Inner City Slickers is family of cowboys teaching strength - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Inner City Slickers is family of cowboys teaching strength

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(KWWL) -

A group of volunteers in La Porte City is taking children who've had tough times and teaching them to believe in themselves.

Inner City Slickers uses horses to teach kids some important life lessons.

Just off a dirt road in La Porte, you wouldn't expect to see such a group.

Young and old, laughing, and climbing to new heights

"C'mon push yourself, you can do it," said Inner City Slickers organizer Brenda Gardner.

And making sure they keep climbing.

"Some of them don't have parents," said Gardner. "They don't have a mom or a dad, or both, or they're living with a grandparent, or the people that they're living with are doing the best they can. So it's always nice to have somebody else to support you."

This isn't just any group. Inner City Slickers is a family of cowboys, and Brenda Gardner is their mom.   

"I have two passions," said Gardner. "Children and horses. And I'm so blessed to be able to combine the two. And to be able to see the gain, see the positive. And how it affects peoples lives."

Taking these kids and using values of the Old West.

One of those lessons is, if you trust the horse, the horse will trust you.

"The horses they never tell your secrets, the kids can lay on them, they can confide in them," said Gardner.

The horse teaches them to stand strong.

"I get bullied for looking like a guy, and not like a girl," said Morris. "And I get bullied for doing things that I do."

For 14-year-old Kaylee Morris, some of the most important lessons were perseverance and respect.

"We're all different, even though we're treated different," said Morris.  "We're all different. We don't need to be treated poorly for being different."

They're learning to appreciate the beauty in everyone.

"To be kind to people, because you don't know what it took for them to get here," said Gardner 

And to appreciate the beauty in everyones journey.

"I met her not even a year ago, but she has changed my life," said Morris. "She has put me through all these things, and I've come out stronger."

Gardner has been organizing Inner City Slickers in La Porte City for 3 years.

The group is open to everyone, no matter your age.

Inner City Slickers is a national group, and there are thirteen in the nation. 

Inner City Slickers was founded by Michael McMeel, the former drummer of the band Three Dog Nights.
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