2018 trail ride is set for May 18th through May 21st.
Cowbelles Trail Ride - Trail Ride History
The Cowbelles Trail Riders were formed by 13 women in 1962. These women were all ranch wives that were members of the San Luis Obispo County “Cowbelles” (now named the San Luis Obispo County CattleWomen.)
The original “Charter” members were May Tucker, Iona Mitchell, Marilyn Taylor, Flossie Anderson, Marion Negranti, Melda Camsuzou, Lilah Davies, Jean Bonnheim, Susie Freeman, Alberta Lewis, Hope Bagby, Gloria VanHorn, and Nellie Claassen. The following year additional members joined. They included Elma Warren, Alice Miller, Rosalie Rhoades, Betty Luke, and Norma Wilcox.
Each spring the group would host a trail ride for the Cowbelle members at different ranches in the county. The ride would last several days. The women would set up their own version of “camping” out under the stars and prepare all the meals together. They would ride horseback each day, discovering the varied terrain, grasses, wildflowers and wildlife in different regions of our county. It was a nice break from their families and a chance to visit with other women with common interests.
Today, the membership is still limited to 35 riders and still allows their non-riding members to come back and camp, and visit with their old friends. Some of the founding members are still active and some of their daughters, daughters-in-law, and granddaughters are now members.
The Cowbelles’ enjoyed their 2009 trailride on the historic Hearst Ranch in San Simeon California. A brief interview of Vel Miller, the Cowbelles’ trail boss, was featured on Huell Howser’s show, California’s Gold! You can view the video (link below) on the Chapman University site and learn more about the beautiful Hearst Ranch.