Black History Special: Equestrian inspires East Bay youth through horseback riding

Black History Month

OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) – East Bay native Brianna Noble is a 26-year old equestrian and activist who uses her attention to promote causes she cares about.

She says horses inspire positivity in the community.

A picture of Brianna Noble on horseback leading a Black Lives Matter protest in Oakland went viral around the globe.

She wanted the image to offset negative coverage of the demonstrations.

“I just decided to take my personal horse to the protest and look at how far that spread around the world,” Noble said.

Later, she led a “heels down – fists up” Black Lives Matter trail ride demonstration in the Marin Headlands.

“We’re going to stand for ten seconds of silence in solidarity with all the lives senselessly lost.”

Brianna fell in love with horses as a little girl, going with her sister to work at stables in Oakland.

“Of course, they put me to work too. So I’d sweep the barn and do whatever other chores around the ranch. When it came time for her to ride I would be peeking out the side of the barn door and I just thought it was the coolest thing ever.”

Her activism also started young. At 15, she was protesting the killing of Oscar Grant.

But her dreams to continue with horse shows, jumping competitions, and winning awards got sidetracked. 

Instead, she has upped her drive to expose more people of color, particularly children, to the equestrian life.

She led KRON4’s Pam Moore on a ride and told about her non-profit called “Humble” at Mulatto Meadows.

Humble is an Oakland-based equine program dedicated to positively impacting youth from disenfranchised communities.

“It was just something I did in my free time that was my little way to give back,” Noble said.

Now,  Humble offers regular eight-week programs for underprivileged children at little to no cost.

Kids like 11-year old Andres says “I just really enjoy riding horses. And also just feel like it’s an opportunity to be riding on a horse that some people don’t have.”

“At a certain point during our lessons, Bri lets them take initiative, and I see that translating into our world at home,” mom Ashley Karell says.

For some of the parents of the kids, this is the one time the kids will open up and talk.

The horses also help Briana.

“They are really the driving force in my life. They make me a better person,” Noble said.

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