Richard Goode

At a recent meeting with the Bootstraps Board of Directors, our next winner was asked about the horses that he has worked with over the past six years through the STARRS program. He said, “You know the horses have helped me in so many ways. I’m always drawn to the ones that are left out. I always step toward them.”

Richard Goode knows too much about exclusion. Up until he was 12 years old, Richard lived in and around in his words “a lot of crazy situations.” He noted – rightly – that a child should not think of being held, or rocked to sleep, or even told that they are loved – as a privilege. But that is the life that our winner found himself in – searching for a place to call home, for a school to realize he was talented and not challenged.

Having been abandoned by his mother – along with his sisters – he was put into foaster care and became part of the system, bouncing through 3 homes before finding a safe corral with parents who adopted him. –

So what does a young bronco do in such an environment?

As Richard’s high school principal wrote, “Richard is one of the kindest, most thoughtful and most trustworthy persons I have ever met. He simply has a heart of gold.”

But Richard – he gives the credit not to himself, but to God. As Richard says, “God has blessed me with so much and continues to with every breath I take.”

Oh, and his favorite horse – that would be Rocky Mountain Horse that stands 17 hands tall. To non-horse folks , that’s a horse over 5 1/2 feet tall. A gentle giant… much like Richard.