Riding Tips

Letter to My Rookie Self: Patricia Kelly

Ebony Horsewoman Mounted Patrol
Written by Patricia Kelly

Equestrian Advice: This is part of our Letter to My Rookie Self series, an open letter equestrian reflection project. Learn more and/or submit your own letter here.

Dear Rookie Self,

What the hell am I doing?

You might have a concussion. You took a pretty hard fall off of Star. This feels right, not foreign—no, not the fall, but the whole thing.

You’re a black woman riding horses in Connecticut—there’s no blueprint for this—and you’re designing it as you go.

It’s bad enough that you’ve started an organization (spending a lot of money!), and women are following and joining you as if you know exactly what you’re doing. You have two horses living in your garage.

Your family thinks you’re crazy (not the kids—they all ride and think it’s cool). Dad seems just to be mad about it all the time, and Mom thinks Star is going to kill me.

Do you know what you’re doing? Well, sometimes.

I mean, I seem to be driven by a certain strong will—the won’t let you sleep with an undefinable force contaminating every waking moment kind of strong will.

Where is this taking me? Should I be worried? But I’m not worried. I need another horse…

God got jokes!

Hey, Kiddo, stop worrying. I know at times you’re not sure, but just keep moving.

Your purpose will become clearer as you go. This is your purpose and the plan God has for you. You’re on the right path.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.”

Oh, by the way, you don’t have a concussion!



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About the author


In 1984, Patricia E. Kelly, a U.S. Marine Corp Vietnam-era veteran and African-America cowgirl, founded Ebony Horsewomen, Inc.(EHI). As challenging as the task may have seemed at the time, Patricia had a dream to level the playing field for inner-city youth to have access to the same opportunities, resources, equine-based programming and equine assisted therapy as their suburban counterparts. She knew that this would be life-altering and enriching for those who became involved.