Compton, a city on the south side of Los Angeles, is a notoriously difficult place to grow up. As birthplace to many of the gangs that put "gangsta" in "gangsta rap," the city has for decades been plagued by violence, drugs, and other crimes that make life hard for everyone—particularly young people, who are recruited and pressured to join in on all the illicit activity. In response to the allure of gangs, a number of organizations both big and small have popped up to try and keep children off the streets and out of gangs. But there's only one doing it on horseback.
Founded in the late 1980s on a small plot of land called Richland Farms, the Compton Junior Posse is a program that, in its own words, "keeps kids on horses and off the streets." The posse teaches equestrian skills to children of all ages in an effort to help them avoid the pitfalls of youth. In the process, it's kept a lot of kids out of trouble and caused a lot of Angelenos to do double-takes—it's not every day you see a cowboy riding around the streets of L.A.
Meet some of the posse in our mini-doc above.