Hi, I am Gwen Little, CEO of EveryThing Horses Inc. This non-profit is dear to my heart because I was that little 5-year-old black girl born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, asking her parents for a horse. In the 1960s, Black families did not own horses, they had an "ole mule", and their children did not train to compete in Equestrian sports. The average black cultural was not exposure to a real equestrian environment. Reasons for the disparities in exposure are due to geographical locations, financial affordability, and social exclusion. Therefore, the only real exposure I had with horses was seeing them in parades, at the zoo, and on television.
My parents and grand-parents taught our family that every person should be treated with dignity and respect. My sibling and I grew up doing missionary work. Our maternal grand-mother, Mother Charleszetta Waddles, founder of Mother Waddles Perpetual Mission, main concern was to see that everyone had equal access to the necessities of life. Every individual should have an opportunity to better themselves, their families, and communities. We find peace and motivation in becoming better when we have the opportunities and exposure to the things we love and enjoy doing. Having a support team or someone in your corner to encourage you as you go through a process no matter how fast or slow you move through will help build courage and self-esteem. Without bias or prejudice, EveryThing Horses is that support team. We will never give up but continue to fight moving forward in breaking down social and economic barriers.
So, when did I fall in love with horses? As a child, I have always loved being around all types of animals. I have always known the bond between animals and humans can grow into a very trusted and dependable relationship. While in the sixth grade, my parents allowed me to have a week-end job at our local Veterinary Hospital: Hurley's Dog and Cat Hospital located on Livernois in Detroit, Michigan. I was a dog walker and Kennel Cleaner. I continued to work for Dr. Hurley through-out my Junior High and High School years.
Before graduating from High School in 1979, I applied and was accepted to the College of Veterinary Medicine at Tuskegee University. However, due to marriage and starting a family, school was postponed. I continued to work part-time with Dr. Hurley as I raised my family and continued my education.
In the Fall of 1986 (see Resume), I started studying for my Associates Science Degree in Veterinary Technology, at Wayne County Community College in Detroit, Michigan. I was one of five Black students in a glass of thirty-two and one of two Black students to graduate in a glass of twenty. My studies included learning about and working with all types of critters: dogs, cats, birds, laboratory animals, large and small farm animals, and two or three exotic animals.
For years my children's pets were two white lab rats named Marlene and Rosie, Geraldine the gerbil, a black cat named Azrael and Baracus the Rottweiler. However, in the Spring of 1992, while volunteering at the large animal farm at Michigan State, I had the opportunity to walk, brush, feed and spend quiet time with the horses, at that time, I realized how super amazing they really are. Seeing other White and Hispanic students walking and training with their horses, showed me how much me and other black children and adults like me were missing. Soon after that I became enthusiastic to develop an Equestrian program reaching out to children, families, and people of color.
In 1996, after my divorce, my three young children and I moved to Akron, Ohio, where I completed my undergraduate degree at the University of Akron. In 2006, my three children had since moved away from home and started their families. I made good on a promise made to myself, that was to move to Georgia for the good weather. and to complete my Master Degree, and that I did.
My journey to starting EveryThing Horses has not been easy. I had to make some sacrifices. In 2017, I moved out of my apartment and moved into the barn with my horses for two years, saving me $790.00 month to invest into my business. I have faced betrayal, lost finances, and lost one horse to colic. During the Covid pandemic, like everyone, I was not sure how I was going to continue properly care for myself and four horses. Therefore, I started looking for foster homes for my horses, something I really did not want to do.
After three years in business, I became discourage and asked God, "If I was on the wrong path and had He plans for my life changed?" During the pandemic, I sold one, after which my gig worker unemployment started, bring new life to my finances.
Having my relentless faith in God, being persistent and patient, along with the support of my children, parents, siblings, family, and friends has given me the courage to proceed in fulfilling my life-long dreams.
Receiving your financial donations, physicals, and spiritual support will help Everything Horses become what she was designed to become. Thank you in advance for your continual support.
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