Kisha Bowles discovered the rodeo when she was spending most of her day in front of a computer and reeling from the loss of her mother.
Her Sundays suddenly transformed into an all-day outing of donning leather riding boots, climbing on to a powerful bay mare and galloping around a track under the hot sun, alongside other black women like herself.
She had ridden a horse only a few times before and knew nothing about rodeo events, let alone competing in them, but the time she spent in a Calvert County equestrian ring was a spiritual awakening.
“It just changed my view on who I really am,” said Bowles, 40, of Washington. “When I get on the horse, I’m full of...