph

We trailered out to Taboose to pick up the trail Mike and Rebekah left yesterday. All four horses are with them.  http://bit.ly/190521-Day19

Mike and Rebekah near Independence

Day 18: Going in circles!

Monday, May 20
21.8 miles / 5 hours, 57 minutes / 312 feet / 3.7 mph

Today’s ride took Mike and Rebekah to Taboose where they were picked up and taken back to Independence to spend one more night. Only took two of the four horses today and left two in camp to have a break from yesterday. Land-locked on several occasions, we had to go in what seemed like circles! You can follow the crazy route here:  http://bit.ly/190520-Day18

Just a couple days away after Day 18.

Day 17: An extremely HARD ride

Sunday, May 19
26.9 miles / 8 hours, 18 minutes / 1,234 ft. / 3.2 mph

Today’s ride was extremely hard. Between the wind, locked gates, inaccessibility because of floods and washouts, and again wind, it became a hard day for horses, riders, and our ground crew. We had over 50-mph gusts and were told that some gusts exceeded 70 mph. We were all exhausted when we arrived in Lone Pine. The longest day yet. Tomorrow will bring us a shorter day — 17 miles and three days away from our final destination. Follow our challenging day here: http://bit.ly/190519-Day17

Day 17…the longest, windiest day of the trip.

Days 15-16: Let’s give horses a break

Friday, May 17

Time for a layover and let the horses have a break, get laundry done and have some down time. Sigrid came up and made our meals and then we all enjoyed a movie (The Man From Snowy River) and popcorn along with some liquid refreshments.

Saturday, May 18

Another layover day to relax. Another movie (“Return to Snowy River”). Sigrid made tri-tip today with baked potatoes and beans. No one can say we didn’t eat right on this trip. Some shopping done earlier this morning to buy the rest of the food supplies for our last week.

 


Day 14: Slight change of route today

Thursday, May 16
26.3 miles / 7 hours, 57 minutes / 1,644 ft. / 3.3 mph

Last night was a cold windy night. Rain in the forecast and 50 mph gusts. Mike and Rebekah have decided not to trailblaze today and use the DWP access road to take them into Lone Pine.  Follow the day here:  http://bit.ly/190516-Day14


Day 13: Steak & Eggs

Wednesday, May 15
21.4 miles / 6 hours, 22 minutes / 801 ft. / 3.4 mph

Riding to Olancha tonight. Breakfast this morning consisted of steak and eggs. Only the best for our loved ones. Mike, Rebekah and the horses had to go through a boulder field and had to rock hop for several miles. Horses were quite tired after their day. They rode a little over 21 miles.
Relive the day here: http://bit.ly/190515-Day13


Day 12: Sharing the trail with sheep

Tuesday, May 14
17.4 miles / 5 hours, 13 minutes / 1762 ft. / 3.3 mph

Riding toward Lonepine today. Staying in Coso Junction tonight. Shorter day than normal—only 17 miles. Mike, Rebekah and their horses Cowboy, Razor, Jack and Fancy had to ride among the sheep that were on the DWP trail.
Relive the day here: http://bit.ly/190513-Day12


Day 11: Today was a HOT one!

Monday, May 13
16.8 miles / 4 hours, 52 minutes / 384 ft. / 3.5 mph

Extremely hot day riding through the desert. Over 90°. Had to stop several times to allow the horses to rest. Water was limited. Staged at 9-mile. Heavy wind. Dale Crawford joined the team today to provide ground support for the next several days.
Relive the day here: http://bit.ly/190513-Day11


Day 10: Time to rest… and add horses

Sunday, May 12

Day off for the horses in Inyokern, to re-up on supplies and do laundry. Sigrid arrived with a second horse for Mike. Both Mike and Rebekah are ponying a second horse so they can switch off every few days. All four horses are now on the journey.


Day 9: Happy Birthday, Mike!

Saturday, May 11
24.7 miles / 6 hours, 55 minutes / 922 ft. / 3.6 mph

Long day in the saddle but it was beautiful. That evening Misha surprised Mike with a homemade birthday cake. 58 candles, no fire permit needed. Relive the day here: http://bit.ly/190511-Day9


Day 8: Rest day following a night of heavy rain

Friday, May 10

Rained like crazy last night. Everything got wet. The group decided to take today off and ride tomorrow instead. Misha, Rebekah’s daughter came out to help this morning with the trailer and moved horses to Ridgecrest for the day and overnight so they would be under cover instead of in the open desert. Today was the last day that Carol and Linda are riding with Mike and Rebekah. Tomorrow it becomes a two-person ride unless others decide to join. Pete also leaves as ground crew support and Misha and Nolan begin the chore of keeping everything in order.

Just 158 miles to Bishop!

Day 7: Halfway to Bishop! Trek continues…

Thursday, May 9
25.3 miles / 6 hours, 37 minutes / 1,270 ft. / 3.8 mph

After a week’s worth of riding, the halfway point has been reached! Relive the day here: http://bit.ly/190509-Day7


Day 6: Making progress along Highway 395

Wednesday, May 8
23.8 miles / 6 hours, 20 minutes / 692 ft. / 3.8 mph

Today, the group traveled about 300 yards off of west side of Highway 395, finishing two miles north of Kramer Junction. According to Mike, the day was uneventful. The day got warm, but they had two water stops. They crossed the 58 behind the truck stop which turned out to be pretty easy. Everything worked in their favor! Relive their day with this link: http://bit.ly/190508-Day6


Day 5: After a windy, damp start…sunshine

Tuesday, May 7
24.8 miles / 6 hours, 31 minutes / 220 ft. / 3.8 mph

Horses and riders took a one-day break on a Day 4 layover in Phelan, and it also marked the first day of cold wind and rain. Day 5 started with Mike and the group in thick fog—everything was damp. They rode through heavy wind which made for a long ride, but eventually it warmed up. They stayed on trail until they got north of Adelanto and then cut across the desert to their overnight destination. Relive their day on the link!: http://bit.ly/190507-Day5


Sunday, May 5

Day 3: Through the Cajon Pass

Sunday, May 5
21.8 miles / 6 hrs, 11 mins / 2,789 ft. / 3.5 mph

The group traveled along Highway 66 through Cajon Pass to Phelan. Water stop for the horses and lunch stop for the riders along the PCT at the 138. 21.8 miles / 6 hours, 11 minutes / 2,789 ft. / 3.5 mph. Follow their Day 3 route with this link!: http://bit.ly/190506-TrailRide


Saturday, May 4

Day 2: Along the Santa Ana River basin

Saturday, May 4
18.8 miles / 5 hrs, 25 mins / 1,325 ft. / 3.5 mph

An uneventful day… after leaving Grand Terrace, they traveled through the Santa Ana River Basin and the city of Colton to reach Saturday’s final destination, Devore. Ride along with the day’s link: http://bit.ly/190504-TrailRide


Friday, May 3

Day 1: Journey begins!

Friday, May 3
19.6 miles / 5 hrs, 18 mins / 909 ft. / 3.7 mph

Mike Williams, Rebecca Wan, Linda Wesch and Carol Kelly left Socal Equine Hospital at 8:02 a.m. on the 320-plus mile ride from Norco to Bishop. First night’s camp: Grand Terrace. Relive the first day: http://bit.ly/190503-TrailRide


Get the story! Here’s background on the riders and the ride…

If you missed the California Horsetrader’s Feb. 1 cover article on the ride, get the story by clicking here: http://bit.ly/1902-TrailRide

Mike Williams, Rebekah Wan and “Cowboy” on Feb. 1 Horsetrader cover

SACRAMENTO — Cal Expo came to life June 8-10 for the 20th Annual Western States Horse Expo, bringing together education, shopping, entertainment and fun for horsepeople like no one else.

One of the weekend’s highlights was the return of the Magnificent Seven All Around Stock Horse Championship. Phillip Ralls took Estelle Roitblat’s Call Me Mitch to the title, thrilling the crowd and earning $8,372.

InGate graphicThe Los Angeles Equestrian Center is honored to host the EQUUS Film Festival LA, June 15-17, 2018. The EQUUS Film Festival was created to highlight and award the diverse and creative efforts of those who artistically pay homage to the horse. The festival empowers storytellers to show the rich history and diverse tapestry of horses in human culture through equestrian content.  We have feature films, documentaries, shorts, music videos, commercials, training educational materials, art and literature. As home to the storytellers of the horse world, the EQUUS Film Festival, is the first event of its kind dedicated to equestrian-themed film, fine art and authors. The annual EQUUS Film Festival Awards Event showcases the EQUUS Panels, EQUUS Pop-Up artist, filmmaker and literary gallery, FREE Saturday family films and fun fest, tours of local horse stables, a VIP Party, and the WININE Award Ceremony, are all part of the festival event program. Founded in 2013, the EQUUS Film Festival 2017 presented over 80 films and over 60 WINNIE Awards including Equestrian Art Film, Director, Documentary, Commercial, International, Music Video, People’s Choice and Best of Festival.

SoCal action heats up

Jimmy Flores, Sr. Spectacular draws tough competition

Special to the Horsetrader - June 1st, 2018

TEMECULA — Nicolas Barthelemy relocated his training barn early this year to Moorpark, but once place you can still find the talented trainer is atop the standings at the end of the day.

Barthelemy was one of the stars of the 2018 Southern California Reined Cow Horse Association’s Jimmy Flores, Sr. Spectacular, held May 18-20 at Casner’s Ranch.

Barthelemy, riding Manuel Rojo’s WRS Shiney Diamond (WR This Cats Smart x Shiney Miss Hickory), outscored the field in the $1,000-added Open Hackamore Spectacular. In another prestigious aged-event class at the Jimmy Flores, Sr. Memorial, the $1,000-added Open Bridle Spectacular, Barthelemy rode Joel Jewett’s Im Smooth N Smart (Smooth As A Cat x Vandalena) to the reserve title behind Jason Grimshaw on Lauren Boychuk’s Mister OMG (One Time Pepto x Sallie B Badge). Barthelemy and Im Smooth N Smart also won the Open Bridle class.

LOS ANGELES — For over 25 years, Atwater equestrians “land-locked” by the Los Angeles River have been asking for a bridge to access the trails in Griffith Park.

In 2012, Atwater home owners finally were promised a new equestrian/bike bridge, and it seemed like the long-awaited structure was within reach. Despite a philanthropic boost from Morton LaKretz, who had set up a fund of $5 million to build the bridge, there were many setbacks to construction over the years. It remained in limbo as the delays — and the price of the bridge — kept growing.

Recently, L.A. Councilman Mitch O’Farrell came up with a cost-effective pre-fabricated bridge concept, perhaps not as elegant as the previous designs, but still approved by the equestrian community as functional and safe for horses. Another parallel pre-fab bridge would go alongside for bikers and hikers.

Trail Days is June 2

From Horsetrader staff reports - May 1st, 2018

According to the American Hiking Society, there are 2,802 miles of trail across the nation, and it’s aiming to improve them on June 2.

That first Saturday in June is the organization’s annual National Trails Day, a day set aside for all types of trail enthusiasts — hikers, equestrians, bike riders and others — to participate in planned activities, ranging from just having fun to helping with maintenance.

For Bill Krzyston, Manager of Rancho Oso in Santa Barbara, it’s a chance to open the door to his resort’s 310 acres, surrounded by the Los Padres National Forest, to share and engage with those who use his facility and the popular trails it touches.

The California Department of Food and Agriculture announced April 29 that a 9-year-old mare from a quarantined barn at an Orange County facility, displaying mild neurological signs, had tested positive for Equine Herpesvirus-1.

Previously, on April 24, the CDFA had reported that a febrile horse which initially had tested negative was resampled and confirmed positive for EHV-1, followed two days later by two additional confirmed cases.

WASHINGTON, D.C.– When is a commercial driver’s license required for transporting horses? What should you do or say if you are hauling your horses to a show and stopped by a federal safety official?

Those are the types of questions that the American Horse Council wanted answered by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) after a recent meeting in response to the AHC request for clarification. On Feb. 26, the FMCSA published two documents to promote understanding of the regulations and also how to discern whether or not a carrier can be excluding from the commercial driver’s license requirement.