Eleventy-seven Years Later

To some, my most recent “glorious moment” may seem more like a molehill than a mountain, but for me, it was an overwhelming and joyous occasion.

Many years ago, after having taken up horse breeding, I dreamed of a special steed for myself…a filly of gold. I already had the horse of a lifetime in my wonderful “Dolly”, but as a breeder, I set before myself the goal of creating a custom ride. Not only, would this ‘dream horse’ be what I wanted in the way of temperament and ease of training, but she would be a she and she would wear a coat of gold. Before we go any further, let me just say that one of the most important aspects of goal setting is to have realistic ones – which for me has always been a challenge. My motto: “Why work your way to the middle?” Sounds lofty, positive and inspired, doesn’t it? Well, maybe so, but it sure isn’t an easy row to hoe.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch…I bred for a filly of gold twice and the 50/50 chance that genetic dice playing produced, well, I got skunked on both rolls. Ok, now we’ve chalked up 5 years of crop failure, so to speak. Both foals were healthy and lovely in every way but they weren’t gold. And, we can add shame to the equation. I was ashamed that I was disappointed in two gorgeous foals just because they were the wrong color. Vanity, I was guilty as charged. So, I dismissed the dream horse idea and that field of dreams was left fallow…sort of.
Years later, I purchased a beautiful buckskin mare that offered me another opportunity to play with golden genetics. My stallion and the mare were an ideal match in every other way as well. So, the mating occurred, but with a hitch. I promised myself I would be happy with whatever the outcome and it was a truth I honestly believed.
The day of delivery came eleven months later – then add 10 years of waiting too. I could scarcely believe my eyes. In the dark, at one in the morning, my flashlight was telling me I had a Palomino FILLY. Did I do a happy dance around my sombrero? No, I felt humbled. I wept. I was reminded in that moment that although I let go of a silly dream, the good Lord heard it instead as a ‘heart prayer’. In His time, not my own, I was given the desire of my heart. When my head and my heart were on the same page and dancing in time with the right attitude…my dream came true.
My golden darling wore a name I had saved for her during all those years of waiting. My grandfather was the last of the cavalry and in his old age, he still whistled “She Wore A Yellow Ribbon”…while he gardened or tinkered in his workshop. And so it was, she was registered as such and nicknamed “Ribbon”.
But, this phase of the dream wasn’t the momentous occasion I’m writing about. The full-circle experience is yet to come, actually, but it began last week with Ribbon wearing saddle leather for the first time! My ultimate goal was, as I said earlier, a custom ride. I need a willing and safe ‘pardner’ for ranch work and I can say that part of my plan was positively practical. But, my love of beauty hankered for a “classy chassis”. I love a beautiful horse. To me, there is nothing in God’s creation more exquisite than equine beauty. And, last week I was blessed far beyond my little dream. Ribbon let me tack her up and work with her on her first day of “kindergarten” with incredible ease and a ‘heart of gold’. I’m not bragging, I’m blessing!
My custom tailored gift from above is the one I need to remember when I have a bad day, a worrisome day, a day of grief, a day of disappointment or just a ‘loser’ of a day. When I find myself in the mud puddles of life, I hope I remember the many times I’ve slid down the rainbow and landed hip deep into a kettle of golden coins. And then, I will be blessed yet again with comfort and the promise of better days and dreams to come. I hope my little story is two things for you … a story you can relate to in your own unique life, and perhaps an encouragement…if you happen to be holding on to an old dream. Maybe your dream is just waiting for you to make your way there.

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  1. Rene' says:

    Thanks for sharing that story! It gives me great inspiration to hold fast to my dream of some day owning my own little patch of farm ground where I can have a few horses of my own. Somehow I have faith that the day will come, I just pray that I am not too old to appreciate it when it happens. Thanks again, beautiful!

  2. Michele Hieb says:

    shery …I love the spring and all that comes with it…your baby colt is beautiful …can’t wait to meet her in person:)

  3. Debbie says:

    Shery,
    What a beautiful gift you gave yourself! I love your message…about holding on to "old" dreams…I guess some dreams have to float around out in the ether’s for a while before they come home to roost! :)
    I too have faith that one day my horses are out there waiting for me to arrive at just the right time for them! Did I mention that at least one of them is a Golden Palomino?

    Deb ( who hears bare-foot horse hooves in her dreams )

  4. Kathy says:

    What a pretty girl! And she looks to be so healthy and strong. Congratulations.

  5. Sheri,
    Your sharing is such a blessing.
    hugz

  6. Cindy says:

    What a beautiful story! Thank-you!

  7. Vicki says:

    Congrats on your little miracle. She is beautiful.

  8. Reba says:

    You truly are blessed! And the heart of gratitude comes through in what you say; you said it so well!! Ribbon is absolutely beautiful. Thanks for reminding me to hold onto my dreams.

  9. Julie says:

    She is absolutely beautiful! Thank you for sharing your blessing with us. I love reading your blogs. You always inspire me so much!

  10. Susan says:

    I was so moved by your story. We are anxiously awaiting the birth of two Rocky Mountain foals due in April. My mare is bred to an outstanding black stallion named Dartanian. I’m hoping for a little black filly. The anticipation is killing me!!!! I pray all goes well. I pray for you during your training process. It appears you have really gotten what every horsewoman dreams of — a safe and remarkable riding companion.

  11. RanchFarmgirl says:

    Hi all you farmgirls, I just wanted to let YOU know how much YOU inspire ME. It is so thoughtful of you to take the time to leave comments and I love reading about YOUR lives. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for stopping by to visit and for your private emails also. Shery J

  12. Lorrie Gray says:

    I loved this story, I’m a Morgan horse owner too, and your horses are typey and gorgeous. Congratulations on your beautiful filly. I hope to find a gaited buckskin morgan – I understand your wish for color! Good blog – I always enjoy reading it.

  13. Jenn says:

    Shery, your writing makes me weep. I think all farmgirls have felt what you have so magnificently put to pen. Thanks for the inspiration!

  14. Karin says:

    Thank you for your beautiful message. What a beautiful gift. I really needed the encouragement. We bought a log home and 200 acres (nothing but timber and a few fields). My brother was guiding us into making it a place for us and hopefully in the future a place for children to come and experience organic farm life. He died two weeks ago at 54 and now I am lost. How and what and to do next? Thank you so much for your message.

  15. Shirley says:

    Good Day
    I just came in from going to look at a horse that I am considering purchasing…I am looking to buy my first horse at 51 years old. She is a Tennessee walker. I will be going back after lunch to ride her and see if we are a good match. Your story and testimony brought tears to my eyes and I just wanted to say thank you for sharing. God Bless you…I see He already has

  16. Deb says:

    This is the most wonderful story! Made my day. I was practically moved to tears – just goes to show that hard work and a dream are worth the wait – and wait – and wait. I do love Palamino, and Ribbon is a lover – that’s for sure!

    XO to my fellow WY cowgirl buddy!

  17. Bonnie Ellis says:

    Sherry, Dreams do come true because God is good. You also learned the beauty of EVERY horse in your care. They are ALL special. Happy Trails. Bonnie

  18. Mari Reyes says:

    Farm Girls, I love reading your comments. Sheri you are blessed, and to Shirley my sincere condolences for the loss of your brother. Hang in there! Good things will come. Marie

  19. Cora Jo says:

    Shery, That was beautiful and reminded me that dreaming "out of the box…or stall" is norm for us "farm" types…and needs to continue. She is a beaut for certain. Reminded me of my own Bluebell of many moons back. Thanks for taking time to introduce us all to Ribbon and to your faith in the unknown. You rock…as my granddaughter says.

  20. Carol McElroy says:

    Wonderful pictures! What a nice story, a wonderful message. Your horse is beautiful, and I loved the delivery pictures. Thank you for sharing these, Carol

  21. Christine Cronin says:

    Shery,
    This blog entry came at a perfect time for me. I just came home yesterday from a horsemanship retreat. I don’t own horses yet but it is a childhood dream I am working on fulfilling. The most amazing time for me came a few days ago during my first experience in the round pen. I did the "horse whispering thing" and when the horse looked at me with both eyes and then I turned and could hear his footsteps behind me I was nearly moved to tears. It was amazing! Thank you for your inspiring entries in this blog. I love every one of them.

  22. Debbie says:

    I just have to comment one more time here! So many wonderful words here from all the farmgirls! I too would like to extend my condolences to Shirley.

    And to Deb for inspiring me… I’m 48 and still waiting for my " dream ride".. I know he/she’s out there…all in good time…

    Cora Jo, you hit the nail on the head…We " farmgirls" do seem to dream out of the box!
    It IS just the norm isn’t it?

    To Shery, thanks for all your wonderful words here and for sharing so many of your wonderful and unique Ranch experiences !
    Deb~

  23. Becky says:

    What an amazing story! You will never know how much you helped me when I read that. I was all but ready to give up on a dream I have had and now I have a renewed faith and I am not going to give up. Thanks for the reminder that it is God’s timing for some things to happen.

  24. RanchFarmgirl says:

    Hi again from little ole me, I’m awed by all of your varied comments and so tickled that some of you took encouragement with you after reading it. I was deeply moved by Shirley’s note. Shirley, I hope your heart heals over time – I bet that finishing what you and your brother worked on together will help. He would be so proud of you for finding a way to follow your dream. I foresee a beautiful outcome…just follow a path of faith until you get there. Be comforted in the love your brother left behind for you and maybe gather strength from it. My heart goes out to you. Shery J

  25. Tracy says:

    Sherry,
    Thank you for sharing this lovely story of almost lost dreams. The foal is amazingly beautiful!
    My dream for years, though almost forgotten, buried, let go…has been reborn. A log home! This dream is coming true in the midst of a 25 year marriage that my husband has decided to bring to an end. It is my earthly father who is making this possible, thus bringing my dream to life and my precious Heavenly Father, who has never left me nor forsaken me, that is whispering in my ear that I am loved.

    Blessings,
    Tracy

  26. Meg says:

    What a special blessing from the Lord!

  27. Linda says:

    Thank you for the wonderful story. And congratulations on your girls. I just know she will be all you dreamed for and more. Our Father always outdoes our dreams. I am a former Morgan horse breeder and trainer. Where I live has turned into a resort town and all of the farms are being developed and the farmers leaving because they can’t afford the taxes. We had to let our farm go because it was on the ski mountain and the taxes were out of site. We leased a place for a while and I studied dressage and still trained horses. Now at age 65 and my husband 70, I don’t believe we will be starting over again. But I know I had the best – my dream horse was a dark horse with light mane and tail. I found it when I bought a 6 month old colt, the grandson of Jubilee King. He turned out to be a dark chestnut with a flaxen mane and tail and the best horse ever – more than I had dreamed for.

  28. Dear Shery,
    Love your blog! I too have a special place in my heart for a Palomino. When I was in high school, my father brought home a mare. We called her Golden Lady (Goldie). She was my 4-H project and after that raised some "color" from her. After saying goodbye to her so long ago, I feel God has given me another gift…a Palomino mare we call Promise. God knows our hearts…and He does bless. (Hebrews 11:6) For me, patience is such a hard part of life. Thanks for sharing. Your horses are beautiful!

  29. Vicki Borders says:

    Dear Shery,
    Today I read your blog for the lst time…I’m new to Mary Jane’s Farm, but not new to being and loving being a farmgirl. My very lst horse and the love of my life was Captain Fox, a government bred Morgan who lived to be 39 years old. I thought all horses were like Captain, until I owned a number of them through the years and loved them all, but never quite found one who measured up to dear Captain. Life happened and we had to be city/suburb folks for a number of years and I never thought I’d see life on a farm again. God was good though, and we had a great life, but then, suddenly, life happened again and we made a move, my husband made a job change and we ended up on a farm again! God outdid Himself this time, as it’s just such a special place…we call it Full Circle Farm, because we’ve come full circle in our lifestyle, and in so very many other amazing ways. Anyways, on the note of Captain….I began giving riding lessons here at Full Circle, and we have 11 horses, all of them oh, so special. There’s a mare, Sassy, who we acquired, and she was to be a school horse. She did well for awhile, but then began to balk and fuss and buck and I knew she’d not make a school horse. I pulled her from my program and began to work with her myself. She’s a buckskin and dappled and just so gorgeous, and…"sassy"! Little did I know that she would become "that horse"!! I would have never known it, had she not started acting up and letting me know she wanted to be a "mama’s girl" only. Now, we are so bonded, it’s not funny. I turned 57 this year, and God has given me this special girl with our special relationship…total trust in each other and knitted hearts…full circle, like the Captain and I once were. How merciful of our Lord to do this for me, after all these years! I love all of our horses, but He gave me a reason not to feel too guilty for keeping one out just for me! I’m going to love your blogs! Bless u and thanks so much!

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