by Karina Purohit
San Antonio is a great city to visit. I personally have traveled there a few times; on each visit I seem to always discover something new. On this recent visit I was drawn to the beautiful horse driven carriages lit up at night by colorful sparkling lights. They form a line on the right side of the Alamo, there they offer rides to some of the most historical hot spots in the city. Depending on how long you want your ride to be. I would suggest a minimum of an hour, you can choose to see some downtown sites, or tour the older residential areas where you can see some amazing Historical Victoria homes. It is as if you are stepping back in time. I chose a one hour night tour where I met a man who goes by the name “Cowboy” aka Doug Hodges. While talking to Cowboy, I learned that he ranked number three in the United States out of ten black champion bull riders. I was curious as to why he was working as a carriage driver. He explained to me that he began this line of work after the death of his wife in 2007. She was killed by a drunk driver and passed away soon after from her injuries. I learned that he was a minister at The Mount Olive Baptist Church in San Antonio and he owned and operated a local ranch named “Ranch Hodges Ministries”. He explained to me that he uses fifteen of his own horses for an outreach program for the cities underprivileged children. On the ranch he teaches the children how to ride and take care of the animals. He explained to me that he worked the night carriage rides to earn extra money to offset the expenses for the ranch.
It does not take long while in Cowboys presence to feel his energy and passion for helping others. He has overcome hardships in his personal life in his own words “by the grace of God”. He recently began to walk again without the assistance of a walker after his kidneys shut down from Diabetes which required major surgery to repair. He thanks Christ as he tells his story for his rapid recovery.
It was such a blessing for me to have met “Cowboy”. Make sure to pay him a visit if you are ever in the San Antonio area.
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