There is just something about horse people that sets them apart from the general population. It’s not just the notion of owning or riding a horse, no, there is something deeper, greater and extremely purposed. Horse people are passionate, independent and effective leaders. Horse people are fighters, yet their softer side displays a love of nature and a deep care for their horses, their fellow equestrians and for preserving their way of life. There is power in a band of horse people.
Riding with the Horse People of Ride Nipomo
I recently had the pleasure of riding along with some horse people who all displayed these traits, and who, together, make one strong, effective group. These are the board members of Ride Nipomo Equestrian Trails Alliance in South County. They have stood their ground, fighting for their rights to keep riding through areas now and forever changed by development.
These are not country club observers, these are roll-up-the-sleeves and put-in-the-work-needed types of individuals who have banned together to get and keep access to trails in the very face of progressing development.
Ride Nipomo Equestrian Trails Alliance Gets Results
Their collective actions have preserved the right to ride on purposed trails, established an official, permanent equestrian staging area, pushed for a horse tie-rail at the community picnic spot, spear-headed signage along trails so many (hikers and bikers too) can enjoy access and have direction on where to go, cleaned up dump areas and developed an on-going trail maintenance plan with the county.
How Does Ride Nipomo Keep Trail Access in Their Community?
These horse people are not only passionate fighters, they are organized. Ever since the Trilogy housing and resort development in Nipomo Mesa was approved in 2002, Ride Nipomo members have played an active role in preserving their right to ride.
The ongoing work involves constant meetings with Planning and Zoning personnel, as well as local community groups. This active involvement is necessary to maintain good relationships, and keeps reminding them that Nipomo residents live here because they CAN ride their horses! Ride Nipomo members stay connected and vigilant regarding the plans of developers, county zoning committees and local community groups.
Trail Work Parties
The Ride Nipomo members jump in and lend a hand to physically maintain trails and have fun in the process. Part of their deal with the county in getting trail access is the promise of providing the physical power to maintain the trails – thus trail work parties are scheduled several times a year.
Many Board members and fellow associates get out and physically dig, shovel, rake and haul chips to build and maintain trails not only on the roadsides but also in the developments that have trails designed into their community.
Seeing Beyond Nipomo – RN Central Coast
This powerful band of horse people also have a vision for the entire Central Coast. Recently they unveiled a new logo – RN Central Coast – along with a plan for keeping trails open throughout the county. The plan involves working together with hikers, bikers and equestrians.
“We’ve always been available to the other communities,” explained Robin McDonald a Ride Nipomo board member. “You don’t have to live in Nipomo, we want to help save different trails throughout the Central Coast.”
Ride Nipomo is an alliance and the members want to expand their reach in a more purposed way so they created the RN Central Coast logo to tie everyone together under the Ride Nipomo Equestrian Trail Alliance.
Examples of ways Ride Nipomo has supported trail efforts around the Central Coast are:
- Pismo Preserve: Donated $5,000 and provide lunch for the trail work crews
- Los Flores Ranch: Serve lunch for trail work crews
- Black Bear Camp Riders: Help them maintain Black Bear Camp at Lopez Lake
- Varian Arabians: Donated money to preserve Varian Ranch and assisted them when some of their horses were shot
- Santa Barbara Equine Fire Rescue: Donated money towards the horse evacuation effort
- Grover Beach Trailer Parking: Actively involved in the meetings regarding trailer parking at this much-used beach access area
Join this Powerful Band of Horse People
Ride Nipomo Equestrian Trails Alliance has a vision for gaining strength in numbers and using the band of horse people they empower to preserve trail access throughout the county and preserve the equestrian life-style development threatens.
Get in on the action and find a place to put your passion to work. Join Ride Nipomo and purchase a trailer decal to show your allegiance to the alliance. You can contact Robin at Avila Sign and Design (805) 481-SIGN or 481SIGN.com to purchase your trailer decal.
Ride the Nipomo Trails
Experience the trails in Nipomo and see for yourself what this powerful band of horse people has accomplished. Trail maps and directions to Nipomo trails and other SLO County trails are on their website with access through the above link.
Photo Credit: Sharon Jantzen