How do you describe yourself as an equestrian?
I describe myself as a horse and human trainer.
I have an equestrian business and do foundational training of horses. I also train people to have an improved relationship with their horse(s). Currently, I am converting many of my lesson plans into digital courses, YouTube videos, and books. On a daily basis, I spend much of my time around the barn riding, training, taking care of, and simply enjoying both mine and my students’ horses.
I am a veteran of the US armed forces, and I am a physician. I practiced trauma surgery and ran a few medical offices for several years. Unfortunately, my nephew lost his parents and I decided to be home full time to raise him, so I resigned my commission and closed my medical practices.
As I was there for my wonderful nephew, who has grown into a wonderful accomplished young man, the amazing spiritual healing energy of the horses was there for me. I was taught that things will always work out, and I have seen this over and over again in my life.
How has your culture influenced your equestrian lifestyle?
I don’t often see other African Americans around the barn, at shows, or in training clinics. Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, I have become accustomed to not seeing them. When I practiced surgery, I didn’t see many African American female surgeons either. In the US Army, I didn’t see another African American female Major.
I know – and knew – that this has no bearing on a person’s true presence. Sometimes in life, you don’t see the things that are there because the number of those things is low. Sometimes you don’t see something because you are not looking, and sometimes it’s simply because no one has shined a spotlight on it. I have not allowed the idea of there being ‘fewer’ African American equestrians to dissuade me from the journey of embracing my experience with horses and enjoying it to its fullest.
What challenges have you faced as an equestrian of color?
I am not certain how to answer this question because the challenges to reach the level of a practicing trauma surgeon, and a US Army Major at times seemed insurmountable.
But they weren’t. I excelled.
Whatever challenges come along, I hope to continue to surpass with confidence and calmness.
What is your happiest or proudest moment as an equestrian?
My happiest moment as an equestrian is when I am playing with my horses at liberty. I love seeing their willingness to listen, play, learn, and enjoy whatever liberty dance, activity, or movement we happen to be doing at that moment.
I simply love the beauty and energy of the horse. I love it when they share themselves and harmonize with me.
What words of encouragement would you have for other equestrians of color or people of color considering becoming equestrians?
Horses are remarkable, so if you have an interest in becoming an equestrian, do so. Don’t allow anything to hold you back from any dream you are dreaming. I honestly believe there is nothing we can’t have, nothing we can’t do, and nothing we can’t be.
Life itself will show you the path. Your job is to figure out how to enjoy the journey.
I’m your horse-girl BFF with a camera. For almost two decades I’ve been a full-time portrait photographer. I’m originally from Michigan and currently reside in Southern California. I can’t wait to learn more about how I can help you tell your story.