For more than 70 years, saddle pals in the horseback riding community have joined forces to promote safety, preservation, and simply enjoy trail riding together. The not-for-profit Equestrian Trails Inc., or ETI, was organized in Long Beach in 1944, at the end of World War II.
Horsemen in Long Beach had pulled together to patrol power lines and guard property from attack during the war. Trained by the Long Beach Police Department, they were depended on to keep the area safe—all on horseback. The men in the group wanted to continue to serve after wartime, plus be ready in case of future conflicts, so they launched ETI.
The mission of the organization includes promoting “equine legislation, good horsemanship, and the acquisition and preservation of trails, open space and public lands,” according to the ETI website.
Kimberly Dwight is the former editor of Equestrian Trails Inc. Magazine.
“Within ETI there are ‘Corrals,’” she explained. “Some only show (horses) or do gymkhana (a day event with competitions between horseback riders). Some do a little of everything.”
ETI has “single purpose” and “varied purpose” corrals.
“Corral 138 is primarily Antelope Valley,” Dwight said of her local group. “We have members in Palmdale, Lancaster, Acton, Agua Dulce, Saugus, Castaic, Canyon Country, Littlerock, Rosamond, Pearblossom, Tehachapi, and even Simi. So you don’t have to join the Corral in your area if you ride with friends in another area.”
Corral 138 matches the freeway name, and Simi Valley’s Corral number is 118, like the freeway in their area. Corral 118 primarily does horse shows, according to Dwight, while Corral 138 goes on trail rides mostly.
“We camp and occasionally host trail trials,” Dwight added. “There is a Corral 9 in Littlerock; Agua Dulce is Corral 86; and Canyon Country has (Corral) 21, which does gymkhana.”
You do not have to be a member of ETI to participate in events, she said, though some events may be limited, so members have priority. There are approximately 30 Corrals, most in Southern California, and they each usually have monthly meetings and host Facebook pages.
It’s not all fun and games, however, which you see on the website: “ETI is constantly working to protect our horse keeping rights and our equestrian lifestyle. Riding the trails and communicating with local, state and federal agencies allows us to maintain and expand our riding areas. Clinics and seminars help improve our horsemanship, and banding together to reach out to policy makers and lawmakers keeps our lifestyle going. These are the overall benefits of joining and being involved in ETI. Another key factor is simply that a group has a stronger voice than an individual. United we can influence the laws, ordinances, and policies that affect our ability to have and enjoy our equines in the present and in the future.”
There is networking and the exchange of ideas and resources within the organization, thanks to its openness to riders everywhere. Members host and sponsor horse shows, gymkhanas, drill teams, mounted assistance units, and many other equine activities year round.
Thanks to the foresight of those 20th century riders, trails have been created throughout communities for horses and hikers. And over the next 70 years, what they established has made ETI an important resource for today’s horse men and women to enjoy.
April 22: Corral 86 Acton Mountain ride: Larry & Sharon (661) 816-9000 com@SharonVanLoon.com
April 29: Corral 138 Saddleback Butte State Park ride and lunch: Elaine (661) 946-1976 firstname.lastname@example.org
April 29: Sergeant Steve Owens ride at Castaic: Contact email@example.com (213) 229-3347
May 6: Hogs N Horses ride from Vincent Arena: firstname.lastname@example.org
May 14: CGA Gymkhana – Antelope Valley Desert Riders, Palmdale: http://www.avdesertriders.org/ (661) 944-6133
May 19-21: Pat Puckett Horsemanship Clinic, Agua Dulce: email@example.com, Jennifer Jacobsen 661-406-2701
May 21: Corral 86 Paramount Ranch: Laurie (661) 268-0758 Luvmibarn@aol.com
June 11: CGA Gymkhana – Antelope Valley Desert Riders, Palmdale: http://www.avdesertriders.org/ (661) 944-6133
June 9-11: Corral 138 Tehachapi camping trip: contact Laura firstname.lastname@example.org (661) 433-8616
June 17: Corral 86 Oak Grove/JPL Ride: David & Melissa Haggai (661) 733-7807 email@example.com