We’ve had a spate of posts here lately that feature observation of San Fernando Valley boyhoods. Now Jerry England, founder of the Chatsworth Equine Cultural Heritage Organization (ECHO) , has put together a great web page about growing up with horses and horse people in the Valley of the 1940s and 1950s. That’s Jerry (I think) in the picture on Manton Avenue in Woodland Hills, of which he writes:
Rural Woodland Hills was horse country. I learned to ride a horse at my grand uncle’s ranch in Montana during the summer of 1950. By 1952 we had horses in our Woodland Hills backyard. As a youngster I rode to Calabasas, Canoga Park, and Chatsworth on dirt roads….Cowboy actor Monty Montana used to go to local elementary schools to show off his rope tricks and horses. He came to Woodlake Elementary about 1952 or 1953….Sheep herders were still bringing their sheep wagons, horses, Border Collie dogs, and herd of sheep to graze off the wild oats that grew across the road from my home in Woodland Hills. I used to love going shopping in Canoga Park where we’d often see an old man and woman who used a two-goat cart to go to the store.
England presented his story — The 50’s, a Golden Era of Horses for a Kid in the Valley — at a recent gathering of the San Fernando Valley Historical Society.