"All Bling'd Out (Ellie) is not only a hero, she is a lifesaver.
About five years ago, my mother and grandmother were killed unexpectedly in a car accident. To say this was a difficult time for my whole family would be an understatement. However, the impact it had on my daughter—who was in the fourth grade at the time—was tremendous. My mother (her grandmother) picked her up every day from school and she spent every weekend with her, so her world was completely turned upside down. She went from a happy-go-lucky child to a child who no longer desired to be around anyone or do anything.
We enrolled her in therapy and they gave her medication for depression and anxiety. However, nothing was helping and she even expressed suicidal ideation. Then came the day she met a horse named Ellie. The connection was immediate but people warned us that Ellie was a bit spunky and known to act awful in the show ring. However we decided to take the risk and I'm forever thankful that we did.
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Within the first few weeks of having Ellie, I began to see a change in my daughter. She was spending countless hours at the barn grooming Ellie, talking to her, and riding her. Her smile was back and the thoughts of wanting to die were going away. She had a purpose again.
Since then, my daughter and Ellie have developed an inseparable bond. About a year ago, she started taking Ellie to shows and the comments from people who knew of Ellie before we got her are amazing. They are constantly asking what we did to get her looking so good and behaving so well. My reply is always simple: "It is not what we did for or to Ellie; it is what she did for us." I believe with everything in my heart that if it had not been for Ellie, my daughter wouldn't be here today, And for that, Ellie will always be our hero." —Dana V.
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