I have dealt with depression and anxiety for quite some time. For a while, I felt like I had no purpose and quit doing things I enjoyed. I sometimes had no strength to get out of bed. I was drowning in my sorrows and coming to Bridle Up Hope was like a breath of fresh air. I usually get super anxious when starting something new, but when I came to tour this place for the first time, I felt overwhelming peace and excitement. This place has helped me see the beauty in everything and everyone.
We all have our own story and struggles. I almost felt guilty for feeling what I felt because I have an amazing family and home and I know there are people who are struggling more than me. When I came to Bridle Up Hope, I met my instructor for the first time, Sarah Brown, and I immediately felt loved. Sarah has taught me how to love myself and has given me validation that it’s okay to feel what I feel. She makes me feel so comfortable to be myself and continues to always push me to be the best version of myself. She is one of my biggest role models and continues to teach me how to grow from my experiences.
Every experience is different with each horse you work with at Bridle Up Hope. Sometimes, I got to ride Teddy, French Fry, and Thor who were so smooth and easy to work with. Other times were more challenging, like when Valentino almost bucked me off for spooking at a deer! Luckily, I stayed on and it made me a stronger rider. Bridle Up Hope has brought out my love for animals and nature I didn’t know I had. When I’m around these amazing horses, it brings out a better and happier side of myself. This place has become my safe spot.
Something I’ve been able to learn more about is The 7 Habits. I learned The 7 Habits in elementary school but never fully understood the meaning behind them. Getting to learn these habits more in depth has changed my paradigm on life. I’ve learned how I can take care and love myself while still being able to take care of others too. Habit 5 is “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” I love this habit because sometimes, our initial reaction when seeing a problem is to fix it. But, sometimes it’s nice to just be heard instead of someone trying to fix that problem. This place gave me an outlet to just let me feel what I feel and express my feelings.
I’m thankful to have worked with the best instructor and horses who have helped me grow as a rider and person! Each of them has a piece of my heart and I will love them forever.
- Bridle Up Hope Participant