Horses have helped Margaret get to a better place.

While physically imposing, horses are gentle spirits who accept you for who you are, Margaret says. The teen adds that she learned the power of this acceptance during equine therapy sessions.

“They (the horses) accepted me even though I was hurt and I was broken, and they helped build me into a more confident Margaret,” she said.

“I have loved horses since I can remember,” said the upbeat and outgoing 17-year-old. “They are very important to me. They are like big giant teddy bears.”

And it’s a happy, confident Margaret in the saddle during a riding lesson from Scott Tyler of Tyler Farms, a full-service equine facility in northeast Mesa.

Margaret volunteers at an equine therapy center in Fountain Hills where she cleans stalls, grooms horses and does whatever else needs doing. The program “puts problem kids with hurt and scared horses and you see magic,” Margaret said.

“I want to own my own equine ranch, so I want to learn from the bottom up,” she said.

When she's not taking care of horses, Margaret focuses on academics. A chaotic early childhood meant extended absences from school and Margaret is still trying to catch up.

“I do OK in school. I work really, really hard,” the high school junior said. “I’m very committed to education because I see what happens without it.”

What does she want in a forever family? Patience and commitment.

“We both have to learn and grow together as a family,” she said.

Although Margaret turns 18 later this year, she is eligible for adult adoption.

Watch the stories of children in foster care waiting on forever families each week on the Wednesday’s Child segment each week between 5-6 a.m. on 12 News (KPNX). You can also view previously aired stories at www.aask-az.org.

For more information on children eligible for adoption, call Aid to Adoption of Special Kids (AASK) at 602-930-4900, or visit www.aask-az.org.