Backcountry Horsemen of California
Los Padres Unit

606 South Hart Drive, Santa Maria, CA 93454


















On the weekend of October 25th through October 27th, we held our annual Fall Camp N Ride at Live Oak, Lake Cachuma. Everyone starting showing up on Friday, setting up camp, checking in, and going for an afternoon ride. We had a fabulous chicken dinner (thanks for volunteers who prepped, cooked, served, and CLEANED UP). Our evening entertainment was DAVE STAMEY who graciously accepted our request last year to play. Dave and his wife, MELISSA, are Associate members of our unit and we were thrilled to have them at the campout. Saturday morning, we awoke to a light continental breakfast. Many of the members went out for rides after breakfast. For those who stayed in camp and when they returned from riding, LAURIE WALLER and another massage therapist was available to massage your aching muscles – and OMG it was fabulous. I look forward to this every year. Laurie does it for donations only and gives 50% back to the club. Early afternoon the children starting cutting their pumpkins for the pumpkin contest. Thank you again this year for donating pumpkins, MAUREEN REILLY. Barbeque fire started, NANCY LEE, began preparations for her Dutch oven cooking and the evening festivities began. Members showed up in costumes. I bet we had over 60% of attendees participate in the costume fun. Start planning next year’s so we can have 100% dressed. And of course again the kids did a marvelous job with their costumes and dressing up their horses. Too CUTE!! This year’s winners were for adults 1st place – Three Amigos; 2nd place – Geisha Lady; 3rd place – Pirates. For the children 1st place – Jessica Williams; 2nd place – Cameron Lewis (Gandolf); and 3rd place – Hope and Jack Thornton (Mermaid and Knight). The pumpkin winners were skinface, cat and scary mean face. This year for the silent auction we did something different – we sold raffle tickets and people placed their tickets in containers of the items they wanted. It was a huge success and we will do this again next year. The live auction saw several items that were donated and/or purchased by members and some very nice items brought in quite a bit of money for the unit. Thank you ALL for sending those bids higher and higher – the unit appreciates it. Our auctioneer for the evening who did a GREAT job!!! was DAVE RIGOLI. After the auction, the Mighty Croon Dogs per-formed and many many many people danced the night away. There were several individual camp fires going and after dancing, some people continued their parties well into the next morning. Such party animals!!!! Sunday morning, we had a full breakfast – pancakes, sausages, bacon, eggs, o.j., coffee, etc. If people went hungry this weekend, it was their own fault as there was plenty to eat. After cleaning up and breaking down camps, some went out for morning and early afternoon rides before heading home. We had approximately 200 people attend this year. IT WAS A WONDERFUL TIME!!!! THANK YOU AGAIN EVERYONE. This event could not happen without your tremendous HELP!!! Attached are some photos of the evening.  More to come -

Nancy Kimmell Chaides – Education Chair


Updated:  1/12/2013

Did you know that the Backcountry Horsemen organization was originally started in 1981 by packers in the Westside Sierras, Little Kern California?  They wanted to form a horse related association that could meet with the forest and park government agencies.

This group evolved to the present form of Backcountry Horsemen.

The Los Padres Forest ranges from the Carmel Valley in Monterey County and stretches South near Lake Piru in Ventura County.  It covers nearly 220 miles in length and consists of about 2-million acres.  In the Southeast, near the Kern/Ventura county lines and within the Chumash Wilderness, Mt. Pinos reaches 8831 feet.  In the Ventana Wilderness, South of Carmel Valley at Junipero Serra Peak the elevation reaches about 5700 feet.  The entire forest provides many opportunities for vehicle access to campgrounds and trails. In the backcountry/wilderness areas, any form of mechanical intrusion, i.e.: chain saws, bicycles or any type of power equipment is prohibited.  Introduce yourself to the “misery whip” a manual handheld cross cut saw. 

The Los Padres Forest stretches through the counties of Kern, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Monterey.

Always check with your local Forest Ranger District prior to venturing into the forest and to check for current regulations and restrictions. Get a map and check out the 10 local wilderness areas. Ventana, Silver Peak, Santa Lucia, Garcia, Machesna, San Rafael, Dick Smith, Chumash, Matilija and the Sespe.

Remember:  GU / LNT principles and only leave foot or hoof prints.
Bill Chaides

posted 1/12/2013

Attention “WORK PARTIES” 2013

We are instituting the Trail Boss program, I will be Trail Boss for this ride.  Three common sense rules are now in place for all rides,
1. Is your horse fit enough to make the ride? 
2. If your horse fails for any reason, can you walk out? If your answer to either of those is no, please do not come on the ride.

3. If a rider or a horse poses a danger to others, they may be asked to leave the group." 

You may have noticed that we did not have an August ride or work party. The back hills have been a bit warm.  I am  planning a ride to Point Sal on Saturday October 12, meet at the trailhead at 9:30, more later.  I may have some very interesting news to share with ya'll then.
So why no ride in September?  Well, there are, multiple choices.  The California Mission Riders are coming through our area. The ride begins at San Miguel Mission on the 15th , heads to Rancho Santa Margarita, then  down to SLO to Cal Poly, on the 17th. In the evening they and some of us will ride from Cal Poly down Grand Avenue to Monterey and then to the mission.   The next ride is from Grand Avenue in Grover City to Oso Flaco (yep)  then out to the road, trailer up and go to the Dana Adobe. Then, Point Sal, Vandenberg, La Purisma, Santa Ines, Rancho Oso over the hill to Santa Barbara Mission.  While they could not handle 50 BCH'ers showing up, they can handle some.... so keep that in mind. More discussion at the General Meeting on the 11th.
Also, the unit plans to enter both the Arroyo Grande Harvest Festival Parade and ag pavilion with dutch oven cooking and mule (actually, probably, Jeffers packing)  I did a week in the Sierra riding Ed the mule and packing Jeffers, no issues, well, actually, one issue, but, Idonawannatalkaboutit. This is on September 28, 
Also the Los Alamos Olden Days on the following day, parade and more dutch oven cooking  Someone elected me to trail boss both parades, but, I would be supremely happy if someone took Los Alamos away from me.  For the Arroyo Grande Harvest Festival Parade, I will be in it, how about, Ellie, Rhea, Terry, Justin, Cory, Kaye  and more?!  I will probably ride Ed and pack Jeff.  We will see who in the parade viewers notice things seem a little "ass backwards"
And don't forget, General meeting at Rooster Creek in Arroyo Grande on September 11

Under our State's new policy I must check membership from the current list.

Details on the ride and work will be found at Rides and Work

posted 9/4/2013