WARHorse Bobbie Logan Sale is a resident of sunny California, more precisely the megalopolis, Los Angeles. LA does not have a reputation for being a “horse town”, but Bobbie has found a way to enjoy her passion for riding through the Los Angeles Police Reserve Corps Program.
Bobbie is a “Specialist Volunteer” in the Valley Community Cavalry Rough Riders (VCCRR). Group members are not sworn or armed officers, they are volunteers who operate are under the umbrella of the Volunteer Surveillance Team assisting officers in various duties.
Through the VCCRR, Bobbie has found a way to share her love of horses in neighborhoods that rarely see a horse. Her partner, Ivor Gjestar aka Officer Butters, is a purebred Norwegian Fjord Horse who also enjoys the work, especially when surrounded by throngs of adoring children.
Bobbie explains more about being a Rough Rider in LA.
Q. Who are the Rough Riders and what is their purpose?
A. The purpose of The Valley Community Cavalry Rough Riders (VCCRR) is to provide educational and charitable assistance to the general public by enhancing the public image and trust between the residents of the City of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Police Department, and other government agencies, and to establish a community based educational policing forum through the use of horses and riders to make our streets safer and improve the quality of life. Our activities include:
- Observe and report criminal and nuisance activities
- Search and rescue of missing persons
- Park and dam trail patrol
- Emergency preparedness and horse evacuation
- Color Guard presentation for special events and parades
- Standardized and consistent safety training for horse and rider
- Development of observational, map reading and radio communication skills
- Represent “good will” and public outreach
- Prioritize the interaction and enhancement of a true partnership and trust with local community members, especially children
Q. How did you first become involved with the group?
A. When I heard the Los Angeles Police Department was starting up a civilian equestrian group to enhance their community policing program. I have been a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department posse member, a member of the Hollenbeck Community-Police Advisory Board and started a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit group called “Los Angeles Community Policing”. It was only natural for me to continue my community activism through this new program.
Q. What do you most enjoy about being a Rough Rider?
A. The kids. I’ve had children of different sizes and ages come up to my horse and hug his chest for as long as twenty minutes because they have never seen a live horse before.
My fondest memory was when we were deployed to Watts for their annual toy give-a-way. Our trailers had to be diverted to parking right behind a live band. The music was so loud I couldn’t even hear myself think. I unloaded my horse and knew I had to walk him up to the stage, with the amps, music and banners, before I could even think about tying him to the trailer to tack him up. He was perfect, nuzzling everyone and being completely unbothered by the deafening noise. We then entered the venue where several tons of snow had been trucked in and my horse was mobbed by people. Being a gentleman and well trained for this, he just stood there like a statue. On top of this, there was an LAPD classic vehicle parade, the toy give-a-way, several snow ball fights and footballs being thrown back and forth right over my horse’s head. I’m extremely proud of him in these situations because it takes a special kind of horse to do this and I think he actually likes it!
Q. What special memories do you cherish from your work with the Rough Riders?
A. My proudest moments with the VCCRR are when we carry the American flag. I know my horse doesn’t mind it and he’s really good when the wind completely wraps the flag around us and we can’t see a thing. I personally really love carrying the flag.
Q. What does your Officer Butters think about being in the Rough Riders?
A. If Butters could talk he would say, “I love the VCCRR because I don’t have to work, I just have to look adorable, walk a little and then just stand there! It’s WAY more fun than dressage!”
Q. How has being a Rough Rider helped your dressage?
A. I’m actually using dressage movements for a purpose, not just riding around a 60-meter dressage court doing 10 and 20 meter circles (although working in the dressage court should not be belittled and is also a huge challenge).
Riding in crowds, protest marches, parades, patrols, Color Guard, all of it requires classic military movements in a practical setting. Rein-backs, lateral work, transitions, it all gets a new meaning when you’re using it out there on the street. Plus, after having snow balls thrown over you and your horse, it makes showing dressage a lot less scary!
Being a Rough Rider has certainly paid off for Bobbie and Officer Butters. The experiences they share with the public have solidified their confidence as a team. The duo recently participated in a Julie Goodnight clinic and received this lovely compliment from the natural horsemanship master.
“What a beautiful pair you are and what a great job you have done with your horse – you have a solid gold relationship.”
High praise indeed! Thank you for your service Bobbie and Officer Butters and for introducing the Rough Riders to WARHorses! You provide inspiration to all who seek alternative ways to enjoy horses particularly in areas where horses are rarely seen.