Riding horses has filled a gap that used to be pasted over with drugs and loitering on street corners, she said.
Nobody’s talking about taking the horses, yet. But the kids can’t ride them around home anymore without risking more trouble with the law. And it’s just a matter of time before the SPCA, PETA or somebody parachutes in with lawsuits over the unhealthy condition in which some horses are being maintained within the city limits.
This whole mess is giving both Breaux Bridge and horse ownership a black eye.
But the problem is like a Trojan horse, with the solution hidden right inside. Animal husbandry has long been used to engender responsibility in youths. What if these kids had an equine center within walking distance of where they live, where they could stable their horse properly, feed them well, and be shown by experts how to ride and care for them?
The horse culture is strong in south Louisiana, and horsemen are a strong fraternity. There should be an abundance of volunteers to help care for this suburban remuda, whether it be through hands-on service, feed or vaccine.
One such horseman is Ernest Ledet, a Breaux Bridge businessman and racehorse owner who has a big piece of property on the south side of town, not far from where skinny horses are being kept in squalor on city lots. Ledet has shown over the years, though his Circle L Youth Foundation, that he wants to help kids. But he can’t do it alone, nor should he.
Breaux Bridge and the Louisiana horse industry have a chance here to turn this situation around in spectacular fashion. If the kids’ interest in horses can be channeled and nurtured through a successful program, a Breaux Bridge community equine center, it would be a positive model worthy of the national spotlight.