When you think of horses in Los Angeles, you're likely to conjure images of towns at the far reaches of the San Fernando Valley or stables attached to multimillion-dollar homes overlooking the ocean at Rancho Palos Verdes. But you'll also find these majestic animals just off the Metro Blue Line in Compton. Mayisha Akbar moved to Richland Farms, a little-known rural enclave in Compton, in 1988 and bought a few horses for her three kids. Soon she had a full-fledged ranch that's home to Compton Jr. Posse, a nonprofit organization (motto: “Keep kids on horses and off the streets”) where inner-city children learn equestrian lessons of all sorts — and some life lessons, too. The posse now has been around for three decades, and its camp and field-trip programs cover everything from animal anatomy to college prep. Thousands of kids have benefited from Compton Jr. Posse — and thousands of stereotypes about equestrians have been broken.
Credit: Suze Randall