"Live a good life, and in the end, it’s not the years in the life, it’s the life in the years."

Wasn’t yet time to give up on my horse dream

By on December 22, 2019 in Outdoor Fun with 0 Comments
Melanie and Blackjack: A dream a long time coming.

By Melanie Schoonover

I was born with the horse gene, so they say. 

Ever since I can remember, I loved horses. 

As a child, it was the one thing I asked my parents for over and over again. Growing up in a family of seven kids, there just wasn’t any extra money for such an expensive indulgence. 

So, I found friends who had horses and managed to get quite a bit of riding in as a child. 

My dream of owning a horse never left me, even as an adult. Some of my absolute favorite vacations and experiences have involved horses. 

My intention was to get a horse in my retirement years, when working full time was behind me. Even though I’ve been retired for five years, there were other things that I needed to be available to do that took up my time. 

This year, with the death of my dad, all commitments were cleared and I was free to pursue my dream. I began actively looking at horses online and considering where to board one and the costs associated with their care. 

Important considerations in boarding was full care, trails to ride on and affordability. 

In my search, I just couldn’t seem to find the perfect fit. One day, I told my husband that I was just going to give up on my dream and find something else to do to fill my time. 

That afternoon, we decided to take our ATVs up in the mountains for a ride. We were about to turn around when I remembered a campground up ahead a few miles so suggested we ride to there and then turn around. 

As we pulled into the campground, it was empty, except for a horse trailer, two horses and a man and a woman, named Mike and Starla. I got off my ATV and went to chat with them. For some reason I shared my dream and that just that morning I had decided to give it up.

Long story short, Starla and Mike have a boarding facility that was just what I had been searching for, it was close to my home and they had a herd of horses and they were sure there was one in the herd that would be perfect for me. 

In a few days, I went out for a ride, met this beautiful Tennessee Walker, named Blackjack, and within a couple of weeks, he was being leased to me by Starla. 

I am living my dream now and have met so many wonderful people. 

Starla has a banner on her riding arena that says, “Stardust Ranch, where everyone is a star and dreams come true.” 

It is a slice of heaven and I am so grateful I have the chance to finally live my dream. 

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