I love stories. Everyone has one. I find something especially beautiful in the relationships we share with our horses. Each partnership is entirely unique yet universally understood by fellow equestrians. Blessings, challenges, big dreams and little moments—they all combine into an incredible story that leave a rider forever changed.
I love learning, capturing and telling your stories, so I thought I’d share mine, too.
To say my perfect plan for a brief-yet-idyllic stay in Texas didn't go quite as I'd thought is an understatement.
Fort Worth traffic was rough (understatement)
My truck's lack of AC—which wasn't an issue in Indiana with the windows down—made sitting in said traffic inconvenient (also an understatement).
The housing situation I'd planned from afar wasn't quite what I'd hoped for (massive understatement) (let's not speak of this, OK?)
I didn't know anyone, and I was still struggling to match names and faces at my internship.
But come 4:30, I'd hop into the truck, crank those windows down and head to Hidden Star Farm in Roanoke, where my most familiar friend was waiting for me.
Something I love about horses is the way they give you a sense of home, no matter where you are. I think this is especially true about the routine of grooming. Everything else might be new or hard or different, but there's a calming familiarity in the rhythm of currying a coat, inspecting every hoof, running a brush through tangles of mane. We could have been anywhere, and I'd feel just as at ease. Herbie was a cure for my homesickness, because he was my home.
We'd never settled onto a discipline in Indiana—dabbled in barrels, reining moves and dressage principles—and he moved like it, with quick strides and a nervous headset that often popped into "giraffe mode." We felt like outsiders at first, as we darted between smooth-loping pleasure horses, but the ladies at the barn never made us feel unwelcome. Over time, things changed, and my new life felt as routine as grooming. Our rides improved (with lots of help), and we found a niche in ranch events. I made fast friends at the barn, and settled into my job. Somewhere in those hot, summer months, I even fell in love with Fort Worth, growing roots in a place I'd only meant to pass through.
I'm pretty thankful my perfect plans to leave Texas fell through. And for the life I've made in Fort Worth. And for the home I'll always have, no matter where we are, when I'm next to Herbie.
Flash-forward to today, and it's been a little over five years since I first pulled in to Hidden Star Farm. The barn's recent closing means Herbie and I are currently adjusting to his new location at Sliding H Ranch in Burleson. I couldn't have asked for better memories or friends from our five years at Hidden Star Farm, and it was hard to say goodbye to the place and people that had become a dear second home. I'd originally written this blog before the move, and I couldn't help but notice how similar the last few days have been to my first weeks in Texas; everything around us has changed, but I feel right at home brushing Herbie's coat or braiding up his long mane.
A few of my favorite snapshots from our time at Hidden Star Farm