HEY HEYYYY!!! I am Gooch! Yes, G-O-O-C-H! It’s actually my last name. I am passionate about sharing the stories of Black equestrians past and present. Especially when it comes to educating the world about my cowboy culture.
Anyway, I am Gooch, also known as The Black Cowgirl. I chose this stage name because
1. I am Black
2. “Cowgirl” is what registers most with kids when I make appearances.
I am from a small town in NC which is formerly known as Eagle Rock. Eagle Rock was once a predominantly Black community. BOTH sides of my family lived here for generations. Working as farmers and educators. My great grandmother never left Eagle Rock and lived to be 102!
The horse farm you see in all of my pictures belongs to us. My dad built most of what is there. The barns, the racetrack, the pastures, the tiny homes, the Boom Boom Room, everything. My dad owned horses before I was even thought of, so naturally I grew up loving horses. Ultimate #horsegirl dreams, right?
For the majority of my childhood, I never knew being a Black equestrian wasn’t normal. It was my norm because of trail rides on the East Coast. Our trail rides have been ongoing since the 70s. Predominantly Black saddle clubs have gathered together every weekend to ride horses and fellowship. This is the cowboy culture I was born into.
Living this lifestyle has been an absolute blessing. I feel compelled to share with you.
Finding and owning my voice in this unique space has been a wild journey for me.
In the last 5 years I have:
Started a nonprofit Saddle Up and Read
Authored and created the Black Equestrians Coloring Book
Developed a horsemanship academy called Ardent Horsemanship
Started Happy Hooves 4-H club
So here I am ready to educate the world on Black equestrian history. As well as sharing the culture I grew up in.
I have so many ideas! I am excited!! Do you know how many times I still hear, "I never knew that" or "I never met more than one Black equestrian!" or even "I've been afraid to try horses because I never see anyone who looks like me." It really blows my mind because this is so normal to me. It is my hope that through this platform, I will hear those comments less as I bring more awareness to what people don't regularly see.
If you are excited for what's to come or even the coloring book, please share with others so they can also learn about this culture.