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The Los Angeles Times reports that a “flurry of recent stable closures has generated talk where equestrians gather about whether the Southern California horse culture can survive the sprawl of suburbia and its relentless appetite for onetime ranch land.” Jessica Garrison reports on the clash between housing and horses, a conflict horses are losing. “We are losing an irreplaceable piece of the American culture…and the Western heritage,” said one rider.

Stables are giving way to cul de sacs and fairgrounds are being turned into parking lots. And not just in California. Outside of Lexington, Kentucky, horse farms can be found on one side of a four plank fence and a parade of McMansions is on the other. It’s happening all over the country, but California “is being really hard hit,” said Deb Balliet of Kentucky’s Equestrian Land Conservation Resource.

The vanishing of horses is a sign that “we are separated from the land, rider Mary Benson told Garrison. “People are afraid of the dirt. They are afraid of the dark. They have no sense of their place in the natural world.”

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