Many young girls and women in the Mapleton area have a newfound confidence thanks to the companionship of horses and a program dedicated to utilizing these animals to teach life skills.
Bridle Up Hope has been empowering women and girls through horses since 2012. Just this last year, a chapter in Mapleton was opened with a goal to build hope, confidence and resilience in girls and women through equestrian training while using Sean Covey’s book “7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens.”
Bridle up Hope was originally started by Sean and Rebecca Covey in Alpine in memory of their daughter Rachel Covey who died in 2021 due to effects of depression. According to the organization’s website, Rebecca loved horses, and a program dedicated to teaching horse riding lessons and horsemanship skills, combined with ways to tackle some of life’s hardest challenges, was a way to do something for girls and women in Rebecca’s honor.
According to Mapleton’s program director and instructor Gwendolyn Fullmer, the combination of horses and life skills has worked wonders for so many.
“I think the best thing about what we do is that we’re giving people the opportunity for growth in a beautiful scenario with lots of support,” Fullmer said. “Bridle Up Hope isn’t equine therapy, but rather a way to teach life skills through the use of horses.
“A large part of my job is to work alongside the other staff to create a safe and joyful barn environment in which the horses and the 7 Habits can work their wonders. My goal is to build our participants up by helping them to become resilient and confident girls and women.”
Instructor and Service Lead Coordinator, Ivy Wimber participated in the program as a teen in Alpine, and said that Bridle up Hope taught her things that she couldn’t have learned otherwise.
“When I first started the program as a 16-year-old, it was just a place for me to forget about my troubles for a few hours and have fun,” Wimber said. “As I moved through the program, it became more of an opportunity to grow and work on myself. The 7 Habits truly are life changing when you really put in the work to learn and apply them to your life. Pretty soon, the barn became a place for me to inspire and uplift those around me as I practiced Habit 8, which is to find your voice and then help others find theirs.
“Life is too short to not discover your voice. Bridle Hope Up is a barn built on learning, growing and healing. Take this opportunity to build a community of other women who can support you through your personal journey.”
The Mapleton Barn is accepting new students, serving a wide range of ages of young girls and women, and Fullmer said that she encourages all walks of life to consider the program.
“It feels really good to be a part of something that’s helping people to have that opportunity that’s accessible,” she said. “We have scholarships available because we want to make it accessible for all.”
For more information, go to bridleuphopemapletonutah.org or follow them on Instagram.