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Happy Trails: Woman Explains Why She Came to Hollywood on Horseback

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Photo by Emma Gallegos/LAist
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Hollywood has always loved a good story about a horseback journey, and that's been true for Karin Hauenstein, who I caught riding down Sunset Boulevard through traffic on Tuesday.

She e-mailed LAist to let us know about her long journey from the Central Coast to Hollywood with her three horses Glory, Coley and Smoke.

Hauenstein is a professional horse behaviorist who lives about 65 miles north of Santa Barbara, but she is also an activist. She had planned on taking a long horseback journey to advocate against the inhumane treatment of horses and horse slaughter this year, but she had to leave ahead of schedule after President Obama signed an appropriations bill this fall that funded the USDA to certify U.S. horse meat for human consumption and sale in other countries.

She writes, "It is going to take the power of the U.S. General Public, informed and outraged, to stem the development of fully-contained (which means nobody sees in and nobody hears in, like McDonald's facilities...) horse slaughter facilities in the northern U.S."

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Her journey is starting in California, but later on she's going to transport her horses to D.C. this spring so she can ride with other activists on horseback to speak out against the federal legislation. But for now she's happy to ride in through Hollywood, Studio City and Burbank, where she says she's met "some of the friendliest and most upright people I've encountered on the trail so far:"

This area, in Hollywood, has shown us a tremendous amount of acceptance, love and support. LAPD have been extremely respectful, helpful and supportive to us (me and the horses.) The public on the streets LOVE what I am doing and are really very courteous. The horses and I are treated much like a slow moving vehicle and have the legal right-of-way on every road and highway other than freeways where pedestrian and bike traffic is not allowed.

So how do you get from the Central Coast to Hollywood? Hauenstein started her journey near Lompoc and rode Highway 246 through Buellton, Solvang and Santa Ynez. She rode through the Santa Ynez Range into Goleta and Santa Barbara. (She rode through the foothills of Santa Barbara and Montecito twice.) Then she and the gang took access roads through Summerland and Carpinteria, but they had to hang tight for a week and wait for a big swell to calm down so they could make the beach crossing. They continued to Ventura near the 101 on Harbor Boulevard to Port Hueneme and then they took the Pacific Coast Highway to Malibu. She cut through Decker Canyon Road to Westlake then Oak Park, Agoura Hills, Kanan Road to Mulholland Drive to Beverly Hills and finally she was at Sunset Boulevard.There's one other reason she's excited to be in Hollywood. While she's here, she plans to hitch up her horses at CBS Studios so she can catch a live-taping of the "Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson."