Kamilah Kashanie: Growing up in South Central, Los Angeles in the 70’s, Ghuan [GWAHN] Featherstone only remembers riding a horse once as a child. But it was a memory that stayed with him.
After serving in the military, he returned home and opened a stable near Compton…a place he could teach neighborhood kids to care for and ride horses.
Ghuan spoke with one of his mentees, 13 year old Jordan Humphreys… who came prepared with plenty of questions.
Jordan Humphreys (JH): Describe the first horse you ever had of your own.
Ghuan Featherstone (GF): The first horse I ever had was Thunderbolt. I loved that horse. He thought he was the biggest horse around, man. You know, you would be going full speed and then he’d give you a little buck to see if he could get you off his back.
JH: Better get ready for this buck!
GF: Yeah. [Laughs] But me and him bonded ‘cause he couldn’t get me.
You know, I remember when we first got Princess. It took forever to try to get her out of the stall.
JH: And at first she didn’t let no grown ups go in there.
GF: Yeah, she didn’t want to see nobody bigger than her. But you hopped on and started riding.
GF: She kept bucking you off and you’d get back on, you know. I was like, ‘Look at Jordan!’ And that’s what showed your resiliency right there and your determination. For real, It wasn’t just because you never fell off, or…
JH: She don’t do none of that no more.
GF: Nah she don’t do none of that no more. Now you could touch her head, you know. Yeah, you did a great job.
You like riding on the city streets?
GF: Yeah, me too. What you like riding on the streets for?
JH: I think it gives, like, more connection for people.
GF: Mmm Hmm.
JH: It makes them happy seeing us on a horse and then they be smilin’.
GF: I believe that when we come through, we give them a sense of hope.
JH: Why did you start the stables?
GF: For you. And all the other kids out there.
My hopes for your future is greatness. Imagine all of the things you could think about other than thinking about your safety, walking around on the street or going to the store. You could be president.
JH: And then, like, I could help the other kids like you did for me.
What’s the most important lesson that you want to teach kids?
GF: Respect for all life. We’re respecting the animals and we’re respecting each other. No matter what color, no matter what religion, no matter what sexual orientation. We’re respecting people because they people. Bottom line.