Our Instructors


Hi! My name is Alexandra! But you can call me Alex. First and foremost, I LOVE Bridle Up Hope! And I know you will love it too! It’s a place of security and love where I have learned even more about the special connection between horses and girls.


So a little bit more about me! I’ve loved animals since I was a small girl. My first word was even “dog”! Much to my mother’s dismay 😉 However, horses stole my heart before I can remember and I’ve never looked back. Every square inch of my bedroom was covered in pictures of horses, horse figurines, and horse stuffed animals. Every day I dreamt that I would one day own a horse and learn to ride.


When I was seven, I had the opportunity to do extra chores at a local therapy barn in exchange for free lessons. My dream had come true! All week I would count down the days to my next lesson and nothing brought me more joy than being around horses, whether it was grooming, mucking, or riding. I was a very shy kid and as the years passed I realized that I never felt more at home than when I was in the presence of a horse. There have been many horses in my life that have inspired me to be kinder, more patient, more confident, and much more vulnerable. Since those first days of lessons I have continued to ride and hone my equestrian skills, always knowing that horses were my true passion in life.


Right now I am training a Leopard Appaloosa named Caspian. He has pushed me to better my horsemanship skills in so many ways and is constantly stretching me past my comfort zone. I owe him so much as he has helped me become a better horseman, friend, and person. One of my favorite quotes reads, “There is no growing in a comfort zone and there is no comfort in a growing zone.” How true this is! Being around horses helps us realize so many things about ourselves and truly encourages us to become more than we currently are. Horses are truly magnificent creatures that are capable of transforming a life.


I can’t wait to meet you at the barn and share the joy that horses have brought me in my life!


Hey there! My name is Elisabeth Daniels and, of course, I absolutely love horses! I have always loved horses since I was a child, and after years of lessons I was able to get my own. My first two horses were a pair of Arabian siblings who were underweight and in need of training. Training them was a challenge as I had only taken riding lessons on well trained horses, but I was blessed to have the opportunity to train them and have the experience of figuring it out on my own.


I now regularly enter into endurance races around Utah with my Arabian horse, Princess Wind Sail. I am always preparing and training for upcoming races and usually participate in the local 50-mile ride. Currently, I am working at Farm Country in Lehi where I prepare and drive horse drawn carriages and wagons. In 2013, I bought a beautiful 4-year-old fox trotter named Dakota who I now have a strong bond with. He has taught me many things. I have been working on trick training with Dakota and he can now do over 10 tricks including bowing, curtsy, kissing, waving, fetching items, saying yes and no, twirling, counting, and more.


I love the feeling I get from being around horses and I love to share the joy of riding with everyone around me. I frequently host rides up the mountain and canyon through beautiful trails and amazing lookout points. I’m very pleased to work with young girls who love to ride and love to learn. I always learn something when it comes to horses. The learning never ends, and through trial and error I’ve learned to overcome many trials in my life with the help of equestrian training.



Hello there! My name is Hannah Wood. I feel so lucky to be able to share the healing and happiness that I’ve found through horses with the girls at Bridle Up Hope. Here’s a little bit about me.


When I was fourteen, I started getting severe unexplained daily headaches and my life was turned upside down. I had to quit my competitive gymnastics team and school became a real struggle. It was then that I learned about Bridle Up Hope and became a participant. The program was truly life changing. I had no idea that being around horses could be so healing. I forgot about my pain when I was at the barn.


It wasn’t reasonable for me to get a horse of my own but that didn’t stop me from looking for any opportunity to ride or just be around them. A neighbor and I made an agreement that if I would muck out stalls, organize tack, keep the barn clean and groom and feed the horses, I could ride any of them. I spent every free minute at the barn and loved it! I started working with a beautiful bay Quarter Horse named Rose. She hadn’t had much training but was willing to learn. After building trust and working hard together, we competed in 4H where I found my love for speed events like barrel racing and pole bending.


I find such fulfillment and joy in working with horses and will be forever grateful for the hope, confidence and purpose that Bridle Up Hope has given me. When I am caring for and riding horses, I am in my happy place. It can be hard work, but it is so rewarding. I love being an instructor and I’m passionate about this incredible program!


Hey! My name is Kaitlyn Arnesen and I’ve loved horses for as long as I can remember! My favorite thing growing up was going to my grandma’s house because I got to ride her horses. But as we didn’t get to do that very often I just kept my horse-love alive by watching movies and reading books. I would ask my parents all the time if I could get a horse and they would always say no way! But one time I asked my dad and he said “As soon as you can answer any question I ask from your horse book.” Little did he know I already had the whole book memorized! So I brought it to him right then and answered all his questions perfectly! He was so surprised and said that I needed to understand that horses were lots of work and asked a neighbor if I could help take care of his horses. And so I did—everyday, multiple times a day, I went out and fed the horses, cleaned their stalls, gave them medicine, and every other chore my neighbor could think up! Sometimes I woke up at 5 in the morning to makes sure I had enough time to take care of the horses and get to school on time! Months later, much to everyone’s surprise (especially my mom) my dad and I brought home my new best friend, Jet!


Through the years, my horse has been my best friend. There have been so many times when I’ve felt embarrassed, or hurt, or confused, or lost and gone to my horse and it’s like he already knows what is wrong and just wants to take care of me and remind me that he loves me. Some of my favorite memories are going on long trail rides in the mountains after a hard day or week and just talking to my horse about anything I was thinking about. And after every ride I felt happier, and ready to take on the world! Horses have an amazing way of loving you unconditionally. They love us regardless of who we are, what we’ve been through, or the choices we’ve made. Their capacity for love is limitless, and I’m so happy that I get to share that love with the girls at Bridle Up Hope!


Hey! My name is Shannon Daniels, and big surprise, I love horses! I grew up in Tokyo, Japan, where my love for animals began to grow. I never played with Barbies or dolls growing up—it was always animals. Because I grew up in Tokyo, I never had the chance to ride horses, but had always wanted to. Once I moved back to the states I was able to pick up horseback riding, and have never looked back! I do an English style of riding called Eventing, which includes three events—dressage, show jumping, and cross country. I competed throughout the years and owned a Mustang named Black Jack and a Dutch Warmblood-Arabian named Levi.


Horseback riding is a huge source of joy in my life. I love horses and am passionate about it. Horseback riding has taught me so much about life—patience, responsibility, accountability, selflessness, hard work, and how to prioritize. I am so excited to share the joy of horseback riding with others!


Hello! My name is Sidney Turner. I’m so excited to share my love for horses with other people! I have been around horses as long as I can remember. I got my first horse, Peaches, when I was 8. A funny story about her, we didn’t know she was pregnant when we got her! A few weeks later she had a baby and we named her Serendipity. I took lessons on Peaches for years, she is the one who taught me what a strong bond a girl and her horse can have.


After falling in love with riding and competing in little shows around town I found my love for barrel racing and rodeos. I convinced my dad to let me get a horse to compete in high school rodeos on. Her name was Sadie. We also had the opportunity to carry sponsor flags for the Strawberry Days and Alpine Days rodeos. We learned so much together!


I can’t wait to share the fulfillment that horseback riding has brought to me through Bridle up Hope!


Yá’át’ééh! My name is Tessie Garrett. My father is a cowboy and my mother is from the Navajo (Diné) tribe. The Navajo culture and teachings views the horse as sacred due to their ability to literally, figuratively, and spiritually carry one’s burdens. I have had a strong love for horses all my life. When I was a baby, my daddy would zip me in front of his coat and take me for rides. I started to ride by myself at the age of three years old on our beautiful sorrel, Maimie. These days, if you can’t find me at home, I am most likely at the barn with my horses and my other best friend, a Golden Retriever named Baizee Jane.


As a young girl, my love for the sport of rodeo began, I was ten years old when I entered my first rodeo competing in barrel racing. I have been hooked ever since. It has been a long road of dream chasing but one I would never trade. The sport of rodeo has taught me many lessons throughout my life and has helped define the person I am today. I train and ride my horses Rhiv and Tu Tall every day. My horses have been with me every step of the way to achieving my rodeo goals and dreams. I have experienced my greatest joys and my deepest sorrows on top of a horse.


Horses have a way of teaching and they have certainly taught me more about myself and priceless lessons about life. I would not be the person I am today without their humbled love, courageous heart, gentle patience, and always encouraging me through my doubts and fears. Horses have healed me and inspired me in ways that no one else can. I have been teaching horse riding lessons for the last nine years. I find great joy from teaching. I love seeing the confidence of the Bridle Up Hope girls grow as they build a personal bond with their horse. I can’t help but smile when I see these girls grin from ear to ear when they reach personal goals. I look forward to meeting all the girls who will be part of this program and share with them what it is like to have a horse as a best friend. It is a priceless love. See you at the barn! Xo, Tess


Hi! My name is Whitney Purvis. I have been married to my wonderful husband Kyle for 2 years. I grew up in American Fork, Utah. I am the 5 child out of 7 kids. We almost have our own family herd 😉


Ever since I was a little girl, I have had a strong love for horses. From reading horse books to hanging up horse pictures. I started taking riding lessons when I was around 9 years old. Those lessons started a bond with horses that I will have forever. Those lessons were my favorite hour of the week. I was able to later participate in parades and local horse shows, competing in western pleasure and speed events. I always wanted a horse of my own. I would ask my parents for one for my birthday or Christmas, or even all of them combined for the rest of my life. But still no horse. And you know what? I am glad my parents didn’t just buy me one because they taught me an important lesson. Work hard for something that you love. And so I did just that. Later in high school, we were learning how to train horses in my lessons. It so happened that I was able to buy one of the horses that we were training. In fact, I cried when I found out. Happy tears of course! My horse’s name is Jodi and she is a buttermilk buckskin quarter horse. We have done many things together including the Buffalo Round Up rodeo, flags in the Alpine Rodeo, and started running barrels (another dream to pursue).


I know firsthand how horses can make a difference in people’s lives. I am an example of it. I have learned that anything is possible with a passion, hard work, and dedication. I am truly excited to see horses work their magic in the girl’s lives at Bridle Up Hope!