When I heard about Abriana’s latest endeavors along with the help of her friend Caitlin I couldn’t help but get excited. It’s no secret that the professional horse world is dominated by predominantly white equestrians, with black riders struggling to even appear on show circuits despite there being no lack of talent, passion, and drive. Friends Abriana Johnson and Caitlin Gooch are focusing in on a culture that is uniquely theirs.
Young Black Equestrians: The Podcast showcases the world of black equestrians. From their facebook page, they describe their mission as: “Horses. They are a passion, a culture and a lifestyle. Young Black Equestrians will discuss the ins and outs of equine culture with an extra dose of melanin. Follow us as we open up the conversation educating and promoting the lifestyle we love.”
On their podcast line up will be a talk about the reason the podcast series was created, an interview with viral equestrian sensation Ashani Hamilton (also known as The Jamaican Jumper), and a discussion about the over sexualization of the cowgirl. They have interviews with many other black equestrians and the podcast is one to put on your subscribe list.
And speaking of education, Caitlin started a program called Saddle Up and Read, which is a literacy program designed to make reading fun by using horses to encourage kids to read. Abriana quickly joined up with Caitlin in this pursuit and the two have been traveling around the state to introduce kids to reading and horses and the program’s popularity is quickly growing. Learn more about Saddle Up and Read (SUAR) here.
Caitlin and I first met on the ECTRA (East Coast Trail Ride Association) trail scene several years ago. I remember people thinking I was her since we were basically the only two black women who wore helmets. Recently, I noticed Caitlin being more active on social media because of her “Saddle Up and Read” literacy program. I approached her with an idea for a podcast and learned we were similar in many ways! We often think that we are alone in our ideas and goals, but true magic can happen when like minded individuals come together and get stuff done!
Their goal is Bring awareness to the minority experience in the horse industry. From riders to trainers to farriers to farmers, it is an experience to be told and an integral part of their history. I wish these two much success with the projects they are taking on. Their attitudes and ability to make things happen will surely be the driving force behind their accomplishments. Be sure to follow their pages, tune into their podcasts, and get ready to watch them shine.