Help to Preserve Horse Property in Marin
It was commonplace in decades past to see horses in just about every backyard in Marin County. Horseback riders regularly gathered at their town's local arenas to begin long rides on the many trails that crisscross Marin's lush landscape. Most of the trails were built by those very riders off the backs of their horses. Today the picture is a bit different. Horses now commonly live in more community-like settings within a horse ranch. A large number of these facilities border open space land where horseback riders can utilize the amenities provided by the stable, and access some of the same trails built decades ago.
Sky Ranch above Fairfax /San Anselmo in the Mt. Tam watershed is one such facility where horse and rider have been able to enjoy the lush nature of Marin's many surrounding open space trails since the stable began boarding horses in 1955. Once a private boarding facility, this haven for horses will now become part of Marin County's public open space land.
Can horses and public open space coexist? Yes. A great example of successful coexistence is Horse Hill in Mill Valley, which is currently owned by Marin County Open Space District(MCOSD). Horse Hill was slated for development approximately 20 years ago when a group of concerned citizens came together and fought to keep the land as it was. Their efforts were successful as they resolved to convert the land to public open space, thereby allowing horses to remain on the landscape. The land is healthy today, allowing 12 horses and the public to wander freely in an open space preserve. The horses who occupy the land are all managed and well cared for by the Alto Bowl Horse Owners Assoc.
A newly formed organization, Sky Ranch Horse Association (SRHA) has facilitated an agreement similar to the one governing MCOSD's relationship with Horse Hill. These dedicated horse owners are committed to managing the land that horses have lived on for decades while also volunteering to provide public programs that will bring educational opportunities to the public. SRHA is willing to put in the time, money and effort to create a sustainable environment for the horses of Sky Ranch, but they need our support.
Please take a few minutes to write to the decision makers: James Raives at
and Carl Somers at [email protected] of Marin County Open Space District, and our Marin County Supervisor Katie Rice at [email protected] to show your support of retaining Sky Ranch as a horse facility. Let them know how important horses are and how they should continue to be to the integrated within the landscape of Marin. Ask your kids to also write letters to show that it is important to them. Share a little piece of your own history with them to show your support.
Monte Kruger, President
Marin Horse Council