ORANGEBURG — Riding down Chestnut Street on Friday, Oct. 29, several motorists did a double take as Leon Jamison and his bay Tennessee walker, Char, took a rest break in the parking lot between Shoney’s and H. Rubin Vision Center.

“My man says, ‘What gas prices?’” exclaimed a smiling young man with his head out the window of his gas-powered sedan slowly rolling by the cowboy on horseback.

Jamison, a native of Salley, said he has been riding horses his entire life. When he is not walking, trotting or cantering his way into the Orangeburg area on one of his equine buddies, he works at several different endeavors. As a young man, he said that he played football and attended both South Carolina State University and Coastal Carolina.

“Now, I am a personal trainer and a licensed dietician. I run a landscaping business and a tree service. I am a communications specialist who teaches French and Spanish classes online,” said the diverse horseman.

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“I come down here to visit my family every weekend, usually Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and I bring the horses down to let my family, friends and community ride. I work four days per week and ride horses for three,” said Jamison.

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Demonstrating his resourcefulness in on-the-fly cowboy skills, Jamison had to use a leather strap from the saddle to replace a broken hackamore band across the horse’s nose on the bridle. Hackamores are generally used without a bit in the horse’s mouth as an alternate means of control that applies pressure to the sensitive areas of the animal’s nose.

Jamison said that he is currently giving riding lessons on the weekends to two young ladies who are aged 8 and 15. An active participant in community events, he has ridden his horses to the SCSU homecoming game and other local venues. If you are curious to learn more about him and his horses, he often posts on social media.

Don’t be surprised to see him holding the reins of his steed while standing in line at local restaurants, like the Cook Out on John C. Calhoun Drive. He welcomes people who come up to pet the animals and want to see what it feels like to step into the stirrups of a cowboy if only for a moment.

One lady parked near the laundromat, walked up to meet Jamison and quickly found herself being helped into the saddle.

“This is the first time I have ever been on a horse. I was kind of fearful of horses, but this is great,” said a giddy Gloria Seawright sitting atop Char. $5 for 5 months

“I love riding horses and I love seeing the joy in people when they are able to overcome their fears and mount up for the first time. It’s quite an experience helping another person get rid of that phobia,” said the cowboy.

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