After Job had prayed for his friends, the LORD restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before. ~ Job 42:10
The last horse I owed, I was gifted. After high school, my equestrian team coach had purchased an MSU Arabian that the students referred to as a big dumb animal- no one had been able to stay on him. She asked me to work with and show him. It was amazing for me to get the experience but also have a horse and all the horse fun without the bills. Our first year showing, we qualified for nationals- and then I got pregnant. Two years later, he was gifted to me as a wedding present. I kept him for several years- even after we gave up our house. Eventually, I had to give him up to.
I was working with horses everyday to make my living and I loved it. There was one horse that came to us in about 2013. He was a sweet 3 year old trotter that was so easy to love. Well behaved, gorgeous, sensible and fun. His name was Five Towns- but I called him Bruce. Our first race with Bruce was the 5th race and he drew the 5 post position- AND he won. We raced him quite successfully for a couple years and then he was sold. And I decided that one day, I would bring him home to retire with me.
Fast forward to August 2019 when I found Bruce's current trainer on Facebook and asked how he was doing and why he hadn't been racing. He had sustained an injury and was getting some much needed time off. I checked in again at Christmas time and waited to see him back racing in March of 2021- he didn't enter until the end of April...
The day finally came that we would get to see the mystery house. We had received the address the night before and google earthed it- but that was all. When I was at work that day, I couldn't get Bruce not racing out of my mind- so I messaged his trainer. I found out he didn't race because of another injury... and he told me that if I wanted him- I could have him!
Even though Bruce was in Saratoga, NY and I was in Michigan AND I didn't even have a house for my family, I immediately started making calls and finding him a ride home. Getting him home was filled with blessings- thanks to many amazing horse people, Bruce made the trip for $200 instead of the standard $1500 (but I didn't work all that out at once- it took 2 weeks to get him home).
After an amazing afternoon finding out that Bruce was mine and coming home, we went to see the mystery house. The house itself was small, but frankly, exactly right for us. The barn area was overgrown and the fences weren't safe for horses. The garage was a good size.... and it was over 10 acres. After all of the houses that we had seen, it was very apparent that this one was for us.
So we made an offer- and because this house wasn't even on the market, there was no bidding war- it was just ours. We closed on the house on June 15th and allowed the seller to stay in the house 30 days after close. During those 30 days, my husband completely rewired the electrical in the barn. My grandfather drove his tractor over and brush hogged the pastures. My dad loaned us the machinery needed to more easily clean out the barn and move fence posts. My daughters weed whipped and helped to run fence lines. Friends came to help move doors and completely transform the barn area.
And once we moved in- with nothing major needing to be done in the house or garage, I get to enjoy the view from my kitchen and patio:
We still haven't even explored half of our property. As I write this (and anytime I sit and look at this view), I can't help but to get a tear in my eye and become overwhelmed with gratitude. I swear we were given more than double what we lost just over 10 years ago. Every single one of my heart's desires have been granted to me. I was given this gift and you can be sure I will be using it to serve others.
Since moving in 2 weeks ago today, we have all started to settle in and while it still feels surreal at times, it is home ❤ Our four dogs are more at home and comfortable than I have ever seen them. Bruce is living it up and loving life.