Equestrian Trails, Inc.
ETI Past & Present
Equestrian Trails Inc.
Guidelines for Corral Officers and Members
Introduction to ETI
“Equestrian Trails Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to equine legislation, good horsemanship, and the acquisition and preservation of trails, open space and public lands.”
Why does ETI exist and why should Corrals and Members get involved? There are many answers to that question. The simple reasons are stated in the ETI mission statement, which is quoted above. ETI is constantly working to protect our horse keeping rights and our equestrian lifestyle. Riding the trails and communicating with local, state and federal agencies allows us to maintain and expand our riding areas. Clinics and seminars help improve our horsemanship, and banding together to reach out to policy makers and lawmakers keeps our lifestyle going. These are the overall benefits of joining and being involved in ETI. Another key factor is simply that a group has a stronger voice than an individual. United we can influence the laws, ordinances, and policies that affect our ability to have and enjoy our equines in the present and in the future.
There are also many personal reasons to join. ETI National offers many programs and rides to enjoy. Each Corral sponsors their own events that all members are allowed to participate in. Rides include day rides, weekend campouts and longer trips in various areas. Clinics and seminars are offered in a variety of topics from riding to health issues. Horse shows, gymkhanas, drill teams, mounted assistance units, and other activities offer members many options for fun and competition with their horse. Being able to ride in new areas with a guide and not having to do the work is a good reason for Corrals to participate in each other’s activities; share the labor. Networking offers support, ideas and assistance for all members.
The History of ETI
During World War II, horsemen from Long Beach, CA joined together to patrol the power lines, to guard public property, and in the event of an enemy attack, to help secure the safety of the Long Beach area. They and their horses were trained by the Long Beach Police Department and worked under the police department’s direct supervision. Every night for the duration of the war they patrolled in all kinds of weather in places reachable only on horseback. They did an important job well and contributed a vital service to their community and country.
When the end of the war was in sight these horsemen wanted to continue to be of service, to become organized and be prepared in case they were needed again. No trails existed where they patrolled, so they discussed the establishment of permanent trails for horsemen and hikers throughout scenic California. If enough people were interested, they decided, permanent trails might be established. Fitting perfectly into the post-war programs involving recreation, Equestrian Trails was born on July 21, 1944. It was incorporated in 1945 as a non-profit organization dedicated to equine legislation, good horsemanship and the acquisition and preservation of riding and hiking trails throughout California.
Modern Day ETI
ETI National continues to work (along with each corral in its own community) to secure trails and develop connecting links to public parks and recreation centers, to obtain bridges or tunnels across highways and freeways, to secure access to flood-control channels and other right-of-ways for trails, and to promote arenas and equestrian areas for all horsemen. Local trails are of great importance especially when they can serve as “feeder” trails to more remote riding areas.
With its membership expanding and new Corrals being formed in several states, Equestrian Trails is recognized as a major influence in the national horse community.
The Structure of ETI
Equestrian Trails, Inc., often referred to as “ETI National,” is the parent organization and is made up of individual sub-groups called “Corrals.” The Corrals are grouped together based on locale into “Areas”. Each Area has a director who serves as the link between ETI National and the Corrals in that Area. Each Area Director also functions as a member of ETI National’s Board of Directors. Each Corral has an Area Delegate who serves as the link between the Area and their Corral.
A Board of Directors consisting of the President, 1st Vice President, 2nd Vice President, Immediate Past President (the Executive Board), the Trail Coordinator and the Area Directors oversee the operation of the Corporation. These are all elected positions. The Area Directors are elected by the Corrals they represent, and the Executive Board is voted on by the general membership through the Corrals.
As of January 2019, the members of the Executive Board are:
- President: Tom Kirsch – [email protected]
- 1st Vice President: Jeanne Catron-Gonzalez – (661) 212-8313
- 2nd Vice President: Nikki Ahten – [email protected]
- Immediate Past President: Linda Fullerton – [email protected]
The National Trail Coordinator is Lynn Brown (323) 876-6858 – [email protected]
The Area Directors and the Corrals they represent on the Board of Directors
are listed in the Table below.
|Dottie and Keith Hilliard, Co-Directors
626-335-7112 – [email protected]
|2, 3, 35
|66, 70, 103
818-367-2056 – [email protected]
|14, 65, 83
|22, 36, 54
(818) 262-7764 – [email protected]
|10, 12, 20, 38, 101, 210
|37, 57, 118
661-268-8771 – [email protected]
|9, 86, 88, 138
|At large members
909-967-2065 – [email protected]
Whittier Narrows MAU
Walnut Creek MAU
How to Have a Great Corral
There is no one answer to the question “What makes a great corral?” But there are many answers. Each corral is unique and has to find its own way to thrive. Corrals are encouraged to interact with other corrals, with their Area Director, and with the ETI Office for new ideas, new adaptations of old ideas, and general information and support.
Just as a starting point, here are some ideas of how two of our Corrals have found their success.
- A single purpose Corral—this type of corral has a specific focus. In one single purpose Corral, everybody likes to trail ride and that is what this corral does. They do not put on shows, or trail trials, or play days, and they don’t participate in parades, but they have terrific monthly trail rides (both one-day and longer) with clear and well-known expectations for their riders (written and adhered to trail rules), and a great time is had by all. This corral is set up to provide a bunch of trail riders with great experiences exploring new areas and revisiting old ones. They also support ETI National trail rides by organizing, leading, and participating in these rides. In addition, they have been active in raising funds to provide much needed improvements at public horse campgrounds. So they are actually not “just trail riders.” They are equestrians paving the way for future generations of equestrians to enjoy trail riding.
There are many other single purpose Corrals within ETI with different “single purposes!” We have some Corrals that only or primarily sponsor and participate in or put on a variety of driving events, or in horse shows, or in mounted assistance work, or whatever. And this is just one model of a successful Corral.
- A varied purpose Corral—this type of corral may participate, put on, a variety of equestrian activities. One varied purpose Corral every year puts on an ETI National High Point English-Western horse show, an ETI approved/sanctioned trail trials, one or two schooling dressage shows, a driving play-day, a trail ride every month, and four or five camping-with-horses trips. This is a large Corral, but like every volunteer organization, about ten per cent of the Corral membership does almost all of the work. One thing that helps this kind of Corral succeed is the fact that the people who like to show work at the non-show events, and the people who like to trail ride work at the non-trail riding events. And then everybody gets to have fun and help to support the local organization.
Other Corrals may focus on a few major activities. The important thing is to stay in touch with what your Corral wants to do—or wants to try!
A few other things to always keep in mind are the facts that everyone has their own opinion, that people can disagree and still work together, that remaining calm when others are not is extremely important for leaders, that really listening to each other is necessary, and that if another person becomes nasty or whatever, becoming nasty or whatever in response will only make the situation worse. But we all already know that — we just need to put our knowledge into practice—which may not be easy but is possible!