How do you describe yourself as an equestrian?
I would describe myself as a very determined and hard-working kind of person that will adapt to any situation. This could be anything from managing a horse show, to competing, to even learning a new discipline in the equestrian world.
I have never shied away from a challenge that I knew I could learn from and take that lesson with me for future usage. I use these lessons at the barn and in my life outside of horses.
Every time I am at the barn or riding my horse I always end on a good note before I leave because I know that there is always good in each day no matter how tough it can be. Horses will always be my reminder to look for the good and never look for the negative.
How did you get involved with horses?
It started with a horse summer camp when I was a kid, and my parents realized how much I lit up around horses. This turned into me going back every year for a couple of years. And then this led to me owning my own horse and who has been with me every step of the equestrian show world.
When I attended college and I joined the IHSA Collegiate team at my university it opened a new door to me learning more about the different types of horses, as well as training and even learning how to manage and run horse shows.
How has your culture influenced your equestrian lifestyle?
My dad is the definition of devotion. He always made sure that I was ready for my classes and made sure everything was taken care of and done before we traveled to competitions. When I went to competitions with my parents they always told me to have fun and take in all the lessons learned.
Through the equestrian world, I have seen through my parent’s eyes how much drive and determination can do for a person in terms of setting goals to accomplish.
What challenges have you faced as an equestrian of color?
I have been fortunate to not face many challenges as an equestrian of color. I have had a very supportive family that helped me get to where I am with knowledge of horses and competitions. Each step on this journey I have taken has guided me to where I am now, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love that I get to be surrounded by horses every day and by people that love horses as much as me.
What words of encouragement would you have for other equestrians of color or people of color considering becoming equestrians?
Being an equestrian can be one of the most rewarding things because you are always learning new things every day. I would tell them to be honest about their passion and the goals they want to achieve.
Never feel afraid to be seen in the equestrian world, like in the busy flat class find the spot where you can shine your best. Everyone has their happy place in the ring and favorite jump in an over-fences round. Be proud of all the moments in the ring, whether they be good or bad.
Horse breed – Thoroughbred/Quarter Horse
Horse color – chestnut, dark bay
Treat to give: apples
Place to ride: large open fields
Julie Cordero is a pet and equine photographer based in Texas.