Horse Trailer Tuesday is off to a good start at the Pismo Preserve. “It’s so great to see so many equestrians here!” says my good friend and riding buddy, Beverly Poorman, as she opened her truck door upon parking at the Pismo Preserve on Horse Trailer Tuesday. She asked me to join her on a ride at the Pismo Preserve on the inaugural Horse Trailer Tuesday.
Arriving on Horse Trailer Tuesday
The entrance gate was closed with signage declaring the parking lot was open for horse trailer parking only. I jumped out of the truck opening the gate towards the parking lot while holding up the big sign so it wouldn’t drag. Beverly drove the truck and trailer through. I closed the gate behind the rig.
We arrived at the Pismo Preserve parking lot late morning and found five rigs parked in the asphalt and two in the designated horse trailer parking area. We chose to park in that area. Beverly opened her truck door and greeted those just returning from a ride.
Her enthusiasm was echoed by those she greeted. “Its such a beautiful place. We’re for sure going to be coming regularly!” exclaimed a rider untacking her horse. Truly it is so great to see so many equestrians using the designated Horse Trailer Tuesdays. Another friend of mine returned from her ride with her twin boys. All were enthusiastic about their riding adventure and planned picnic “on a Pismo Preserve bench”.
Taking a Ride on the Pismo Preserve
We chose to ride out High Road from the north end of the parking lot. This connected us to the lower portion of Discovery Trail. After going up a few easy switchbacks we came to the oak tree forest. Sunshine poked through lovely moss-draped oak trees, giving way to peeks of the ocean beyond. Since we had a shorter window of riding time that day, we ventured off onto Spring to Spring trail going over the wood foot bridge and headed south. Eventually we met up with the Lone Oak trail which connected us to the Ranch Road which provides access to the south end of the parking lot.
Pismo Preserve Trails Designed for Multiuse
Since the Pismo Preserve is still open to hikers and bikers we did greet both on our travels, along with fellow equestrians. All graciously gave way and spoke their appreciation of seeing the horses. A few hikers had dogs on leash. We were barked at by one dog while making our way through the parking lot. Our horses were fine with it. However, one must note that loose dogs are not allowed on the trails. You have every right to remind dog handlers to leash their dogs.
The Pismo Preserve is a Beautiful Place for a Ride
No matter the season, the Pismo Preserve is such a great place for a ride. Although the terrain is steep the trails have been designed for long flat switchbacks with a comfortable elevation gain. The trails are designed with multi-users in mind. Hence, most trails have a open line of sight so each party can prepare to meet up and yield accordingly.
However, this is not a place for the green horse or rider. Horses will be climbing hills so they should be fit enough for the ride. Several spots have hoof-sized holes that could be troublesome, so proceed with caution in these areas.
Equestrians Need to use Horse Trailer Tuesdays at the Pismo Preserve!
If we don’t use this option created specifically for equestrians, we face losing the privilege of having the parking lot reserved just for horse trailer use. Mark your calendars for the first and third Tuesday of every month as Horse Trailer Tuesdays. No reservation required on these special days.
If you’d like to ride on the Pismo Preserve any other day the trails are open year-round except when weather conditions prevent access. You must make an equestrian parking reservation to ride any other day other than Horse Trailer Tuesdays.
All the equestrians picked up the manure, shavings and debris left by the horses in the parking lot and surrounding area. My horse plopped a pile on the paved part of the Ranch Road approaching the south end of the parking lot, as we finished our ride. I used the provided manure fork to scoop it up. There are tools by the restrooms to to help with this.
Notes for the Best Use of Horse Trailer Tuesday at the Pismo Preserve
- No equestrian parking reservations are required for Horse Trailer Tuesdays.
- There is not enough room to get your rig completely out of way of traffic on Mattie Road when opening or closing the gate to the Pismo Preserve.
- You will enter the parking lot and stay to the right. You will take up two parking spaces one in front of the other.
- When using the designated equestrian parking area please pull all the way forward into space, while allowing enough room for the rig in front to safely load or unload their horses.
- The maximum capacity of 14 trailers was calculated with rigs parking right next to one another, but this option can work if all the rigs pull in the same way. This staggers the horse trailers allowing for room to stage the horses.
- Please be sure to pick out your horse’s feet at home and clean up any manure or shavings spilled onto the asphalt in the parking lot or on the paved roads connected to the parking lot and in the equestrian parking area. You will find tools provided near the restrooms to help you clean up.
- Horse Trailer Tuesdays are a work in progress. If you have any suggestions please contact the staff at the Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo.
Photo Credit: Sharon Jantzen Photos
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