Member of the Week: Betsi Bixby

Photo by Aponi Studios

This week’s Molly Monday Member of the Week is Betsi Bixby of Weatherford, Texas. An active ACTHA member and Ride Host, Betsi is a source of encouragement and strength to all who meet her, including her trail horse, Deedee! Deedee, a QH mare, was the first horse Betsi ever started on her own. At the age of 2, Deedee got a great start under the masterful guidance of one of the world’s greatest horsemen, Ray Hunt, when Betsi took Deedee to one of his clinics. Deedee is now 14 years old and the team have been riding with ACTHA since March 2010. Betsi states she felt Deedee was a solid trail horse, until she attended her first ACTHA ride which helped her discover areas where they could both improve, and improve they have! The team ranked 2nd in Texas two years ago and were in the top ten nationally last year. They were also among the top 100 finalists of ACTHA’s first America’s Favorite Trail Horse television series, and are the third all-time recipients of ACTHA’s Platinum Award.

Betsi exemplifies keeping a positive attitude, and extending kindness and generosity of heart in all aspects of her life. Betsi had a dream of helping women through the love and trust of horses. Two years ago that dream became realized through the founding of Freedom Horses, a nonprofit organization, created by a group of dedicated individuals who wanted to make a difference in the lives of survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and other violent crimes. Freedom Horses enables survivors to gain courage and confidence through interactions with hand-selected horses, increasing their horsemanship skills and knowledge. Freedom Horses is registered as an ACTHA charity and many Ride Hosts in a variety of areas continue to show their support of this dream by selecting Freedom Horses to receive benefits from their rides.

Betsi states, “The inspiration for Freedom Horses really got started at an ACTHA ride hosted by Morning Star Ranch, and then cemented in at America’s Favorite Trail Horse finals. It was at AFTH filming after Monty Roberts talk that I stated my dream publicly and women started flocking to help. By July we had the corporation put together and the partnership with our local shelter. Freedom Horses literally could not have happened without Tammy Sronce, all her time and energy and stepping up to the plate to be our first test site. She worked tirelessly over that first year until her accident and even after, with once per week sessions with various ladies. Overall, it has been an incredible journey, amazing how God has worked!”

Congratulations to Betsi and Deedee for all their accomplishments, awards and tremendous achievements. We are proud of you!

Please visit www.freedomhorses.org for more info.

ACTHA Member of the Week sponsored by Molly’s Custom Silver: www.mollyscustomsilver.com

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