Passions Can Influence Friends and Family

You come to what looks like a dead end, but you continue through the rusted old gate and continue down the long gravel road. Every time you inch forward you can feel the crunching of the gravel beneath you. Just down the loud bumpy pathway is a building, but that is far in the distance. The next thing you might notice is horses eating grass, but they are stuck behind a fence.

This is the image Maddie Blum, senior at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, paints for you as if you were driving down the highway to get to Beatrice, Nebraska. However, even though there were two horses and you pull in, you make your way to the end of the driveway and there are six more horses.

Horses are a huge part of Maddie’s life, but they are also a huge part of her family, friends, and community. Maddie grew up riding horses, which influenced her siblings to find joy and pure fun when she rides these majestic creatures.

Maddie started riding horses around a very young age, but she was surrounded by them long before.

“Horses have always been in my life, and if somehow that was taken away from me…I feel like a little part of me would be removed,” Maddie said.

Maddie is the oldest sibling, which is why horse back riding had such an impact on her younger siblings. She has three other siblings, all which are pretty close in age, so they all love to ride together when they are home.

Maddie wouldn’t just ride horses when she was growing up, she would compete. Her best event was barrel racing with her very own horse and he was one of the fastest in the state for a few years. His name is Gambler.

“When we decided to buy Gambler, I knew that we instantly had a bond and he was going to teach me how to become a better rider,” Maddie said.

Maddie’s mom, Michele, said it was always such a fun experience watching Maddie ride and then having her younger siblings watch and only dream that they could be doing that soon.

Soon, her siblings were able to live their dreams. Cooper is the next oldest sibling and Maddie said he might even be better than her.

“At some point Cooper just really took off. He even started training new horses we got, which can be dangerous, but don’t tell him I said that.”

Each one of Maddie’s siblings had their own special talent when they rode horses, and you could see it.

The inside of the Blum’s barn showcased many trophies and ribbons, really telling the story about how successful each horse and rider were when they were competing.

“When we didn’t have competitions on the weekends, our family would take the horses to different places and trail ride all day. I think horses really brought us together,” Cooper said.

With two kids at home and two in college they all still try to find a few weekends to ride together.

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