The Loomis Basin Horsemen's Association was formed in 1984 after developers wanted to cut off trials leading to the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area. The Loomis Basin has access to some of the best riding and hiking trails in the area which is located in South Placer County, California. Petitions were sent out and over 400 signatures were returned requesting that the trails not be blocked. A meeting was held at which over 200 interested horsemen and hikers attended. It was decided that an organized group was required to keep trails open. The second concern of the group was to find a location to build an arena where riders, young and old could safely work their horses.
In the end it was decided that the main purpose of LBHA was to work together with federal, state, and local agencies to assist with the maintenance of local trails, protect existing trails and to promote the establishment of new trails, maintain and manage the LBHA arena and protect the rural lifestyle. LBHA is now a 501.3C non-profit organization.
ARENA TAKES SHAPE
The early years found the group organizing and getting its non-profit status. In addition, Placer County Parks was in the process of building a new Community Park in Loomis. The horsemen attended meetings and gathered support for having an arena at the Park. The County officials stated that one could be built but it would not be able to fund the arena. All funds were to be from donations. The County did level the site and LBHA went forward to gather funds to build the arena. Bids were sent out and after the cost was decided, posts and panels were sold to raise money. In October of 1984, the club’s first horseshow was held at the arena site with panels being donated for use by Sierra College and Doupnik Mfg. of Loomis. Over $1,500 was raised at the first 1 day show. LBHA now has 2 shows every year, an English and Western benefit Horse show on the same weekend.
By late 1985, the arena was built, with the help of many volunteers doing the post hole digging and welding. An announcer’s booth was built, bleachers, sand and sprinklers were then added. Shows and clinics as well as other fundraisers were held throughout the years earning money for the maintenance of the facility. The Arena is 220' by 125' and is made of 6 rail panels welded to 4" steel posts. Even a buffalo cannot get out. The arena has seen rodeos, horse shows, team pennings and any other horse event you can think of. Many local horse and 4-H groups use the arena throughout the year. Individuals use the arena daily when events are not being held. Use of the arena is free to the public for individual use. Group use requires proof of insurance and a small use and clean up fee. Trainers may utilize the arena by permit for lessons or clinics with proof of insurance.
1996 is the year that the group looked into covering the arena for even more usage. The group started raising funds with a raffle at the Fall 1995 Horseshow where breedings to an Arabian and Quarter Horse stallion were offered as well as other horsey and non-horsey items. This project was dropped as the cost of a cover was very prohibitive.
An update on arena events now finds lots of new and exciting things happening. A new Tuff Shed Office has been erected. It has trailer underneath it so it can be moved to a safe place in the park when not in use. The building is 10' x 12' and has two drop down openings with a shelf on each for entry taking. Storage Cabinets and desk space have been added. There are plenty of power outlets. There is also a new Porta-potty located next to the arena. No more running to the other end of the park. A cover for the bleachers has been approved and installed. In the past a 40 foot shade cloth had to be put on top of the bleachers to protect spectators from the sun. Now there is shelter from the sun and rain.
The warm up arena has been expanded and redone with metal panels. Additional panels have been purchased for groups putting on cattle events or have the need for extra panels.
The multi-use trials that are proposed or requested by LBHA are to meander along side of roadways and do not go through private property. All trails are part of a system that either go to the Folsom Lake Recreational Area Trails or make loops and head for the arena at the park. LBHA thinks of these multi-use trails as the "sidewalks" of the rural area, just like the concrete sidewalks in the urban areas.
LOS LAGOS TRAIL
One of the main reasons for the formation of the Loomis Basin Horsemen's Association was to prevent the closure or blockage of trails used to get to the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area. In early 1985, the Los Lagos development was in the planning stage. Over the years, horsemen and hikers had used the dirt road (Boulder Road) to access the lake trails from Auburn-Folsom Rd. in Loomis. The development would abandon the road and access would be denied. After discussion with County officials and the developer, the developer deeded a 200' strip through the property with an easement for a multi-use trail. This easement was given to California State Parks. The Los Lagos Trail was cleared and the trail became a popular one with walkers, hikers and horsemen. The development was then sold and the new owners started blocking off the road crossings through the development and threatening trail users. Placer County sent notices that the trail was to be left open. Los Lagos then filed suit, wanting to shut down the Trail.
The final outcome of the suit was that Los Lagos could gate the entrance to the trail but would have to open and close the gate during park hours. If they do not comply, the gate will revert back to State Parks’ control and Los Lagos will responsible for the cost to the State. Hopefully, things will quiet down and the trail will be in full use again. The spring time is a beautiful time to walk or ride the trail. Its location is about 1/2 mile north of the Los Lagos entrance on the left hand side of the road. There is a small pull out that can handle 2 or 3 cars.
Clos Du Lac was another development that was approved in the Loomis area just off Auburn-Folsom Road on Lomida Lane. This development is a high end development of small lots in a vastly rural area. Lomida was a dirt road and the residents along it really wanted it to stay that way since horsemen from the area had used it to reach the Lake trails. With the coming of Clos Du Lac, Lomida was paved, but one part of the conditions was to provide a trail alongside the 32' wide paved road. LBHA worked with the developer and the County to get a trail that would hold up to all types of weather. Local decomposed granite was selected and packed in. After several years there is little rutting or washouts on the trail. The trail along Lomida was one of the first that the Loomis Basin Horsemen developed and it was a learning experience. The trail is just off the road side and if the road becomes very busy it could become a problem unless traffic speeds are kept to a minimum.
Clos Du Lac will also be building another trail along the other side of the property on Horseshoe Bar Road that will meander through the trees along the road side.
Through big efforts from LBHA, a staging area was secured when the Sterling Pointe development was created. The development was to have had several horse lots, but that was taken away when the development was sold and CC&R's were put in place that prohibited livestock of any type. LBHA worked on this issue for several years and now such a situation would not occur. In new developments, if the development is zoned to have livestock and they state that livestock will be permitted in order to get the development passed, then the developer cannot come back let the CC&R's prohibit livestock.
The Staging area which had access to State Parks was to have had an arena, but that was also eliminated in the plans.
Placer County Parks is in charge of Sterling Pointe Staging area with LBHA members volunteering time to unlock and lock up gates and do clean up maintenance. The volunteers have also put in water for both horses and dogs, great kiosks with much information on the area, trail markers and other amenities for hikers and riders to enjoy. Sterling Pointe Staging Area is a great addition to the few areas where horses can stage in this area.
Other trails that LBHA has had influence in developing include a trail along Linda Creek in Tree Lake Village, Roseville, its connection to the Granite Bay Hills Trail and the Baldwin Lake Trail from Barton Road to Auburn Folsom Road that connects to the Lake Trails. These trails, when completed, will connect Sacramento County at Orangevale to the Lake Trails. The Baldwin Lake Trail was one of the first trails LBHA became involved with. This trail connected the Folsom Lake State Park (at Beals Point) at the Lake to Barton Road and then to Stone Corral in Sacramento County. Work to get this trail began about 1984 and the trail is now open and ready for use.
Along Barton Road are several other trails, Graystone development and Granite Bay Country Club.
The Loomis Basin Horsemen's Association has put together a trail map that includes trails that are in local General or Community Plans. Trials which are in existence and trails that are proposed. This map is used by developers, real estate agents and County Officials alike, to spot where trails are or will be developed. One day all the small trails that are going in will connect and we will have a great system to get cars off the roads and folks on their horses, kids on their bikes or walkers out and going. This map is undergoing changes. Trails are being added that are now complete, and a new list of trails that are being proposed will be added. These changes are being prepared so our map may be sent to Placer County to be included in the General Plan updates for the Loomis, Penryn, Newcastle and Granite Bay areas.
LBHA has put up a new website dedicated to local trails.
The Loomis Basin Horsemen's Association worked for over a year on the Zoning Ordinance that involved the keeping and raising of livestock. Changes that were made in past years were becoming very restrictive. LBHA was part of a committee made up of a group representing all types of animals including, sheep, dogs, horses, cattle, llamas, birds, reptiles and cats. The committee also included county staff from Animal Control, Enforcement Department, Environmental Health and the Planning Department.
After many months of meetings a proposal was submitted to the Planning Commission and then to the Board of Supervisors where it was finally passed. The final outcome was that most areas in this rural county were permitted to have livestock and animals. Control of raising and keeping of livestock is to be by a complaint system and control of numbers of livestock was connected to acreage size and zoning type. This will permit 4-H members on small 1 acre lots to have one or two sheep for a project.
When hearings come up concerning projects in the South Placer area and it is felt that the project will not fit the rural lifestyle of the area, members of LBHA are gathered to attend Public Hearings. Members and County Liaison Committee people attend Municipal Area Committee (MAC) meetings, Planning Commission meetings as well as Board of Supervisors hearings. Getting the word out to members when there is an important issue is a major goal of LBHA. By getting members and other horsemen to meetings, County Officials know of our presence.
LBHA County Liaison members worked hard and long with developers of Clos Du Lac and the County when Clos Du Lac was being planned back in the early days of LBHA. Of greatest importance, at that time, was to have a trail down the side of Lomida Lane heading for the Lake. Lomida, at the time, was a dirt road and many riders used it to get to the Lake. Clos Du Lac brought pavement to Lomida making it into an extra wide asphalt speedway. Having a trail beside the road became a safety issue. The Lomida Trail is a well used trail today. One good example of getting horsemen involved is the Sterling Pointe development at the end of Lomida Lane in Loomis. At its inception the development was to have had no livestock lots. The area where the development was being built was zoned Rural Agriculture and most of the people around the area had large acreage with livestock of all types. When the smoke cleared, livestock was cleared for a portion of the lots. In addition, a staging area was developed and trails were kept open for riders heading for the Lake trails. Dozens of horsemen attended and spoke up at the hearings concerning this development. Again, the horsemen's word was heard. Sterling Pointe has a wonderful Staging Area, many of its amenities have been built by members and volunteers.
HELPING HORSEMEN HELP THEMSELVES
Local horsemen have come to the Loomis Basin Horsemen’s Association over the years to get information or seek help about a horse related problem. It is the policy of LBHA to help all horsemen in directing them by providing information or directing them to the proper county office. Hidden Lakes Estates is involved with a problem that is being worked on. In the end it appears that both the homeowners as well as LBHA will get good information that can be used by local horsemen in the future. LBHA has also been approached concerning Trail Easements which have been blocked as well as good neighbor problems when horsemen did not have enough acreage to maintain the number of horses they had in a satisfactory way. Tips from LBHA and communications with the neighbors worked out for the families. Changes in their management practices made all the difference in two cases. In 1997 a beautiful 88 acre property was donated to Placer County by Art and Helene Traylor. The Loomis Basin Horsemen's Association was asked to maintain and manage the property. The group worked on getting the Traylor Ranch Nature Reserve open and being enjoyed by many users. Riders, hikers, youth groups, 4-H and Boy Scouts have all enjoyed the Reserve and return often. Boy Scouts have created Kiosks and done fencing projects. Other youth have worked on class projects. LBHA volunteers, along with members of the Sierra Audubon Society, removed old fencing and several Boy Scouts replaced some of the fencing as Scout Projects. Trails have been mowed and marked to prevent equestrians and walkers from disturbing nesting birds. Volunteers come out monthly and in between to mow trails and do repairs. Monies are still needed to help fund repairs and other maintenance on the property. A fund has been set up with the County just for Traylor Ranch. Check out the Traylor Ranch Web Page for more information. There is a homestead on the Reserve which is rented out to help with maintenance costs and on site security.