Profile of emilé zynobia
Photography by Sofia Jaramillo. Words by Emilé.
Out here, I learned quick that all that matters is the quality and honesty of your try. And though the characters that make up this land aren’t for everyone, sprinkled among them are some of the most welcoming, self-reliant, and generous beings ever to exist. Truth be told, I’ve always had a soft spot for the gritty kind, those folks carved out of rough country.
I was a quiet plump thirteen when my grandparents dropped me off at Puzzleface Ranch to learn to ride. There I first met Terry Judd sitting in the shade alongside her dad. Her, a searing force of a woman with a laugh that could crack open the sky. Her father, a cheeky old man in a Canadian tuxedo with rolled sleeves revealing tattoos sun withered and wavering. Behind them, the wall of the original tack room nailed to its squared logs and aged chinking, a hodgepodge of sun-kissed and gnarled cowboy boots.
Women like Johanna July, a famous black Seminole horsebreaker, or “Stagecoach Mary,” a black female star route mail carrier. Or more contemporary stories like that of Larry Callies of the Black cowboy museum, the Compton Cowboys in L.A, Cowgirls of Color, or the first black rodeo queen in Arkansas Ja’Dayia Kursh. And you realize just like any other person who found themselves in this world; you come by your love of the lifestyle and the freedom you find upon a horse honestly.
You find that the true essence of the West is what you’ve always known; that this is a land for those who don’t seek permission. What was true then is true now, that what you make out of this life has everything to do your capacity to work hard. You come into it by living it.
Dress: Sweetgrass Vintage
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