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Mounting A Purpose

With municipal budgets shrinking, volunteer mounted patrols are needed more than ever

By LYNN BROWN / Special to the Horsetrader - January 6th, 2011 - Communities, Feature Article
Bill Naylor and Sharon Chandler at a PowWow at Hart Park.

Bill Naylor and Sharon Chandler at a PowWow at Hart Park.

LOS ANGELES — In today’s economy, most of us are aware that funding for both local City Parks, County Parks and State Parks have been cut severely. Agencies are suffering for funds for maintenance, security and other routine patrol functions. For the equestrian, this is a fine opportunity to step up, help out, and polish the image of horses and equestrian contribution in both urban and rural communities.

In many Southern California cities, our western heritage and the role of the horse has been forgotten by many urban dwellers. Equestrian volunteerism works well from a public relations prospect — the horse is in the public eye, as is its importance to the rural lifestyle and also to the general public.

WNMAU Took out a full dump truck load of trash and partial trailer as well from Whittier Narrows Dam Basin.

WNMAU Took out a full dump truck load of trash and partial trailer as well from Whittier Narrows Dam Basin.

Volunteers are the wave of our future. Instead of looking to public agencies to take care of needs and problems, equestrians can provide valuable services and have a fun time with our horses while doing important work for the community.

“So much is going on within the Community that can be tied in with horses”, said Bill Naylor, “We need good horse ambassadors.”

Equestrian Trails Inc. (ETI) and the Los Angeles County Parks and Recreation, among other agencies welcome equestrian volunteers to help with public events providing aid and security, such as the Antonovich Trail Dusters rides, fishing derbies, Indian PowWows at Hart Park, health fairs, trail clean-up parties, Mexican Independence Day Celebrations, Cinco de Mayo at Whittier Narrows, just to give a sampling of events patrols. At the Lincoln Park fishing derby, the Whittier Narrows MAU (WNMAU) camped with their horses on the property and patrolled to protect the stocked ponds prior to the Derby until the end of event.

In order to ride with a patrol, or to form your own Mounted Assistant Units (MAU), a rider and horse must qualify by going through basic training. In the County program, equestrians go through training in first aid and emergency preparedness. During this program a student and horse will be evaluated as to qualifications for the program. Since the County can be held liable for accidents, the County wants to be sure that people are safe on their mounts and not posing a hazard.
Riders must certify on the horse they will be riding. The County has qualified several horsemen to provide training and certification to riders/horses for this program. The County Sheriff program is a 40-hour program for horse and rider. For more information contact Bob Foster at 661/309-7399, or email FosterfamilyBF@aol.com or contact ETI National for information for your area anywhere in the Southwest.

As a result of the training, a side benefit is a bomb-proof horse.

It is a joint effort between ETI, the individual rider and L.A. County to provide insurance for this program. Rider members purchase their own uniforms for their Unit. They are easily identified on the trail/events by their blue shirts, with the Mounted Assistance Unit logo on the shirt back and the ETI and County patches on their shoulders. County ID’s, and saddle pads with the County patches further complete the uniform.

MAU’s patrol at different areas and times. Some Patrols are from ETI Corrals, some from California State Horseman’s Association (CSHA), some from County approved groups. Whittier Narrows patrol is formed by ETI Members at large as they are not associated with any one Corral. They are based out of County Parks, therefore can work everywhere. Bill Naylor of the Whittier Narrows MAU (WNMAU) is a County Approved Evaluation/Trainer. He also provides a 16-hour class and certification program, plus a required four hours of additional training each year to keep a certification up to date. He can be reached at bnaylor4@sbcglobal.net or Sharon Chandler at schandler3@sbcglobal.net.

For trails questions not relating to MAU issues, contact L.A. County Trails Supervisor,Ralph Beltran, at rbeltran@parks.lacounty.gov.

Equestrian volunteers donate thousands of hours a year to patrol trails, parks and special events throughout Southern California through such groups as ETI, CHSA, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Posse, and Orange County Adopt-A-Park programs. The WNMAU was asked to patrol the ETI Convention at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center. At some events, Naylor sets up a booth and does demonstrations on horse training.

WNMAU are also volunteers with L.A. County Sheriffs Mounted Posse, patrolling trails, and public events, such as participating in chili cook-offs, or working concerts with Sheriffs Posse horseback, directing traffic. More information can be obtained on the WNMAU at the website: http://www.wnmau.com.

In the Hansen Dam area, the Foothills Mounted Patrol is working with LAPD to patrol, and ETI Corral 20 has given support to the Mounted Patrol, mainly “observe and report.” The LAPD carries out the enforcement.

Other active ETI MAU groups to contact are Corral 35 MAU Volunteer group, located in Glendora, San Dimas, and Azusa (Rose Dickinson at RDickinson2@verizon.net); Corral 36 (Bernie Weiss, Bernie@bandj.net) from Malibu, Calabasas, and Monte Nido, patrolling Malibu State Park; Corral 15 (Bob Jarvis, Boby103@ca.rr.com) Marshall Canyon, SanDimas/LaVerne area.

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One comment has been made on “Mounting A Purpose”

  1. Deah Rudd Says:

    Bill Naylor is an outstanding inspiration to the equestrian community. Excellent article and a lifetime of good work and such a great leader.

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