Walter Crane eloquently captured the power of the ocean and the almost mystical appeal of horses in his famous illustration entitled "Neptune's Horses."
There was a time, not very long ago, when many, maybe even most Point Dume families had a horse or two. The stables and tack rooms have given way to guest houses or moldered away, but Malibu's equestrian past hasn't slipped away entirely—not yet.
|A couple of Rindge Ranch cowboys and their four-footed companions take a break from work.|
|There are surprisingly few photographs of the ranch horses, but here are a pair of cowboys and their horses driving cattle under the Ramirez Canyon railroad trestle in 1915.|
In the early days of the Topanga Malibu Sequit Rancho, horses were essential for survival. Even in the early 20th century, before the Ridge family was forced to open the ranch to what would become Pacific Coast Highway, horses offered travelers and the settlers who lived in the Santa Monica Mountains the only reliable mode of transportation through the ranch.
|Arch Rock, located between Pacific Palisades and Los Flores Canyon, was a picturesque landmark in the early 20th century. The savvy horsewoman shown above has timed her trip to coincide with the low tide.|
|These travelers are waiting for the tide to turn. The journey from Camarillo to Santa Monica was long and arduous. Travelers counted on their horses to help them get safely through the nearly 30-mile shoreline trek.|
|The caption on the photo, reproduced from a 1950s Malibu Chamber of Commerce publication, reads: "An outing in the early days of Trancas Wash," which was probably what is now the Zuma Lagoon.|
|I was seeking some additional information on this archival photo of beach riders and found that the Adamson House archive website provides extensive speculation on the image: "|