2023 / 24 California DMV Handbook

The Mules walked into Porterville to stock up on groceries. While we were there, we stopped at the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to get the 2024 California Drivers Handbook. 2024 was not available. We picked up the 2023 California Drivers Handbook. As we were thumbing through the 2023 Drivers Handbook, we noticed that there was very little attention given to an equestrian , a person riding a horse.

While there is excellent reference and mention to pedestrians, and their right to walk on California roads and highways, as well as cyclists to do the same, the equestrian, the person riding a horse was given a brief few words that were totally and completely inadequate to informing the public, that a person riding a horse has the same legal right to be on and using California roads and highways as the high-speed motorist (HSM). If you go to CA vehicle code 21759, the equestrian, a person riding a horse, as well as a person driving a horse, and a person walking a horse you will see is explicitly lined in and covered in the vehicle code.

The purpose of the California Driver’s Handbook is to educate the California driving public and all other legal users (pedestrians equestrians cyclists) as to their responsibilities and rights when driving and traveling on California’s highways and roads. Yet the mention, acknowledgement in the California Drivers Handbook of the equestrian is almost non-existent.

So what’s going on here? Is this some kind of willy nilly accident by those who wrote this California Driver’s Handbook for 2024? No. It’s no willy nilly accident of forgetfulness by those who wrote the handbook. It was done for a reason. And what’s going on is they are conditioning the public mind to view a person riding a horse, an equestrian, as somehow to be illegal on California’s roads. And then a call is made to CHP. CHP knows the scheme. They will come out and order the equestrian such as the Mules to stay off the road if you don’t comply with this illegal order they will illegally arrest the equestrian and impound your horse. Which has been done to the Mules multiple times. It’s an incremental first step towards eliminating the equestrian, person riding a horse totally from the California roads and highways. The next step is to start reducing equestrian rights under the vehicle code.

While horse owners may not want to do it themselves, walk, ride their horse on California’s dangerous roads. (Due mainly to the excessive speed California drivers are allowed to drive on California roads and highways.) Instead choose to use their horse in a recreational mode, attending various events by the use of an automobile. The act of doing, getting out on the road with your horse and riding it on that road to get to necessary places you need to go, must be preserved. It must be protected. That is where the line in the sand must be drawn against the incremental elimination of this sacred relationship between human being and horse. It’s sacred, it’s been on this earth for literally ions. And this is a real concerted attack on that relationship.

This attack on the equestrian, a person riding a horse, and the right to do so on California’s public roads, will not end there. It will not end with eliminating the equestrian right to ride California’s roads. It will morph. It will travel into your right to have access to facilities to drive your pick-up truck and horse trailer to compete and enjoy your horse. It will morph. It will travel on to every venue it can find. Because its sole purpose in the end is to destroy this sacred relationship between human being and horse which has been on this earth for eons.

Once again, I repeat myself. There is no better place to draw the line in the sand then where the Three Mules Journey resides or anybody else with similar intent, a place where no weapons are used or carried a place for those who choose to serve it by walking with respect and reverence for the ground on which they travel upon showing that basic right to walk your horse, ride your horse, drive your horse, on California’s highways and roads in any one of all four directions how you choose when you choose. It is the responsibility of the Mules as well as all others who love this ages old sacred relationship to not stand by and watch it be diminished and destroyed. It is the energy of perseverance and creativity that the Mules choose to use to protect and preserve this most sacred place in which the Mules reside.

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