COMPTON COWBOYS: The Wild Westside

Crossing the roaming Great Plains, amidst the frontier that became California, just south of Los Angeles, there is a pocket of ranches where the golden era of the cowboy lives on. Founded on the heels of the Wild West, the town of Compton became the hub of central Los Angeles County, since dubbed Hub City. Its pioneers endured immeasurable hardships but weathered the storm as they laid the foundation for a city now known for its urban infrastructure, a wild sense of pride in their community, and heart. On the Westside of the rattling train tracks and beside the freeway that speeds by, the clamor subsides into calm as the pavement gives way to dusty roads and backyards are transformed into true ranches. Here lies the Richland Farms. 

This is the birthplace of the Compton Cowboys, a modern-day posse of neighbors that came up together and stayed together, grounded in the cowboy tradition and style. To this day, they are an uplifting group, keeping each other in the saddle and off the streets notorious for their troubled history. The message to the next generation of cowboys runs deep: you must choose your own path. This sunny Sunday afternoon, country music fills the air as they prepare to ride out. Mount up alongside Randy, Bri, LayLay, Keaira and Tre as they lend a glimpse into what it means to be a Compton Cowboy.

A common neighborhood theme is love and care for animals. Responsibility is an important life skill learned early on at the ranch. A daily commitment to the welfare of the horses is our way of life.

Mounting up on horseback is the key to maneuvering through the pitfalls of the inner-city streets. More than just an alternative transportation method, being up on the horse offers a profound sense of empowerment over the surrounding dangers.

A ranch town in the inner-city, the perfect oasis in a concrete jungle.

Horse and rider, a bond that stands the test of time. Mutual trust and respect for one another applies heavy in this town.

Richland Farms style in full display.

Good weather and a good ride is a good day. It’s the Richland Farms way. Keeping the Old West alive on the Westcoast… The Wild Westside.

To learn more and donate to the organization please visit Compton Jr Posse.

Follow their story on Instagram @comptoncowboys

Photography by Philip Hodges. Follow him on Instagram here.

Story by Adrian Ashkenazy.