What Would Sam Do?

Horse Shrift

The latest issue of Texas Horse Talk hits the stables this Saturday, and writer Steven Long has a doozie of an article in there titled "Houston Hates Horses."

Our first thought upon reading the first few words was, Huh? We thought Houston loved horses. But apparently we've had our head up the proverbial south end of a northbound mare.

According to the article, Mayor Bill White is only concerned about the rodeo and hasn't given much thought to the way developers are moving in on the city's stables. Also, Councilwoman Toni Lawrence is a total poser.

You can read Long's article online here (pg. 34) or check out some highlights after the jump. — Keith Plocek

A year ago last month Houston's city council passed a harsh ordinance prohibiting riding horses on its hundreds of miles of esplanades and grass-covered medians. It sparked a chill throughout a city which hosts the largest convergence of trail riders in the nation each year. Arguably, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is the Bayou City's most powerful behind-the-scenes player. Its horses and riders will likely be ignored by police and not be subject to a $500 fine if they stray onto a median. Yet riders of modest income face fines they cannot pay for doing what they have done for generations — ride safely from one place to the other off busy city streets and on the grassy esplanades. Mayor Bill White was elected with broad support, yet he refuses to help the horsemen who elected him who live in minority neighborhoods [...]

In speaking with him, one gets the impression that Houston's mayor is clueless that tens of thousands of horses live in neighborhoods, both rich and poor, throughout the city [...]

White dodged the question of his willingness to support a move to forever protect horses and their stables in Houston [...]

"We have enough problems to solve without trying to solve a problem that doesn't exist," he told THT. "If somebody brings up a serious proposal banning stables then we'll have a task force. But I just haven't heard of anybody trying to ban horse stables."

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