There is a common misconception in the horse industry that you have to be an esteemed competitive athlete to make a difference or influence conversation. I am proof that is not true and in my latest Youtube Video I discuss a few of my friends that are the antithesis of that as well.
When it comes to competitive athletes, they are occasionally elevated to a pedestal they did not ask for. From the civil unrest of the summer of 2020, we saw many competitors’ true colors despite the impact they have made on the horse community.
The first way to make a difference in the horse industry and build a content platform is to tell a story. Content that engages and moves the masses tells stories that solve problems or addresses current gaps in thinking or in action. In order to grow your following and increase your impact, you can share your observations, or the observations of others, on a particular topic that will resonate with your audience.
I co-host a podcast called Young Black Equestrians and we started our journey by sharing our experiences and lessons we learned during our equestrian journey. After several episodes, we started to reach out to other black equestrians to hear their experiences and that expanded our reach significantly. To date, we have over 60 episodes of stories, life updates and experiences spanning all disciplines and with a variety of horsemen and horsewomen.
When you have a platform, which all of us do no matter the size, you have to share your story consistently and maintain the message you want to convey. We knew very early on that our pillars were the “passion, culture, and lifestyle of the Black horse industry”. With every episode, appearance, and conversation we continue to drive that home and make it a priority to speak about.
Producing content unapologetically will attract the people that care about your message. I often remind my clients that your story is worth telling and doesn’t have to be perfect for you to do so. It is important to speak and hold space for conversations even before there is an audience as well as doing the work to make a difference before anyone sets eyes on your progress.
Competitive equestrians are often in the spotlight for their incredible achievements and athleticism, but since they only represent 32% of the industry’s economic market size, I like to shout out those that work in and provide opportunities for their community at a grassroots level.
Some of these programs include:
and much more. If you would like to learn more, you can find these programs and more in the Black Equestrian Network, a resource for businesses and organizations that serve communities of color.