I don’t have profound or eloquent or particularly thoughtful words to share about current events. I recommend reading L.’s excellent post over at Viva Carlos: So You Want To Be An Ally…
Here is a small step that you, an equestrian, can take. Contact your favorite equestrian brands and ask them to include people of color and differently-abled people in their product photography. Representation matters, and there is very little of it in equestrian retail. I’ve looked at thousands of product photos provided by manufacturers over the last six years and they are overwhelmingly white.
At my tack shop, I rely on manufacturer-provided photos to advertise products. I don’t have the skill to take these photos myself, nor do I have the budget to pay someone to take them twice a year when new seasonal merchandise arrives. But I can put out a call to local photographers and local models who are willing to work for gift certificates, products, or a free lunch. I will work to increase representation in equestrian retail in my small corner of the dressage market. It isn’t much, but it is something.
Some brands to get you started:
- Charles Owen
- Equine Couture/Baker/TuffRider/George H. Morris
- Horze/B Vertigo
- Kerrits (scroll to the bottom of the page for their contact information)
- Mountain Horse
- RJ Classics
And, of course, keep donating, protesting, voting, and writing strongly worded letters and emails to your elected officials.