Hold your horses, Welsh
Jeff Davis is a rural parish and even those in incorporated areas like Jennings or Lake Arthur are accustomed to some type of “country” living.
In the past decades, we have all seen many areas expand and flourish but the traditions of our past are still very much alive and practiced by locals today.
For example, in Welsh, officials and residents are trying to come to an agreement on how and when horses should be allowed on town streets.
Most of us wouldn’t think horses would be an issue in city limits. The days of travelers on horseback and animal-drawn vehicles are far behind us but the idea of saddling up a horse and riding along the side of a road is still common for many.
The problem in Welsh is that a few irresponsible horse owners and riders have little respect for town and private property, as well as their fellow citizens. While most horse owners know that protecting a horse and themselves requires a fenced area, a few simply tie their horse to a tree or post; the horse eventually finds its way onto neighbors’ properties and public streets and land, causing damage and leaving behind waste. It’s unfair to property owners; dangerous for drivers, pedestrians, and children at play; and even dangerous to the horse.
However, you do have those who are respectful of others and horses. They keep their horses penned and when and if they do ride in city limits, they are mindful of which streets they travel, the mess their horses leave behind and avoid public and private land that is off-limits.
Though Welsh may have once been a horse-and-buggy town, like all areas were at one time, times have changed. Is it really safe or necessary for a horse to be on a public street in a highly populated residential area? Is it safe for the horse or rider? And why should automobile drivers, who pay various fees through licenses, insurance, inspection stickers, and street taxes, have to share the road with a horse?
Welsh officials are currently working to re-write a proposed ordinance banning horses on roadways (except for special events such as parades) in hopes of not harming a respectable group of riders who joined forces last year to teach kids a number of positive lessons, as well as keep them active and off the streets
While it’s understandable the town should support such a worthy cause, overall, horses need to be kept off of roadways.
If people have to keep their dogs on leashes, it seems they should have to keep their horses off of streets, too.
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