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Hey Herd of Zebras fam! My name is Michelle Rosemond, and I am an equestrian from Houston Texas. I ride both endurance and dressage, and I am the creator of Rosemond Ranch apparel. One of my biggest goals as an equestrian is to celebrate the diverse races, sizes, and abilities that the sport encompasses. As someone who is interested in knowing more about the things that make us different as equestrians, naturally I was drawn to the Herd of Zebras message.
I’ve been riding since I was around 11 years old, and I can distinctly remember moments where I recognized that I was different. Whether it came in the form of someone asking how I can fit all my hair in a helmet, or asking how long I’ve been riding or if I grew up in the area, these seemingly innocent microaggressions shaped my experience with horses almost as much as the horses did. At every barn I’ve been to, I’ve been the only black girl. I think one of the hardest things about being the only rider of color in the place is that even in a group of people of similar age and ability, I had to ride twice as well to stand out. I had to be the best trainer, farrier, vet, and manager all in one, and even though it was exhausting, I learned so much. I think that’s one of the best things about being the underdog. Whether it’s discrimination or even just a lack of money that makes you different from the rest, the way you push past those barriers is what makes you a champion.
Now that I’m older, I stand out in a different way. Naturally after leaving my barn job for a desk job, my body started changing. I’m not the same size and shape as the women in the Smartpak catalogs, and from what I’m learning I’m not alone. There are riders that are considered plus size that are smashing their goals, but because of how they look they don’t get the recognition they deserve. What’s worse, they can hardly find equestrian clothing that fits them properly. This is why I created Rosemond Ranch. I want to make clothing that celebrates our differences as equestrians to draw us closer together. I know that there is room for everyone in this sport, we just have to step aside and create space for people that are different from us.
For now, my main goal is competing in my first show with my lesson horse, Lilly, the most adorable flea bitten grey Arab mare. Dressage was my dream discipline when I first began riding, and I’m so grateful that I’m able to pursue it now. Because my start was with endurance, my home will always be on the trails, and I hope to compete in another endurance ride soon with one of the amazing Arabians at my barn. To see more of my riding journey, you can follow me at @michelle.q.rosemond on Instagram, and @rosemondranch for my clothing line.
Thanks for reading!