Teaching local children to ride a horse is a ministry for Willie Cowboy Peterson
By Linda Green

Tyliyah McCord positions herself in the saddle as Willie Peterson holds horse Tilly in place.
Every so often a man is seen riding a horse through Thomson, through Harlem and down Adams Chapel Road. At times he is accompanied by a group of children who are learning all they can about horseback riding.
I have always wanted to ride a horse since I was young, said Tyliyah McCord, of Harlem. I saw him riding one day and told my dad I wanted to ride and my dad asked if he gave lessons, she said of her discovery two years ago. I find this beautiful.
I ride because it is good being on a horse. I like looking around. It is enjoyable, said Morgyn Baldwin, 10, also of Harlem.
McCord and Baldwin are two young women who take riding lessons from Willie Peterson, who is known as the Cowboy.
He teaches boys and girls to ride as a way to give back to the community and to pay it forward.
Peterson was introduced to horses 12 years ago by his pastor who taught him to ride without charge. He does not charge a fee from the 35 young people who ride with him at different times but accepts donations from the parents.
The youngest of his students is four years old, and he will teach an adult too, if asked.
When I first got on a horse, I felt as if I had done this before. It was like a release. I was at peace, he said. The horses make me look good and feel good.
The riding lessons for girls and boys are four hours by schedule and they learn to ride, care for and groom the horse they ride. There are seven in his stable. In addition, one condition of the lessons is that they have to accompany Peterson to church on a Sunday.
I am a Christian man of strong faith. I believe in giving back and strive to be better each and every day, Peterson said. I believe in giving back, doing what is right and learning each and every day.
FOR ADDITIONAL DETAILS, see the full story in the Sept. 21, 2017, issue of The McDuffie Progress. To have The McDuffie Progress delivered to your home or business each week, simply call 706-595-1601 to subscribe. Or, follow the link on our home page to subscribe.





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