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There but for the grace of God go I....

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  • There but for the grace of God go I....

    These last few weeks have been so sobering for all of us with the developments in our economy. It has hit so many families so hard and has even directly affected the horses here on our farm.

    I currently have 5 horses, that are not mine but who's owners can no longer afford their horse's upkeep. 3 of these horses are babies, they range in age from 1-5, that I brought into this world and I will NEVER ever turn my back on my babies. We are supporting these boarders along with our own 20+ horses. The other two were sent to me as training/sale horses-and we all know how the market is for that.

    One long time friend, who boards with us and had purchased one of my foals 4 years ago (custom made) divorced last year and is now a very struggling real estate agent and she may lose her own home to foreclosure, she also has 4 kids to help support as well.

    I hear that another friend who rides have broken her ankle falling from her horse during a hunter pace. Another who moved herself and her horse 3/4 the way across the country for a new job to be told only 2 weeks later that the entire company is closing and now she is stuck in that new state with no job and board to pay (and family who cannot help). Today I hear that another friend fell from her horse (she was on him just tightening up his girth and fell off) and is in the ICU with broken ribs, claivicle, collapsed lung and possibly a Fx verterbra!

    I so recall the very, very hard times my husband and I have gone through in the past 6 years, from my father's unexpected death, the barn where we boarded burning to the ground, the death of my mare 10 hours after foaling Miracle my now 6 year old stallion, my husband's deep clinical depression, trying to support our old home and the farm on just my salary. My husband could not work during those dark times. I guess I carried him. I think of the nights I laid awake from stress not knowing how we would pay our mortgage, feed ourselves and all the horses, but we did, the money always came through.

    Anyway, he is back in school, tractor trailer school b/c no one wants a 52 year old network engineer with nearly 30 years experience and has companies clamouring to hire him. I am thankful that we can see how much easier it will be for us and our daughter, despite the economy and that in some ways with now supporting my babies again, and another boarder's horses (the one who just lost her job) that I am paying it forward.

    I am not sure if there is a real point to my message but possibly for us all to stop and be thankful for what we have, how this is a journey we are on, with its peaks and valleys. Or that we need to look around us to see how quickly our lives can change and how we need to reach out to others in their time of need to offer a helping hand, never expecting anything in return.

    Thank you for taking the time to read.

  • #2
    I hear you.

    I don't know what is going to happen. But I am reminded of something a colleague said to me, when I first joined the faculty here: "If we don't hang together, we'll all hang separately."

    So I applaud you for trying to hang together.
    a 501(c)3 organization helping 501(c)3 equine rescues


    • #3
      Jingles to you and your family. You have been through sooo much lately....

      My DH is a truck driver, he used to drive over the road, but now works locally for a company that builds roads, including the interstate. He has found real job security--finally. I hope that this will be the case for your DH as well. (My DH has been through depression as well.) We're behind on our rent, and my phone's been disconnected, but I know things will get better---eventually.

      Keep your chin up, I tell people that I ride because it cheaper for me to take a couple of lessons each week than to see a therapist! Somehow the smell of the barn, a nicker and a nuzzle will get me through.
      Cowboy--the gentleman & Go Baby Go--the pony with attitude!!

      Crayola posse---Indigo


      • #4
        You know the thing on the steering column of your car with PRND12. Well I call that thing a "Prindle"...get it...park...reverse...
        I try to remind myself to pull it into grateful gear when I am feeling...I don't know restless...and ungrateful for what I have. I hear 'ya sister. I am grateful.
        “If you are irritated by every rub, how will your mirror be polished?”
        ? Rumi


        • #5
          Thank you...I love this post. And these days, I try very hard, no matter a good day or a bad day, to remind myself of how lucky I am.

          Due to a lot of unforseen circumstances, and some bonehead decisions on my part, I almost lost everything this year. Car, apartment, horse, everything. There were nights when I laid awake afraid I would be evicted the next day, or if I didn't make my payments on whatever bill tomorrow, they would turn off power, take the car, what have you. It can make you completely freeze up and be incapable of taking action when action is the only thing that will fix it!

          I'm better now, mostly thanks to some serious months of living on the smallest amount possible (thank you ramen!), and the kindness of my BO. She, like you, helped me to keep my beloved pet, when at times I was pretty sure he truly was all I had left. I would have very shortly been forced to sell him, but didn't jump at it because honestly, he wouldn't have sold before I could have righted myself. It happened so fast I couldn't even make arrangements to consider selling or leasing! And what would I have done without him, even when there were weeks at a time I couldn't go see him because I simply didn't have enough money for gas to get to work, let alone the barn.

          And now, no matter how bad the day was, I drive to the barn, becuase I can afford gas again, lucky girl I am, and I think that I am truly, truly grateful. I have my car, my apartment, food, a good job, and my pony. I thank people like you, as a BO, who helped people like me when times were at their worst. I hope some day to pay it forward as well, but at the very least, I will always be thankful.

          And to all going through this right now...hang on, hang in there. It gets better. A favorite saying of mine is "This too shall pass." I believe it, and I wish all struggling with anything right now the very best; may you also have some kind souls also help you in whatever capacity.


          • #6
            What a great post! I've just come off the worst couple of years of my life, between injury and Mom, which seriously cut into working, for which I am paid purely on production. Try typing for speed when every single finger on both hands is bandaged for months, or when you are also dealing with someone with Alzheimer's disease who is going increasingly delusional and you cannot get even 5 minutes uninterrupted at your work. I, too, have listed horses for sale and had to let one I was buying go back to the breeder, but there were also people who helped me out, one of whom literally saved my farm at the darkest point in this insane year. She was herself paying it forward, as she said someone had once helped her years ago at her lowest point.

            Things are much better now, I can sleep again and work again, I still have the horses, but I will never forget those wonderful friends, and I, too, will pay it forward at my earliest opportunity - and all subsequent opportunities, too.

            As much wrong as we can see in the world, it's refreshing to realize how many good people there are in our lives. I am truly blessed.


            • #7
              What moving testimonies. May God bless you all!


              • #8
                I am struggling myself. I am going through a divorce, and, as a result, I moved from my beloved state of Maryland, to California, a huge culture shock. I have not been able to find a job that can pay the bills, I have 2 forever horses, one who is 22, the other who is 5. I have all the ambition and dreams and no money to back it up. I do have parents who are supportive and a new BF who is trying like hell to help me out and also his kids. I am hanging in there. I am riding by the skin of my teeth... I am trying and holding my breath for each and every opportunity I can get. I have a friend who is unbelievably generous and helpful and will trailer me anywhere I want to go for nothing, give me bits and spurs and boots and anything else she thinks will help. I will not give up on the horses and I am lucky that I have parents that will not give up either because they know that those horses are my will. People like you, CSH, help people like me and it is worth it, I promise. I am one to thank people profusely for their efforts and if I can, I pay it forward to them in some way. For my friend, I clip his tail and body clip him for nothin' which pales in comparison to her help. You guys are worth your weight in gold and I appreciate it more than you know.
                ~Amy~ TrakehNERD clique
                *Bugs 5/86-3/10 OTTB Mare* RIP lovely Lady, I miss you
                *Frodo '03 Anglo Trakehner Gelding*
                My Facebook


                • #9
                  Not just now, but I think everyone goes through tough times - it's just how you get through them that matters.

                  A lot of the time I feel like I'm hanging by my fingernails from a cliff, and then sometimes I'm sitting on the edge.
                  Through the worst of times I try to remind myself how much I do have and how much worse things could be.

                  My Best Advice?
                  Deep breaths, one step at a time and don't beat yourself up about what you could have done.
                  My husband used to say "Coulda, shoulda, woulda" meaning don't sweat the things you didn't do, go forward.
                  *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                  Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                  Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                  Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015


                  • #10
                    In the past two years we lost my mother's ancient dog, our oldest cat, our best dog, two puppies and my brother, (the three dog loss took place in about 15 days in August) and went through all kinds of trauma involving my brother's widow during his final illness. My 85 yr old mother is in the process of permanently relocating from WV to the house we built for her here in GA, and I am about as underemployed as a person can be while getting the move coordinated. Tried going back to work as a RN in June and was completely fried and had to quit by the beginning of August, just in time to be completely undone by canine grief...

                    Tough times? Naw, because I have two new puppies, two wonderful old dogs who have accepted them into the family pack, a wonderful husband who doesnt EVER push me to get another nursing job but who is supportive when I make the attempt. We HAVE no debt other than DH's car payment. Land and both houses are mortgage free, truck is paid for.

                    Tough times, other than the divorce from the first mr Jeano, were 10 years ago. Mr Jeano and I had been out west for a couple of years making tons of money to pay off note on our land here in GA. He got a promising job offer, back east in TN, to start April 1 1998. (You can see the punchline coming, cant you?) We quit our jobs in WA, put the cat and all our goods and chattels in a UHaul, drove across country, checked into the motel in TN, went apt hunting, found a rental house we liked, the next day Mr Jeano called his new boss to find out when/where to report for work and surprise, contract fell thru at last minute, no job.

                    We were homeless and unemployed and had nowhere to stash all our stuff in the Uhaul. The land in GA was completely unimproved, no utilities, no well, no nothing but scenery.

                    We had money in the bank, marketable skills, and a dream. A year later we built our house, Mr Jeano (not trusting the market and hating debt) cashed in his 401k and paid for the house with cash. Probably the smartest thing he ever did, since this was before the last huge stock market plunge--we figured he actually made out on the deal with the hit the 401k wouldve taken.

                    After that little episode between 98-99, I have pretty much stopped worrying about the economy. I can pound the clothes on rocks in the creek and eat acorns and muscadines and venison ifn I have to.


                    • Original Poster

                      WOW you guys are making me cry.

                      Yes, we all go through hard times and as I was doing chores with the beasties this AM, in the dark, I again thought "I will never tire of this". I spoke at length last night with the young woman in Florida who has her horses with us and told her, this too will pass and you will find work. She knows she can always come and stay with us, we have a spare bedroom and for that she is very grateful.

                      I learned 6+ years ago-when in a span of less than 6 months a very deep and important relationship ended then my dad died, the barn burned where we boarded and my mare died 10 hours after foaling-that I have the resilency skills to get through just about anything. I have never once lost my vision or dedication to what my goals and dreams are. It is very clear that those of you who have posted have not either.



                      • #12
                        life will happen anyway, no matter what you do or how hard and carefully plan. I was thinking about all the inevitable losses life will dump on me especially as I get older--my mother has had tough times most of her life, but is tackling this huge move, leaving the town she's lived in for most of her 85 years, with about as much humor and enthusiasm as a person could have.

                        I forgot in my above post to give credit to my horses. They have been a huge support for me through it all, my horses in OH saved my life during my divorce, bless them. Had to rehome them and ALL my pets when I took up with Mr Jeano number two, have never looked back although heartbreaking loss then.

                        You just cant be on the road with a road whore consultant and take horses cats dogs and bunnies, darn it.


                        • #13
                          This would, for sure, be an appropriate time for me to once again express my gratitude to ALL Cothers who gave me a hand up and made it possible for me to keep my beloved HRH Avery!

                          I feel doubly blessed because I am now (by the grace of God) in a position where I can manage to pay it forward a little bit to two lovely horse people that live and work on this same property and don't always have enough money to eat. I think of all the times someone did that for me, and I think of those people with gratitude every time I deliver some munchies or organize a cookout!

                          There are so many names/screennames I couldn't possibly name them all, but certainly Lori, Suzanne, Sidepasser, Horse-Loverz, EVERYBODY who participated in the auction, and so many many more. I am so, so grateful to all y'all. Avery is too. He's so happy to have his Body Slave back and his every whim catered to. (And it's actually a riot watching him get everybody ELSE at this farm firmly enrolled in his program! ) At my end, it's such a joy to be able to get up in the morning and give him a big huge hug over breakfast! Bless you all!!
                          Last edited by War Admiral; Oct. 17, 2008, 12:38 PM.
                          "The standard you walk by is the standard you accept."--Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Austalian Army Chief


                          • #14
                            I do wonder why life becomes so difficult. Does anybody else ever wonder why we aren't beset by a string of really wonderful things, instead of really tough times? I can pinpoint the exact date and time that my life went into a major downward spiral: June 5, 2007, 3:20 pm when I called my sister's cell phone to see what she wanted for dinner, thinking that she had enjoyed a nice lunch with her friend, Debbie, and was probably on her way to pick up her kids before returning to my farm. She was staying with me after her monster husband forced her out of her home and she had just served him with notice of divorce. A Boston Police Detective answered her phone and said to me, "There's been an accident. Your sister jumped or somehow fell from the eighth floor of a parking garage and she is dead. I'm sorry."
                            That's it. Done. Over. In that span of time I dealt with a seriously ill child and I have also lost my mother in law, who I loved, my donkey, my pony and last week my beloved dog. I worry about finances and the future, and it would be very easy to just pack it in and give up. But the kind people out there like you, classic, remind that there is good in this world. I have always been an optimist, and I find that outlook to be very challenged these days. But then I smack myself upside the head and remind myself that if we're vertical and breathing, it's all good, and we're dam# lucky to be here. The fact that we are all somehow able to keep horses in our lives and keep our passion going, even if it means sacrificing elsewhere, is something to be grateful for.


                            • #15


                              • #16
                                Well, I opened this thread expecting something awful...a horse horribly injured or worse, abused. Instead there are problems galore...but each post, while sad in its own way, was also filled with hope.

                                You're probably sick of me saying it, but without the horrible, desperate, depressing times, we couldn't appreciate the good times. Kinda like, without death we couldn't appreciate life. You know, my father always had a good line: sometimes love means just hanging in there. Yup, I know Dad. But does it ALWAYS have to be such a struggle?

                                Then I see my beloved Duc, hanging his head over the fence, just waiting for a scritch and a cuddle. Or Dickens—who's almost 5 months old—does something unexpected...buckingleapingfarting...or Joey twisting his head around almost upside down. And I think, "Thank God I have my horses; despite the vet bills (arrrrrrrgh) I don't know where I'd be without them."

                                Hugs to you all ... and hang in there.
                                "For God hates utterly
                                The bray of bragging tongues."
                                Sophocles, Antigone Spoken by the Leader of the Chorus of Theban Elders


                                • Original Poster

                                  I so agree with you OM. My point in the post is that I can so relate to the folks who are having such harder times then we are. We are now in a postion to offer assistance to these horse owners and having been through such hard times before I know "nearly" exactly what they might be going through.

                                  The old saying "if it doesn't kill you it will make you stronger" so more true then ever. I know when my daughter complains about chores, or a horse not acting the way "she" wants him/her too. I remind her how fortunate she is to have horses, to have a home, food, a warm bed an education and not be in a war torn country.

                                  I feel fortunate and so easily recall when my mare died in front of me, yeah that was a hard one, when Miracle was born saying to my husband, through my unbelieveable grief, "I know there is a lesson in this, I don't know what it is but I know there is a lesson in this."

                                  I look out now over my pastures and see happy well adjusted horses, even those who came to me as remediation horses how HATED people.

                                  We perservere when we work moving towards our life journey, for me it was and still is the dream of our farm and the horses, despite all of the nay-sayers. They, along with my family and our other mix of animals, are what keep me sane, as I am sure it is for others.


                                  • #18
                                    Been there, done that, got the t-shirt. Yeah, times are tough, but DH and I both realize there was a time when it was much worse. We had no idea how we were going to feed the kids and pay our bills. Now we might be a bit behind, but we are in no danger of losing anything. And we even have one kid in college. We don't have a lot of money in the bank, but we can pay the morgtage, loan payments, utilities and board on 2 horses.

                                    Classic, my DH drives over the road too. He couldn't find a job in his field that paid enough, so he decided to give this a try. After driving for someone else for years, 2 years ago he bought his own rig and drives exclusively under contract for a national carrier. It's the best thing he has ever done. He loves it. And the money is good.

                                    You have a wonderful attitude, which will carry you far. Hang in there - you are not alone.
                                    Member of My Balance is Poo Poo Clique


                                    • #19
                                      I'm so glad I read this thread. I was having a really bad day, another call from another bill past due......its so hard sometimes to keep optimistic. Paying rent late, board late, wondering how its all going to turn around.....I guess this thread makes me realize others are going through the same thing. What really makes me mad is the jerks who just don't understand, who won't cut you any slack.....they never had to go through it and they don't get it. Getting a part time job in addition to full time job in addition to leasing horse out....I know I could have it much worse, I keep saying at least I don't have to sell yet. Best of luck to everyone.


                                      • #20
                                        God doesn't give you anything you can't handle, just wish he didn't have so much faith in me! That's OK because it gave me faith in him!

                                        I really feel you have to have your struggles to make you appreciate the good times. Everyday I try to look for something little that makes my day...its not hard, I just look around and I know I am blessed. I'm trying to teach my daughter this little thing when she becomes Little MISS NEGATIVE NIKKI, who is 8. I know she won't get it until she has some of those hard struggles, I pray she doesn't have to learn the hard way, until then her Momma is here to point out the beauty in the world! I had to learn the hard way, maybe I can make it easier for her to learn it and get through the hard times a little quicker.

                                        I'm doin the Happy Dance for you all, sending good vibes your way!
                                        The View from Here