This was written by Madison's mother
To our friends at Bridle Up Hope:
I have been writing this letter in my mind from the first day I discovered this organization. I have thought about how much it has taught my daughter, and I feel blessed to have learned about it, almost by accident while reading a magazine at my doctor’s office. I knew immediately that it was what our girl needed.
You have given our daughter an experience that she will always remember. She loves almost every animal she comes in contact with, but her greatest love is the horse. When she was little she collected toy horses, and at one point she had a few broken ones (legs missing, hair rubbed off or broken off, missing ears, etc.). I tried to get her to throw them away, but she said, “Mom, my horses are like metal and my heart is like a magnet. I can’t throw them away.” Even now, at age 16, each animal to her is special—even the ones with quirky personalities. At Bridle Up Hope, the horses Montego, Hooligan, Daisy, Kokomo, Tarzan, and even Niall have become a part of her heart. She has fallen in love hard, and is desperately trying to figure how to afford her own very horse. Meanwhile, her instructors have become her friends, Alex and Sadie especially.
The experience our daughter has had with Bridle Up Hope has made her a better human being. She has become more compassionate, more hard-working, more generous, and more self-confident. Now, this isn’t to say that everything is rainbows and unicorns (horses) because she still has her hard days, but her hard days have become more manageable because of the things she has learned. She feels empowered and knows that she doesn’t have to allow certain things to define her.
Our daughter has the 7 Habits for Equestrians posted on her bathroom mirror. As she has worked to incorporate them, I have noticed some specifics on a few. For instance, she has learned about the importance of Synergy (Habit 6). Just like horses who can pull more together, she has learned that when she contributes to the family chores, they are easier and faster to get done. She is learning what it means to be Proactive (Habit 1). She is more willing to take charge of her life. She has been likely to pass blame when something happens, but rather she has tried to figure out what she can learn and how she can make changes for the better. Putting First Things First (Habit 3) is the final habit I would like to point out. She is still learning how to make this habit work; however, I am seeing positive changes. Putting certain things first—God, family, friends, work, and school—is the ideal for our family, and many days she excels in this.
Because we live in the south end of Utah County, her visits to the Bridle Up Hope ranch will probably be fewer moving forward, but she will make visits and continue to learn and grow and take lessons as much as she can with her busy schedule. Bridle Up Hope has become a part of what will make her a better person, and a better woman. She is a horsewoman through and through, and now is full of hope because of Bridle Up Hope.
We are forever grateful.