Point Reyes National Seashore Seeks an Equine Recruit


Decades ago, the Morgan Horse Ranch at Point Reyes National Seashore was established as a horse breeding and training program for the National Park Service. Located just up the California coast from San Francisco, the ranch was home to a herd of 35-40 horses during its active years. Morgan horses were bred and trained at the ranch, then went on to serve as mounts for rangers in other national parks.

The breeding program is no longer active; the last foal was born at the ranch in 1999. But Point Reyes keeps a small group of Morgan horses that are used for trail patrol in the park. According to the National Park Service, the horses are also sometimes ridden by biologists conducting wildlife censuses in the area as they are able to get closer to elk and other animals on horseback than they would be able to on foot.

Point Reyes is now looking to add a new member to this herd. They are seeking a purebred Morgan between five and 10 years of age and at least 15.3 hands. They are asking that the horse be at least green broke, and it will need to pass a vet check and be suitable for the tasks required of these park horses, including parades, trail patrol, and safely interacting with park visitors.

If you know of a horse who fits the bill and would enjoy a new career on the California seashore, contact Philip Straub at philip_straub@nps.gov.

The Morgan Horse Ranch at Point Reyes is primarily volunteer run. Volunteers care for the horses, equipment and facilities, school the horses, and greet park visitors. Find out more about volunteer opportunities at the ranch at www.ptreyes.org.

Leslie Potter is a writer and photographer based in Lexington, Kentucky. www.lesliepotterphoto.com



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