Community News
December, 2015

REARS (Riverside Emergency Animal Rescue Service) orientation meeting for new rescue people, January 30th at 9am.  

REARS (Riverside Emergency Animal Rescue Service) orientation meeting for new rescue people, January 30th at 9am.

El Nino floods and most ranches are in flat, flood plains. Many weeds to grow for fire season in the summer time.
The next orientation meeting is Saturday, Jan. 30, at the Western Riverside County/City Animal Shelter at 6851 Van Buren Blvd., Jurupa Valley. The meeting begins at 9 a.m. and usually ends at about 4 p.m.

Robin Bryan Campbell is the Anza/Aguanga contact person. On Facebook.

Information under Facebook High Country Equestrian Group

by: Laurie Stanton



November, 2015

ACTION ALERT: Recreational Trails Program needs your help!  

For months now, ELCR has been working with our Conservation Partners, Coalition for Recreational Trails and the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, on the reauthorization of the Transportation Alternatives Program, which includes the Recreational Trails Program (RTP) under the Transportation Bill. The RTP is important to all recreational users of trails including HORSEMEN and WOMEN.

Recreational Trails Program needs your help!Two amendments have been filed to the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015 (HR 3763) that would specifically eliminate the RTP. The first amendment (#69) was filed by Rep. Buddy Carter (R-GA). The second (#158) was filed by Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL).
These amendments would destroy the RTP, the essential program that has served as the foundation of state trail programs all across the country for more than 20 years. RTP is a user-pay/user-benefit program using the federal gas taxes paid by nonhighway recreationists. These amendments would take these taxes and use them for other purposes.
Consideration of amendments by the U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, November 3rd and continue through Wednesday, November 4th. Time is very short. Please take action to defeat these amendments by contacting your members of Congress.
Click here to locate your member of the U.S. House of Representatives and their contact information.


October, 2015



BELIEVE ME…There ARE Protesters Who Will Compel County Enforcement Action Against Horse Properties Without Coastal Development Permits (CDP).
MAKE THIS EASY ON YOURSELF AND APPLY AS SOON AS POSSIBLE FOR YOUR PERMIT. DROP IN TO VISIT the L A County Calabasas One-Stop Center at 26600 Agoura Rd., Suite 110, Calabasas. Talk with Marie Waite. Calabasas office hours are limited to Wednesday and Thursday from 7:00 to 11:00 am. Take your Title Deed, all your building permits for your property with you if you have them. If you cannot find them, you can request copies from the County.

ONE YEAR HAS ALREADY GONE BY: If you have a horse facility, INCLUDING STALLS, ROOF SHELTERS, AND/OR ALL FENCING TO CONTAIN HORSES – even if you do not currently own a horse, and you want to maintain your property value with that horse facility intact – the NEW LAWS state that you MUST have a permit from Los Angeles County. The Local Coast Program (LCP) has given the permit power to L.A. County for the UNINCORPORATED areas in the Santa Monica Mountains for a limited time. The County FEES may be way less for you than quoted last April 28th at the County meeting. You should check out fees at the ONE-STOP CENTER in Calabasas.

Very importantly, the application for the “Special Compliance Permit must be completed no later than Oct. 10, 2016. After that, the Special Compliance Permit will disappear forever.

SPRING is when plants bloom and birds and animals nest - THIS IS THE TIME YOU NEED TO HAVE YOUR BIOLOGICAL RESOURCE STUDY DONE. A Biological study may be critical for your application for horse facilities, whether or not you are currently keeping a horse. You may also be required to have a survey of your native trees (Oaks, Sycamores, Willow, Walnut, etc.).

The goal of many protesters against horses is to remove all horsekeeping from the Santa Monica Mountains. At the end of the moratorium time period, it is expected that the these protesters will use aerial photography to identify unpermitted horse facilities and file complaints to require Regional Planning to enforce the new restrictions.

Regional Planning’s One-Stop center at 26600 Agoura Rd. in Calabasas has lightened the workload and fees for you. There is no cost for an initial visit. Brochures have been printed to help you negotiate the process, and even more importantly, you can show your willingness to comply with the new laws by filing your application along with the fee due for the type of permit you need for your horse facility.
The Abronson Application for Pony Cross Farm was filed September 30th, 2015. Now we are waiting for the County to review our application. Several others in Monte Nido have also filed their applications.

We recommend that property owners with equestrian facilities should not delay any longer, and should seriously consider commencing the application process NOW.
Visit the L A County Calabasas One-Stop Center at 26600 Agoura Rd., Suite 110, Calabasas. Talk with Marie Waite. Calabasas office hours are limited to Wednesday and Thursday from 7:00 to 11:00 am. Take all your building permits for your property with you if you have them.
You are also welcome to reach out to Gina Natoli 213-974-3426,; or to Josh Huntington 213-974-6462,

~~Stephanie Abronson, ETI Corral 36 Newsletter Editor

August, 2015

USEF Update: Approved Rule Changes  

From the USEF Communications Department

Lexington, Ky. - Following the USEF Mid-Year Board of Directors Meeting this week in Lexington, Ky., the list of modified regulatory texts is now available. All updated texts, showing the latest changes, can be found under Approved Rule Changes in the Rule Book section of the USEF website, and listed in the links below.

Revisions to GR301, GR306, GR307, and GR318 - Rules Effecting Competition Mileage Exemption

 In early 2015, USEF President Chrystine Tauber convened a Mileage Rule Revision Task Force in order to evaluate the mileage rule and provide recommendations that address the concerns of competitors and organizers alike. In that spirit, the Task Force held a Town Hall meeting with members on May 18, 2015 to discuss proposed revisions to the rule. Following the Town Hall meeting, the Task Force worked in conjunction with USEF leadership and staff to put forward to the USEF Board of Directors a revised rule, which reflects the changing demands of the equestrian competition landscape. The USEF Board of Directors adopted revisions to GR301, GR306, GR307, and GR318 on June 29, 2015.

The changes will take effect through a staggered implementation according to the following dates:

Effective August 1, 2015
GR301.2, GR306.7.d, GR307.3.a-b, GR318, pages 3-4.

Mileage Exemption Policies Pertaining to GR307, pages 2-3.

Effective December 1, 2015
GR307, page 5.

In order to facilitate a smooth transition in adopting the new mileage exemption process, the USEF Competitions Department will host teleconference training sessions for organizers currently operating competitions under a mileage exemption or with the permission of the priority date holder. Additional information on the training sessions will be released in the coming weeks.

Additional rule changes approved by the Board of Directors on June 30, 2015:

 General Rules
Approved 2014 Rule Change - GR1035.2, page 2.

Approved 2015 Rule Changes - GR404, GR821.2, GR1009.1, GR1124.6, pages 8-12.

Arabian Rules
Approved 2015 Rule Changes - AR106.9, AR159.2, AR225.4, pages 13-15.

Dressage Rules 

Approved 2015 Rule Change - DR126, page 16.

Equitation Rules
Approved 2015 Rule Changes - EQ 110.6, EQ110.12, pages 17-18.

Eventing Rules
Approved 2015 Rule Change - EV114.4, page 20.

Hunter Rules
Approved 2014 Rule Changes - HU179, HU180.1, pages 4-6.

Approved 2015 Rule Changes - HU106.8, HU125.4, pages 21-22.

Jumping Rules
Approved 2015 Rule Change - JP120.1, page 23.

Approved 2015 Rule Change - VA126.10, page 24.

Western Dressage
Approved 2015 Rule Change - WD127.1, page 26.

A complete copy of the current 2015 USEF Rule Book and all approved rule changes can be found at


July, 2015
Equestrian Moms Needed!

We invite you to take the
Study of Product Use for Relatives and their Family Health (SPUR: Family Health). The purpose of this survey is to learn about products used on and around horse and family health. The survey takes about 20-30 minutes to complete and can be accessed by clicking on the link below. Thank you in advance for your participation, your feedback is important to us!

Enter to win a $50 Target gift card!

Everyone can be entered in the drawing regardless of participation.  If you do not want to participate but want to be included in the drawing, please email me at

Click here for the survey! 

Jacqueline Barkoski, MPH
PhD Candidate
Graduate Group in Epidemiology
University of California, Davis

April 29, 2015

The horses are beautiful and the barn is pristine, but where there are animals, hay and food there are also rodents. Barn cats can help. Rodents destroy insulation, electrical wiring, bedding and leather, contaminate feed supplies and spread disease. Having a resident stable or barn cat can provide a safe, nontoxic solution to this issue.

The mission of the VBAS is to find homes for all animals who find themselves temporarily homeless. Some cats arrive at the shelter who are unsocialized, feral or have other behaviors that mean they can never be successfully adopted as a family pet. Their options are limited, their future uncertain. However they are healthy, have had their shots and in return for a safe, comfortable environment, regular food and water can easily become a working cat and a valuable asset to the equestrian community.

Our volunteer team will visit the property, discuss the potential, then deliver the cats and help in setting up the safe environment and establishing routines. The nominal fee of $35 per cat covers spay/neuter, microchip, vaccinations, disease testing and parasite prevention.

The VBAS Barn Cat Program has been saving lives for the past seven years. Cats have gone to a ranch in Ojai, a school in Silverlake and many individual barns and businesses throughout Southern California. In the last two years alone, 55 cats have found a live-work environment through the diligent efforts of our team.

We are interested in partnering with you to spread the word about this valuable resource. Can we discuss ad placement and possible story feature? Time is of the essence as the shelter has recently taken in seven new cats in need of a ‘job’ in a stable!

The benefits of having a barn kitty are many. The benefit of being that barn kitty is monumental…it's literally lifesaving.

Bonnie Caul
Volunteers of the Burbank Animal Shelter
Cat Socialization Team Leader

April 28, 2015

Please Save The Date! Those who care about preserving SAFE local trails are being asked to attend this meeting. If you cannot make it to the meeting RCHA suggests to write a letter of support addressed to all the Commissioners, emailed to
You could make the following points for example:
- we need connectivity
- as many as possible should be off roads for safety (since Wine Country has significant DUI issues)
- while we understand the need for protection of private property, we must also consider the rights of the broader community who invested here EARLIER with the knowledge that easements had been recorded in Riverside County
- the zoning allows us to keep horses and operate training businesses. We need somewhere to exercise those horses
- and others!-RCHA

Sign the Petition!

Temecula's Trails are important not only to Wine Country's residents, but also to our friends.  Please sign and share this petition to show your support of efforts to gain approval of a SAFE, CONNECTED Trails Network in some form (many trails have been utilized in Temecula Wine Country for decades) as a protected, recognized trails system AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.  Horse owners, as well as those who love horses and support equestrians, represent a major segment of the landowning and voting population of the Temecula Valley.  Safe trails are essential to exercise the horses and preserve the equestrian lifestyle for which our beautiful Wine Country has a global reputation.  I/we do not expect that every trail proposed will gain approval, but Temecula's roots in ranching and farming run deep.  As you visit Wine Country's geographic areas (Winery, Equestrian & Residential) you'll notice that "4-legged horse residents" live everywhere!  Many feel preserving a Trails System is critical for achieving the vision of Wine Country as a unique agricultural area that values horses as well as viticulture for the future. Working together with the County, local property owners, equestrians, businesses, riding clubs, community groups, etc. it is our hope that this dream can finally become a reality.  By signing this petition you are joining me, a Wine Country Equestrian, in asking the Riverside County Parks District and Board of Directors to please facilitate the approval of a SAFE Trails System AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!  Thank you for your support and please share the link to this petition with others who care about our trails.  (Please note: The petition's automatic emails to the county were stopped at 1000 signatures.  This petition will be printed and submitted to the county as needed until the trails map is approved.  Thank you!)

April 18, 2015

Entries for the 2015 Andalusian World Cup Open in May

A custom Dale Chavez saddle and large cash prizes top the list of show awards.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. -- April 18, 2015 -- Andalusian World announced today that entries for this fall's Andalusian World Cup will be open as of May 1, 2015. The country's premier Iberian horse show is scheduled for September 24-26, 2015 at the South Point Arena and Equestrian Center in Las Vegas. 

The 2014 Andalusian World Cup was the largest gathering of Iberian bred horses outside of Spain and Portugal, and this year's attendance is expected to far surpass last year's. Keeping with the inaugural show's ground-breaking format, the 2015 show will combine a variety of equestrian disciplines at one venue, and will feature a host of prizes and cash awards.

"We are thrilled to announce that Dale Chavez has agreed to award a beautiful custom saddle to the winner of the Western Pleasure Supreme Championship. Mr. Chavez generously provided a saddle for last year's show and it was gorgeous, everyone who saw it absolutely loved it," says Amber Lentz, Andalusian World co-founder and show organizer. "We're also excited to announce there will be $1,000 in prize money for each Supreme Championship Sweepstakes class, with $750 going to the champion and $250 to the reserve champion. And there will be all kinds of other fun prizes for many of the classes."

The Andalusian World Cup is open to all horses with papers from any recognized Iberian Horse registry. P.R.E horses registered with ANCCE also can enter ANCCE-sanctioned competitions. In addition, Iberian Horse breed restricted USEF/USDF Dressage through Grand Prix  and DSHB in hand classes will be offered.  A WEIAUSA Working Equitation competition is open to any breed of horse. Entries for the Dressage and Working Equitation classes are limited, so entrants are encouraged to get their paperwork in early.

There is a special group rate available at the South Point Hotel for show attendees; the reservation code is: ANDO921.  Additional information about the 2015 Andalusian World Cup, including reservations for the few remaining VIP tables, is available at:

Contacts: Amber Lentz Barbara Price, 951-587-7538 or
AndalusianWorld @One Group, 760-715-7803 or


February 12, 2014

TEMECULA: Equestrian trails removed from Wine Country plan


BY CASSIE MACDUFF THE PRESS-ENTERPRISE ~ PE.COM Published: February 10, 2014; 04:01 PM

Approving the Temecula Valley Wine Country Community Plan without equestrian trails is putting the cart before the horse.

In the works for more than four years, the recently approved plan paves the way for winery expansion, including three-story hotels, two-story restaurants and wine tasting rooms, and more than doubling the number of wineries.

But it leaves the equestrian trail system vulnerable to more paths being cut off by new development in the fast-growing region of southwest Riverside County, or property owners putting up new fences to block existing trails.

The Riverside County Board of Supervisors in December approved the Wine Country plan but sent the trail system back to the drawing board after some homeowners said they don’t want riders looking into their backyards, kicking up dust and dropping litter.

An ad hoc committee of residents, equestrians and winery or business owners is to be appointed next month. Its work is expected to take 18 months to two years.

A lot of new homes can be built — and fences go up — in two years.

It’s an unfortunate outcome to an ambitious plan for a 19,000-acre region that historically has been horse country and now is one of Riverside County’s premier tourist attractions.

Supervisor Jeff Stone, whose district includes the Temecula area, asked that the trails plan be peeled off from the Wine Country plan.

Stone, according to his chief of staff, Verne Lauritzen, still views trails as part of the wine country plan. But rather than delay approval of the entire Wine Country plan, Lauritzen said it made more sense to remove the trails and complete that plan separately.

Approving the Wine Country plan enables construction of a sewer system to serve new development; the biggest roadblock to construction of new hotels, expansion of wineries and other development is the lack of the sewer line, he said.

It would be one thing if the supervisors put a moratorium on development until the trails map is approved. But that’s not what they did. Development can proceed once the sewer line goes in.

The removal of the trails from the Wine Country plan was a shock and a disappointment to the equestrian community that has worked on it since 2006.

A lot of people moved to the Temecula area to buy horse ranches and enjoy riding on trails that have been there for decades, members of the Rancho California Horseman’s Association told me.

“There’s a ton of horses out there,” said Gil Pankonin, association president. “And these people need places to ride.”

The plan was to create a connected network of horse trails so people could ride a continuous loop through the countryside.

But some homeowners who’ve moved to the area in recent years don’t like horseback riding near their properties. And Stone has said he doesn’t blame people who find their properties on the trails map for being concerned.

“I don’t want to shove a trails plan down the throats of our residents,” he said at the Dec. 18 board meeting where he proposed removing it.

Lorraine Harrington, an association member who worked on the Wine Country citizens committee, said county lawyers assured her the plan still calls for a network of trails. The exact routes will be worked out by the ad hoc committee, she said.

The committee will be nominated by the countywide trails committee, which will recommend the names of appointees to the Parks Commission at its March 6 meeting, said Scott Bangle, parks director and general manager.

The group should be ready to go to work March 7, Bangle said.

How quickly the trails network is mapped out will depend on how cooperatively the committee members work with each other, he said.

The equestrians and one homeowner who returned my call sound willing to work things out. I hope they can do it before more trails are fenced off.

Contact Cassie MacDuff at 951-368-9470 or

September 18, 2013

“MY FAVORITE TRAIL” – AERC ESSAY CONTEST American Endurance Ride Conference announces “My Favorite Trail” essay contest

Every equestrian has a favorite trail. Just thinking about riding there brings you a feeling of peace, of being close to nature and closer to your equine friend.
In celebration of trails, the nation’s leading sport in encouraging the use, protection and development of equestrian trails – the American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) – is announcing a “My Favorite Trail” essay contest.

The top three entries will be awarded gift certificates from contest sponsor Riding Warehouse,, with $250 in gift certificates going to the first place entry, $150 for second and $100 for third. The top prize winner will also receive a free one-year membership to the American Endurance Ride Conference, the nonprofit distance riding organization.

In 500 words or less, simply describe a favorite trail or trail system where you love to ride. Have you had an incredible wildlife encounter, an “ah-ha” moment with your horse when you conquered a particular challenge or just love the beautiful scenery?
Send your entry by November 30, 2013, to or by mail to AERC, Attn: Trail Contest, PO Box 6027, Auburn, CA 95604. You are welcome to include one photo if you wish. Please include your name and contact information. AERC’s Trails and Land Management Committee members will choose the top three winners, based on the most heartfelt write-ups. Those essays, and runner-up essays, will be published by AERC in the monthly Endurance News magazine or the quarterly online newsletter, AERC Extra.

With rides ranging from 25 to 100 miles in a day, endurance riders are lucky enough to experience trails in all their glory as they train and compete. They would love to welcome new riders and their horses into the sport to share joy of riding trails, both new and historic. To find out more about the sport of endurance riding, visit

Part of AERC’s mission is to fund trail projects that not only make trail improvements for endurance rides, but for all who use the trail systems. Each year thousands of dollars contributed by endurance riders are given to trail grant applicants. The organization also hosts Trail Master classes to teach sustainable trail building, maintenance and repair skills to trail workers around the country.
The contest is open to all. The winner will be announced in mid-December, 2013. Complete rules are available at

September 11, 2013

UPDATE: San Diego County Equine Ordinance policy development meeting 9-11-13.

We have scheduled the Tiered Equine Ordinance, POD 11-011 for the Board of Supervisors Meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013 at 9am. The Board Chanbers are located at the County Administration Center, Room 310, 1600 Pacific Highway, SD, CA. Please be sure to arrive before 9am to submit a speaker slip if you wish to address the Board.

Project Summary: In March 2011 the SD County Board of Supervisors requested ordinance options for updating equine regulations. Meetings were held with equine stakeholders and options developed to present to the Planning Commision & the Board. In 2011 the Board directed staff to develop tiered ordinance for the permitting of commercial horse stables. The specific direction to staff was to work with the equine community to investigate and develop best management practices & permit streamlining options that would protect and promote equine operations. The focusis to simplify the existing permitting process for horse stables by incorporating a system that would allow different levels of permit requirements based upon the intensity of the equine operations. The Zoning Ordinance currently requires a Major Use Permit for some properties located in the County regardless of the size and intensity of the equine operations. Staff has attended many planning group meetings to present the project and interviewed more than 20 different horse stable operators in the County.

Planning Commission: On June 14th, 2013, the draft ordinance and EIR was presented to the Planning Commisssion. The Planning Commission voted 4-0-1 to recommend the Board approve the Ordinance Amendment and adopt the environment findings. (Ayes: Day, Woods, Norby, Pallinger; Noes: none; Abstain: Beck; Absent: Brooks, Riess)

Additional information, including the draft ordinance, maps of affected areas and the final EIR may be found on the project webpage at:

Carl Stiehl-County of San Diego-Advance Planning
5510 Overland Avenue, Suite 310,
San Diego, CA 92123

September 5, 2013

Newland Community Planning Workshop (Merriam Mountains) ~ developers looking for community input for future project. This is a Community Planning Workshop held at the San Marcos Community Center on Sept 5.

We will be hosting a Community Planning Workshop to get input before we begin to put together our plan.  It will be held at the San Marcos Community Center, 1 Civic Center Drive, San Marcos, CA from 6-8 PM on  Thursday, September 5.  Please help by sharing this with your contacts.
Hope to see you there.
Linda Bailey ~ President
Community Strategies Group, Inc.
1108 Rosehill Court, Escondido, CA 92025
760-445-1323 or

June 6, 2013

Draft Ordinance and Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Tiered Equine Ordinance project - Hearing date June 14th, 2013

Good Afternoon Equine Stakeholders,

It has been a couple of months since public review ended on the Draft Ordinance and Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Tiered Equine Ordinance project. Thank you to those of you who commented on the ordinance and EIR, we appreciate all of the input received on the project. We’re finalizing responses to your comments that will be included in the Final EIR.

The next step in the process is to bring the Draft Ordinance and EIR to the County of San Diego Planning Commission. We have the project on the agenda for the next Planning Commission Hearing on Friday June 14 at 9am. The hearing is held at the County Operations Center (COC) Conference Center Hearing Room, 5520 Overland, San Diego, CA 92123.
The Tiered Equine Ordinance is item # 5, here is the summary from the commission’s agenda:
5. Tiered Equine Ordinance; POD 11-011; Countywide (Stiehl)
The Equine Policy and Ordinance Development project (POD 11-011) is to update the County of San Diego’s Zoning Ordinance with regard to equine uses. On July 13, 2011(1) the Board of Supervisors directed staff to develop an ordinance for the permitting of a commercial horse stable. The action being presented is a tiered system of permitting that eliminates the need for a discretionary permit for some horse stables depending on the numbers of horses and the size of usable acreage for a stable. The specific direction to staff was to work with the equine community to investigate ordinance options that would protect and promote equine operations including permitting options. The focus of the changes is to regulations for commercial horse stables, in particular the requirement for a Major Use Permit in certain areas. The project should provide greater permit flexibility with regulation tiers that are more restrictive with the intensity of the equine options starting with a ministerial approval for the least intensive.

For additional documentation on this item, please visit:

If you would like to be heard please be sure you arrive before 9am to fill out a speaker slip. Once the hearing starts, they do not accept late requests to speak. If you can’t make it to the commission, you can watch the hearing online at:

This will be the first of two required public hearings to have an ordinance adopted. You may recall in stakeholder meetings when I mentioned we need to initially get a recommendation from the Planning Commission on the draft ordinance. Once we receive a recommendation from the Commission, we’ll be moving forward to the Board of Supervisors, who ultimately decide whether or not to adopt the ordinance. At this time it looks like we should have the project before the Board of Supervisors in the last week of July or the first week of August. We should know after the Commission what the firm date is and then I’ll let you all know.

For those interested, there will be a Planning Commission Report for the project posted to the website shortly, I’ll have it linked on the Equine page.

Let me know if you have any questions or need additional information.


Carl Stiehl
County of San Diego
Advance Planning
5510 Overland Avenue, Suite 310
San Diego, CA 92123

May 20, 2013

My Horse is a River
By Dawn Jenkins

My Horse is a River

My horse is a river. I prepare once again to bathe in his tidepool and wade in his will.
I submerge in his cool waters to refresh my soul — and drink, deep and long — as often as I may.
Taking a breath, I close my eyes and dive into his saddle.
Where will we go? His current will take me. How long will we ride? As long as we may!
My horse is a swiftly flowing river, with ever-changing moods. He waxes overflowing, exuberant with life.
With endless gallops and carefree abandon, he satisfies my childhood dreams.
My horse carries me to distant shores. I merge into his watery depths, surrendering my heart.
His movement sweeps me away from time and space, washes my spirit and cleanses my senses.
I immerse my body in the rapids of his powerful currents. His hidden eddies capture the secret of my soul.
Sun sparkles off my horse’s silken coat like a thousand moonbeams. Dazzling. Hypnotic.
My horse’s sweat smells sweet as he surges ‘round the next bend, ever seeking the new, the fresh, the surreal.
Nostrils flared, ears pricked forward, my horse is freedom in motion.
His hooves beat to the sound of water rushing, tumbling toward distant mountains and verdant pastures.
His mane flows like water surging over rocks in its course as I ride his swell and surf his waves.
Laughing, exuberant, we gallop headlong into the sublime.
As long as there is a sun and a sky, my horse will transport me to new reaches of discovery as his floodgates open and pour me into the watery depths of his soul.

May 14, 2013

R.E.A.R.S. (Riverside Emergency Animal Rescue Service) - 951-358-7387
Thank you Laurie Stanton, for this article.

R.E.A.R.S.REARS is recruiting volunteers for all capacities (animal paperwork, pick ups, radio operators, etc.) All area locations are needed.
I attended the 03/04/13 CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) Meeting that invited REARS to speak. These are a few of the points I noted.
• REARS is called to a specific address to pick up dogs, cats, goats, sheep, horses , cattle (not chickens), they do not drive around looking for animals (this would be considered trespassing and theft)
• REARS has a minimum of two (2) truck/trailer rigs to each evacuation property. This is for safety; in case one of the vehicles becomes disabled the group has the ability to escape.
• Each evacuation team has a minimum of six (6) people. Each truck/trailer rig has a minimum of 1 driver, 1 assistant and 1 RACES (Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service)
• Each rig must have a RACES operator. Cell phones don’t always work with the heavy smoke and the incident command must be in contact with the rigs at all times for location and safety.
• Each rig must have the E# on their wind shield in order to pass through police road blocks.
• If people go through the fire blocks unauthorized, their license plate will be recorded and people arrested at a later time.
• REARS is no longer a volunteer organization after the 2003 fires. It is now under the umbrella of the Office of Emergency Service and FEMA. Overseen by Animal Control.
• Volunteers are not covered for any medical, liability, vehicle, etc.
• REARS are covered for insurance, medical, liability, etc. by the OES when called to an incident.
• Animals are sent to a staging area where they are checked in, photographed, data sheets filled out and checked by a Veterinarian.
• Feed is not supplied at the staging area so owners need to bring their own feed while animals are at the staging area.
• If memory serves, they do training and mock pick ups annually. REARS is sometimes called by law enforcement to do animal seizures.
• Background checks and fingerprinting are done to become a REARS person.
The REARS article ran March 22nd in the AV Outlook. You can read it online at Jodi Thomas attended the meeting and submitted an article.

Spring 2013

2013 Back Country Horsemen of California Rendezvous
In Norco “Horsetown USA
George Ingalls Equestrian Event Center
March 22-24, 2013

Please join us in Norco for the 2013 Annual Rendezvous, where you can experience “City Living in a Rural Atmosphere”. Norco is known for it’s Equestrian lifestyle—where every street has a horse trail! Upon exiting the 6th St. off ramp off the 15 freeway, going East for 2 miles through Old Town Norco. You will quickly see Western themed businesses, horse trails instead of sidewalks with split rail fencing and plenty of cowboys and cowgirls riding through town—taking you right up to the Ingalls Equestrian Center.


The key objective and purpose of Backcountry Horsemen of California for concerned men and women are:

Every year the Rendezvous meeting is held by Backcountry Horsemen of California to educate each other, other equestrians and the public about backcountry equine skills and current issues regarding the public lands.

  • To perpetuate the common sense use and enjoyment of horses in America's backcountry & wilderness.
  • To improve and promote the use, care, and development of California trails, campsites, streams and meadows, to advocate good trail manners.
  • To work to insure that public lands remain open to recreational stock use
  • To assist in keeping the public informed of the vital need for a clean backcountry
  • To assist the various governments and private agencies in their maintenance and management of said resources
  • To educate and encourage and solicit active participation in the use of the backcountry resources by horsemen and the general public commensurate with our heritage
  • To foster and encourage the information of new units of the BCHC organization.

So what is it you can expect to find at the 2013 Rendezvous? Fun, Education, Entertainment, and Much More!

The BCHC Rendezvous follows a tradition of gathering together of outdoor enthusiasts. Our event features equine training, clinicians, scores of vendors, horse and mule packing seminars, Gentle Use/ Leave No Trace classes, Western Art Show, Awards and Accolades, Dutch Oven Cook-off, Trail Trials, Beer and Wine tasting, Cowboy Church, Youth Classes, Raffles and Auction. There is always lots to learn, lots of fun, and plenty of horses and mules at the Backcountry Horsemen Rendezvous!

Friday night March 22nd at 8:00 pm, get your dancin’ boots on and come join us for a night with Dave Stamey, the most popular Western Entertainer for the last 3 years! Awarded at the Western Music Association in 2012 for: Album of the Year for Twelve Mile Road, Songwriter of the Year, Male Performer of the Year & Male Entertainer of the Year. Dave is also a member of the Backcountry Horsemen of California.
Tickets available online

Also slated for the Rendezvous is a Trail Obstacle Challenge with 3 divisions, Novice, Packers and Open. Come out and test your horse’s skill navigating the great outdoors inside a covered arena!

If you would like to participate in any of the contests, you will find all of the rules, entries and information on our web site at

Come learn more about Backcountry Horsemen, a national organization to preserve the land and keep the trails open. It is a 5013c non-profit organization.

February 1, 2013
The County of San Diego Tiered Equine Ordinance Draft EIR is on CEQA Public Review. You may access the Draft EIR on the Equine Ordinance page at:
Please send your comments to me on the Draft Ordinance and/or the Draft EIR by March 20, 2013.

Carl Stiehl
County of San Diego
Advance Planning
5510 Overland Avenue, Suite 310
San Diego, CA 92123

January 24, 2013

Happy New Year Equine Stakeholders,

It has been a long time since I last updated all of you on the County of San Diego Draft Equine Ordinance and Environmental Impact Report. I have been visiting stables, going to planning group meetings (where I’ve seen many of you) and working on the draft ordinance. We are currently finalizing the draft ordinance and are working with the consultant to put the finishing touches on the EIR. We would like to have a meeting with Equine Stakeholders prior to the 45 day public review period for the ordinance and EIR which will begin at the end of the month. I have scheduled an Equine Stakeholders meeting for Thursday January 24 from 2pm to 4pm at 5500 Overland Ave. Room 120, San Diego 92123 (see map below for building location). This is the large training room directly off the lobby and permit center in building 5500 (blue star on map below); for reference, our offices (if you have been to the new building) for Planning & Development Services and the Building/Zoning Counters are located across the covered courtyard in building 5510 (red star on map below).

The purpose of the meeting will be to report to stakeholders regarding the stable visits and the planning group presentations over the past year and to provide stakeholders with an overview of the draft ordinance and EIR now that they are completed. The meeting is also a venue for general discussion stakeholders would like to have regarding the ordinance and EIR prior to public review.

Please let me know if you would be attending and if anyone else is attending with you. Please RSVP to me by Tuesday January 22. I will follow up with you the week of the meeting with a copy of the draft ordinance for you to review before the meeting.

I look forward to seeing you.

Carl Stiehl
County of San Diego
Advance Planning
5510 Overland Avenue, Suite 310
San Diego, CA 92123

December 20, 2012
After hearing a presentation from NPS staff, the Las Virgenes Homeowners Federation adopted a motion to support Alternatives C and D in the draft NPS study of the "Rim of the Valley Corridor" required by Congress. Those alternatives would expand the boundaries of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (SMMNRA) to include the mountains surrounding the five nearby developed valleys. This expansion would be the most cost effective way to protect the wildlife corridors that will keep our wildlife healthy and connected while providing increased recreational opportunities to the 17 million residents of the L.A. megalopolis. Letters to the NPS are extremely important and I hope that each Monte Nidan and equestrian (or at least each family) will take the time to write in support of this important long-term goal.

Dear Donald,
With more than 17 million people, the Los Angeles metropolitan area is the second-largest urban area in the country. Visitors and locals like you would greatly benefit from increased access to open space and opportunities to learn about the Los Angeles area's rich history and culture.

To that end, the National Park Service is studying how to best expand the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, a biologically diverse and historically significant national treasure located in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties.

Take Action: Send a letter to the National Park Service urging the agency to expand the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, increase urban residents' access to parkland and cultural sites, protect wildlife corridors, and improve management of the Rim of the Valley Trail.

Thanks for all you do to help protect our national parks.

Seth Shteir, California Desert Field Representative

September 6, 2012

State Weighs Future of Cuyamaca Rancho Park

Written by Steve Schmidt
Union Tribune Writer

State officials are looking to chart the future of Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, nearly a decade after it was flattened by a catastrophic wildfire.

In a few weeks, they will launch a series of public gatherings aimed at crafting a new long-range plan for the 24,700-acre park, long seen as one of San Diego County's most popular and scenic expanses of backcountry.

Nedra Martinez, superintendent of the Palomar and Cuyamaca Rancho state parks, said the lingering fallout from the 2003 Cedar fire is forcing officials to rethink issues related to public access and preservation.

"The '03 fire really changed who we are," she said. "It has in some cases broadened what we can do and in some cases narrowed it."

Park officials plan this fall to host the first of three public workshops on the future of Cuyamaca Rancho as they put together a draft general plan that would replace the long-range document approved in 1986.

The initial workshop will be held at 6 p.m. on Oct. 3 in the main showroom at the Viejas Casino, 5000 Willows Rd., Alpine.

Among the issues expected to discussed:
. Park facilities. The Cedar fire damaged or destroyed numerous facilities, including the Dyar House visitor center and the Los Caballos family and equestrian campground. Officials want to figure out, with public input, whether to relocate these facilities and, if so, where.

. Cultural sites. Martinez said the blaze uncovered more archeological and historical sites than previously documented at Cuyamaca. Because those cultural resources must be protected, it limits what can be done with the land, she said.

. Trail system. The fire remade the park's vegetation and vistas, and has spurred talk about whether some trails within the 100-mile system should be realigned to better fit the changed landscape.

Martinez said the issue of day-use fees and campground fees will not be part of the general plan overhaul. "We have not had any discussions about raising or lowering fees," she said. Park officials plan to release a draft environmental impact report related to the new plan by early 2014 and hope to have the plan in place by the end of that year. At least two additional public workshops will be held.

State officials have budgeted $420,000 to complete the document.

The park is roughly 40 miles east of San Diego and includes Cuyamaca Reservoir, Stonewall Peak, Three Sisters waterfalls and the Green Valley and Paso Picacho campgrounds. Martinez said the park had 406,000 visitors in 2010, the most recent year available.

It had 647,000 visitors the year before the Cedar blaze, and only 200,000 the year after.


Programs for Horse Owners

Hello Interested Horse Owners-

The Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced that applications are being accepted for financial assistance to treat identified soil, water and related natural resource concerns on eligible horse properties in 2013. See the updated flyer for further instructions.

Please note that not all applicants will receive funding. Check the details on the attachment and contact the NRCS if you have additional questions.
Please share this information with horse owners that you think may be interested.

Thanks for your time and good luck to all who apply!
Best Regards,

Marsha Cook
County of San Diego, DPW
Watershed Protection Program
5201 Ruffin Road, Suite P
San Diego, CA 92123
(858) 694-2794

February 7, 2011
Dear Equestrians-
It has been well over a year since we set out to create our documentary, Equine Destiny. Since then we have not only completed the film, but have received 7 awards at LA film festivals. Our most recent awards were from the 2010 LA Movie Awards which include: Best Documentary Short, Best Narration, and Best Visual Effects. We want to keep our positive momentum going by allowing local equestrian centers to host private screenings of the film as well as a Q&A with the filmmakers. Our goal is to continue our awareness campaign throughout the country and eventually have every American see the film. We believe that dedicated people like you can set the stage for the change we so desperately need regarding the well-being our horses. You can view the trailer and learn more about the film at

January 18, 2011

We are excited to announce the launch of our new Gelding Clinic Pilot Program!

This program aims to provide responsible horse owners with a low cost castration option and to reduce breeding during a period of over supply.

Please see the attached press release, and feel free to contact me at 760-419-2462 with any questions. Click here for more information.
Shirley Puga

Executive Director

December 12, 2010

The World's Smartest Horse Now A GUINNESS WORLD RECORD HOLDER!!


Chino Hills, California - Lukas , the World's Smartest Horse ( according to The World Records Academy ) has done it!!   Guinness World Records has officially recognized Lukas' history making achievement:  "Most numbers correctly identified by a horse in one minute."   The seventeen year old ex-racer and former rescue met all the guidelines and identified NINETEEN numbers in less than sixty seconds.  Karen Murdock, Lukas' owner/trainer had quite a list for her beloved gelding during the event. Guidelines for the attempt included the following:

ü Qualified veterinary surgeon present.
ü No equipment whatsoever to be used by the handler (including a halter) - Lukas loose and entirely free in a round pen.
ü No touching or pointing by the handler or any other person.
ü A single verbal request (a number) solely must be made by the handler.
ü The numbers must be placed on the floor/table in front of the horse 20 centimeters apart.
ü The horse must return toward center after each number and make a conclusive selection.
ü Only correct responses are counted.
ü Numbers spoken at random and non-consecutive.
ü Two expert witnesses.
ü Two expert time keepers with stopwatches accurate to 1/100th of a second. 
ü Static (non-stopping) filming of entire attempt and focused on attempt at all times.
ü Still photographs documenting the above. 

Once again, Hadi Khalil , veteran producer at International Production and Advertising was on hand to film this momentous occasion; IPA staff photographers and Linda Alexander Walton generously donated still pictures.  Lukas' veterinarian, Dr. Don Scott Vrono, assisted with overseeing the event.  Expert witnesses included Stacey Erb and Kathleen (Tat) Yakutis , timers were Chuck Erb and Doug Murdock. Dawn Mellen , President of After The Finish Line , was on hand as Lukas dedicated his attempt to benefit those less fortunate.  According to Murdock, "I'm very grateful for the help of so many good friends who have helped to bring this about.  We're also very fortunate to have had the support of animal lovers all over the world who have sent encouraging messages and given us inspiration.  I also want to express my appreciation to Guinness for their acknowledgement of Lukas' abilities and to Guinness Talent Manager Louise Ireland for her wonderful assistance.

What's next for the Guinness World Record Holder?  Lukas plans to continue to share his message of hope and happiness for all creatures.  Will there be another record attempt in the future?  Lukas isn't saying yet, but he is practicing identifying his shapes.

July 28, 2010

The American Quarter Horse Journal, June 29, 2010 -

Beginning July 1, 2010, American Quarter Horse Association novice exhibitors will be allowed to show any American Quarter Horse in AQHA novice classes, regardless of ownership. Previously, AQHA rules required novice exhibitors to show a horse owned by a family member (Rule 403(a)(5)), through a lease (Rule 405(c)) or with an official novice permit.

The goal of this rule change is to encourage novice competitors to try a new event on an experienced horse while helping the exhibitor gain confidence and more experience, according to Todd Branson, AQHA director of competition marketing. As current rules state, once the novice exhibitor has earned 25 lifetime points in a class, he or she is ineligible to compete in that class the following year as a novice, with or without a permit.

As novice eligibility now allows, an exhibitor can show a horse in a novice youth or novice amateur class with the owner and his or her immediate family still retaining the ability to show the horse in any class other than the same class as the novice exhibitor. Exhibitors are still required to have a novice amateur or novice youth membership to participate. Memberships can be purchased at the show or prior to the show through AQHA . All novice eligibility requirements as specified in Rule 405A (c) remain unchanged.

Novice exhibitors must still request a novice permit to show a horse that is owned by a non-family member at any of the top 10 AQHA circuit shows that allow permit competition. The top 10 shows are determined by the total number of entries the previous year and can change from year to year.

Competitors showing in AQHA youth- or amateur-division classes must still adhere to AQHA's horse ownership rule 403(A)(5), which states that an amateur must not exhibit in open or amateur AQHA classes horses owned by any third party, but shall only exhibit horses solely owned by the applicant or the applicant's family. However, beginning January 1, 2011 , youth and amateur competitors will be allowed to show leased horses in their respective divisions.

Top 10 shows* that will require a permit for novice competition in 2010:

  • Oklahoma Quarter Horse Association Redbud Spectacular, Oklahoma City
  • Texas Classic, Fort Worth, Texas
  • South Florida Quarter Horse Association Gold Coast, Tampa, Florida
  • Arizona Sun Country Circuit, Scottsdale, Arizona
  • Dixie National Quarter Horse Show, Jackson, Mississippi
  • Big A Circuit, Conyers, Georgia
  • Florida Quarter Horse Association Gulf Coast Circuit, Tampa, Florida
  • Oregon Quarter Horse Association Summer Classic, Central Point, Oregon
  • The Stars and Strips Circuit, Conyers, Georgia
  • Western Pennsylvania Quarter Horse Association, Harlansburg, Pennsylvania

* The All American Quarter Horse Congress is the largest show in terms of entries but does not allow permits or leases.

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