Sally is not a burden #GivingTuesday

The young kids who Sally H. teaches at Taking the Reins would probably be shocked to know that she was once so afraid of the animals and environment that she didn’t speak. She is far from shy as she shows them proper equine etiquette. Knowing the details of her transformative story may make some of them feel more understood.

“I used to be too scared to even speak,” Sally said. “Eventually, I started talking to the horses and then the staff. Taking the Reins has helped me find my voice in all areas of my life.”

Sally has grown in many ways at Taking the Reins. She has gone from the quiet, scared young girl to a heavily involved teen. She is a member of the competitive show team, youth judging team, and junior board; she also helps as a junior instructor, teaching grade-school girls the basics of horse care.

She is also open about how Taking the Reins has helped her through hard times in her life. Sally has faced adversities beyond her previously-crippling anxiety. The 15-year-old looks back on her various struggles and is grateful for where she is now. She also has advice for young girls all around, and those who come to TTR.​​​​​​​

“Everyone at Taking the Reins is here to help you through hardships,” she said with a reminiscing tone. “We are all different, and therefore really understanding. I have never had a bad experience here. It’s an easy place to grow.”

​​​​Taking the Reins is dedicated to serving more than 300 at-risk girls who come to our urban farm each year. We can only continue to grow and reach more girls with the support of our community. The transformation and safety that Sally speaks of is something we are proud of. We know of some of the dark, deep burdens these girls face. Taking the Reins is an escape that we want to be available to all girls in Los Angeles.

We feel Sally said it best when she spoke to other girls going through hard things, “There are people all around you to help you. You are not a burden.”