Equestrian Advice: This is part of our Letter to My Rookie Self series, an open letter...
Author - Erin Brown
I’m known as the Concrete Cowgirl and stand as a beacon in the world of urban horsemanship, dedicated to preserving the heritage of Philadelphia’s equestrian culture. As the Executive Director of the Philadelphia Urban Riding Academy and the visionary behind Concrete Horsemanship, my journey is interwoven with a deep-rooted commitment to safeguarding the legacy of the city’s true horsemen and riders.
The heart of my mission is to honor the unsung heroes of the Fletcher Street Stables and the backyard stables that face the imminent threat of gentrification in Philadelphia. These individuals represent the vibrant and authentic essence of the city’s equestrian community – the same riders who grace the neighborhoods, offer rides in the park, and provide invaluable opportunities for youth to learn the art of caring for and riding horses.
The media often overlooks these everyday men and women, the backbone of the Fletcher Street community. They are not part of an exclusive club but are the lifeblood of horsemanship, nurturing a shared passion for horses that extends through generations. Their dedication to preserving the urban black cowboy heritage in Philadelphia is a narrative that remains largely untold.
In the face of impending erasure of yet another historical landmark, the Philadelphia Urban Riding Academy was born. Our goal is to shine a light on the genuine heroes – the riders, the caretakers, the culture bearers who truly form the fabric of the Fletcher Street community. We stand as a voice and platform to showcase the genuine history and spirit of the urban black Cowboy in Philadelphia, a story that the world needs to witness.
The Philadelphia Urban Riding Academy is a testament to our unwavering dedication to preserve the legacy of these communities and the invaluable role they play in the city’s cultural tapestry. It’s a dedication to ensuring that their stories, their struggles, and their rich heritage are not erased but celebrated for generations to come.