'There's a horse community 10, 15 minutes from the Staples Center'

Departures is KCET's oral history and interactive documentary project that thoroughly explores neighborhoods through the people that live there. In January and early February, SoCal Focus is taking readers through the Richland Farms series one day at a time. Follow all posts in this series here.

Herbano Carlos and his family moved to Compton in 1978, but it wasn't until the 90s when they put down roots in the city's agricultural neighborhood Richland Farms. It was there, taking advantage of the large lots with horses, did the family go back to their Mexican Charro culture.

"I had no idea I'd be caught up in this horse world or I would be embracing the culture as much as I have now," explained Herbano's son, Thomas, who originally set out to be an architect.

What the Carlos' discovered was a diverse horse community, ranging from Tennessee Walkers to Andalusians, Mexican charros to corner horse races, all which contributed to the creation of a cross cultural community. "If there was any dividing 'racial line,' we didn't see it here---until this day we don't," said Thomas.

Like others, Thomas recognizes that perceptions of Compton can be afar from the reality: "People don't realize that there's a horse community 10, 15 minutes from the Staples Center, and you're able to see a culture come together because of the horses."

Five more videos with Thomas and Herbano can be seen here.

The Departures Richland Farms series is broken down into two parts as interactive murals: The Past and The Present. The above information is based on The Present's fifth mural hotspot.

About the Author

Zach Behrens is KCET's Director of News, Region and State, working on digital and on-air news products that relate to Southern California and beyond.
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