Rose Bowl Parade, Veterans and Equine Therapy, Monthly Hoofbeat Calendar & More

“I was a ranch horse.” “I was a horse that transported folks on trail rides.” “I was a pack horse in the Sierras.” I was best friends with a lonely little girl.” “I was a competitive high school rodeo horse.” “I was proud to offer my best, but today I found the quiet joy in what the Lord created me to do: help a veteran deal with PTSD and loss.”
Watch in the Coming Months
Watch for information on the tremendous equine therapy program through different perspectives in the Paso Magazine this year. Learn how you can join in to lend a hand to those struggling to make a new start for those who have served.
Mighty Oaks Ministry has been hosted at the Work Family Ranch for five years. The ranch has been in the family since the 1880’s. George and Elaine Work and their family have chosen to use the land and the horses they have been blessed with to in turn bless those who need some healing and inner peace while still supporting their family.
Fire Storms Ravage the Land & Creatures
We’re tarting a new year knowing that much of Southern California is either burning or under threat. We haven’t had a full 10th of an inch of rain, yet, although we have had fog. In your prayers, please consider rain. Due to those without a full picture of the situation: we’re not talking about global warming, although that ca be a factor. There are those who don’t want to clear out downed wood that markedly fuel these fires, people and “planning” that don’t fully consider the land, escape routes, safety measures, etc.
Trailers were not allowed in to enable evacuations. Many horses have been turned turned loose. Unless the folks block the stall entries, often horses will run back to the stall as a “safe place” despite flames. Wild life can get into unthinkable situations in fires causing havoc. Blessings on the heads of the grooms and community volunteers who are aiding in untangling the chaos.
Let’s Turn This Into a Positive
If you can look outside and see your horses, join me in giving thanks. Please consider helping the folks and Southern California horses (other large animals) that have been stricken who are in need of veterinary attention and food. Besides the emotional impact, burns, wire cuts and fencing encounters, the lungs of the “Drinkers of the Wind” are impacted. Most probably permanently. These horses will need attention to return to productive lives. Check out the website for legitimate charities that will help.
silver buckleCelebrate: Rose Parade
The “big one” is set for January 1 in Pasadena. It is unlike other parades in that all of the floats must be decorated with flowers and vegetation. Horse groups vie for years to be included. The addition of a December 29th show/exhibition at the LA Equestrian Center allows the horses to strut their stuff. There is a charge which can be included in a package tour.
Theme groups run the full gamut. Heavily silvered saddles and gear were the signature of movie stars, newscasters, and others over the years. Bohlin never made a comfortable saddle, I am told, but they are worth six figures plus. Olsen Nolte also made some silver saddles, but they were far more comfortable to ride. The whole outfit was HEAVY, but a must have in the Hollywood set for decades.
On a positive note, Paso Events Center will host the 2018 Back Country Horsemen’s Rendezvous. Save the dates for this gathering of folks who love the forests and packing: April 13-15. There will be leave no trace programs, vendors, reports on developments in the forests, cook-offs, and a trail challenge. These events are for horsemen and mule enthusiasts as well. April 13 we’ll tap our boots to Monte Mills and his Lucky Horseshoe Band. They are one of the best long term dance bands. So many who attended Cal Poly and local schools hooped and hollered as Monte yodeled away.
News from Varian Arabians
A black stallion has been added to their historic lineup. “Shazhad” is a currently a breeding stallion. He has competed as a halter horse. His female side has produced a dynasty of champions: halter, cutting, sport horse, etc. You can see him at the ranch in Arroyo Grande with a phone call for an appointment or during one of the events hosted at the ranch.
Call Angela Alvarez at 805-489-5802 for a complete list which has been growing.
Monthly Hoofbeat Calendar
Dec. 29 Equifest, Burbank, 10 a.m. Equestrian Center 480 Riverside, Burbank, $15 general seating, VIP $40 reserved
Jan. 1 Tournament of Roses Parade, 5.5 miles, Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
Jan, 4, 11, 18, 25 Sugarland, Barrel Race at Woodland, 707-372-1555, entry $35, $100 added money per event, start 6 p.m., call to confirm
Jan. 5, 6, 7 King City, fairgrounds, 625 Division St., 7 p.m.start. $35 Fri., $65 Sat & Sun., 831-385-4952. added money, Sat. start 1 p.m., Sun. start 10 a.m.
Jan. 13 CA Cow Horse Awards Banquet, judges’ seminar, Whitney Party Barn, 30162 Road 192, Exeter, 5 p.m., $20, Kristy 551-349-5580
Jan. 13 & 14 Combined Test, practice new USEA dressage tests, Twin Rivers Ranch, N. River Rd., between Paso & San Miguel
Jan. 14 Barrel race, Bakersfield, 5818 S. Fairfax $65 entry, 661-858-3903
Jan. 18-21 Double R Cutting, Paso Events Center, admission & parking free to spectators
Jan. 20 Santa Ynez Equine Evacuation meeting, 9 a.m., 195 N. Refugio, SY
Don’t want to be left out in 2018? Send in your organization’s scheduled event to to be included free in the Hoofbeat Master Calendar.
Trail Tales
Santa Cruz Area Horse Camp #1
In the Santa Cruz area there is Wilder Ranch (831-423-9703): There are over 50 miles of multi-use trails (equestrians, hikers & mountain bikers). Trails are both fire roads & single track through meadows & redwoods. The horse camp is on the inland or east side of Hwy. 1 (not the main park entrance).  There is a locked gate so call for the combination. There are approximately 5 horse corrals with spigots for water (bring hoses) bring a port-a-potty. No fires & no dogs. Access to trails is directly out of camp. Reservations are typically not necessary, but call first. Day use also allowed.
Check out the California State Parks website for additional information and directions at