If you’re lucky in life, you’ve experienced challenges and overcome them. Maybe you’ve lost someone precious but found meaning in the experience. You might have been through hell but now you understand more fully the chaotic beauty life has to offer. Let’s be honest…it’s nearly impossible to be human and not struggle sometimes.

We talk about a lot of things around here that aren’t directly related to horses and mental health is certainly one of those topics we don’t shy away from. To fully live and love is to embrace the high highs, the low lows, and everything in between yet many of us face persistent mental health challenges that add an additional layer of complexity and some of us may consider suicide to end the suffering.

The inspiration for our newest collection comes from the experiences and conversations I have had over the past few years about the impact of mental health and, specifically, suicide on all of our communities and it’s not something we talk about enough. Sadly, too many of us have a story about suicide touching our lives and, while it can be difficult to talk about, sharing our stories and shedding light on this complicated and difficult topic is a how we can potentially save lives.

The impact of suicide is staggering, with far too many lives lost every year. According to the World Health Organization, more than 700,000 people die by suicide every year. It’s the fourth leading cause of death for people 15-29. Incredibly, death by suicide increased approximately 36% from 2000-2021 according to the CDC. Things are tough out there right now and there is still a stigma around suicide that creates barriers to accessing or asking for help.

People who have died by suicide may have felt their life didn’t have meaning or value and that family and friends would be better off if they were not alive. Perhaps they were also overwhelmed by mental health challenges but beneath their pain, suffering, sadness and struggle was a soul that was valuable beyond measure.

A heart capable of great love.

A mind capable of brilliant thinking.

A body that deserved life.

So what can we do to help?

We can start by normalizing mental health treatment and reducing the stigma around suicide. We can educate ourselves on the warning signs for suicidal behavior. We can have hard conversations with people we fear might be at risk for dying by suicide.

There are tons of resources on the internet, but we want to share this very helpful pdf with 5 action steps you can take for someone who is experiencing emotional pain. Download PDF

About the collection

This collection is not just about one person or one family; it’s a loving tribute to anyone whose life has been touched by suicide. For those who have lost their lives to suicide, this collection honors their memories, acknowledging that despite their struggles, their lives mattered and always will. For those left behind, it creates space for remembrance, healing and hope.

We chose the iconography of a Pegasus to represent the connection between the world that we currently inhabit and what lies beyond this realm. In the pattern for this collection, the imagery of the Pegasus, surrounded by rocks and feathers, represents the duality of our earthly existence and the ethereal nature of our spirits. The message of “be brave” is woven throughout, encouraging not just those contemplating suicide, but all of us to seek help, to reach out, and to remember that despite it all, there is always hope.

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –

That perches in the soul –

And sings the tune without the words –

And never stops – at all…”

Emily Dickinson

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, please don’t hesitate. Take action today to get help. I encourage all of you to reach out to resources in your community if you are suffering and to be that resource to others. And I encourage all of us in the horsey world to appreciate the deep and special connections that we have with our horses and other riders. Sometimes those connections prove to be a lifeline when we really need it.

I hope this collection is a reminder that you are never alone, that your life has intrinsic value, and that hope can light up the darkest corners.



24/7 Crisis Hotline: 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available.

Call or text 988 or chat 988lifeline.org. Veterans, press 1 when calling.

Crisis Text Line
Text TALK to 741-741 to text with a trained crisis counselor from the Crisis Text Line for free, 24/7

For more resources, please visit The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention


I have been professionally training horses for the last 19 years and specialize in police horse training and the transformation of rescued horses. I developed a program where rescued horses who were once slated for slaughter are rehabilitated and trained to be police horses who are community ambassadors of the ultimate rescue transformation.

Recently I started Superhero Rescue Horses, a platform to highlight rescued horses in therapy and service careers. In transforming these rescued horses, the greatest gifts have been life lessons in leadership, confidence, kindness, and self awareness. To believe in a person allows them to believe in themselves, and to believe in a horse, holds that very same power. I like to consider myself a cheerleader for each horse and have made confidence building the foundation of my horse training program. The compassionate treatment of human beings and horses are closely paralleled. I see the potential in a being that most would consider unworthy of their effort. In horses and in people, it is the size of their heart which determines how far they will go, regardless of their physical or mental characteristics. The greatest accomplishments in my riding career are not the numerous blue ribbons and trophies. Proving the value of a life is a big part of my purpose and it continues to light the way. After the transformation, will others then believe, open their hearts with more acceptance and love? With curiosity? Will they develop relentless dedication to solve the puzzle so there can be harmony in the partnership? I hope to inspire it to be so.

My competition experience is in western dressage, dressage, side saddle, cowboy mounted shooting, jumpers, hunters, and western trail. I specialize in classical in hand dressage work, mounted police instruction, obstacle training, positive reinforcement, and liberty, bridleless, and groundwork. I am a nationally recognized mounted police instructor who clinics all over the east coast and taught approximately 50 different agencies in 2023 through various training events. I am on the board of two horse rescues and consult in training matters, as well as a board member for the North American Police Equestrian Council. I have been a mounted police officer for 10 years. I hold a Masters Degree in Criminal Justice-Police Administration from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, is a Level 3 Harmony Horsemanship Certified Instructor, a Level 1 practitioner of Equine Facilitated Learning modalities: Natural Lifemanship with a Trauma Focus and Equine Experiential Education.

When you have big goals and big dreams, it is important to reflect on how far you have come and acknowledge the everyday challenges and opportunities for growth which are shaping you down the path towards your vision. These setbacks, challenges, and resistance do more to prepare and propel you towards your dream than the apparent positives do. Be thankful for this time, as painful as it may be, as it is not only a gift but instrumental to your journey.

I’ve pondered why I am on this quest to find a better, less resistant way with the horses, why I am so drawn to and emotionally invested in rescue and proving that what has been thrown away is precious and is valuable. As a young girl, I loved animals and was drawn to horses. Horses were the ultimate friend, teaching so much with their reflective energy, generously giving of themselves with their forgiving nature, lending their wings, and opening the door to be a better human with their inspiration. Horses are not only a partner in sport, but a loyal friend, and have the power to heal the heart. Battling with insecurities of never feeling like I really fit in, not being smart enough, not pretty enough, not athletic enough; the horses provided the ultimate healing and inspiration in life.

My first horse experiences came from being a side walker at a Therapeutic riding center until I could convince my parents for my own riding lessons. I witnessed the magic of horses first hand and my horsemanship journey has brought me full circle, as I am now able to train therapeutic volunteers to have success and harmony with horses. I always desired to have a program where I could help other young adults who needed the same life lessons and healing from horses.

I had always supported rescue but I was finally able to rescue a horse of my own 10 years ago, Panda. When I brought her home, she had been injured, sick, fearful, and mistrusting from her multiple auction experiences, with good reason. The process of transforming an animal with the foundation of kindness and trust-building was enlightening. It fueled my passion further, redefining my vision. Panda had many challenges in personality, training, and PTSD that propelled me down the path of natural horsemanship and confidence building training. I had to grow and hungrily seek answers to help her become whole and trusting.

Over time, I rescued several other horses, and was able to help in the training and ultimate adoption of others. “Kill Pen to Cavalry” was born, where a slaughter-bound horse could make the ultimate rescue transformation to a police horse and community ambassador. My self-doubt as a goofy uncoordinated kid shaped my future because I wanted to prove that “what has been thrown away by my fellow man, can achieve greatness.” It applies to humans, too: if we judge each other less and support more, if we root for the underdog, if we take the time to encourage those who need someone to believe in them, and never discount someone’s abilities and future potential because they have a challenging start in life, we become better people. These horse-taught lessons – what a gift!

Being diagnosed with breast cancer this past May was terrifying. While the dread of the “what ifs” could easily overwhelm me, my support system, including my 11-year-old son, my family, friends, and even my horses, served as pillars of strength. Not to mention, show season was around the corner, keeping me focused on questions like “do I go right or left after X, halt, sault?” rather than the harsh reality of cancer.

The diagnostic process involved multiple professionals who were wonderfully empathetic. Conversations about horses permeated even these stressful encounters—something as simple as my C4 belt sparked discussion. After a series of tests, my OBGYN confirmed the diagnosis of DCIS, a non-invasive type of cancer. I felt relieved but there were more hurdles to overcome, including deciding the type of surgery to opt for.

Accompanied by my husband to remember the details, I met my surgeon. After discussing my diagnosis, I decided on a lumpectomy followed by a month of radiation. However, soon after, it was determined that a second surgery was necessary as the surgeon needed more margins. This second procedure also included the removal of a few lymph nodes to ensure the cancer hadn’t spread. I just want others to know that sometimes one surgery is not enough.

In the midst of all this, my horse Farley developed lameness, adding another layer of stress. However, this provided an opportunity to get my semi-retired 25-year-old horse, Blue, back in action. Surprisingly, Blue and I won a first and a second place, and the Championship for Training Level amateur in his first dressage show in four years. This was a silver lining in all the uncertainty.

As surgery day approached, my neighbors, who share my love for horses, graciously offered to look after my son. The procedure was more painful than expected, but the relief that followed was immeasurable. A subsequent mammogram confirmed the mass was gone, allowing me to focus on healing and upcoming radiation treatments.

The final dressage show was special, as some of my family came to town to witness it. Blue shone again, adding to the joy amid a period of emotional upheaval. A mammogram following the surgery confirmed that the cancerous mass was completely removed, concluding a season marked by health scares but also unexpected triumphs.

My experiences have taught me the true meaning of resilience. I’ve navigated a maze of doctor appointments, balanced a full-time job, and managed my horse show commitments, all while being a mother. The challenges of this season have been a lot, but they’ve also affirmed the essential role that my support network and passion for riding have played in my life. And just like in dressage, sometimes life throws you into muddy grounds; it’s your skill, preparation, and trust in your companions that help you come out winning.


If you’re lucky, you get a few people who help guide you through the ups and downs of your life. Those people can be parents, teachers, friends, counselors, coaches, friends, mentors, family members or any combination thereof. I’ve been thinking a lot about the people—mostly women—who’ve been major influences in my life. I’ve been thinking about the women who truly SAW me when I needed it the most—when I was going through difficult times in my life, making big transitions, struggling with the big questions.

March is Women’s History Month so it’s tempting to focus on the cultural icons who’ve made a positive impact on the lives of all women. But I want to talk about the women who have been “boots on the ground.” The unsung heroines of our lives.

As for me, I’ve been very lucky to have so many incredible guides to support me in my journey. There was my 7th grade English teacher (whose name I cannot recall) who was so incredibly kind to me when I was struggling with crippling anxiety at school. My riding coach and friend, Jamie, who demanded I be brave and not give into my fear while riding my young and spirited mare, Lovey. My high school biology teacher—Sister Jean—who I regularly ate lunch with, talking about everything from the anatomy of a frog to social justice issues. Our family friend, Melanie, who always saw me without judgment. She gave me the space I needed to navigate my life as I finished high school and started out on my young adult life.

These women probably have no idea how important they are to me. They literally changed my life. Because of them, I had support on my journey, the space to discover myself, and the encouragement to go for the things in life that truly light me up – no small thing! When I can’t sleep, I often find myself thinking about the essential roles they played in my life and every time this happens, I tell myself I’m going to send each of them a thank you note.

And then I wake up and tend to the 476 things that need to be done right this second and another chance passes.

Now here’s the thing…you, my dear reader, are very likely this person to someone in your life. Someone, somewhere is grateful to you and you probably have no idea how incredibly important you’ve been in their journey. Consider this your reminder to never, ever underestimate how your openness to another human being can change the course of that person’s life. Sharing yourself and simply being present, can soothe another person’s soul. It may even heal them, allowing them to see the beauty and perfection of who they are.

So this is a tribute to those women who have changed our lives. As I write this, I’m getting my thank you cards lined up to send…and I hope you are inspired to do the same.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about the world. I’ve been reflecting on how we live, what it’s like for kids coming of age now, and how things have changed for better and for worse since I was a kid. Mostly, I think it’s just gotten tougher. There are so many things competing for our attention and time. So much content to sift through on a daily basis. So many conflicting messages. And so. much. judgment.  It almost feels like “if you’re not with us, you’re against us” has become the unofficial slogan of our society.

As we head into Pride month, I’ve also been thinking about the trans community.

One of my favorite shows is RuPaul’s Drag Race. Not only because the outfits and the makeup and the wigs are truly next level. But also because of the stories. The stories hook me every time. 

Many of these artists come from backgrounds where they were rejected outright simply because of who they are. Some of these folks were just kids when their families rejected them. They were left to figure out life entirely on their own. 

If this is not your lived experience, it can be confusing to understand. Maybe even a little scary. Many people felt that way 30+ years ago when the gay and lesbian community started demanding more visibility; more human rights. For many people, the “gay lifestyle” was a foreign concept they couldn’t (or didn’t want to) understand. There are still people who don’t understand it today. 

And then there’s this: 

“Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood.” -Marie Curie

At the end of the day, I think a lot of the division we see today comes down to fear. When we’re afraid, we become less curious. Then we try to distance ourselves from things that make us fearful. Just like how our horses might spook when they see a dumpster at the end of the arena, we want to bolt when confronted with things we can’t understand. When we’re triggered, the things we can’t relate to become weird/other/different. 

But I’d like to challenge the notion that we have to personally experience something to understand and accept it. Because the reality is that our human experiences are not all that different. We’ve all felt different from others at some point or another. We’ve pretended to be something that we’re not in order to fit in. 

We’re simply not as different from each other as we think we are. 

I’m not really one to assign homework, so let’s call this a challenge: I challenge you to notice when you feel yourself creating division from someone or something you don’t understand. You don’t have to do anything; just notice.

It takes bravery. And bravery is something my community has in abundance! 

But we’re so much more alike than we are different. Everyone has felt rejected at one point or another. Most everyone has also felt loved and included at some point. All of our best and worst experiences may appear different on the surface. But they’re not so different in their actual emotional content. They’re not different in the way they made us feel. And despite our best efforts as humans to claim our cognition and consciousness as greater than our feelings, we are actually beings who are motivated and activated by our emotions. 

“Most of us think of ourselves as thinking creatures that feel, but we are actually feeling creatures that think.” –Jill Bolte Taylor

So as we kick off Pride month, let’s be brave. Let’s take this opportunity to remember that we’re a lot more alike than we are different. We all want to feel safe, to be loved, to belong and to be able to be who we are truly meant to be.  If you feel uncomfortable with someone expressing who they are, try to notice what you’re feeling. Then go a little bit deeper and imagine what they might be going through. Maybe think of a time when you might have felt the same way.  

A little empathy goes a long way and, if you ask me, we could all use a little more love and understanding in the world today. 

Wishlist 0
Continue Shopping