A conversation with a New Orleans Urban Cowboy; Michael A. Hollins aka Dat Ghetto Cowboy

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Have you ever been out in the urban neighborhoods of New Orleans and was shocked to see a young black man riding a horse. As they gallop on by you are left with so many questions such as; where did they come from? Is it legal to ride a horse in the street? Or did they ride in from the country? Some riders are asked if their horse was some tourist rental fad. In disbelief that these young black men are Urban Cowboys, they would call around inquiring about renting a horse to ride themselves. Sorry, it’s not going to happen.

Maybe you were dancing along the streets during a Second Line and noticed a group of men riding their horses up and down the neutral ground ( the “median-” You know, that little strip of land in the middle of a road.) and thought what horses have to do with the Second Line. Tourist aren’t the only ones with these questions. There are plenty of New Orleanians who do not know the full story of how these young men can saddle up and ride through our neighborhoods as if they were in the Wild Wild West.

These Urban a Cowboys are not the same as the Policemen you see on Bourbon St with their horses, they have similarities, but they stop at men riding and training horses. The Urban Cowboys lifestyle is rich in culture, tradition and fueled by the life long bond between a man, his son and other men.

The Horse’s name is Ace, but I forgot the official name…lol

As long as I can remember the existence of horses in my community was as common as someone walking their dog or seeing stray cats. I never realized the oddity until one Mardi Gras when I was younger. An out of state family member was scared to walk in the same direction of the horses and complained about the horse poop in the street. I couldn’t believe she was afraid of a sweet horse. Horses do not bark at you, and they don’t bite, scratch or run after you like a mad dog or crazy cat; I thought to myself, but she was deathly afraid.

It would surprise you to know that more people are afraid of cats and dogs than horses in New Orleans and I believe it’s because of their owners. Unlike dogs you never hear of a horse breaking loose, chasing people onto the roof of cars and biting them. Horses get spooked, mostly by the actions of others, loud noises and so on. But their owners are quick to settle these gentle animals, and if needed they wouldn’t bring the horse out in public.

My Boyfriend Ace😍😘

Ace loves ladies, but he showed me he is very selective of women. This other woman came by after he kissed on me and she was touching and talking to him, and he turned his head from her… she didn’t get a pic either well not of his face 😂👅👄🐴

I was officially introduced to horses around the age of 15 years old by way of my cousin’s Michael father; he kept horses and dogs as pets. So if you wanted to visit you had to interact with the animals, and I am crazy about animals. Michael, he’s gonna get mad with me, but back then we called him Mike Mike, because he was a junior, but now we call him Mike and he is known as Dat Ghetto Cowboy. Mike was on horses before he could sit up on his own. His father from New Orleans with country roots, they own property and livestock in both the city and country. This access exposed a whole new whole to our side of the family and I’m grateful. Being around animals in nature was nothing like going to zoo with my parents for the pony, camel and elephant rides, but this was different more of a learning experience and it makes you appreciate Mother Nature.

Once we realize that we are the kings and queens we’ll be 8ight but when we come together as brothers and sisters we’ll be beyond straight! Wake up and hold yahself and most importantly keep it ahunnit grand baby!

I remember going to my Auntie’s house and be greeted by a beautiful big brown eyed horse being lead into the back of the truck in just enough time to feel his or her pretty long mane and tail. I could see Mike Mike loading up with his Daddy and it made me feel proud to have a young male relative that was being raised just as they had over the years. He would growup to me an amazing well rounded man, with Mike you get the best of both worlds or is it three lol. He’s a Country Man, a Suburban Business Man and a Urban Roughneck and God-Fearing Man! I could go on an on, but it’s time for me to introduce you to Mr. Dat Ghetto Cowboy and hear about the life of a New Orleans Urban Cowboy!

This is merely an introduction, but we will be back with more of the history, Mike’s life as well as adding more Urban Cowboys!

I hope you enjoy his pictures and videos!

The Nola Chic ⚜️

Everybody say they work hard until they run across an ole country man…. toss some square bales jad roll a few round bales for free and call me in the morning. #Datghettocowboy

Choppin It Up with Dat Ghetto Cowboy

The Nola Chic: Hey Cuzin,wondering if you can give me some information on the New Orleans Cowboys? When did you start riding? You’re not even 30 years old yet and from what I can remember you were a baby lol.

Dat Ghetto Cowboy: “I was I lil pup I say about 10-12 years old maybe earlier.”

The Nola Chic: Who introduced you to horses? Let me rephrase that who introduced your Dad to riding?

Dat Ghetto Cowboy: “You’ll have to ask my dad who introduced me to them along with dogs. I own 2 Tennessee walkers and my family owns plenty. lol We have more than our 40 acres and a mule.

Being around horses is one of the best things in the world. Thanks pops!

This is more than a brand. It’s a way of life and what myself and every cowboy and cowgirl who get down on four legs do anywhere no matter it’s in the street or cutting up at a trail ride😎🤠

The Nola Chic: Do you know how long this tradition has been going on?

Dat Ghetto Cowboy: “The history goes back further than we know of or can recount. I been knowing of it all my life and so did my Dad.”

The Nola Chic: Do you know how it came to be or why y’all ride or is it just like tradition “We do it because they did it before us?”

Dat Ghetto Cowboy: “I’ll ask my dad, but yeah its tradition baby. Our people rode and now we ride. I love it everyone I know love. Like my post reads. Everybody don’t ride but dammit I know they like to see us out, scared and all.”

“My dad was riding in a club in his 20s and they started a club in 1997 the New Orleans Cajun Cowboys.  So, Imma keep it going and open chapters and promote my brand which is Dat Ghetto Cowboy. And let them know to always keep it ahunnit grand! I also have a foundation, but we can run that another day lol.

That look you give someone when they ask if you rented that hoss… nah baby dats all me and who you see me riding with. We coming out the hood owning and raising our stock. #Datghettocowboy

Young and jazzy. Couldn’t tell my damn self nothing at all. Lol. #Datghettocowboy

The Nola Chic: What are your horses names and how many do you own?

Dat Ghetto Cowboy: “The old man who will step yah heart out is, Redman, like the known rapper and he’s a ladies man. Then there is The General aka Big Pete.  The ages are 18 and 12.

Workout and pose for em and make em smile

Stretch out and hold yahself baby.. whatcha self dats 17 of dem hands baby. #steppersonly #Datghettocowboy #walkerman #problemchild

Bundle up and sleep tight. Hold yahself!! Goodnight #Datghettocowboy

The Nola Chic: Iimagine that it’s very expensive to own and care for a horse, do you get a subsidy or get paid to ride in parades and other events?

Dat Ghetto Cowboy: “All I know is that we own horses where the grass isn’t surrounding us and we take to the streets!”

“Managing horses can be very costly and time consuming .  But you lay down and make a decision and stick with it, but in time and at times it isn’t much; meaning that you don’t have to be rich I to own a horse or more. Just take care of your responsibility’s was a once you make that decision as with all things in life. I get up early in the morning to take care of my animals, just like if I lived on the farm. Some have to go out to the stables in the in the city before they go to work. But we all do it, because we love it!

Up top moving on four legs as people smile in disbelief. Yeah we too own the four legged beast! Having the abilities to do more than common! Ghetto cowboys and cowgirls

The Nola Chic: What was the name of your Dad’s organization and do you belong to his group now that you move? Do y’all pay dues like other Social and Pleasure Clubs in New Orleans?

Dat Ghetto Cowboy: “Our organization is the new Orleans Cajun Cowboys and once I get settled with this little newborn we all will reach out to any and hopefully every other organization with horses or not to assist with fundraising and ect.”

“Some organizations pay, but honestly I do it for the love and the culture.”

“Shout out to The Dirty South Riders and Homie in California, Platinum  Stallions.

When dem cowboys link up but wait until @thecowgirlsofcolor and @platinum_plus_stallions along with dsr of new Orleans, buffalo solders and a few others get together. Riders from parts of the states! Just wait on it.

Bundle up and sleep tight. Hold yahself!! Goodnight #Datghettocowboy

Talking about fun!! Man oh man

Tell yah grandma nem that dem damn menz outside again and they messing her grass. Be patient they comin back. # #Datghettocowboy

The Nola Chic: Has the gentrification of New Orleans affected the riders? Like the population of New Orleans is severely been altered since Katrina and how New Orleanians are continually being forced out of the Urban neighborhoods do you think this will decrease, affect the tradition? For example you moved at Atlanta.

Dat Ghetto Cowboy: “Its has in a major was, but where there’s a will there’s a way.”

“Nothing will stop us from riding!”

The Nola Chic: Wow! It’s that simple, but that’s New Orleans people for ya! “Nothing will stop Us!”

Dat Ghetto Cowboy: “Yes, Cuzin like I said I do it for the love and the culture!”

The Nola Chic: What’s better than being a cowboy?


Dat Ghetto Cowboy: “Ain’t nothing like it!

Where I’m from people dont expect to us to be more than what they see which is folks out the hood who wanna play ball or become a rapper…as u can see we do a lot more than what’s expected!! #Datghettocowboy

Once we realize that we are the kings and queens we’ll be 8ight but when we come together as brothers and sisters we’ll be beyond straight! Wake up and hold yahself and most importantly keep it ahunnit grand baby!

All work and no play. If it wasnt fah pops and unk teaching, me I would be a spectator

What a blessing it is when yah queen into them animals and wanna get down just like you! #Datghettocowboy


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