The day of my birthday (September 30)ended up being anything but what I expected. The birthday cake was on the counter staring at me as I laid on the floor in despair. He said he was divorcing me and he would not be back. To say that I never saw it coming would be an understatement. I really had not a clue that he would be moving in with someone who had been riding at my barn for a year (using my horses, tack, etc for free!) that I thought was a friend. They are now married which I suppose you have to do to justify it all.
I am a strong person but this course of events left me broken for a few months. I will forever be grateful to my many friends who visited, called and just listened. I spent about two months in despair just wanting back what I had. I loved him and I could fix this. I could be a better person and I could be who he wanted me to be. That was an ugly time. I could barely make it to the barn to feed the horses. I sold the rest of the sales horses. I considered selling Junior. I was going to sell Letterman who was my absolute heart horse. I wasn't sure that I could love my farm again. Heck, I wasn't sure I could keep my farm. I was really overwhelmed and wasn't sure which way was up.
I had a good lawyer who convinced me I was going to be okay and that I could find ways to keep my farm. Friends helped me find a wonderful person to lease Letterman. My wonderful friends/boarders made me get back on my horses. Friends showed up at the farm to help with chores and encourage me to keep going. I kept going to therapy and slowly began to believe that I wasn't the person he made me out to be. I started to find happiness again. I realized that I had always been happy. I really did love my life. I love what I do and I loved my farm. I wanted to keep going. I felt like the weight had been lifted off my shoulders. Once I made the decision that I was going to make it work, I just dug in like I know how to do and planned on moving forward. No looking backwards just moving forward.
I began teaching lessons and coming up with a business plan on how I was going to make a go of things on one income. It meant some change for me as I knew that I was going to have to generate the most money possible which meant that I needed to focus on my own sales horses and training horses. I eased back into the resale market buying a horse that I had previously retrained and sold for CANTER. He was a safe bet because I knew he was lovely and I could get him going again. Rockin Fun sold and then the whirlwind began. I saw this horse that caught my eye in Oklahoma. He was this big darky bay with four white high stockings and a blaze. He moved nice and just gave me the fire in my belly so I shipped him all the way home. It was then when I knew I was back. I felt the passion return and I was excited to start retraining this horse. He sold to a current boarder and since then I have had eight more sales horses and I get that fire each time.
Along the peaks and valleys of this life transition, I had begun to date mainly just to get out of the house. I had some fun with it and some good stories to tell. My one girlfriend and I had discussed what kind of man that we think I should end up with and I said that I wanted an educated farmer of sorts. Someone who had their own passion in life but could appreciate my lifestyle. I didn't want to get married again but wanted to have someone to have fun with. I had started to go on a few dates with this guy who I considered to be nice but a bit hard to get to know. He had been divorced and like me he had some scars to show for it. He has a wonderful son that he was raising and it was clear that he knew who he was and what he wanted out of life. We kept seeing each other and it became very clear that it was heading a direction that neither of us expected. Ian has a large farm only 20 minutes from my house that he actively farms. He also works a full-time job in the aircraft industry and buys and sells farm equipment for fun. Yeah, I found someone who was even busier than I was :) It truly was one of those things that just happens when you least expect it. It was everything that I had hoped for and more. I can't say that I was ready for it but thankfully he understands better than anybody that I am still healing and he is okay with that. He thinks the horse business is really interesting and he is very supportive. I have never met somebody who makes me feel appreciated the way that he does. I remember him saying early on that it was so refreshing to meet someone who has such passion for something in life. No, he hasn't been on a horse yet and I don't care if he ever rides. It truly was never important to me and never will be. I have taught his son how to ride and we have a great time with that. I never imagined me being a mother and never had interest in having kids but I am truly enjoying being part of a family. Having a son is an awesome experience! We got engaged a few months ago and we are all living at my farm for now. It is much more difficult to combine lives at this age but anything is possible if you communicate along the way. It really has all felt very easy and natural which I guess is how it is supposed to be.
I don't know when we will get married. It is pretty funny that both of us went from being so anti-marriage early on likely due to all of our baggage but then one day it became so clear that we were no longer scared of it and both felt that it was the right path for us. I feel that I am a better person for having been through my situation. I learned a ton about myself and a lot about relationships..partially due to reading every damn relationship book on the market in those early days :) Overall, I balance my life much better than I did. I have hired some help in the barn to take care of the chores a few days a week. I have help with some of the riding as well. I have had to rethink what it important to me and that is a good thing! I have an amazing group of friends and most are boarders at my barn. It makes for such a fun community. We all laugh and have a great time. It is nice to know that people are there for you when you are at the top or when you are at the bottom.
This website was something that I should have done a long time ago but I am so excited to have it now. Becca has done most of the building and I am so grateful for the push in the right direction. It will help market the sales horses and give people one place to go to see what I have in the barn at any given time. Check them out here- http://www.benchmarksporthorses.com/horses-for-sale.html It is also a good chronicle of all the lovely sales horses that I have had for people to see the quality of horses that come into my barn. Feel free to make suggestions of all kinds so that I can continue to improve the site. I will be doing some blogging about the horses in training to get back on the path on talking about horses and not talking about myself..thank god!!!