July 1, 2002 - "Kids & Horses, a Formula For Fun"

Kids and horses -- a formula for fun. But for one man in Baker, it's also a chance to teach some valuable lessons.

A small boy climbs up on a big horse. The man lifting him smiles and says, "What I want you to do, Josh, is take the horse around and bring him back to me. Bring her around the arena. Go ahead. Keep her on the rail."

It's a magical moment when child meets horse. Rev. William King brings them together.

Rev. King calls this Project RIDE. And while it doesn't cost the kids, their parents or the taxpayer a dime, still there are no free rides. Before they mount up, they have to do the chores.

One thing which makes project ride so special, says Rev. King, is that most of these kids have "Never seen a horse, never rode a horse before. We just want to give something back, and show people there's something to life besides naughty things, any kind of shenanigans."

So two evenings a week, after the chores are done, the kids hit the saddle.

Rev. King says, "It's the grace of God to see these kids happy. I want to see all the kids in Baton Rouge to be happy. I'm not just trying to save one kid. I'm trying to save every kid in Baton Rouge if I can."

Not only are the riding lessons free, but the youngsters pick up some spending money. They get paid for the chores they do around Rev. King's place.