At 48, is it too start living a dream? Update 2013!

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So fun to read and get to know you all. It's such a small world! My husband has always teased me that I enjoyed ground work and training and doo daaing he says, more than riding. So another reason the minis are a perfect fit. Besides, I have miniature chickens, raised miniature goats, miniatue dachsund, soo the tradition continues.

I also owned my own grooming shop for years and years until I went back to college.
I finally had time to read this entire thread and LOVE all of your stories, it is great hearing about all of you realizing your dreams and overcoming difficulties! I also am living my dream of being a stay at home horse mom and breeding and showing AMHA/AMHR horses. My parents definitely supported my love for horses that I got from my mom! My parents had horses before I was even born so I have been around them my whole life. We had anywhere from QHs to Paints to Paints and minis and POAs to just Paints and now only minis LOL! I always looked forward to getting married, having my own place, and of course my own herd of minis. Well I met the greatest guy in the world, we are now married, and have 38 minis. He has always supported me in my dreams and without him would be no where! I still have goals to fulfill but all of my biggest ones are met. I have several horses with show records now (mostly started by me) some I purchased with National and Local show records, and some I achieved their National titles on my own. I also have my first ever HOF that I completed all on my own with no help from a trainer. While I may be young, it did not take too many years to achieve my horse goals as I already had good knowledge of horses and also did lots of research to discover which bloodlines and what "type" I like. So I agree with everyone else that it is NEVER too late to live a dream!
Go for it!!! - great stories everyone. I grew up in Philadelphia and ever since I can remember always wanted a horse. when I got my first full time job ( in 1972) I got my first horse I was 19 yrs old she is still my heart horse (full size) had a ball with her trail riding and gaming shows.Boarded about an hour away in the suburbs outside of Phila. then in 1981 sold our horses as my son was born and life changed and had a chance to sell her to a friend. Went horseless for 12 years during that time my husband passed away and after a number of years on my own with my son still horseless .

I met and married my 2nd husband in 1996 we bought 24 acres and built a house and barn and did all the fencing ourselves (what a job)

and started a boarding business with about 16 stall boarders. That was alot of fun

(still full size horses) got our own horses again he had also previously had horses and were back to trail riding only. We grew most of our own hay. then in 2003 bought our first miniature gelding to learn to drive. Fell in love with miniatures The rest is history for us we are still on our 24 acres and have been breeding miniatures since 2004 and life is good we now have our farm for sale as we want less ground to take care of about 10 acres will be fine. I am now 60 years old and I love every bit of our life we only have 8 miniatures now 2 stallions and 6 mares - we have from 0-5 foals a year depending on the year. But I would have missed so much in my life had I not gotten back into horses.and the miniatures are a joy. we are careful not to let our #'s get to high as then it would be too much work again

our horses are in stalls every night but miniature stalls are so much easier to clean lol.

That's kinda my story ---I say go for it at 60 I'm not ready to slow down yet, yeah sometimes its hot out sometimes its cold but IMO I'm living my life as I love it . I can rest when I die.LOL

Keep us updated with your continuing story I loved hearing all the stories here
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My Goodness, Your title caught me. I haven't read the posts, but my goodness you young whippersnapper you have most of your life left to accomplish your dream. Go for it girl.
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HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE!!! Let me start by stating again how the comments each and every one of you have shared have touched me in a deep and spiritual level. Some of you have gone through things similar to me, some of you have been through things I can't even begin to imagine, and some of you are living where I want to go.

Riverdance--I understand the multiple marriages issue--been there and done that!! (Fidelity on HIS part was always the last straw
) Inspiring that you're continuing to live the dream after LITERALLY breaking your back. Definitely puts my physical stuff in perspective.

Mary--your perseverance as a breeder through painful foaling challenges, plus your focus on typey Sport-type miniatures, is what I gain from you. Also, starting new programs, like 4-H, that can leave a positive legacy is another thing I admire about you.

Kari--several things in common--being discouraged by family to even OWN horses. trying to make it work on rental properties (kept being told that only property owners have the RIGHT to own horses), then you lost 4 bred mares and later a filly--wowooI cant even begin to imagine the hurt...((((hhuuuugg)))) I’d rather dig my eyes out with a rusty fork. This quote is how I feel when I imagine having a life without horses, and doing anything else as a career.

MiniV--yes, that "burn is what I've got!! I'm already looking for numbers 2 & 3!!

Renolizzie--thank you for sharing and welcome to horses!!

Mistysmom--I appreciate you giving me an example of someone continuing to work with the horses even with arthritis...I do it all..just a little slower.

Muffntuff--Congrats on your Hall of Fame inductee!
That gives me even more hope that I can accomplish this dream, since you've done it in only 8 years!!

RE0--yes I'M GOING FOR IT!! With God's blessing, I'll have my own Pookas and Norts in the next 5 years!!

Susan O--so great to see perseverance paying off, and that I can make an impact in the time God gives me. Yes-everyone around me sees how much better my emotional, physical and spiritual health is with the horses involved.

Field-of-dreams, Supaspot and HGFarm--I already did that---it hasn't worked for me!!

happy appy--I appreciate every God-given gift both big and small, every day. He even blessed me with a GOOD man 3 years who supports me even though he doesn't understand me, and shows me by example every day what a loving, supportive family SHOULD be! I agree also, that it's much easier to defeat depression with horses than without. Last--my grandpa used to tell me "if you can't learn at something new EVERY DAY, then it's time to dig a hole, sit on the edge, and wait for them to push you've outlived you time and usefulness here."

Performancemini--May I please be just like your mom when I grow up???

Rubyview--my husband is beginning to understand I have this "curse"! Also, as an Army brat (my father was active-duty Army 14 1/2 years, he got out, six months later my MOTHER was active-duty Army!!) starting over is what I've always had to do. So inspiring to see others conquering and accomplishing the dream!!

Royal Crescent--thank you for sharing. You started at my age, and LOOK what you're doing.

Appcrazy. My husband supports me even though he doesn't understand the need for horses and has never once said it's stupid. As a matter of fact, stupid is a forbidden word in our household!!
Since I grew up hearing that--well--maybe now's the time God really wants me to go ahead and live my dream.

Melinda--that's what I needed to hear, that it didn't take too many years. Obviously there are plenty of opportuinties to succeed with FOCUS, DESIRE and RESEARCH...all traits I already have.

Lori--not too many horses, that was the lament I heard from the trainers I apprenticed with (both Arab and dog)--they had so many that they had to focus on client horses, and couldn't enjoy and develop the personal relationships with their own. The numbers you have also sound like what I could care for.

A short story insert here....Harlan Moehlmann was the Arab trainer that I apprenticed with. He bred/owned/trained National Champion Zarabo++. Harlan said many times that after Zarabo's win, he wished he could go back in time to the life he had with his horses leading up to that win. He was so intimately involved in the day-to-day with all of his horses...from the newest foal, to his broodmares, to his breeding stallions and show geldings. He told me that if I stayed SERIOUSLY interested in horses, to never loose that contact with my horses. In his opinion, I wasn't of the spiritual type to be "just a pro trainer"--I'm too empathetic with my horses and my clients. He told me to focus on small and high quality, and I'd be successful.

So here I am, on this thread, on this forum--receiving more support, inspirational messages, examples of conquests and success even with the most heartrending set-backs---what excuse can I give for not making an HONEST EFFORT to live this dream??!!

Usually y'all, I have no trouble expressing myself most eloquently in writing, but I must say that at this point I cannot communicate to you how humble I feel. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU
I will now put these on
review my 1, 3 and 5 year plans....and GET STARTED!!!
My Goodness, Your title caught me. I haven't read the posts, but my goodness you young whippersnapper you have most of your life left to accomplish your dream. Go for it girl.
Hi Renee---You posted while I was writing. Thank you for the support...I'll get to "whippersnappering" myself into gear right away!!
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Julie -

Such a shame we didn't actually talk before this weekend. I could have used a "partner" to go with me while I immerse myself in mini/pony driving for 2 whole days (plus a couple of hours). If you are into SHORT notice - I'm open and could pick you up on the way! I leave tomorrow after lunch - it's supposed to be a 5 hour drive from my place in Lillington to Aiken, SC. I can email some more info privately. I'm taking at least 5 ponies - may take 6. Will be hitching a pair and driving with instruction thru the woods with the South Carolina Carraiage Pony Club with Kathy Batchelor. Then attending the Sheppard's Purse ADT at Muffy Seaton's farm on Saturday - we thought I'd get my hooves wet by competing - but my little mare that qualified is very pregnant and her single harness doesn't fit, nor does she fit between the shafts of the single mini cart - ROFLMAO... I'm staying like bed & breakfast at Montmorenci Mini Milers farm - staying Thursday nite, Friday nite & Saturday nite. Originally I'd only planned on 2 overnites, but I can't get up early enuff to drive that far and be ready and safely alert for a 1030 drive time with a pair.

If short notice doesn't work, no problems. Can't wait until we get to meet on Monday!!!!!!!!! Love this thread - some of these stories parrallel mine, some are so different it puts my "life of ease" to shame
- putting the difficulities that I've experienced into good perspective. Guess everyone's lives are different and we all need dreams to keep us going and others to occasionally prop us up or just to give us inspiration.

To speak with others who also have done what you are looking to do - Jim & Mary Frazier of Blue Blazes Minis right here in NC is someone you need to meet. Besides they are fun to talk with! I haven't had the chance to meet them (I don't think? - may have seen them w/o knowing whom they were at a show this summer), but really look forward to it.

Have to go get the new lawnmower unstuck, so I'll be back...
Hi Paula...thanks for the invite! Send the details, please!! I'll also give you a call at about 8...Julie

I believe life is more than just coincidences and that God guides me (sometimes I just don't recognize, read or see the signs...silly me! LOL) I just received an email blast with a quote by Joan of Arc:


Because of all the encouragement, sharing of deeply personal and intimate details, and examples of personal triumphs everyone has so generously shared, I truly feel that receiving this quote at this time is God's way of telling me I have his approval to persue my dream.

I ran quick and printed it up as an inspirational hangs in front of me as I write. I know this will not be an easy journey, I have tremendous amounts to learn and it will require sacrifices...yet I am SO EXCITED to get started.

Thank you so much my forum friends for your generousity. We'll see you all on the journey! (((Hhhuuuuuggg))) Julie
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Well---SNAP!!!! I just spent 10 minutes composing an update---and it crashed instead of posting!!
Naughty, Naughty computer!!

Anyway, what I SAID was something along these lines:

During the last couple of weeks, I've connected with a long-time breeder (Stacy Score of Mountain Meadows) who has agreed to be one of my mentors. I've also got another breeder/ammy trainer in AZ that I'm developing a relationship with.

Paula (paintponylvr) and I had quite a nice visit, and may be doing quite a few things together in the future. I'd like to think we will both learn from each other, and that by working together we can both receive many benefits...Thank you Paula...

I've also got the 1/3/5 year plans roughed out. For anyone with any me and I'd be happy to share. The more ideas, input and constructive criticisms I receive the better.

I would like for you all to know, as well, how very much I appreciate being so warmly welcomed into this forum. It is truly an honor to be accepted and to receive so much well thought out advice. Hopefully I too have things to offer that someone can learn from. I can't wait to continue my journey with everyone here, either in person or cybernetically!! Julie

ETA: As you all can see, even as we speak Debbie has updated my forum name to Dragons Wish Farm. Proactive...that's what I am!!! LOL
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Hello some more y'all!!


Weeelll, as I looked back through the things I've done while pursuing my dream this year, I know that overall I've made progress. I decided to wait until November, the THANKFUL month, to do my big update, even though some of the major changes occurred in September.

After much prayer and discussion, I sold Casper (AMHR Total Chaos Casper) to a 4H/FFA home at the end of September. When they came to look at him, it was dusk. I set up our obstacle course, which includes the following:

  • Tarp between two poles as a waterfall
  • Tarp on the ground between two 8" raised boards as a river
  • Boards raised 4" that are 8" wide on either side of the tarp as balance beams
  • A 36" square platform raised 12" to do pivots on top of
  • Four 18" cross-pole jumps
  • Two gate-type jumps set at 24" (we also sidepassed over these)
  • Teeter-totter
I was soooo proud of him!!!
I hadn't worked him for several weeks on the whole course but you wouldn't have known he wasn't working every day!! The son was very timid, Casper stayed calm and tried to do everything the boy asked, even when his directions weren't clear. The experienced mom gave me the ultimate compliment...she called him "push-button"!! Not bad for an 11 year old stallion that had only been used for breeding before he came to me.

We did childrens parties, where he dressed-to-theme and entertained to stories written (by me) unique to each child and theme. We did a couple of community service events. After each event I did a review, what went well and where could I improve. What I learned at the community service events was that even a 35" horse that is draft-built can be a little scary to timid people!

Casper's biggest accomplishment was wooing my husband--the non horse person--into an interest in horses. Comments like "horses are for men and dogs are for women" made me soooo very happy!! He even admitted he missed Casper, and said "two horses are okay, but not two anything else that eats." Since Casper was cremello, can you guess what color one of the new horses will need to be???

So after all this, going back to my business plan actually played an important role in decision making. Casper was not stallion quality (he was scheduled to be gelded on 10/07, I gave the new owners the information so that they could keep the date if they wanted to.) I had learned that for community service, smaller would be better in some instances. I had accomplished my training goals with Casper. My showing goals could be accomplished with him at a local level, but being on a little budget required me to assess his suitability and competitiveness at even just the regional level...and he didn't fit. If I am to be able to stay on track with the breeding goals, I need my stallion to fit the conformation criteria as well, and Casper didn't. It was VERY, VERY tough to acknowledge this, and send him to an appropriate home. I did it though!

As of this writing, I have a couple of things in the works for 2014. Paula at LP Painted Ponys has been very generous with sharing, and we'll keep working together. There may be a surprise delivery the early part of December, if it's God's plan for transport to work out.

Paula at LP Painted Ponys is doing a couple of parades in December, I'll be helping her with those. She also has a clinic planned, I'll be at that as well.

I'm working on the calendar for 2014, and will be attending the ECMHC events, as well as State Fair. I may even work in some ASPC shows!! Honey made the mistake of saying two was okay, so I'll get one of each size! In the meantime, I'm going to be looking at sponsoring one of the fosters at Chance's Miniature Horse Rescue.

I have always been a believer, and known that God's active in my life even when I don't recognize it. I'd asked Him to help me be more aware, and to allow me to recognize His desire's for me in a more timely manner. At every step of the way, He has done so. A couple of things didn't work out the way I thought they would, one even cost quite a bit of money with nothing in my hand! I knew that I just needed to keep on trusting though. That's why I kept all of my training equipment, tack, trimming tool, etc. when Casper left. I was "told" to refine my business plan, and be ready to start the next things with the business in March of 2014. At the beginning of September, March seemed far, eeeeyyyeeeahhhh....not so much!

I've spent quite a lot of time on my "pity pot" the last couple of months, and I've realized after stepping on the scale that I need to STOP IT RIGHT NOW. I've too many great opportunities available, and too many talents, to waste the gifts I've been given. That just makes me an ungrateful person.

I've been lurking all year. I follow the threads, just haven't commented. Please know that the trials you've all had this year, and the thoughtful ways you've worked around them have been noticed and utilized. I've cried for you and prayed for you and celebrated with you...each one who's posted. I've learned so many useful things, and used what I've learned to be a better trainer. I even keep a farm notebook, where I annotate training ideas and ask myself questions, and make comments to myself about things I'd like to incoporate into my program.

I thank you all, and am looking forward to how we all negotiate 2014.

A big hug to all who've taken the time to read this whole update. Drop me a note any time!!

I took the time to read it. I have faith that you'll reach your goals & your dreams
Yes, you have been given good advice. My Mom said i was born wanting a horse (in the middle of Cleveland). i slept with my picture of me on a pony . however, i was 39 when i got my first horse. I had bad luck with big horses. wasn't a good rider and no teachers around so i fell off a number of times. i rode and owned a variety of horses looking for the right one. In 2006 i bought my first mini. That was it. i tried to raise them, heartbreaking. I started to get arthritis in my spine and knees. i was in pain a lot. couldn't take care of them anymore. I sold all my minis and horses and bought a spotted saddle horse that was gaited. this spring i realized that i just couldn't ride anymore either.

i looked on Craigslist a lot. one day i saw where some people had a few mini geldings for sale. Trained to drive and street safe. I went out to see them Mind you I am 71 now. Starting over. I still had my Lignite cart and a couple harness' here. I brought Charlie ( in my avatar) home. It's awesome. I still get sore and painful, but now it is worth it. I get to drive and play with my little gentlemen. He seems to know i am fragile . We go camping and driving and have a wonderful time. I can vouch for "IT'S NEVER TOO LATE". These 3 months have been the BEST. GO GIRL!!!!!!
Forty-eight must be a magic number...I'm 48, and have always wanted a horse, all my life. I was the little girl who wanted a pony. Was raised in the country, but my parent's didn't want any sort of farm my dismay. So just lived my life, drooling over horses, but never ever getting to be totally near one. That all changed on my 48th birthday. Took a couple riding lessons, but those didn't work out for me. Found out, that at 48 you go thud, and don't bounce. LOL So, I took a long look at what I was wanting from a horse, and that is the close relationship, so I thought, why couldn't I have that with a smaller horse? I could cart train it, and that would be just as I went looking for a mini. At the time, there wasn't very many available in my area. I wasn't worried about showing, so being registered didn't matter to me. I also knew, I wasn't going to be breeding. On March 7, 2013, I went to see Halo. It was love at first site. Her and I just clicked. So I paid to have her trailered to where I was going to board her. We've had a rough start, as even though I loved her right off, I had to earn her respect, and my confidence was very low. But starting this summer, we made great progress and have come a long way since the beginning of September, especially. I have recently started working our way to ground driving and someday, I will have my cart horse, one whom I love with all my heart. I had lost my Dad back in Oct. 2012, and having Halo to concentrate on, has helped me a lot...also, my husband has fallen for her, and he helps me and has been by my side the whole time. He and I have become a lot closer. God gave her to me...and I feel very blessed. I am so thankful, I took the plunge and decided to make a dream of mine happen. Someday, I hope to be able to have her with us...we live in town right now, and they won't allow a mini in our backyard...too bad too. That would be awesome!
I am going to be different than most of you. I NEVER wanted a horse. I did ride one as a teenager and it took off with me on it's back. Being totally inexperienced, I managed to hang on till it stopped and did not ever want to do that again. The minis were something my father in law wanted so I agreed to help with them. I did enjoy the little ones so I grew attached. I still was pretty sure I would not drive since that would be giving the horse too much control. I have gotten past that long ago and now love to drive. I still don't like any animal that is tall enough to look me in the eye, but I have gotten better about that with a couple of our shetlands. My dream is to have only a few that I can spend more time with. They will all need to be able to drive and allow a saddle to take young people riding on them. Mostly they will be in the miniature over division (33" to 38"). We now have too many and it is hard to find homes for them so I will keep them until the suitable home makes itself known. We have the means to keep them so I won't just dump them anywhere.

I would also love to be able to announce miniature and Shetland shows. I love being an announcer--I love working with the people and the officials. My dream is to be able to do that for at least 8 or 10 shows a year. I am working on that one.

Actually, in my opinion, if I quit dreaming, I will probably die. Dreams keep us young.
Hey....thanks for more comments!! Wasn't expecting that. I will be looking to download the "doubt kills more dreams" to hang up at home.

I don't get to post as often as I'd like. Most of that is due to not coming into town to use the WIFI. (My husband is from El Salvador, and he can't see the additional cost at home when he realized that his hard earned tax dollars allow me access at the library!!

An additional comment on the "doubt kills more dreams".....assumption does that even more. The example:

I haven't been working outside the home in quite a long time. I made enough doing events this last year to support my business. Since I'm now starting over, with bigger goals, I'll be supplementing with outside income. (Anyone who has work from home positions that are legit, PLEASE PM ME ASAP!!) I've often felt guilty about doing any unnecessary driving--meaning things that weren't directly connected to signing an event contract or buying necessities, like food--because I felt like I wasn't earning the money myself, so needed to be as careful as possible.

Imagine my surprise when I sat my husband down this last week
and actually said "This is what I want to do, and this is how I need to get it." He was so shocked that I had been limiting myself because I didn't want to burn too much gas. So, we're renegotiating our relationship, rearranging our budget, and I can keep on keeping on with my plans.

My faulty assumption was that I needed to curtail trips into town (we're only talking 10 miles folks!) to keep our costs down. My guilt for not contributing in a "traditional" manner was causing me unnecessay stress, and stress to my husband because he knew something was wrong, but not what.

Truly, I do thank God every day, that I'm being given this opportunity. Ido my best to be a credit to both God and my husband for their sacrifices.

I will still be doing a whole bunch of lurking. On the other hand, you'll be seeing much more posting as well. Might even get to wishing I'd go back to how things were!!

Thanks again,

No! It is not too late. Never say you can't because you're 90, 60, 30, or 12. However, my most sincere and kindest and most truthful self would suggest that you start slow. Maybe with one show horse, then decide to grow. The biggest detriment is getting too big too fast. I think your health will thank you if you reduce what you think you can do and want to do in half. I fully believe you can greatly shorten your lifespan when you increase your workload too much too quickly. Even when you have a supportive spouse you need to be sensitive to your needs and his.
It is definitely not to late to live your dream and all your idea's of what you would like to do are good ones. Plus you are not old at 48, I am 46 and plan on having horses for as long as I can. I started living my dream at age 7 lol I begged my mom for my first pony and got a little shetland pony named Jingle Bells for my Birthday. I have had horses and ponies and mini's ever since. First started with the riding, but now just drive the horses. I only own minis now, I find them easier to take care of with just as much enjoyment. So I say live your dreams, train, show and breed mini's and have fun!
Nice to "see" you again
I'm not sure how I missed this post last year, but it was a fun read! I was 43 when I started my journey down the path of horse ownership and miniature horses. I have learned and grown *so* much in the last 4.5 years. It's beyond crazy! And my "they're nothing but a waste of space, hay burners!" husband loves each and everyone of them as much as I do. Without his help (i.e., heavy lifting, manual labor efforts), I wouldn't be able to do this at all. He sees needs and even when I don't recognize they exists, he takes care of them. Case in point? Last week, he ran electric and installed a set of flood lights on the end of one of our buildings. It gets so dark here right now at 5pm that having that light available (it shines into the dry lot and pasture area) is a godsend. And I didn't even know I needed it until I saw how much light it provided and how far that light went.

Good luck with your new plans for 2014. I have a lot of plans myself next year. Lots of pushing forward into uncharted territory. I'm both excited and scared
Jess-Bentley...I agree completely. That's been the lament of many trainers and breeders I've respected over the years. It's one of the main (well.....really....THE main) reasons I use side panels and haul in the truck. I can fit more minis in a trailer!! LOL

I very much appreciate everyone's support. Now I need a little help...please say a few prayers that I earn what I would like to in the next 30 days. I know prayer works (whatever your belief system in a grander power is) and I'd appreciate the extra help. It's business related, and is a vote of confidence from someone. I'll share details as we flesh them out.

Jingle, jingle, jingle and feel free to shares your plans for 2014!!


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