Mary Tutwiler

Breaux Bridge rides again

by Mary Tutwiler

Last month, the Breaux Bridge City Council banned horses from the streets of the small Bayou Teche town, leaving approximately 200 horses confined to small back yards, and owners, mostly adolescent boys, with nowhere to ride. This week, Breaux Bridge resident Ernest Ledet is trying to rectify the situation by offering space on his horse farm to house the landlocked horses, and teach the young owners how to care for their horses. “I’ve been working with kids and horses for years, as a way to help build discipline and to make good grades,” says Ledet. “This will just be a bigger project.”

Ledet’s horse farm is actually within the city limits, right at the end of Bridge Street, and well within walking or bicycling distance of Breaux Bridge residents. He stables some race horses of his own, but will need to build a facility to house the town’s displaced horses. “In the summer, I’ve got lots of grass, it’s not so hard, but in winter, it’s rough, we’ll need a cover.” He plans to build a pavilion to shelter the horses and their young riders, and ultimately stalls to house the horses. While Ledet is hands-on, mentoring a dozen or so kids from his neighborhood, he’s looking for more volunteers to help train young horse owners in proper horsemanship as well as the care and feeding of their animals. Donations to his non-profit, Circle L Youth Group are also welcome.

Ledet says he hopes in time the ban about riding in Breaux Bridge can be lifted. “I’ve had backyard horses in the city limits my whole life. The mayor has backyard horses. That [ban] was harsh. Horses are good for kids,” he says. To help out, give Ledet a call at 337-332-3855, 337-288-8291 or email him at [email protected]