Though when cynicism escapes us we see that there are many out there trying to do better in this world and bring a little joy.
So what does it truly mean to give back to the community? For the Ponderosa Riders out of Gray, Louisiana it means a lot.
The Ponderosa Riders was founded to be more than just a club for horse riding enthusiasts to get together and embark on a long day’s ride.
No, instead there was one goal in mind: Come together as one and show the kids there’s something positive and good in this world.
As co-founder Brian Trahan says, “We want to get together as black men, women and children and everybody, come together to do something that’s positive. We want to show the youngsters that there’s another way of life instead of being out on the streets and trying to sell drugs.”
The Ponderosa Riders spend their time working with the community and helping others. This year alone they are donating 1000 book bags for children going back to school, keeping true to their mission to help the youth.
In November it’s their turn as they hold their annual Ponderosa Riders Trail Ride. Usually occurring on the weekend, the trail ride turns into something of a festival with food, music and dancing. Riders find themselves experiencing a sense of community as they ride together and enjoy one another’s company.
As you cover a great distance on the trail ride you form a bond with your fellow travelers. Depending on the travel plans the ride may set out from one town and wind up in another. And for a sense of unity, the Ponderosa Riders invite other clubs like the Bayou Riders to join them.
“This last year we saw well north of 200 horses trotting down the road followed by party wagons with a DJ onboard to keep everybody entertained.
Instead of putting together small trail rides several times a year, they use this “once a year” model to create a big event. This gives the community an annual gathering to look forward to.
The decision to hold one trail ride annually is also an economic decision. A proper trail ride is not a matter of jumping on a horse, riding down to the nearest Circle K for a Polar pop and riding back. Instead, it stretches miles out covering terrain ranging from the woods to the highway.The highway, of course, requires a police presence to make sure those on horses have the lane they’re in and are kept safe.
And as the Ponderosa Riders’ sole purpose is to help the community, any profits made are donated back to those in need. Everyone in the club supports themselves and simply volunteer their time selflessly.
The 2016 trail ride is expected the day after Thanksgiving, November 25th, with the location still to be announced. Last year they held it at the Armadillo Club in Thibodaux but are looking to change it up each year.
We’d like to acknowledge each of the Ponderosa Riders for all they do for the community and for teaching us that giving back to the community can be totally selfless.
The Ponderosa Riders: Walter Miles – President, Brian Trahan – Vice President, Angela Miles, Vernell Lyons, Walter Harvey, Howard Bell, Mike Lirette, Corey Johnson, Edwin Broden & Dwayne Brown
To book your trail ride with these wonderful people contact their Facebook page at Ponderosa Riders.