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2005 Featured Articles Archive

~ December 15, 2005 ~

Winter’s Wonderful Trails
by Sherli Leonard, author of
“Trail Trips of Southern California”
Welcome! You live in a fabulous area for enjoying your equine partner all year long. Just imagine: when you’re basking in sunshine on your shoulders, 80 percent of the nation is shivering below the minimum comfortable “Riding” temperature. “Trail Trips of Southern California” wants you and your horse to get to the trails, and relish your blessings, even during the short winter days.
Here are three of my picks for outstanding winter-riding in Southern California:
Desert Trails - Indian Canyons near Palm Springs. This area boasts many miles of interesting trails, some challenging, some relaxing. Most of the trails are exposed, so even in the winter, you will want to come prepared with water and a hat. Most of the trails are moderately to extremely rocky, so shoes on your horse’s hoofs are a requisite.
The trails will take you up exotic canyons with a tremendous variety of flora and trees ranging from sycamores to palms, and up high ridges which will provide you with spectacular views. Depending on the season, you will encounter several mild water crossings.
Directions: Take I-10 toward Palm Springs, follow Highway 111 into Palm Springs, stay on this through town, and follow the obvious signs to the canyons. The horse staging area is about 1 ½ miles from the tollgate, and is marked by signs.
Staging area: large enough for several rigs; no water; pit toilet.
Cost: $10 per horse
Operating times: Open all year; closes at 5 p.m.
Contact: (760) 325-3400;
Hills and Canyons - Bogart Park near Beaumont. These trails take you far away from the frenzy of freeways and sprawl, and they give riders ample choices of difficulty.
For the experienced horse and rider, follow the single-track trail north from the staging area, and enjoy absolute quiet as you ride along a hill following the creek. Shrouded in tall oaks and sycamores, you will feel like you’ve ridden far into the wilderness. This trail eventually climbs onto the high ridges and joins a fire road back to camp.
For the more timid (or should-be-timid) rider, stay on the fire road out of camp and you will find the same fabulous views of the inland valleys.
At the park entrance, get a map: it’s adequate, but not completely accurate.
This is a terrific destination for your weekend camping as the staging area has several pipe corrals.
Directions: Take I-10 or 60 to Beaumont, exit at Beaumont Blvd., and head north (toward the mountains). Turn right at Brookside and left at Cherry which will take you into the park.
Staging: Large area for plenty of day rigs and overnight rigs; water; pit toilets; picnic tables.
Cost: $3 per horse for day use; $10 per night
Operating times: Open all year, closed Tues and Wed; 8 a.m. to sunset.
Contact: (951) 845-3818;
High desert – Mojave River Forks Park near Lake Silverwood and Hesperia. Here’s a treasure trove of beautiful landscapes and adequate trails. The park will certainly give you a change from the ordinary. The equestrian day-use-only area connects to the Pacific Crest Trail; if you have someone to drive your rig, you can offload here then ride to the next stop.
The beauty of this area is its seeming remoteness. It’s easy to get to, but wild and isolated; it will give you a wonderful escape.
Nestled in the crook of the Mojave River bed below a high bluff, the park features a wide jeep road trail that traces alongside the wide, shallow, and beautiful river.
At an elevation of more than 2,500 feet, the area will be cool enough to enjoy all winter.
Directions: take I-15 north to 138; exit and travel east 9 miles to 173; turn north (left) 6 miles to Mojave Rivers Forks Park. Go into the park, find the host who will unlock the chain across the entrance to the equestrian area. From Victorville and points north, go south on I-15 to Main Street exit in Hesperia. Follow Main Street all the way through Hesperia and stay on it; after it turns south into the river area, it will intersect with 173 and take you to the Park entrance.
Staging: Large flat staging area, picnic tables, flush toilets, tap water.
Cost: $5 per horse
Operating times: Open all year, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Phone: (760) 389-2322
Watch for more winter riding ideas coming in February, 2006. Trail Trips offers A complete program for the recreational trail rider,
with Western Times Magazine’s “Trail Travels” Author Sherli Leonard.
Products: “Trail Trips of Southern California” and “More Trail Trips of Southern California” – Trail Guides for Riders. Services: Free PowerPoint show for clubs and businesses; Trail Guide Service.
For more information, call 909-389-7810, or email

~ December 1, 2005 ~

photo by Susan Caldwell
November 25-27 was the Arabian Horse Association of the San Fernando Valley's 35th Amateur Arabian Horse Show, hosted by the Los Angeles Equestrian Center. Our own Katie Wojcieszek was there showing her self-trained, 4 year old Hackney Horse/Arabian Gelding, Panache EightOHearts. Katie and "Rusty" won first place in the HA English Show Hack ATR and HA Hunter Pleasure AOTR Novice Horse classes. The pair qualified in both divisions for the Region 2 Championship Arabian Horse show that will be held in June 2006 at the LAEC.
"I love Rusty, we have become a great team" says Katie. Rusty was bred by Sandra Singleton of Panache Hackney Horses in Arroyo Grande, CA. Panache Hackney Horses' mission is to breed, sell and show classic Hackney Horses who have the temperament, movement, conformation, and talent for a variety showing and sporting activities.
Katie feels that they accomplished just that with Rusty. "He (Rusty) is so athletic, he will do anything for me" says Katie. Katie also wants to thank her mother for helping groom & do the pre-show prepping of Rusty at this show. "It was the first Arabian show my mom had attended with me, we had such a good time together! Now she has to come to every show!" SCED congratulates Katie & Rusty for their accomplishments.
photo by Susan Caldwell


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