Tag Archives: Farm

Horse for Sale- It Comes With A Part of My Heart!

14 Dec
Hershey, doing what he does best- jumping

Hershey, doing what he does best- jumping

Lessons are down. Students have gone off to college. Then the Salem County Center for Autism lost all of their funding, which means I just lost 27 special needs students.

At my peak, we were teaching 50-75 students a week. We are at a fraction of this number and that means, I have to cut my herd. Who do I sell?

I try to be objective and look at the horse/s that are used the least. I come up with Hershey. He is talented, handsome, bold, and loves attention. He would do well with just one owner.

I put him up for sale, and the phone starts ringing. I answer the usual questions. They all want to see him, but the weather is not cooperative. This is good, it buys me more time.

Do they know that if I sell this horse, a part of my heart will go with him?

 

Please help out Raise Your Dreams Farm by posting horses, ponies, tack, clothing, etc. for sale on www.anythingforhorseandrider.com  Thanks!

What? I Cannot Do That!

2 Sep

“What do you mean, I have to change my life style?” I asked with tears involuntarily forming in my eyes.

“Jill, you are a human, not a supernatural character.  You have to take it slower, much slower,” my doctor continued to click on the computer keys our conversation.  It had to be documented.  I was warned, he had protocol to follow, and I would need to accept his conclusion.

I left the office defeated. An apple asked to change its purpose, water not allowed to roam free, or a horse never allowed to gallop- I was truly trapped.

How does one change their life style like a flick of the switch. I could not turn off this light. It burned too deeply.  I could not have heard worst news then the dreaded C word.  My life was in danger and it needed to be changed.

I had to work less, de-stress, smell the roses, eat better, and find joy instead of trouble.  How could I lighten a load that I knew would be too much for anyone else to do, until my instructors suggested that they do  the scheduling of their lessons.  Then I had friends offering to feed the horses in the morning, then my students were coming over to clean the stalls, and I found my heart brimming with joy.  My load had been lightened with no work on my part.

They carried my burden and for that I am not only eternally grateful, but considerably more healthy.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27

Do you need a life style change? Try to smell those roses.  Delegate your work load. Give up that control and let others help you carry the burden you were never supposed to carry in the first place!

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With God ALL Things Are Possible!

26 May

“What do you want to do when you grow up?” my mother asked me.

“Mom, I want to have a horse farm someday,” she just smiled.  She knew it would be impossible because she would not even allow me to take riding lessons.  I grew up with a burning desire, that kept me awake at night.  I was not like all of my other friends, dreaming of their husbands and children.  I grew up dreaming of my farm, complete with horses, dogs, and cats.

I graduated college and then I started taking riding lessons.  As a total beginner, I was put in with the young riders.  I was twenty-two years old and these six and seven year olds could ride circles around me, literally.

I increased my lessons, graduated to leasing a horse, and then the ultimate dream, owning my first horse, Raise Your Dreams, a thoroughbred-cross.  I took lessons with an Olympic Coach that came to America periodically.  I increased in my skills and ability and others noticed.  I was getting asked by others to teach them or train their horses.

Then my girlfriend asked if I would teach at her beautiful farm in Mullica Hill, NJ.  It was state of the art, vacuums for the horses, hot and cold wash stall, indoor, several outdoor rings, and trails for miles.  It was here that my dream of having my own farm burned even more deeply.  I learned as much as I could.  I was there early and stayed late.  I fed the horses, mucked, ordered feed, organized shows, wrapped legs, held horses for the vet, and I gleaned as much as I could about owning and operating a farm.

I bought a house in Delaware.  It was in a great neighborhood with fantastic neighbors.  The house had been somewhat neglected.  It came complete with shag carpet, dark paneling, olive green kitchen appliances, and an old smell.  What the house did have going for it, was that it had great bones.  Under the shag carpet was beautiful red oak throughout the whole house.  I took the paneling off, took down non-supportive walls, rehabbed the kitchen, and painted the whole house.  I did all of this by myself with the help of my father.  He would teach me, and then off I would go.  I sanded the floors on my hands and knees, I stained every inch, painted every wall, and the whole time I kept repeating to myself that this was temporary.  I knew that this home was the starting point of my farm.

If I could increase its value then I could find a farm.  I spared no expense in getting it beautified.  I loved every inch of it.  It showed because my friends and neighbors noticed how much the home had changed.  I told everyone my plan- I would buy a horse farm within five years of owning this home.  They would shake their heads in agreement, their eyes betrayed them, I knew they thought I was crazy.

In the mean time, I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior.  (I will share how that happened in another blog)  I just kept praying for a farm.  I searched in four states, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey.  My friends kept saying that I did not know what I was getting myself into and that as a single woman I was clearly setting myself up for failure.  I said that I would rather fail then never try.

As a teacher making $40,000 a year was not going to buy a farm, but I kept believing that God had given me this desire.  I would beg for Him to take it away from me.  Instead, my vision grew more precise, I could see the farm.  It had a curving driveway that was tree lined.  The home was yellow, my favorite color, and had red accents.  Then God revealed that it would be in New Jersey.  I wondered how it would all happen.  I started to become insecure and unsure.  My friends were heavily influencing me.  Their doubt was seeping into my being.  How would I afford it?

I just kept asking God for a sign.  Like a child, I needed a strong hand to lead me.  There were times that I too doubted whether God wanted me to get a farm.  A single woman making $40,000 a year, could not buy a farm.  That is when I clung to my main verse-Image

Then the ultimate push came from God.  I sold my house without it being for sale.  A man stopped by and said, ” I love this house, I drive by it all of the time.  I have seen how much work you put into it.  Would you consider selling it?”

We agreed upon a price and it was sold in cash within three weeks.  Now there was nothing holding me back, I just made enough on this deal that I could buy a farm.  I employed a real estate agent and we searched the whole state of New Jersey.  We saw beautiful barns, ugly homes, ugly barns, and beautiful homes.  Unfortunately, none of them fit the description in my head and the vision that God had given me.  Doubt flooded me and I wavered in my resolve.  I was turning forty years old on June 3 of that year, and I gave a test to God.  If I did not have a farm by June 3 then I would move into a condo and call it quits on this dream of mine. 

March came and went.  April came and went with no prospect.  Then May first, I got a call from my realtor.  A farm just came up and she said that I should check it out.  I drove to Woodstown, NJ and found a farm with a curving driveway that was tree lined.  It had a beautiful yellow home with red accents, two barns, ten acres, and it was the exact vision that God had given me.

I put in an offer on May 1st and closed on the home on May 31st.  I spent my fortieth birthday in my hot tub overlooking my horses in my pasture at my very own farm.

I did it, with God.  He gave me my heart’s desire, a true miracle.  My life has never been the same.  Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.

Christian Broadcasting Network came out and did a story on my farm and how God gave me the impossible.  You can find it at http://www.cbn.com/tv/1426203815001.

Please be encouraged and know that God has a plan for all of us.  This is what I do know, that God created a great work in you and He will carry it out!  Trust in Him with all of your heart.  Don’t let doubt creep into your heart, just hold steadfast on your dreams.  Remember it will not be easy.  It will be the hardest thing you have ever done, but it will be worth it.

Peace and Love!

Need prayer or need to be encouraged?  Drop me a note, and I will pray for you. 

Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, lean not on your own understanding and He will lead you. Prov. 3:5-6

Julia and Pumpkin

5 Dec

Julia is horse crazy.  She fell madly in love with Pumpkin.  Pumpkin was in need of love too.  He found it in this funny, hopeful, loving young woman named Julia.  This is her account in her own words.  Enjoy it!

 

I don’t know what it was about that little horse that attracted me, but for a whole summer I was obsessed. Maybe it was his fear of people that made me want to help him to trust again, or maybe it was his past that caused me to want to give him something better to live for. But whatever it was about him, he stole my heart. I don’t know who named him but because of them I now walk around calling everything “Pumpkin”. Even to my cat, I unknowingly say “Hi Pumpkin”. It has become a term that I often use as a nickname for an animal close to me. I think if his name had still been Dawson that is what I would be calling everything “Dawson”.

Pumpkin suits him so much better though. He just ambles around much like a pumpkin, a little, plump orange thing. He is the sweetest thing though. Always comforting people and horses alike. He is friends with everyone, even Hershey.   The high strung Thoroughbred, is always calm and relaxed around Pumpkin. You can’t be angry, or upset, or too excited around him because his personality just rubs off on you and makes you relax.

He wasn’t always the clam one though. When he first arrived you couldn’t get near him in the field without him taking off. He would run and usually it would take several people to herd him into a corner to capture him. I saw this and it struck me that he needed help, to be able to trust that people wouldn’t hurt him. So I took it upon myself to help him. It took time of course, as with anything with horses. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one helping him though. But I did feel some sort of connection when I was with him. Like I was telling him he could trust me and in some, strange, twisted way, he listened. So I sat there petting him and feeding him treats out of my pocket and telling him that I would never hurt him. For a whole summer I did this, spent time with him. After a while he let me catch him with a halter so I took him to the tree and let him graze for HOURS while I groomed him. Just the two of us and occasionally some guests. Curry, brush, curry, brush, curry some more, brush even more, hard brush, soft brush, hoof pick, tail brush, comb, in that order until he was spotless. They would tease me about it, but I knew he liked it so I had a reason to do it. Then after all that brushing I would take him for a trail ride. Even when it was too hot to ride, I grazed and groomed him and gave him a bath so he would feel good.

And I knew he appreciated all of my hard work because he waited until after I left to roll because he knew it would hurt my feelings. When I put him back in the field after a session he would stand at the gate and watch me silently calling me not to go. I was the only one who could catch him for a while. Timmy would go out and try to catch him for a lesson and he would run, but he would stand for me. He would let me catch him because he trusted me. To this day he still amazes me with his willingness. Almost anyone can catch him in the field now. Everyone is in love with him and he is docile enough to be used for children’s pony rides.  He’s plump, happy, and sweeter than ever. People claim to love him more than I do but they have no idea how much I love that little horse and forever will. Whenever I see him I can’t help but think of the hours of grooming and trail rides and that special bond we had. For that whole summer, and still, I felt something special, something more than just a word. Love. And I pray that he felt it too.

Julia and Pumpkin

Julia and Pumpkin

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