Click here to join the Valley Horse Owners Association Today
Valley Horse Owners Association November/December 2003 P.O.Box 113, Sunland, CA 91041


“Day of the Horse” Celebrated at Hansen Dam

Lake View Terrace—The “Day of the Horse” was celebrated in style at the Gabralino Equestrian Park at the Hansen Dam on Saturday, October 25th. Councilpersons Alex Padilla and Wendy Greuel, and Assembly member Cindy Montañez joined the opening ceremonies on horseback.

The "Day of the Horse / Dia del Caballo" was sponsored by Foothill Trails District Neighborhood Council and co-produced by the Vaquero Heritage Foundation and the Warhorse Heritage Foundation.

This free community event celebrated the equestrian history and heritage of the San Fernando Valley. Like the agriculturally zoned communities that surround the Hansen Dam, the event was representative of the rural and equestrian lifestyles of the diverse multi-lingual neighborhoods of the Foothill District.

In recognition, Patti Friedman, Deputy to County Supervisor Antonovich presented certificates on behalf of Supervisor Michael Antonovich and Zev Yaroslasky. Michael Tou, on behalf of US Congressman Brad Sherman, presented Bart Paul of the Foothill Neighborhood Council with a flag that had flown over the Capital.

The show began with a Historical Pageant of the “First Vaquero” telling the story of how horses came to the New World and creation of the first cowboys. The Horse Show Spectacular included Valley View Vaulters, California Polo Club, Vaquero Heritage Riders, Leon Marquez - Chilean Huaso, Warhorse Foundation Drill Team, Los Charros de Rodriguez & Solis, New Buffalo Soldiers, Midnight Riders Drill Team, Australian Light Horse, Gustavo Lopez, Classical Equus Royal Vaulters, Korean Tradition Riders, Los Charros del Rancho Padilla, Conejo Riders Drill Team, Norwegian Fjord Horses, Arabian Horse & Rider in Traditional Costume, and a demonstration of Rodeo Horse Racing.

Photos courtesy of Steve and Carol Ford

Members Only, Please Attend November 6th Meeting

Lake View Terrace--The annual meeting of the Valley Horse Owners Association will be held November 6th, 7:30 PM at the Lake View Terrace Recreation Center on Foothill. This meeting is for members only and attendance is requested so that a quorum is present to vote upon this years election of the board.

The meeting is currently being held in the room off of the stage at the end of the gymnasium. Please attend so plans can be discussed for the many important issues that will impact the Scenic Corridor, the equestrian center and Hansen Dam, trails and land use in the Valley.

Foothill Trails District Horse Rescue Plan 2003
By Fritz Bronner

The Foothill Trails District Neighborhood Council is composed of three equestrian communities, Lake View Terrace, Shadow Hills and La Tuna Canyon.

We have an emergency list of horse trailers and volunteers to help outside communities as well as neighbors within the community for emergency evacuation of horses and placement to temporary safe havens.

We have secured permission for the use of arena s for stabling horses in the event of an emergency

Please contact the following people to make arrangements for stabling or to reach volunteers: Fritz Bronner (818) 896-8390, (818) 694-9277, Margie Beeson (818) 896-8390, (818) 694-9266, Deb Baumann (818) 375-3623, (818) 897 3414, Bart & Heidi Paul (818) 899-3471, Terry Kaiser (818) 262-0315, Mary Benson (818) 767-5996, Michele Everett (323) 791 7871, Otis Wallace (818) 896-5484, or Tom Lockhart (626) 524-2728, 626-441-2727.

Trailers: We have a list of contacts for approximately 25-40 trailers of various sizes from 2 horse straight to 8 horse

Number of Volunteers: Within the community we have numerous experienced horse owners that will volunteer. These people would be happy to assist to feed, water and monitor horses as well as transport them.

Food & Water: We have made arrangements with the local hardware and feed stores for 24/7 coverage for hay and water buckets.

Light and power: Members of the community have volunteered the use of generators, lights, and emergency lighting equipment.

Arena placement of horses: We have secured temporary placement for up to 500 or more horses. Ideally, horses should have halters and lead ropes.

Angeles National Forest Announces Closure

Arcadia, October 27, 2003—As a result of extreme fire activity, limited fire fighting resources and the continued threat to life and property, Angeles National Forest officials are implementing a forest closure. The Forest Closure Order is effective immediately and will last until the current extreme conditions subside.

The closure will affect the use of all national forest recreational facilities, roads and hiking trails. Violators are subject to fines and/or imprisonment. County roads and state highways, such as the Angeles Crest Highway (Hwy 2), will remain open to through traffic. However, drivers are urged to use extreme caution and adhere to posted fire prevention regulations.

Residents and organizations holding Special Use permits for sanctioned activities can contact their local Angeles National Forest district office to obtain a pass for temporary access: Los Angeles River Ranger Station - (818) 899-1900, San Gabriel River Ranger Station - (626) 335-1251, or Santa Clara-Mojave Rivers Ranger Station - (661) 296-9710.

Los Angeles Mounted Platoon Comes to the Rescue
By Sheila Mears

Chatsworth—Our friend Jody Buciak-Sailor (a San Fernando Ranger’s Sidekick) has 70 horses up at Stoney Point Ranch in Chatsworth. Their numbers were suddenly increased to 120 when horses poured in from Brown's Canyon when the fire reached the canyon this past week. Then the fire jumped the freeway, right near the ranch, and they got the order to evacuate.

"Oh, sh--!" thought poor Jodi, "How do I get 120 horses out?" Mind you, these included brood mares with babies, yearlings and stallions, as well as regular riding horses. The fire chief made a phone call, and along came the LAPD Mounted Platoon with trailers and men to the rescue. The officers got all the horses out and gave Jodi a police escort to locations varying from Pierce College to the temporary stalls at Hansen Dam

. Ranch de Solano volunteered they had spaces for 50 horses. "I have 70," said Jodi. "Bring them all in." She did and the horses were in every nook and cranny and turnout area at the Ranch. She had horses at various backyard stables in Lake View Terrace too. Jodi is now back at home, and yes her home is intact. She has started taking home her animal friends. So a great big vote of thanks and a salute to the Los Angeles Police Department and the Mounted Platoon.

Hundreds of volunteers and equestrians flooded the valleys from Simi to Valencia over this past week working tirelessly to transport horses to safe havens to keep our equestrian friends and their owners out of harm’s way.

The LAPD Mounted Platoon are some of the finest trained equestrians in Los Angeles. Members of the Platoon are shown here at their home base the Ahmanson Equestrian Facility.

Part 3. What’s Growing in Your Pasture or on the Trails?

Lake View Terrace--Here are some of the common plants toxic to horses that Tama Lockwood, the VHOA Trails Director, found on the trails and in the yards near by.

Many of the decorative plants that do well in the arid climate of Los Angeles are not healthy for our horses to consume or are down right toxic.

Forethought should be given when landscaping areas of your yard for gardens so that these are not accessible to your equine friends. Over time plants will tend to spread out or grow beyond their original boundaries. This is especially true with ground and wall covers which can grow rapidly when given ideal sun and water conditions.

Make sure your decorative garden plants have not invaded your pasture, turnout or stable. That decorative vine climbing the barn may not be healthy for your horse and may come within easy reach.

Parts 1 & 2 of this series can be found on-line at in the September and October newsletters.. Look for Part 4 in next issue of the Hoofbeat in January.

Plants Poisonous to Horses

(Photographs complements of Tama Lockwood)

Oleander, a shrub growing 8-12 feet high.
Miniature Ivy, a variety of the most common ground and wall cover grown in California.
Mock orange, varieties growing 5 to 20 feet high.

Letter: Tujunga Watershed Council & Stakeholders
By Deb Baumann

You may have heard by now (either reading in the newspaper or at one of the many meetings we've given presentations to) about our Tujunga Watershed Council & Stakeholders' recent success on October 2, 2003. On that date, we were invited to give a presentation to the California State Regional Water Quality Control Board, in response to a presentation given that same day by the Army Corps of Engineers. The Corps, you see, is applying for a retroactive permit for the dumping they did last year in the Hansen Dam Lakes.

In a nutshell, this is how the day went - the Corps explained why they hadn't really done anything bad or environmentally damaging, and therefore they should just be given the retroactive permit. Then we stood up and explained that what the Corps had just said was... not exactly the truth. We had photos and documents to back our story. When we were finished, the State Board came down -- hard -- on the Army Corps.

They pointed out that there is such a thing as "the Rule of Law" and that the Army Corps is not above the law. They recognized that the Corps's actions at Hansen Dam were, quite simply, WRONG. After a frustrating year and a half of listening to Army Corps' spin-meisters evade responsibility and utilize one intelligence-insulting euphemism after another to describe the Corps' actions in Hansen Dam, I can't tell you what a relief it was just to hear someone acknowledge, out loud, that what the Corps did was "wrong.”

Our community has always known what the Corps did was "wrong." The Los Angeles City Council recognized in their unanimous vote on March 19, 2003, that what the Corps did was "wrong." But the Army Corps has used a variety of slick tongue-twisting tricks to avoid ever saying any such thing. (Even on October 2, the Lt. Colonel who presented the Corps' case described the dumping as a mere "oversight.")

So, after a year and a half's dogged efforts, we've gotten the case this far. What's next? Well, the issue of whether or not the Corps will receive it's retroactive permit is still on the table. There is a follow-up meeting on November 6 to further discuss it, and several of the State Water Board directors specifically made the point that our Tujunga Watershed Council & Stakeholders group should be invited to attend (we thank them very much for this courtesy).

What's really at stake are what TERMS the Corps may be given their retroactive permit. I imagine that what the Corps wants is to just be given the permit, period, no strings attached. But it's also possible that the permit might be issued with some very serious strings attached - for instance, on the condition that the Corps immediately REMOVE everything that it dumped, and restore the environment of the Lakes to what they were before the dumping. This is why the Tujunga Watershed C&S will be attending the November 6 meeting - to ensure that voices from our community are heard.

The Water Board's meetings are open to the public, so anyone who wishes to attend is welcome. It is an all-day meeting, downtown, so that makes it very difficult for us working folk, but even if you cannot attend yourself, please feel free to send along a message of your own, supporting our community's desire for better stewardship of the Hansen Dam Basin, and to see the Army Corps held accountable for their violations of California's environmental protection laws.

We appreciate your support!

The Sunland Tujunga Watershed can be found on the internet at or by mail at Tujunga Watershed Stakeholders, PO Box 176, Sunland CA 91041.

Lydia Hiby Clinic Saturday, November 8th

We're holding another Lydia Hiby Clinic here at Sevenoaks Ranch on Saturday, November 8th. Please call Sheila at (818) 906-9687 if you want to talk to your horse/pony/dog/cat/pet! The cost is $30 for a 15-minute private session, and you may record or even videotape it if you wish. Sevenoaks is located at 11350 Clybourn Avenue, opposite Ranger Park.

Turn off Foothill onto Clybourn, and we are the first place on the right, with lots of parking at the horse staging area. Clybourn is between Orcas Avenue and Osborne.

From the Foothill Freeway going east, take the Osborne exit, turn left under the freeway, go past Osborne on the left and Clybourn is the next street (it only goes to the left).

From the Foothill Freeway going west, take the Osborne exit, turn right under the freeway, and go past Osborne to Clybourn. Call and make a reservation so we can arrange Lydia's schedule!! You'll be amazed at what a difference this can make to your relationship with your four footed (or winged) friend.

Letter from the President

Our next meeting is Thursday, November 6th, 7:30 PM, Lake View Terrace Recreation Center. Mark your calendars and be sure to attend our most important meeting of the year to vote in our board and directors for next year.

Two new people have accepted their appointments as directors. They will be at our November 6th meeting to be officially welcomed and to meet the board.

As you know, Deb Baumann has accepted to be our historian. This is excellent. She has formed the Sunland-Tujunga Watershed Stakeholders group. They are working very hard on water issues and are having great successes. It is an honor to have her join us. She will help us extend our membership in our diverse multi-lingual communities. Our membership will greatly benefit from her articulate articles on our local history and culture. Thank you Deb.

Such active and effective community leaders joining in will broaden our horizons and give new inspiration. We must build the crucial momentum of outreach towards activating more community members to participate and to actively care about preserving the character of their communities.

Our local organizations networking, sharing information and working together is key to our winning our land use and other battles. There is strength in numbers.

You will meet our 2nd new director in November. She will be our mystery director for now! Her purpose is to build an equestrian coalition first locally and then grow it statewide and then nationally. This has been my dream and now, my wish come true. She will also learn more about some of the organizations we are already affiliated with and do a better job of maintaining and developing our liaisons. She will help us all work more effectively together on issues.

VHOA is growing thanks to the sustained contribution of some very special people being joined by new members all adding their vitality and inspiration. Participation and contribution is the key to the success of any organization. If those of us with the dream of building a community and preserving our open spaces don’t step forward, then those with dreams of profiteering at our expense will fill the void with apartments, razed hills, and failing blueprint that has ruined so many neighborhoods in Los Angeles.

Those of us interested in living with and enjoying nature and animals have an important message and role to play in safeguarding these irreplaceable resources. If you would like to participate, there is a role for you. We need a Membership Drive Director, Event Director, Land-Use Director, or choose something you would enjoy working towards as a goal and add your inspiration.

If you have been thinking about becoming more active, now is the time. We have some very big (new) issues that will be hitting us very soon. We need to organize and be prepared.

Thank you. Carol


Valley Horse Owners Association meets on the first Thursday of each month at the Lake View Terrace Recreation Hall on Foothill Blvd. between Orcas Ave. and Clybourn Ave. The meeting starts at 7:30 PM. All members are welcome. We normally meet in the west wing.

Officers for 2003

President   Carol Ford   President@VHOA.ORG
Vice-President   Pam Mitchel   VicePresident@VHOA.ORG
Secretary   Julie Morris   Secretary@VHOA.ORG
Treasurer   Elaine Canter   Treasurer@VHOA.ORG
Evac & Trails   Tama Lockwood   EVAC@VHOA.ORG
Membership Chairperson   Lynn Conway   Membership@VHOA.ORG
Newsletter   Stephen Ford   Editor@VHOA.ORG
Directors at Large        
West Valley   Kent & Melissa Lovelady   WestValley@VHOA.ORG

Who we are:

The members of the Valley Horse Owners Association are your neighbors and fellow equestrians. We share common interests such as the agricultural zoning in our communities, preserving our semi-rural lifestyles and using our land for horse keeping.

What our membership does:

Our membership keeps up to date on issues in the community, city and county government that effect horse keeping and land use. We attend public hearings and promote cooperation to preserve our quality of life and to ensure we are represented by our elected officials.


The Valley Horse Owners Association acts as a clearing house for information and a liaison between the horse community and officials and politicians.


Land Use: We promote cooperation between residents and organizations on equestrian issues, land use, planning and zoning matters. We realize that only by uniting can we have a strong voice in city government and prevail against the reckless development that threatens to eliminate horse keeping areas or changes in legislation affecting equestrians. We attend Land Use hearings, City Council hearings, etc., and act as advocates for the horse keeping community.


Trails: Our members report on trail conditions and usage. We cooperate with other organizations and Trails Councils to maintain and acquire dedicated multi-purpose trails.


EVAC Unit: Four teams stand by, equipped with trailers and two way radios to evacuate horses and other animals to designated 'safe areas' in case of flood or fire. In past years, we worked with the Santa Clarita Sheriffs Department and with the Wildlife Way Station in responding to fires.


The Hoof Beat: We publish a newsletter once a month called the The Hoof Beat. The newsletter covers issues related to horse keeping, land use, zoning, trails and public hearings as well as a calendar of events, reprints of equestrian articles and local news briefs.


VHOA.ORG:The web site offers us a place to provide more information, publish an electronic copy of The Hoof Beat, archive earlier issues of the newsletter, and a summary of on going issues.


Community Involvement: Many of our members are also involved in property owner associations and other community groups. This enables our membership to network across the San Fernando Valley sharing information and working as a united front to support the preservation of land use and zoning for horse keeping.


Click here to print membership application


Membership Application
  $20 Individual $75 Business Newsletter *
  $35 Supporting $75 Business Website **
  $25 Family $125 Business Package ***
  * Enclose business card or equivalent size ad copy. Cost is for yearly advertising in the printed copy of The Hoof Beat only. Membership is additional.
  ** Enclose business card, text or a 275x175 pixel graphic for a rotating banner ad. Cost is for one year rotating banner ad on website only. Membership is additional.
  *** Business package includes printed ad, rotating banner ad and membership in VHOA.
  I'd like to get more involved. Please tell me how I can help the Valley Horse Owners Association.
  Please include my Email address on the mailing list for upcoming hearings and issues.
Please Mail check to:
P.O.Box 113
Sunland, CA 91041-0113
All memberships include a subscription to "The Hoof Beat".


Copyright © 2002, 2003 by the Valley Horse Owners Association. All rights reserved.