- Lil Nas X, of “Old Town Road” fame, retweeted a video of a group of people riding to a Houston Black Lives Matter protest on horseback on Tuesday.
- “The time has arrived,” the rapper wrote.
- Protesters in four cities have ridden horses during protests to cheers from the crowd.
- Police officers have also been riding horses as a form of crowd control. One mounted officer in Houston trampled a woman, prompting Mayor Sylvester Turner to apologize to the woman directly.
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On Tuesday, an estimated 60,000 people marched in downtown Houston, George Floyd’s childhood home, to protest his police-involved killing.
About two dozen of them showed up on horseback. The Nonstop Riders, an urban trail riding club, joined the protest to cheers from the crowd.
One video, taken by NBC News reporter Mike Hixenbaugh, was retweeted by Lil Nas X of “Old Town Road” fame.
“The time has arrived,” he wrote.
While the Nonstop Riders captured the attention of Lil Nas X, they are not the first Black Lives Matter protesters on horseback.
Demonstrators in Chicago, Minnesota and Oakland have also adopted the tactic, which were common during the North Dakota Pipeline protests.
Brianna Noble rode her horse, Dapper Dan, to a protest in Oakland last Friday. When asked by The Guardian why she brought Dapper Dan, she said the idea came to her while she was watching the video of police officers kneeling on Floyd.
“I’m just another protester if I go down there alone, but no one can ignore a black woman sitting on top of a horse,” Noble said.
Brianna Noble rides her horse Dapper Dan through Downtown Oakland on Friday joining a protest over the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd.
— Beth LaBerge (@bethlaberge) June 1, 2020
Adam Hollingsworth, or the “Dreadhead Cowboy,” was the first protester seen riding a horse at demonstrations over Floyd’s death.
He made his first appearance in Minneapolis on May 27, joining in chants and, at one point, standing on his horse while flashing his middle finger at the police. Floyd died in Minneapolis on May 25.
Minneapolis responding to the horrifying video of #GeorgeFloyd. Protestors Water bottles being met by police with Bean bags and tears gas. And then this….a horse
I have never seen this in a protest before except when I was in #StandingRock pic.twitter.com/CmkPdOf9Xv
— Sara Sidner (@sarasidnerCNN) May 27, 2020
Watching a live stream of the protests in minneapolis.. Someones showed up on a horse. Its the most American thing I've ever seen, tear gas and rubber bullets and a guy on standing on a horse giving the cops the finger! pic.twitter.com/i3tOLD2EKN
— FPL Topcat (@FplTopcat) May 27, 2020
Police forces across the country have also been riding horses to control crowds.
A video posted on May 30 showed a mounted police officer trampling a female protester, prompting the Houston Police Department to announce that it is investigating the incident, and Mayor Sylvester Turner to apologize to the woman.