During the early years the annual meetings and picnics were special
events. The girls planned special horse events with prizes for winners. Robin
Phillips and daughters planned games while other members took care of the
barbecue. Camp Padre in Tilden Park was also reserved. Participation of
members and families was enthusiastic. Oak groves in the pasture were often
picnic sites. Members came by horseback and in the springtime picnicked
among the poppies, lupines and green grass when it didnít rain!

In the announcement of the annual meeting in 1973, Becky Kemsley
urged ëall members and their families to bring a picnic lunch and join the partygames!
prizes! Use the new arenaí.


  • On and off double bareback ( get a partner)
  • Barrel race (against the clock)
  • Musical horses
  • Adult and child (under 18) drinking contest
  • Potato race: up and back carrying potato in a spoon!
  • Costume: race to end of arena, get off horse, put on dress,
    mount horse and return
  • Thread the needle- mother has to sew on button

Recreational horseback riding is the raison díetre of the OHA. Since
the pasture adjoins Tilden Park and EBMUD range lands, members have easy
access to those areas and to more distant parks such as Sibley, Redwood, and
Briones. OHA members are blessed with rolling hills, verdant meadows, forests
and countless miles of scenic trails at their beck and call. Their only limitation
is time. It has been said that the East Bay Trails System is among the best
urban hiking and riding trail system in the world. On behalf of the OHA, Lucile
Arnon wrote EBMUD in 1973 expressing appreciation for the new trail along
the eastern shore of Briones Reservoir. She commented on the scenic beauty,
diverse flora, and a wonderful riding experience.

Organized trail rides to destinations such as Roundtop (above the
tunnel), Briones Park or the ëgrand Canyoní (Wildcat Canyon) via Nimitz Way
were popular in the 1970s. During the 1980s, Victor Johnson organized and
lead many popular trail rides, winding up with food and drink aplenty. More
recently OHA members have participated in Tilden-Wilcat Association sponsored

Overall, interest in group activities has diminished. The membership is
older and people have tended to pursue their individual interests. The OHA is
now a more mature organization. Many OHA members have become active in
the Tilden-Wildcat group which is comprised primarily of non OHA members..
Members of OHA have supported the building and maintenance of
riding and hiking trails.OHA is a member of the East Bay Trails Council,
represented in the 1970ís by Lucile Arnon and Bob Lewman. Loren Furtado
and Bob Lewman participated in activities of the California State Horsemanís
Association. Es Anderson, Lucile Arnon and Bob Lewman participated, as did
Morris Older later on in the 1980ís and 1990ís, in the Tilden Wildcat
Horsemans Association which promotes better trails in the regional park areas
and also hosts group rides, overnight camp-outs and playdays, often in Tilden

Other members also devote time to working on the trails. ëTrail Daysí
are popular meeting times where people perform useful work and get acquainted
with others of similar interest. Trail Day events are usually organized
by EBMUD or the Regional Parks, and include a barbecue and tee shirts for
participants. Recognizing the importance of working on the trails, the OHA
Board in the late 1980ís voted to allow members work hours credit for
participation in organized trail work outside of the pasture boundaries.

The annual Grand National Horse Show and Rodeo at the Cow Palace
attracts Orinda horse people. During the early 1970ís, Bob Lewman rode with
the Color Guard at the opening ceremonies. One year OHA took advantage of
a California State Horsemanís Association discount ticket program and
seventen OHA members attended the Grand Natinals together. In the 1990ís,
OHA joined with the Tilden Wildcat group, the San Ramon Valley Horseman,
the Contra Costa Horseman, and the Moraga Horseman in sponsoring the
ëRide for the Ridgeí and ëTri for the Ridgeí the following year, to raise funds
for completion of the Ridge Trail. Morris Older lead a large group of Orinda
Horseman on these rides. Also, to support a local Orinda event, Heidi Kader,
Lens Cogdell and Gailyn Johnson have ridden in the Fourth of July Parade
which is a sometimes annual event for the OHA.

Endurance riding has become a popular activity with the influx of
Arabian horses into the pasture. Shirley Delsart is OHAís premier distance
rider. She has won many awards in major events with her horse K.J. Destination.
Equal credit goes to Shirley for outstanding horsewomanship! Morris
Older, Linda Davidson, Lisa Jordan, Jane & Cynthia Binder, Heather Felt, and
Liz Strauss have also competed enthusiastically. Jane Binder has also had
notable success in her specialty of Trail Trials. Many members continue to
work diligently on developing and honing their horsemanship skills in areas of