Interview with Ghuan (Gwon) Featherstone of Urban Saddles Located in Southgate CA
Ghuan grew up in South Central L.A. since he was 4 yrs after moving from Pennsylvania. Surrounded by L.A. gang culture Ghuan knows very well the traps and issues that many of the people from his community face.
When asked what is the inspiration behind Urban Saddles which is in their first year of official existence? Ghuan cites two things.
There have been a lot of lives impacted by the inner-city lifestyle. He and his partners want people from their community to know that “we can survive and thrive”. They want to build camaraderie between ethnicities Black and brown.
He also cites “The Hill”. A historical site in L.A. previously located on 131st and Figueroa is where the Equestrian community really came together. “Fire on the Hill” a movie depicting the historical importance of that site and urban equestrian community that sprung up from it is also a major motivation for Urban Saddles current work. The Hill had been around for about 75 years at the time that Ghuan was introduced to the equestrian world. The members of Urban Saddles and others have wanted to rebuild the Hill. It’s taken years to find the owner of the Hill and they face other Hurdles, including Financial strain which keeps them from re-building The Hill.
Ghuan was introduced to Equestrian life after serving in the Army. He says that friends brought him to the stables, and it drew his attention and he wanted to learn how to ride a horse. Year after year he continued building interest. Until he was completely engulfed in the culture. Now he has well over 20 years of experience. Along with Michael Thomas, and William Bias Urban Saddles is poised to continue to make a positive impact on the greater L.A. and southern California area through uniting a community that’s too often divided by Gangs and ethnicity.
Even in the face of COVID-19 these Urban Cowboys have a plan in place to re-open to the public. Currently they are on an appointment only schedule. Targeting everyone in their community, they have programs and experiences for youth starting at 8 years old all the way to adults.
I asked for a motivational quote and instead I got the blueprint for a motivational lifestyle.
Motto: Building hope and opportunity for youth and community through the equine experience and the Cowboy Code Of The West: Live each day with courage, each and every day. Take pride in your work. Always finish what you start. Be tough but be fair. Do what has to be done always. When you make a promise keep it always. Ride for the brand. Take no mess and give no mess. Talk less and say more. Remember some things aren’t for sale and know where to draw the line. And if somebody shows you who they are, believe them.
The Urban Saddles group recently came together with the Compton Cowboys to show unity in the Equestrian community which included Bloods and Crips. Getting back into full swing will begin around September 2020 with Inaugural and annual events currently being added to their calendar.
This is an organization that deserves to be highlighted, promoted and supported.
Article written by Rodney Kellum on behalf of Country Boy Motivation