Tag Archives: love
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Paid Back in Full

23 Jun

Chessy is a Morab Horse

Chessy and his biggest fan, Jenna.

Chessy and his biggest fan, Jenna.

IMG_2128. Like an Arab, he is smart, discerning, and careful about showing his emotions to one he does not trust. Like a Morgan he is handy, fancy, and determined. Little did I know that this little horse would pay me back in a way I never dreamed.

It was a brutally cold day in December when I discovered Chessy standing at the gate. Like all horse women and men, you can read a horse’s body language as a conversationalist does with an audience. I intuitively knew that there was something wrong.

I opened the gate and walked towards him and that’s when he turned his face towards me. His eye was literally in pieces.

I grabbed a leadline, fearful to put a halter on his face. In my other hand, I held my phone and shakely called my vet. She happened to be in the area and made a hasty drive to my farm. Upon inspection she did not give me good news. He would have to be transported to the University of Pennsylvania or she could remove his eye. Either way, this was a traumatic injury.

To give Chessy the benefit of saving his eye, I decided to send him. We made the harrowing trip to New Bolton Center and they met me at the bay. They had called in an equine optometrist and she encouraged me to see if they could save the eye by cleaning it and putting it back together.

After two days, Chessy had a roaring fever and an infection that was threatening his life. She decided to do a corneal transplant. He was under anesthesia and not doing well. She called to tell me that he was not doing well. I did what I always do, I prayed.

That night, I crept into the still barn at 9:00. He had tubes protruding from his head, they had drilled holes through his skull to flush continual antibiotics into the eye so that he would not reject it. For days, he was in a precarious position. He would gently lay his chin on my shoulder. I would scratch his funny spot, but he would not react. He was hurting and so was I.

Then I got a call from the vet stating that she felt that he could go home with the knowledge that I would have to give him medicine into his eye every two hours. I quickly gathered volunteers that would be willing to take night and day watches. I cleaned the stalls with bleach and fluffed his stall with soft straw.

It was not to happen. The day of transport I was told that he had double pneumonia and he could not go home as planned. He was moved to the ICU and was in critical care. Again he was administered meds that kept him quiet and comfortable. I went to see him and cried. Now tubes were surgically placed in his neck.

Again, I did what I do best, I prayed.

Within two weeks he had recovered and we planned to bring him home. But then came the crushing blow of them all. He had gone into colic and the impaction was in the small intestine. This was fatal without surgery. They had drugged him with heavy sedatives and were waiting for my reply.

My bill thus far was over $12,000 and I could not go further financially. He had been through too much and I made the painful decision to forgo the surgery. I left work early and went into his stall. His head hung to the ground, tubes hung from every main vein, he stirred when he heard my voice.

He tried to turn and face me, but the sedation made him stumble. I prayed over him. Placing my hands on his stomach I asked God to miraculously heal him. That’s when I heard the leading vet clear her throat to signify her presence.

“Jill, I am sorry. We will keep him comfortable until we cannot control the pain. We will let you know when we put him down,” she placed her hand on my shoulder. Finality was in her voice.

I was not ashamed of my tears, for they flowed like the beautiful Brandywine River that Chessy had crossed when he was healthy.

“I am believing that God will miraculously heal him, I hope I get a call with good news and not bad,” my sobbing took over and I could no longer speak.

“Jill, this colic is a death sentence. I am sorry,” she smiled faintly.

I slept fitfully that night, waiting for a phone call, but it did not come. At seven o’clock in the morning, my cell phone rang. I grabbed it and heard the vet on the end speak with disbelief. My little Chessy had pulled out of the colic.
I got off the phone and sunk to my knees, God had showed up in a circumstance that everyone else said was impossible.

Today Chessy is the favorite mount in my lesson program. He is gentle and kind. Always the gentleman, he is aware of every rider and their needs.

Little did I know that he would pay me back with kindness. Six months later I had accidentally left the main gate open. The horses had discovered my mistake and were peacefully eating in my backyard. Upon opening the garage door, my ever diligent guard dogs went after each horse with a vengeance. The herd took off.

Down the driveway they galloped and onto a major road and ripping towards a very busy highway only feet away. I was devastated. I grabbed grain, buckets, halters, lead ropes, and ran for my truck.

That’s when I heard their hoof beats coming closer.

Leading the herd was Chessy. He took them back down the driveway and into the open pasture gates. He had controlled the herd, comforted me by bringing them back, and showed me that he had never forgotten my kindness of saving his life.

What Is This????!!!!

11 Jun
Oh goody, Timmy is wearing a vest- another 2 pockets to stuff more treats in.

Oh goody, Timmy is wearing a vest- another 2 pockets to stuff more treats in.

We have a horse whisperer on our farm, his name is Timmy. The horses and ponies willingly follow him all over the farm. Most people marvel at his ability, but I know his ultimate training tool, tasty apple and oat cookies. He stuffs his pockets full of them and doles them out whenever the horses follow him.

One day I got a text from his mother, “In case you are wondering, Apple and Oat horse treats DO NOT wash or dry well!”

I promptly called her and she shared her absolute horror over what she discovered in his pant pockets. She thought it might be p**p from the horses, until Timmy set her straight.

Fuzzy and Three Angels

28 May

She was a handful, and then she discovered horses. Her behavior was so disturbing she went to a special school. Her mother had heard about equine therapy and that is how I came to know her.

She promptly fell in love with Fuzzy, a QH with an attitude. He was definitely not an equine therapy horse. After much begging and pleading I promised her an opportunity to ride him if she got a 100 on her behavior chart at school. Up to this point she was getting at most a 60. I was confident that Fuzzy would not be in her near future.

I was sure she would never get a 100, but that week she did. I had to hold my end of the bargain.

That Saturday I tacked up Fuzzy, praying for a miracle. Had I just set up this young girl to get hurt? I was sick to my stomach.

She came bouncing and jumping and yelling. Her excitement was too much to contain. Remarkably she quieted as she sat in the saddle and Fuzzy was a perfect horse. We did posting trot, sitting, standing in the stirrups and holding her balance in transitions. She was spectacular and so was this usually very naughty Quarter Horse.

Pushing my luck, we decided to do a lap of my property. As soon as we got out of the ring he leapt in the air and reared to gather leaves from the tree in our back yard.

I don’t lose my composure, but I did this time. I screamed for her to hold on! Helplessly I had to wait until Fuzzy came down on his own. Turning Fuzzy could have resulted in him falling and it seemed like an eternity until he came down. She grabbed mane and did everything explicitly.

Finally, he came down and that’s when she looked at me and said “Miss Jill, I don’t know why you are so upset, there were three angels keeping me on Fuzzy the whole time. As soon as they saw that I was safe they left me.”

Well, we do pray for God to protect our riders! Silly me, I should have known, God had sent His divine angels!

Thanks God! You always have all of our backs!

Please help us serve childen that cannot afford equine therapy and desperately need it. Just post your unused tack, clothing, horse related business, etc. on http://www.anythingforhorseandrider.com.

Hey LIKE us on http://www.facebook/anythingforhorseandrider.com!

A Dose of Hope

29 Nov

I am going to be honest.  I am a little discouraged.  It is hard for me to admit this because so many people see me as a positive encourager, but I am just a little “blue.”

So I am going to encourage myself and remind my broken heart of all that I am grateful for in my life.

1. I am a child of the Most High God- I am born again and know that I have a relationship and bond with God Almighty.  He has “stepped” into so many of my circumstances that He is as real to me as my husband.

2. I live a GREAT life- full of promise and hope.  I have a horse farm- how much greater can it get???

3. I have a supportive and loving husband who tells me constantly how much he loves me. I can look like a hot mess and he still tells me that I am the best looking woman he has ever seen (he needs glasses!).

4. I have my health.

5.  I live in the best country in the world!

6. I get to teach both riding lessons and students in a high school.  I am surrounded by greatness and they challenge me everyday of my life.

7.  I have great friends who know how crazy my life can get,and they still take time to encourage me.

I am going to stop now, because I am already encouraged to keep the faith, to trudge on and have hope.

How do you encourage yourself???  Please share!

Grit, Determination, and One Huge Burning Desire

7 Sep

Jenna learning how to jump Freckles

Jenna learning how to jump Freckles

“I was wondering if I could sign my daughter up for lessons?” her mother asked.
“Has she ever ridden before?” I asked.
“Yes, at another farm, but my daughter used to love horses and riding and now she does not want to go. I am really concerned. The girls there are not nice to my daughter,” the mother explained.

If there is something I can say with full confidence- We are a Farm that supports each other. No mean girls here. I will not put up with it. I will ask riders to leave if they try to build factions or put others down. We are a farm that shows love to all and failure to do so results in swift repercussions.

I always evaluate riders before I put them with an instructor or in a lesson. I want to see what they know, how they handle themselves, and what they can do on a horse.

Jenna came with a big smile, but she was nervous and unsure of herself. She would almost shake if the horse looked at something, giving me an indication that she was afraid. She was on my placid, super sweet Pumpkin and one thing he will do is catch his rider. There was nothing to fear on the back of this beautiful Quarter Horse. She did not know how to work with the horse, her actions were forced and her breathing was fragmented showing me that she was facing a giant burden of fear.

I decided that she should ride on our wonderful, comfy couch Milkshake and take instruction from Miss Tori. Jenna fell in love with Miss Tori and with Milkshake. Within three months, this little girl went from fearful to showing Milkshake. She now jumps and canters. Jenna has conquered her fear because she has learned to trust in a famous four legged pal and a beautiful trainer that has a heart of gold.

Cleaning tack before the horse show, Jenna looked up at me and said, “Never fear, GOD is here!”

She has learned more about life, love, friends, and riding because she conquered a mountain of fear. Great job Jenna, our job has been fulfilled- you learned the most valuable lesson of all- that With God ALL things are possible!

Hey have you ever had to conquer a mountain of fear? Did you ever lose your confidence about something you loved? Please share!

Want to learn more about the farm that God built? Join our FB pages on ANYTHINGFORHORSEANDRIDER AND RAISEYOURDREAMSFARM and read more about this farm. I promise, you will be encouraged after reading each post!

Please support us by posting horses, unwanted tack, or your horse related business. 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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It is Official- He is Now an Authentic Rider

23 Jul
Jacob is an authentic rider, ready to conquer any challenge!

Jacob is an authentic rider, ready to conquer any challenge!

June16, 2013 022
As soon as I walked up, I knew something was wrong. Jacob is our tour director, educator, helper, assistant, rider, and most importantly an encourager at the farm. So when I saw his sweat stained brow and dirt encrusted cheeks sitting in a chair sipping a bottle of water, I instantly knew that something was very wrong.

“I am fine!” was his greeting to me.

That’s when a cacophony of voices rose in one and told me that Jacob fell off of Milkshake.

“What happened?” I asked incredulously. Falling is not something I ever want a rider to experience, but it is a necessary rite of passage for all riders if they intend to be great riders.

Jacob is a special rider that has literally transformed himself from an angry, easily frustrated youth, to a gentle man that seeks to please others over himself. It is touching to see how this young man has gained strength, wisdom, love, kindness, joy, and peace through his discovery of what he could accomplish on the back of an opinionated Appaloosa pony named Milkshake.

He had just learned how to canter, a huge milestone for someone who was afraid to even trot. This transformed him into a confident rider that was ready to attempt jumping and cantering regularly.

When he was given an opportunity to have a free ride, he decided to perfect his canter. Milkshake was only too happy to oblige and that’s when it happened. He got off balance and realizing that he was slipping, he threw his leg over the saddle, pushed himself away from the galloping hooves and did an emergency dismount. He rolled away from the horse- textbook perfect. He was shaken, Milkshake was startled and stood over his good buddy. Everyone launched into action. Rider down. All hands on deck. Tori, the instructor was checking the damage, Eva was holding his hand, Rachel grabbed the horse, Megan was calming the other riders. The well oiled Raise Your Dreams Farm Team was reacting to their friend and fellow team mate, and when he got up all clapped as his mother shed a tear.

Eva held his hand and lead him out of the ring. He said he was not afraid to get back on, he just needed to sit awhile. That’s what happened prior to me getting to the riding ring.

“Jacob, it is official,” I said rubbing his shoulder.

“What, Miss Jill,” he said.

“You are now an authentic rider. There is not one great rider out there who has not had a fall. It just means that you are a true rider. Fair weather riders would just give up, but not you. I am proud of you Jac!”

I grabbed his hand and he grabbed mine. I knew then that Jacob has conquered a lot in his short life, but that day revealed the man he has become. I am glad Jacob rides at my farm, he has just demonstrated his character.

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