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The Power of Four

As many of you know, I oversee the workings of two farms. Dusty Dog Farm, a 35 horse (give or take depending on season and year) boarding and training facility and Elm Farm, home to Cooper's Crossroad outdoor programs and 11 four legged friends. 

This dual role is relatively new in my life and to be honest and in recognition of employees and volunteers, the "actual" work is done by amazing staff in both locations. 

The role has been complicated, fun, engaging, hard, and filled with joy. I get huge privileges...many of which I don't recognize until time has slipped by. At the meat of it, is the privilege of being with horses and humans in an educational, healthy and healing way. As a garnish, I see growth all the time. Again I often do not recognize it at the moment. Joyful moments slip by and in an instant, a time warp whiplash happens. 

I see growth in ability to ride, growth in skills surrounding horses... and humans.

Growth in leadership.

Growth in courage and compassion.

Physical growth.

Emotional growth. 

Education slips by.

Graduations happen.

A student is 8 then 18, in the blink of an eye. 

As a riding instructor I have developed wonderful and unique relationships with students over time. Based on a mutual love of the equine species, a desire to learn as much as possible about them and a dash of competitive edge, it is an engaging and mutually beneficial relationship.

2023 was a year of change at Dusty Dog Farm. 

2023 is the year THE FOUR left the farm to stretch their own wings. 

Generally kids move on to adulthood at a slow trickle. However this year felt like a flood. 

The FOUR: Ali, EG, Sophia and Brooke, grew up at the farm, spending every spare moment doing ANYTHING horse related. They took weekly lessons, rode on the riding teams, worked, helped with holiday chores, celebrated birthdays and festivities, laughed, cried and GREW at DDF. They went from adorable to stunning. And just as with the four legs of a horse or the four corners of a house, each was a support to the whole. The hierarchy was fluid and the bonds strong. 

Brilliant individuals, they have moved on to their own chosen paths throughout the country.

The echoes of their presence lingers, my heart strings pull, but I have learned the secret of four, and no doubt they will recognize it when reunited.

With gratitude for witnessing the years of the FOUR.

May you see the power of four.

With time warp joy, Christina

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