How do you describe yourself as an equestrian?

I would say that I’m a true and passionate horse lover who has worked hard to get where I am now. Still, it will take me longer than the stereotypical equestrian to get where I truly want to be as an equestrian.

I try to be as welcoming and as encouraging as possible to the other few equestrians of color in my community in order to help make the term “equestrian” apply to everybody.

What do you enjoy about being an equestrian of color?

I enjoy it because I love to watch other fellow equestrians of color flourish and grow. It always makes me so excited to see another equestrian of color! I feel like I breathe a big sigh of relief and think “I’m not the only one, I see you and I’m going to cheer you on!” I feel stronger and more motivated to work on my riding skills and push for change in our community.

What challenges have you faced as an equestrian of color?

I feel like I’ve had to work harder to be where I am right now and be recognized for what I’ve achieved. I’ve been mistaken for a groom when taking lessons a couple of times and been judged unfairly in shows. I’ve only personally met two or three other equestrians of color, and I find that very discouraging as well.

I often look around and just feel different and estranged from the other stereotypical equestrians around me. It’s very discouraging and sometimes I just feel like giving up completely. I’m very grateful for the support from my family and friends in moments like this.

What words of encouragement would you have for other equestrians of color or people of color considering becoming equestrians?

I would say to put your whole heart and soul into it. It’s very hard work, and there will be setbacks, but ultimately it’s one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done. Seek out fellowship and mentorship from other equestrians of color in your community and try to lift each other up and help each other as much as possible. It’s truly hard to find other equestrians of color in every area, so lift up and encourage the others you find.

My favorite thing about this sport is that truly anyone can be amazing at it if they are truly passionate about it and do the hard work that it requires. It truly is very rewarding and completely worth it.