Giving Tuesday: Equestrian Access and Diversity Programs You Can Help Today

We’re coming to the end of the traditional holiday shopping days, and it’s perhaps the most important day of the whole lot: Giving Tuesday. Believe it or not, the concept of Giving Tuesday is not a very old one; the idea was first brought to life in 2011 by nonprofit Mary-Arrchie Theater Company in Chicago and then-producing director Carlo Lorenzo Garcia, who encouraged consumers to give back after diving in to their yearly gift shopping.

This year has been one in which many needs have been brought to light within our small community. One glaring need is that for more diversity, equity, and inclusion in equestrian sports and activities. We’ve spent a lot of time learning about access programs that help provide opportunity for young equestrians from diverse backgrounds, and we wanted to share a bit about some of these organizations with you today. This is by no means a comprehensive list, and we welcome all suggestions for other programs that could use some promotion and help this season.

Compton Cowboys

Streets Raised Us. Horses Saved Us. The Compton Cowboys was born from a group of lifelong friends who wanted to build up their community in Compton through horses. Through exposure and education (and even a few appearances in the mainstream media), the Compton Cowboys hope to draw more positive attention to their neighborhood and promote Black equestrian culture the world over. Currently listed on the Compton Cowboys wish list are footing/arena sand, paddock boots, laptops/chromebooks, and more. Visit this link to donate.

Fletcher Street Urban Riding Club

Philadelphia is home to a generations-deep love of horses, and Fletcher Street has been a part of this community for over 100 years. The mission of the Fletcher Street Urban Riding Club is “to save and restore this historical, important facet of Philadelphia’s community, and most importantly, its children. Fletcher Street’s horse community is for many children, the only safe place to be mentored, to feel good about themselves, to learn important lessons in responsibility, discipline, and reward.” To make a donation, click here.

Philadelphia Urban Riding Academy

Home to the Concrete to Show Jumping program, the Philadelphia Urban Riding Academy is dedicated to providing a safe space for young riders to experience horses. The mission of this program is “to preserve and educate the public on the history and culture of the Black urban cowboys in the City of Philadelphia through equine related activities and educational programs.” Find ways you can support PURA here.

Robert Lawrence House of Opportunity

R.L. Jacobs has made a name for himself not only as a respected hunter/jumper trainer but also as the creator of the Robert Lawrence House of Opportunity. This program offers “Opportunity Clinics” taught by Robert in underserved communities and also is home to the From the Community, To the Community apparel and equipment exchange. To learn more and to donate to the program, click here.

Saddle Up and Read

Did you know that 2/3 of the children in America who are not reading proficiently in fourth grade will end up on welfare or in jail? Literacy is an important aspect of a child’s development, and Saddle Up and Read founder Caitlin Gooch has made it her mission to chance this statistic and introduce kids to books that feature Black equestrians. Want to get involved? Make a donation, donate to Saddle Up and Read’s wishlist or participate in a book drive.

 

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Strides for Equality Equestrians

Strides for Equality Equestrians was formed by a collaborative group of predominantly BIPOC riders who seek to provide more visible allyship for equestrians of color. Strides for Equality Equestrians will distribute a lapel pin and will soon have other merchandise available for purchase. In the meantime, you can join and receive your pin here.

Work to Ride

Work to Ride is a community-based prevention program that provides opportunity for disadvantaged urban youth through their horse-centric program. Located in Fairmount Park, Pa., Work to Ride also boasts a national polo team and is always seeking ways in which they can engage youth through the equine experience. Your donation helps programs like Work to Ride continue to offer these opportunities at no charge to participants. Click here to donate.

 

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