Don’t Fence Me In

In Partnership with VERSE, Bombay Flying ClubCNA and The Atlantic.

In a neighbourhood like North Philadelphia where the pull of the streets is so strong horses have become a blessing. Here a community of African American horse lovers created a safe harbor thought keeping horses in the high-crime neighbourhood of North Philadelphia.

Philadelphia´s Urban Riding culture and it goes back to a long tradition. During the turn of the century the automobilizing replaced the horse-drawn carriages and finally supplanted the horse cart by the 1920´s. The people who worked with the horses tended to be African Americans and a lot of these people had a love for their horses so they kept their animals even though they could not use them as working animals anymore.

From the  50´s to the 70´s Westerns dominated television in the US and it was cool to be a cowboy what lead to the popularity of owning a horse.

In the 70 ́s industries such as textile and breweries left the inner-city borders to profit from a taxe release and left behind empty warehouses. These abandoned warehouses were perfect for keeping horses because most of them already had a stable area and it has developed a community that has been passed on from generation to generation.

Times changed and so did the Urban Horsemen Community. What was once a traditional cowboy community mixed up with influences of modern times. Due to gentrification the Urban Horsemen Community now is a world in danger of disappearing.