By Sue Schleifer
The horse conjures up images of strength, beauty, speed, and perhaps transportation and gambling. In Chinese astrology, this is the year (January 31, 2014 – February 18, 2015) of the (wood) horse.
In this issue of The Attakapas Gazette Volume 4, 2014 we focus on the horse both in Acadiana’s past as well as in the present.
The park at the horse farm in Lafayette, LA has been in the news for the past few years with the successful campaign to save it from development, the city’s purchase of the property from the University in July 2012, and more recently in a series of community planning meetings to design a world class city park. http://lafayettecentralpark.org/
ARTICLE 1: Elizabeth “EB” Brooks, Director of Planning and Design, and Professor Charles R. Brassieur present a history of the horse farm. Reading the history of this property will make visits to the park, whether shopping for fresh produce at the Saturday Farmer’s Market or walking amongst the oaks on the 100 acre grounds, come alive.
In filmmaker Connie Castille’s documentary, T-Galop: A Louisiana Horse Story we experience the love of the horse in Cajun and Creole history through the Mardi Gras revelers, Creole cowboys and Cajun jockeys. ARTICLE 2: Castille’s article provides additional insights into the horse and cowboy culture of south Louisiana. http://connicastille.com/t-galop/
In the trailer to Castille’s film, a voice says, “The best thing for the inside of a man is the outside of a horse.” And that pretty well sums up what the folks at “A Stable Journey” are doing. They use horses to help people confront challenges in life, whether a soldier returning from war with post-traumatic stress disorder or a work group exploring team building. Horses provide feedback without judgment and the counselor guides the individual or group to learn about themselves in hands-on, off-the-saddle experiences. ARTICLE 3: In my article, I describe how horses are being used in therapy and leadership development here in Acadiana. http://astablejourney.com/