Our riding hats are off to the city and parks department for preserving the Cedar Trail as an equestrian route through our community.


Commitments were obtained from the Mission Crest, Copper Crest and Cedar Glen developers to set aside land for a bridle path along the length of Cedar Street within the city limits. The Cedar Trail bridle path makes it possible for equestrian enthusiasts to ride from the open lands in the Oro Grande Wash, though residential neighborhoods.


The bridle path starts at Coyote Trail and stops at Bandicoot Trial in Oak Hills from where the Cedar Trail connects with the equestrian trail located within the Southern California Edison power line easement. The July 20, 2009 Open Space General Plan for Hesperia tells us that the power line easement was obtained in 1990 from the BNSF Railroad as the first equestrian trail established by the Hesperia Park District.


The Cedar Trail bridle path is bordered with white vinyl railed horse fencing bringing a picturesque rural theme to the neighborhoods. Vinyl withstood the brutal desert sun and persistent winds but not the strain of restless children.


Fencing in front of Cedar Middle School remains in pristine condition, but vandalism appears on the two-rail fencing along the Copper Crest and Cedar Glen developments. Cracks developed and the kids learned they could pick at faults in the fencing as they walked home. They could sit on the rails at Long View Avenue while waiting for the school bus. It began with a few fence sitters; but as sure as Tom Sawyer was able to persuade Huck Finn to paint the fence because it looked like fun, others soon were enticed to perch. Large sections of damaged rails were removed at the end of school property.


Residents concerned with accelerating destruction offered solutions. Some want to take up a collection to mend the fences. But these developments don't have homeowners associations to care for the trail and the homeowners paid for the bridle path when the cost was included in the purchase price of their homes. Some suggested doing the repairs themselves. This is similar to the Adopt a Highway program where groups within the community step up to fill a void when government does not fulfill its custodial duties.


The sign on Cedar Street reports that Cedar Middle School students are responsible for Cedar Street. But the sign makes no reference to bridle path fencing.


Some folks insist the city repair the fences because the bridle path is on city property. They suggest the city could apply for reimbursement from the school district because schools are responsible for the kids until they return home. Some insist the sheriff's deputies should find all the culprits and have them pay for the damage. But lawyers would argue the fencing is an attractive nuisance and kids can't be blamed for acting like children. Some believe any complaints would result in the city removing the bridle path. Some ignore the blight because it's not as bad as the boarded-up houses abandoned after the housing melt down. These folks anticipate making their wishes known by voting current leaders out of office.


Old photos of desert living show horses of students and teachers at school hitching posts. We can't return to that time. To do so would require selling the school bus and using the funds to replace the fence with durable materials. Then the kids could sit on the fences and picking or notching would only result in making the wood more rustic. In those days we could have established a corral in the wash land at the corners of the Bandicoot and Cedar Trails. In those days the kids would learn to care for their horses and have less time for mischief.


Thanks to forward-thinking people in this city, we have bridle paths to remind us of how good things were then. Our challenge today is to apply the standards we wish to keep in a realistic way and not play only lip service to traditions we wish to pass on to the next generation. Special thanks are extended to the horsemen and women who successfully lobbied to preserve the Cedar Trail connection for posterity.