Horse News

Louisiana’s Wild and Free Roaming Horses

“The remarkable beauty of one of Louisiana’s best kept secrets is threatened”

Local reporter, Rickie Smith, from The Leesville Leader, has published an article about the unique herds of wild horses seen on Peason Ridge. The article, Wild Horses Embedded in Peason History   highlights the uniqueness of the this area and its wildlife, especially the wild horses who have thrived here for over a century. Please take a moment to read and share the article, as well as show your appreciation to Mr. Smith for getting the word out about the unique herds of culturally significant wild horses in Louisiana.

Recap on the Peason Ridge Heritage Tour:

The Peason Ridge Annual Tour, held on March 30th, 2018 was truly amazing. Mr. Rickey Roberson, our tour guide and local historian, shared his extensive knowledge about an area in west central Louisiana, known as Peason Ridge. The Ridge is situated between the Sabine River and the Red River, called the Neutral Zone where Native Americans and settlers traded during precolonial times.  We learned the locations of each homestead and what crops they grew. Some of the fruit trees still thrive to this day. We learned where each fresh water spring is located, as well as locations of natural salt licks! These natural resources are still providing key nutrients to the wildlife in the area; such as, the unique herds of gaited wild horses, wild turkeys, bobcats, wild hogs, cougars, black bears and the red-cockaded woodpecker which is classified as endangered, just to name a few.

Wild horses and cattle were driven right across vast un-fenced area of what is now Sabine Parish to the livestock markets in Natchitoches in the 1800’s. (Sabine Parish is only 14 miles from Texas border). Saddle horses and wild horses were documented as being sold in 1800’s estate sale records in the Kisatchie region, where Native Americans traded horses before and into the turn of the century.

One of my favorite parts of the tour was when Mr. Robertson explained to all in attendance that the wild and free roaming horses are the last standing reminders of our ancestors in this vast Louisiana landscape know as Peason Ridge.

Brigadier General Patrick D. Frank,  new JRTC Commanding General, kicked off the tour with a speech thanking the Heritage Family members for their sacrifice of loosing their land, which was taken by the Military via imminent domain in 1942, forcing homesteaders to leave.

The tour was escorted by a US Army Captain Jason James. In his opening statement Capt James mentioned how the US Army cares about the environment and preservation of it, as well as the preservation of the old homesteads and artifact areas (most of which are marked with orange stakes). Capt. James even specifically said how they “take care and protect the Red-cockaded Woodpeckeras well as the Horses”.

All in attendance loaded onto an Army bus and spent four hours touring the area. There is so much land to cover and the horses seem so small on this vast Louisiana landscape, its truly breathtaking! The next tour of Peason Ridge is scheduled for October 2018.

In addition to the footage from Peason Ridge, I received several photos from the Drop Zone area of Fort Polk. The video above shows the two distinct areas of concern, which are approx 30 miles apart.

  1. Peason Ridge
  2. Main Base / Drop Zone.

The video is rather long but there are so many wonderful pictures that needed to be shared for everyone to see the remarkable beauty of one of Louisiana’s best kept secrets.

The majority of the public is against these wild, free roaming horses being systemically removed from these wildlife areas, where they and their progeny have coexisted in this rich environment for a century . The locals, as well as all who have come to know and appreciate them, view the wild horses as a unique reminder of days gone by in this historic region of precolonial Louisiana.

It is vital that the public CONTINUE to engage decision makers.

Make your voice heard TODAY.

Please take a moment to contact federal and state officials asking them to protect Louisiana’s wild and free roaming horses!

Take action by ALDF

Mike Strain
(225) 771-8942
File a Complaint: 225-922-1234
Buying/Selling/Transport without certificate
Livestock: 800-558-9741

Bill Cassidy
(202) 224-5824

John Kennedy
(318) 445-2892
(337) 436-6255
(202) 224-4623

John Bel Edwards
(844) 860-1413
(866) 366-1121

Jeff Landry
(225) 326-6079
(225) 326-6200

Billy Nungesser, Lieutenant Governor
(225) 342-7009
(504) 433-1200

Go to @fortpolkhorsesPEGA for more info or

6 replies »

  1. What and WHERE are we as a country unless we preserve and protect our heritage?

    Stories of the Heritage Families of
    Camp Polk and Peason Ridge
    This book is dedicated to those who have passed this way before:

    To the Native Americans who taught us that land does not belong to us;
    but rather we belong to it.

    To the Heritage Families, the men, women, and children whose lives were
    forever changed as a result of their displacement from the land they formerly occupied in preparation for the construction of Camp Polk.
    To the Soldiers who train, serve, and tread this land and deploy to fight
    and win the nation’s wars, safeguard mankind, and preserve our freedom
    to sustain this nation as one nation, under God, and indivisible.
    To the community in whose arms we entrust our families’ security, enrichment, and well-being, and for providing the human capital to embrace, construct, and sustain a partnership that includes the Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk.

    Click to access Heritage%20Book%20V4%20Part%201.pdf

    Liked by 1 person

  2. 1940
    Stories of the Heritage Families of
    Camp Polk and Peason Ridge

    Behind a screen of headline grabbing events in the outer world, the latest generations steadfastly raised their children, worked diligently on their farms, sold their excess produce in town on Saturdays, and attended church on Sundays, their day of rest. They buried their dead, with infants, youths, and young mothers frequently over represented in community cemeteries. Much of their land had been in their families for generations. Only family was more important than land, for land was their security, their grocery store. They or their ancestors had homesteaded their land in many instances, some purchased land, and others used land owned by absent timber companies who seemed not to care. This is the backdrop for the Heritage Families living in rural west-central Louisiana in 1940.

    Click to access Heritage%20Book%20V4%20Part%201.pdf


  3. 1940
    Stories of the Heritage Families of Camp Polk and Peason Ridge

    Unexpectedly, land ownership, occupancy and happenstance of location left the Heritage Families exposed and vulnerable in the lead-up to WWII. In late 1940 through 1941, the dark clouds of threat turned into reality, first in the form of disruptive military maneuvers, then the “exodus.” The military
    needed large amounts of land to train soldiers for the impending WWII. To fulfill their needs, the government turned to a legal but dreaded process of “eminent domain.” Property owners were given a date to vacate and a financial offer. They were then expelled whether they accepted the settlement or not. The non-landowners had no legal standing and received no compensation. The removal process conducted by the government tested the mettle of these families. They mustered all their survival instincts, loaded up, and moved out.
    This book tells their story. It is written with a focus on the people who lived on the land that ultimately became Fort Polk and Peason Ridge.

    Click to access Heritage%20Book%20V4%20Part%201.pdf


    • Seems nothing has changed the attitude of “get in & get out” in hundreds of years – really depressing to see that absolutely NOTHING has been learned in this period of time. We still are doing the same thing for the same reason – profit & greed! Fossil fuel is now picking up where the lumber companies left off. Really interesting read, Louie – I want to read the whole book.
      Looking back at how people lived before malls, phones, “technology”. And this is supposed to be progress!
      Not so much time has gone by since my grandmother used to drive a horse & buggy – raced at the Fair, etc!! I wish I had asked about her life when she was young. I only have an article from the local paper telling how she won that race at the county(?) fair more than a hundred years ago.


  4. The Military’s Purpose is Not to Kill People and Break Things
    ML Cavanaugh

    The purpose of the military is not to kill people and break things.
    While sometimes it must break, it must always guard.
    While sometimes it must kill, it must always keep. In all things, in all tasks,

    Major Matt Cavanaugh, a U.S. Army Strategist, has served in assignments from Iraq to the Pentagon and New York to New Zealand.


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