COMPTON, Calif. (KABC) --Cowboys roping and riding right in the heart of Compton have found that their hobby can tame some of the most dangerous neighborhoods.
When Andrew Hosley has any down time, his favorite thing is to saddle up and go for a ride.
"I have a regular 9 to 5 job, but I'm a cowboy," Hosley said.
But you won't find Hosley out on the range. Instead he rides where he lives: Compton.
"It's very urban, I mean we kind of make our own trails," Hosley explained. "There aren't any cut-out trails really and we kind of just go through streets that we know that we can be safe."
Safe not just from the traffic, but from gangs and street violence.
The home of gangster rap, the city is known for having some of the roughest neighborhoods in the country.
But Hosley said the horse provides a welcomed distraction.
"I could take off right now and ride through 10 or 12 gang neighborhoods and they'll all have the same reaction. 'Ah man what's up? That's cool homeboy.' I go thru all of them and I get a warm welcome," Hosley described.
On warmer nights, Hosley and other Compton cowboys can be spotted continuing a tradition dating back decades in the part of Los Angeles once known as Richland Farms.
"A lot of people are surprised because they don't know that the horses are here. A lot of the kids love it," Compton cowboy Myron Lumpkins explained.
To help the community stay connected with horses, the Compton Junior Posse trains youth in equestrian and leadership skills.
"Almost every time I come out here, I see there's like cowboys walking down the street with their horses all tacked-up and like ready to roll," Compton Jr. Posse youth rider Zoie Noellebrogdon said.
"It's really interesting that you still see our cowboys here, and it's not wavering, it's not a dying way of life," Founder and Executive Director of Compton Jr. Posse Mayisha Akbar said.
The cowboys are helping to prove that the intersection between urban and rural is still very much alive in Compton.