DANVILLE -- Horse fans got a chance to meet some of the four-legged critters on Saturday at the Museum of the San Ramon Valley.

Members of the East Bay Regional Park District Volunteer Safety Patrol turned out to meet and greet visitors along with their equine companions.

The event is part of the is part of the museum's program of events to tie in to its current exhibit "Cowboys and Cattlemen: Ranching in the San Ramon Valley."

The exhibit is on display at the museum through May 4 with events offered weekly in the next two months.

"The purpose is to communicate about our ranching history and ranching today in the Valley," museum curator Beverly Lane said. "We have a long ranching history. For California, it started with the Spanish bringing cattle in. In our valley, people have raised cattle and sheep ever since they came after the Gold Rush." The Valley's ranches include such well-known names as Dougherty Valley, Blackhawk, Wiedemann, Elworthy and Magee.

"We are talking about what it's like to live on a ranch, raise cattle and take care of your cattle so they're healthy," Lane said. "We also have stories about some of the ranchers who lived here."

The exhibit and events are particularly helpful for fourth-graders studying California history. Every Saturday, kids can try their hand at lassoing a steer dummy or get their picture taken in a real saddle.

March programs include "Grazing and Habitat Preservation" by Nancy Schaefer, of the California Land Trust on Saturday; a history tour of Hap Magee Ranch Park, including the branding room, on March 8 and April 17; ranching history and stories by Lane and rancher Don Wood on March 15; a Blackhawk Ranch dinner and presentation by David Behring on March 20; another "Meet A Horse" event from 1 to 3 p.m. March 23; and today's cattle business by rancher Jim Holmes on March 29.

Visit museumsrv.org for more information. The museum, at Railroad and Prospect avenues in Danville, is open Tuesday through Sunday.