How do you describe yourself as an equestrian?

I grew up learning to ride English from my mother. It was always a great day headed out to the barn to go ride with her! When I turned 14, I started to get into the sport of rodeo. Like any other teenage girl, I wanted to barrel race, so my mother bought me an appaloosa and said, “If you can teach this horse to run a pattern while riding bareback, I will get you a coach.” I had so much determination to succeed in rodeo that I completed this task within a week! As an equestrian, you learn that hard work is key to being successful.

What do you enjoy about being an equestrian of color?

Being an equestrian of color has opened new doors with many opportunities. I feel as though being a confident equestrian of color can bring others out of their comfort zone. I enjoy being an equestrian of color because I can stand out and show the world what I can really do. Color does not define you in the slightest, it makes you strong in the eyes of others.

What challenges have you faced as an equestrian of color?

The biggest challenge I have faced as an equestrian of color is not being taken seriously. When I started rodeoing, I rode an Appaloosa for 3 years. Everyone would tell me that she is not the ideal horse to rodeo with. They would associate my color with me not being able to have a horse that could do well in rodeo.

I wanted to prove myself to others that I was just as good as they are. I ended up taking my Appaloosa mare to the BBR World Finals, and suddenly everyone had a change of mind. It isn’t about what you ride, it is about how you ride. It isn’t about your race, it is about how you make yourself just as good.

 

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

Our world consists of many equestrians of color that are afraid to open up and come out in the open. Don’t be afraid, you never know what doors will open for you. We are a part of this world too, and we are the people that need to take steps in order for others to see us the same.

We have the abilities to be successful, we just need to use them. If you are an equestrian of color or want to be, don’t be afraid of what can happen, because we are the first steps to changing our world.