young black equestrians hero

Horse Podcast: Young Black Equestrians

About the Podcast

Horses aren’t just a passion, they’re a lifestyle. But for black equestrians, representation, support, and belonging can seem hard to find. This is exactly the void that Abriana and Caitlin of Young Black Equestrians set out to fill, in more ways than one.

The YBE Podcast is just one way that they support black horsemen and horsewomen, but the ripple effects of their efforts have only just begun.

Abriana and Caitlin provide weekly inspiration and education for those who have chosen horses as their lifestyle, “with an extra dose of melanin.”

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Key Players

YBE hosts

Abriana: Abriana Johnson is a long-time equestrian with brains and creativity for days. She holds a Bachelors in Animal Science, which has given her experience in reproduction, foal management, stallion handling and more. She currently owns (and adoringly caters to) 2 dogs, 2 cats, and 3 horses, including her mini, Encore, that she is training for equine therapy.

She’s working towards a Masters in Health Sciences as she also develops her small business media agency, Black Unicorn Creative, and authors the Cowgirl Camrynn series to fill the gap in minority-based books while teaching about farming and valuable life lessons.

Read Abriana’s Letter to Her Rookie Self

Caitlin: Caitlin G. has been around horses from a very young age. She has 2 daughters, 4 horses, 3 dogs, 1 rabbit, plus her husband JaQuan. Her father owns a horse farm, which is what sparked her interest in horses over 23 years ago. She’s ridden western and bareback ever since. Caitlin’s passions are fueled by a deep-seated desire to spread love and hope.

She is the founder of Saddle Up and Read, a literacy program that combines horses with reading activities that reflect teamwork, African American horse people history, and her own experiences with horses. She holds a Bachelor’s in Sociology, and is currently working towards becoming an equine-assisted therapist on the path to opening her own equestrian center for youth in need.

UNCOVER Guests: Among Young Black Equestrian’s podcast episodes, their popular UNCOVER series shares the stories of black horsemen and horsewomen across the globe. Tune in to hear personal stories from talented, strong, and inspiring members of the equestrian community.

Learn more about Braided: A Herd Dynamic, Horse Rookie’s initiative to showcase and celebrate equestrians of color.

10 Reasons to Subscribe

  1. UNCOVER Series: A foundational element of the YBE podcast, UNCOVER is all about Understanding the Needs, Challenges, Opportunities, Vision, and Emerging Roles of black equestrians. In this series, Abriana and Caitlin UNCOVER these aspects of Black Horsemanship through interviews with black equestrians. Interviewees discuss both the challenges they’ve faced in the horse world, alongside the path they’ve blazed for others to follow in their hoofprints.
  2. Encouragement Guaranteed: The hosts know full well that adversity is part of life, but also that true joy is found in overcoming it. Each week they guide their guests through the low and high points of their journeys so that listeners know that they, too, can overcome. You’re sure to be uplifted with every episode.
  3. Saddle Up and Read: In alignment with her goals to help others overcome adversity through horses, Caitlin founded a nonprofit organization, Saddle Up and Read, to help children who struggle with literacy to learn how to read through equestrian-related activities, teaching on teamwork, equine safety, and the history of black cowboys and cowgirls.
  4. Education is Cornerstone: From the very beginning of the YBE podcast, Abriana and Caitlin have set out to educate horse riders of all experience levels. So you don’t need to know everything about horses to feel like you belong. In fact, they believe that education around horses is key to creating a better equestrian community worldwide.
  5. They’re the Real Deal: This comes as no surprise, considering the number of ways they use their talents to impact the African American equestrian community and equine welfare. Between pursuing higher education, starting organizations to benefit children and youth, building the YBE podcast community, starting businesses, and using their passion for horses as a mode of therapy, their hearts are lent to others on a daily basis. The fruit of their efforts has had an exponential positive impact with no signs of slowing down.
  6. Visibility = Lasting Change: One of the most common sentiments expressed by the UNCOVER series guests is “I felt like I was the only black equestrian when I was starting out…I thought I was alone.” Knowing that visibility has a direct correlation to belonging, YBE shares stories of talented black equestrians in every discipline to show just how much welcoming space there is for black horse riders in the sport. (This post is a great example of how representation makes a difference every day!)
  7. YBE TV: You can now experience new episodes of Young Black Equestrians on YBE TV on Youtube. Get to know Abriana, Caitlin, and the UNCOVER guests in a new way by watching their podcast interviews on video.
  8. Diversity on Horseback: In alignment with their mission to promote the greater wellbeing of equestrians, YBE hosted Diversity on Horseback, an Equestrian Mental Health and Mindset Clinic with knowledgeable speakers who covered subjects of Communication, Clarity, and Connection. The virtual conference hosted power-packed sessions on equestrian mental health in relation to riding mentality and horsemanship. Stay connected with YBE on Instagram so you don’t miss out on upcoming events!
  9. Black Equestrian Network: As an extension of building up the black equestrian community, the Black Equestrian Network provides a list of businesses and services provided by black horsemen and horsewomen to help overcome systemic injustices associated with finance and race.
  10. YBE Supports Horses, Too: Between their initiatives of improving mental health, promoting visibility, providing education, and creating a no-judgment-zone for riders, YBE is creating sustainable change for horses in the industry, too. Among YBE’s pillars is a desire to see horses supported as an extension of supporting riders.

Horse Rookie’s Top 5 Playlist

Not sure where to start? Here are 5 episodes that help give you a sense of the content and decide if this podcast is right for you. (Spoiler alert: it is!)

  1. UNCOVER: Tori Bush
  2. Bonus Episode: Discussing Mental Health with Ashley Nash
  3. UNCOVER: Avery Jackson
  4. Chiropractic Care for Equestrians
  5. UNCOVER: Ashani Hamilton

Sample Episode

young black equestrians episode

How to Listen

If you’re interested in watching this channel, click below to see it on iTunes.

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