We met at Compton Jr. Posse, a non-profit youth equestrian organization founded in 1988 by Mayisha Akbar. Ms. Mayisha’s mission was to “keep kids ON horses and OFF the streets,” and she used her own backyard in Compton, California to do just that!
CJP was originally conceived as a western rodeo-style program, but eventually the program turned exclusively to English style riding with Victoria Faerber at the reins. Ms. Victoria was instrumental in developing our skills as English riders. Every Saturday at 8:30am, a group of about 20 kids met at the Compton ranch anxiously awaiting for the four (4) hour program to begin. Ms. Victoria taught us the fundamentals of walking, trotting, posting and cantering. She also taught us how to groom horses, clean tack, and muck stalls. For those of us who progressed in our skills and did well in school, we were given the opportunity to learn more advanced skills every Monday after school. Ms. Victoria taught these Monday classes as well, and it was at these Monday classes were we started to jump fences.
Ms. Victoria made us ride different horses each week so that it would strengthen our riding ability. These horses taught us many valuable lessons. Ms. Victoria took us to our first competition in Malibu, California – Trancas Riders and Ropers. We were hooked! Our school horses became our show horses and a show team emerged.
Through CJP, we all learned responsibility, discipline, confidence and teamwork. Sadly, in November of 2018 Ms. Mayisha retired and CJP closed its doors. But, when one door closes, another one opens. With Ms. Victoria’s intense desire to expand opportunities for children to celebrate their uniqueness and diversity as a community, Riders United was formed.
Riders United founder Victoria Faerber is known for being a warm-hearted, caring and giving person. For the past 20 years, she has passionately worked with underserved children, training them to ride and compete and giving them opportunities that allow them to visualize their dreams, realize their ambitions and achieve their goals in spite of any obstacles they have in their path. Riders United was born out of Victoria's vision and intense desire to expand opportunities for these amazing children to celebrate each individual's uniqueness and diversity as a community..
We are a nonprofit organization focused on helping make the world around us a better, happier place. With the help of our tireless staff, we organize fundraisers, community-building events, and in-depth training sessions for our volunteers.
Riders United riding director, Nathan Williams-Bonner, is passionate about training horses of all levels including high risk because he instinctively enjoys seeing where their potential goes. His main goal for the horses that he has in training is for them to feel like they have a purpose and can maximize their ability. Subsequently, he equally enjoys pairing a horse that he has trained with the right rider to meet the same results.
Nathan has over ten years riding experience with all types of horses, from high risk to competitive at a national level. He shows his horses in training at A rated shows throughout California. Most recently winning the Jump-NEE 1.20 Jumper Stake Classics at Galway Downs this past May. During the off season he is the head exercise rider at Caspian Farms, specializing in warmbloods sale and starting young horses.
Lia received a BA in Philosophy from USC and soon after graduating entered the business world where she designed decorative housewares for an established import company. After the birth of her first child, and a fair degree of soul searching, she was inspired to shift careers. She returned to school at Pacific Oaks college in Pasadena where she received a Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy. Lia has worked in her private practice for the past 15 years and is daily reminded of the privilege her career affords her - namely to work intimately with others to overcome adversity, develop greater resiliency and transform consciousness along the path of human potential. She works with individuals, couples, and groups, and 3 years ago added an equine therapy arm of her practice (having been an avid horsewoman for much of her life). Lia has sat on the board of two schools and has been a speaker and presenter at various community organizations. Her most enduring teachers remain her loving husband and her three cherished children, ages 23, 19 and 15.
Your support and contributions will enable us to meet our goals and improve conditions in your community. Your generous donation will fund this mission.