Agoura Horse Property - Custom & Equestrian Real Estate by Nona Green

Friday, April 26, 2013
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Goldencents, Kentucky Derby winner prospect (favored in the top 10!) is owned by an Agoura businessman. Glenn Sorgenstein was bitten by the horsefly when he raised his kids in Old Agoura. He now lives on bigger pasture in Lobo Canyon.

Old Agoura and Lobo Canyon in the Malibu Canyon area are popular for the rural ambiance and horse friendly zoning. Many residents in these areas appreciate the hard work and risks that race horses endure. Glenn and his partners have had their share of heartbreak that is all to common in a sport where anything can happen. The Kentucky Derby represents the top eschelon of equid athetics. There will be some serious and not so serious partying this Saturday. I'll be rooting for team Agoura, Glenn and Goldencents, on Derby Day, May 4.

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Saturday, April 20, 2013

Close to 400 students hit the jogging track, raising money to support Sumac with this year’s I Like To Move It, Move It Jog-a-thon. Students participated in a kick-off rally designed to inspire Sumac students to Ask Five to Keep Sumac Programs Alive! The rally encouraged each student to ask at least five people to sponsor them to help fund Sumac’s programs. One hundred percent of pledges from the Jog-a-thon sponsors will enable the PFA to continue to provide much needed programs for students: Physical Education, Art, Music, Computers, Science and more.

The Jog-a-thon is Sumac's biggest fundraiser. It is even more important this year than in the past due to the fact that Sumac received less than 10% of our usual donation from the Agoura Great Race. Nona Green and is a major sponser.

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Saturday, April 20, 2013

If you're like me, you don't have time to feed your horses lunch. Mother Nature intended horses to eat smaller meals throughout the day - like humans. I've had my horses on this product for a year now, and I love that they can snack when I'm not there to give lunch or even feed at regular times on occasion. I'm guessng that gastric distress can cause colic and that this product prevents vet calls.

Sharon lives in Old Agoura and has been able to drop off the tub, saving me shipping and delivery.

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Saturday, April 20, 2013

Tax breaks were extended, until the end of the year, for property owners who dedicate a portion of their land as a conservation easement. Here's a possible loophole to get a hefty tax shelter without diminishing the value of the property since existing zoing may restrict development anyway. Read this article in the Wall Street Jouranl and check with your tax attorney.

The wildlife in the Santa Monica Mountains and the Simi Hills depend on each other for genetic biodiversity. Owners of large parcel of land that abut open space who dedicate a wildlife corridor can help the environment AND enjoy tax benefits.

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

California Wildlife Center (CWC) in Monte Nido just hosted their annual open house. 800 visitors came to play games, have their face painted, build a birdhouse or other crafts, and to see animals of course. Wings of Discovery gave a presentation on raptors, featuring a magnificent red-tail hawk and a great horned owl.

The non-profit center, located on State Parkland off of Piuma Rd. rescues, rehabilitates over a hundred species of injured or orphaned wild animals. CWC employs methods that are optimum for the animals release back to their natural habitat. CWC takes responsibility for the protection of all native wildlife through rehabilitation, education and conservation.

Attendance to the open house has steadily increased over the years, according to Cindy Reyes, CWC Administrative Director. For more information, or to make a tax deductible donation, visit If you encounter a wild animal in danger, or one that appears to be distressed, injured or orphaned, call 818 591-WILD.

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Thursday, April 04, 2013
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Trail Closures Scheduled for Cheeseboro and Palo Comado Canyons

Read this notice posted on the National Park Service site yesterday. I would like to ask them why they chose THIS time of year to demo the pump station, when the wildflowers are in full bloom.

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – The National Park Service (NPS) is advising visitors that trails at Cheeseboro and Palo Comado Canyons will be intermittently closed during April and May due to the demolition and removal of surplus water conveyance infrastructure.

Several days of trail closures are expected, though limited to weekdays between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Visitors can find up-to-date information on trailhead signs, at or by calling 818-889-8996.

Triunfo Sanitation District (TSD) will be removing the Palo Comado Pump Station and the Cheeseboro Reservoir. These facilities, owned by TSD, were built in 1959 at the behest of comedian Bob Hope, who had hoped to build thousands of homes in the surrounding area as part of a master-planned community. TSD is decommissioning the facilities as part of an agreement with the NPS and other agencies.

Large trucks will be hauling salvaged materials along both the Palo Comado and Cheeseboro Canyon trails to recycling centers. For their safety, visitors are asked to refrain from using these trails when posted as closed.

Entrance to trails from Cheeseboro Canyon, Doubletree and Smoketree trailheads will be periodically closed. The China Flat trailhead and trailheads for Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space Preserve will remain open.

The NPS and TSD appreciate the public's cooperation with this effort. Additional information is available by calling 818-889-8996.

Photo Information: The Cheeseboro Reservoir, capable of holding four million gallons of water, can be seen in the distance. Along with a pump station at Palo Comado Canyon, the reservoir will be demolished and removed during April and May. Courtesy of National Park Service

-- Kate Kuykendall

National Park Service

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Wednesday, April 03, 2013
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Corba (Concerned Off-Road Bicyclists Associate) and ETI (Equestrian Trails International) have some conflicting ideas about public trail use. Both non-profits have ambitious ideals about expanding available trails for their respective sports. Unless they resolve differences and make compromises, their methods could backfire and defeat their purposes. If there is enough attention drawn to the occasional freak accident, caused by ignorant or reckless bikers and/or horseback riders, the National and State Parks could revoke privileges afforded both aficionados.

A letter circulated by the recently elected president of ETI has some local chapters of ETI, known as "Corrals" seeing the red. The red is the blood of the victims who have had tragic encounters with bicycles while riding the trails on their horses. The new president, Bob Foster, is pursuing ways in which bikes and horses can co-exist. To many local ETI members, it's best to simply ban bikes from single track trails.

To read the letters from ETI pres Bob Foster** and the response from CORBA**** see below.

From their websites:

Concerned Off-Road Bicyclists Association was founded in 1987 to serve the mountain bicycling community of Los Angeles and surrounding areas including southern Ventura County. CORBA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization committed to gaining and maintaining public trail access for mountain cyclists and the public at-large. CORBA encourages and promotes the safe and environmentally responsible use of unpaved roads and trails for bicycling and to educate the public about all aspects of off-road cycling and trails.

ETI is Dedicated to the Acquisition and Preservation of Trails, Good Horsemanship, and Equine Legislation

Check back with this blog to read how each organization proposes to resolve their differences! Input, comments and suggestions are public and welcome.


Letter #1 from Bob Foster ETI

President’s Message by Bob Foster

I want to thank the membership for your confidence in voting me in as your new
President of Equestrian Trails, Inc.

I am honored and willingly accept this responsibility and vow to continue in the
tradition of ETI: “Dedicated to the Acquisition and Preservation of Trails, Good
Horsemanship, and Equine Legislation”.

I have served as this organization’s 2nd Vice President for the past two years. With
this service, I have insight on what is working well with our organization and what is
not working quite as well.

I look forward to working with our National Board as well as our re-elected 1 st Vice President Keelie Buck and newly elected 2nd
Vice President Sarah Williams. Both Keelie and Sarah bring motivation and refreshing ideas on how to keep ETI going strong.

Our first priority is our membership. We must continue to attract new members to this great organization with safe, worthwhile,
fun and educational activities and events. We also need to recognize the needs of our current membership and maintain
retention because our folks want to be part of this equestrian family.

Our next priority is trails and legislature. More homes less trails. Developers are thinking of the green stuff, and it’s not grassy
hills they want. In some cases, it’s the land with existing trails they want. We must continue to protect our horse-owner rights
through legislature and doing our part to educate the public on who we are as a horse-owner culture.

We are living in a time when more and more folks are taking to the trails to enjoy nature. There are more hikers, equestrians
and mountain bikers gathering now in the same spaces that years ago were considered “open range” because you rarely walked
upon anyone using those trails. Today, and especially if you’re riding close to any urban area, you have equestrians, mountain
bikers and hikers all using the same trails, sometimes all at the same time.

I believe through education and training, we equestrians can learn to co-exist safely with the hikers and the bikers. I will be
traveling outside of Los Angeles County to see how this problem is resolved. I know in Santa Barbara County, for example, they
use a bell system to warn riders/hikers/equestrians of approaching traffic. I also know that SoCal Cycling, an interscholastic
cycling league, has introduced Cross Country Mountain Bike Racing to high schools
throughout California. Cross Country Mountain bike Racing (not to be confused with
extreme or downhill mountain bike racing) is one of the fastest growing sports in high
schools all over California. Teams in this sport receive training on trial etiquette, especially
when riding upon a horse and rider. I am hoping that members of ETI can do some cross
training with this organization so that we can learn and grow from each other.

As this New Year begins, I expect many good things to happen and welcome any
comments or ideas that will help ETI go forward.
Again, thanks for your support. I look forward to serving each and every one of you.

Letter #2 from Bob Foster, ETI

In this message I want to thank all who understand and agree with me that, as an organization, we need to provide trail safety training. I also want to derail ill feelings among any who misread my recommendation for and offer to conduct such training. An offer of safety training is not an endorsement of mountain biking on horse/hiking trails.

My focus is on the actual problems we face today. Not all trails are hiker/equestrian trails and so marked. We all know of single track trails classified as “Multi-Use” that accommodate hikers, riders, mountain bikers and special vehicles (for the disabled). Horsemen on such trails need safety tools.

Equestrian Trails Inc. always has and continues to focus on the well being of the equestrian community. To that end, it serves no useful purpose to demonize any organization not equestrian even one that, without constraints, threatens equestrians. Multi-use trails encourage multiple varieties of users. In self-defense we had better learn to get along.

I do not as Bob Foster or as the president of ETI, advocate changing multi-use trails into horse only, or support adding users to hiker/horse only trails. There simply are trails that will not safely support both equestrians and bicyclists and this must be legally and officially recognized.

Have I reached out to the bicycling community? Of course I have. If we are to make positive changes in our unavoidable contacts with cyclists, they need to be included in training for their safety, as well as ours, and we need to become proactive in preventing disaster by inuring our horses to the sight, smell and sound of other trail users.

As the President of ETI, there are goals I hope for the organization to achieve, as follows:

  • Creation of a trails video that addresses trail etiquette and actions to take around cyclists.
  • Development of GPS driven trail maps that provide user information and trail type, on line.
  • On line recording of forms that identify trail hazards for riders, for corrals to repair or for notifications to government entities responsible for repairs.
  • I hope to encourage and motivate corral trail work days on a continuing basis. Dates to be announced in the national magazine.

ETI is an active participant in the general equestrian community. We are prepared to deal with equine issues and to raise the safety bar for members and the community, at large. ETI is also known to bring along horse loving youth, so they become the next generation of responsible and sensible horse people.

Let me again assure all that I have never nor will I turn my back on ETI or the equestrian community. In fact, I hope to announce the first ETI multi user training program for June of this year.

ETI President

Bob Foster

**** Letter from CORBA
By Mark Langton

It was recently brought to our attention that newly elected president of Equestrian Trails, Inc.
(ETI) Robert Foster, a retired law enforcement officer, donates his time as an emergency medical
technician at So Cal High School Mountain Bike Racing League races. Mr. Foster is a staunch
supporter of the league, and in his president’s message in ETI’s most recent newsletter he stated
that it’s a new era in our public open space trail systems, and mountain bikers are part of the trail
user community so we all should try to figure out ways to get along.

Now I’ve been doing this advocacy thing for over 25 years, and I’ve experienced a lot of
encouraging progress in the areas of shared use, especially when it comes to opening more trails
to bicycle use. To hear the president of an organization that has historically had some of its
members rally against mountain bikes say that we need to get along is truly groundbreaking. But
things like this come fewer and more far between than I’d like, and during these 25 years I have
often asked myself “why am I doing this?” The answer is always “because it’s the right thing to
do.” This might sound insane (insanity once being defined by Albert Einstein as “doing the same
thing over and over again and expecting different results), and in many ways this might be true.

But then something like Robert Foster’s reasonable position comes along and I think to myself,
maybe we have been doing the right thing after all.

Over the years we have heard many reasons people feel mountain bikes don’t mix on shared use
trails, but only one is valid; people riding their bikes too fast at the wrong time and place (around
other trail users) is just not a pleasant experience for the people being passed at an inappropriate
speed. As I’ve said many times before, we all have within our power the ability to solve this
issue: slow down. In other words, use caution when around others. Let me put it another way;
your actions represent the entire mountain bike community. The smile you create through a
pleasant trail encounter goes a long way.

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