Tag Archives: Horse

WHERE ARE THE PONIES?

4 Mar

Where are the poniesThis winter will go on the books for breaking hundred year old records for being the coldest, snowiest, and most destructive. That meant no lessons for our riders at Raise Your Dreams Farm. It was not a fun time for the students or the ponies.

How did you make out this winter?

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

Problem Solved!

26 Jan
Tom working hard to carry the American Flag at the Opening Ceremony at Cowtown Rodeo

Tom working hard to carry the American Flag at the Opening Ceremony at Cowtown Rodeo

Tom has one dream. The dream? To ride a horse while carrying the American Flag during the Opening Ceremony at the Cowtown Rodeo.

To most people this would not mean too much, but to him, it is everything. It represents climbing out of a valley so deep and wide that most would be engulfed in depression and debilitating self pity. On a beautiful day, his freedom was taken from him by a drunk driver. He was pronounced dead at the scene, but Tom is not any ol’ man. He is one built on a foundation of determination, stubborn rebellion against the norm, and a love of all things fast.

In the hospital, he was told that he would never walk. He defied the doctors and walked. He was told he would never ride a bike, he bikes to the beach (a 100 mile trek). He was told that riding a horse may build his balance and strength. He came to my farm to ride. His dream is to gallop with abandon to the thundering applause during the National Anthem at the Cowtown Rodeo. He rides Pumpkin, who has one speed, super slow. He takes care of Tom, adjusting his body to meet the off balance movements that Tom sometimes involuntarily makes. We now trot. Only two “gears” away from a gallop. We are on our way. I start thinking that this could be a possibility.

I throw caution to the wind and call Cowtown Rodeo. I get the office and the daughter of the owner. She tells me that her father would have to approve it. She would discuss it with him. I hear nothing.

I am not daunted. I am fighting for Tom. As God would have it, the day I go to Cowtown, I park right next to the owner who happens to be getting out of his truck at the same time that I am getting out of mine. Boldly, I step up and introduce myself. He tips his Cowboy hat at me and says that he knows who I am. I tell him the story about Tom. Tears well in my eyes involuntarily. I apologize for my tears, I am so emotional, so hopeful that he will give this man an opportunity that will help him accomplish a dream, to defy what everyone said that he could not do.

He nods his head, “Yes, I think it will be ok if Tom opens the Rodeo.”

I grab his hand, then put my arms around his broad shoulders and tell him that this is a true gift and I am truly appreciative. He tells me that his office will be in touch.

Three months later, I get a call from a woman that says she wants to meet me. She has heard about my farm and the work that is done here. She runs the Cowboy Church. I am excited. During our conversation, I share that we will be doing the opening ceremony at Cowtown with Tom holding the American Flag. She tells me that she is the one that organizes the opening ceremony. Is that God again, giving us exactly what we need. The contact is there and she assures me that she will take care of us.

Pumpkin is a Quarter Horse with the kindest, sweetest nature of any horse I have ever known. He loves being scratched on his belly and loves being groomed by the girls. Unfortunately, he has a somewhat checkered past with hints of abuse. His face is malformed from a halter being too tight. He hates applause of any kind. He is also scared to death of loud noises. I have a big problem. How am I going to get this horse used to the Rodeo and safe enough to carry Tom?

Problem solved by God. I get a call from the woman that organizes the opening ceremony. She would like to give me her horse to use in the ceremony because he is an old hand at it and will take care of Tom.

I got off the phone, bowed my head as tears streamed down my face. God, You are so GREAT!! You care about the smallest things that are sometimes big.

Are you facing a challenge that you are not sure you can handle? Give it ALL to God. He loves you. Hand it over and watch God at work.

Need prayer? Need encouragement? Please respond. I PROMISE I will pray that God will show up and give you a solution that you know is right from Him. Then you can be assured that the problem is solved.

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