For the past two months, a Santa Barbara horse trainer and her three horses have been camping by night and spreading their message by day.
Karin Hauenstein and her horses, which have the double-function of serving as walking billboards, have done their best to attract attention to themselves and their cause. “I bet you didn’t know it was happening,” she yells at passers-by. Hauenstein has tied her animals up outside Roscoe’s House of Chicken & Waffles, grazed them alongside a Runyon Canyon yoga class and has their pictures taken with Wonder Woman and Korean tourists.
Hauenstein scouts out grassy areas for her horses to graze using Google Earth and fills their collapsible 3-gallon bucket at gas stations and places where she eats. At night, they have camped in parks, backyards, ranches, vacant lots and homeless shelters. They have occasional run-ins with the police, but Hauenstein says they usually allow her to go on her way.
She admits that even with three horses and a get-up that makes her look like she “just came out of the mountains,” it can be tough to get people’s attention in a city where “unusual” is the norm. ”
“I’m just another distraction here,” Hauenstein says.