Originally Posted: July 05, 2011

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Bronwyn’s Choice: both

Dreams Are Forever

Since I was eight, I’ve held the same dream close to my heart. Most people would think that a young girl would only dream about their perfect wedding. Plenty of my classmates would hold “weddings” on the playground, but that has never been my biggest dream. What could trump a little girl’s tendency to fantasize about their future wedding? For me it is horses.

When I was eight, I started working for a horse trainer. I knew then, I wanted to have my own horse training center. But it wasn’t going to be any old training center. It would be on land that bordered places where the wild mustangs lived. I wanted to be able to ride my horse to the edge of my property and watch the mustangs. Or even better, the mustangs would come on to the property and wander near the house.

Twenty-five years later, I still hold on to that dream with a death grip. The years between eight and twenty, it is so easy to believe that you will fulfill that dream you always had. Everyone is encouraging and keep saying “You can do it!”. What they never tell you is how to achieve that dream. No one ever gives you a road map. No one puts you on a yellow brick road to that dream. I discovered when I was twenty that I had no idea, and no income to make my dream a reality once I graduated from college with my degree in Equine Science.

I graduated from college with my shiny Bachelor’s of Science degree and no horse job. Over the past eight years, I have been floundering around. For a short time, I gave up on my dream, until I met an amazing man named Pat Parelli. He reminded me why I wanted to work with horses. But even after that meeting, I’ve been treading water, not really attempting to fulfill my dream. I keep giving myself excuses.

At least until today. Today, I was gifted with a big surprise. My grandmother passed away a few years ago, but for some reason my mom waited until now to tell me that grandma set up an account in my name that she put money in regularly. Grandma told my mom that it was money to help me achieve my dream. But do I use it for that or do I use the money to pay off my school loans and other bills. After getting the call from my mom, I called my friend, Melissa, to see if she wanted to meet for lunch.

We decided to meet at a local Chinese restaurant. As always, we had a wonderful chat. Then I told her about the money from my grandma.

“You’re opening your training center.” Melissa stated. We have been best friends since eighth grade. She was the only person I ever showed my drawings of my dream barn. Even more than my husband, she knew how much my dream meant to me.

“I don’t know. I think I should use the money for my bills.” I saw her roll her eyes. “You know, be a responsible adult.”

“But that is not what the money was set aside for.” Melissa reached across the table and laid her hand on mine. “This is your chance to make Outlaw Farm a reality.” She pulled back her hand and tossed a fortune cookie at me. “Now open that and let’s see if Confucius agrees with me.”

I shook my head and opened the plastic wrap around the cookie. I was suddenly overwhelmed with trepidation. What if the cookie didn’t offer any advice.

Get a grip, Amanda. I told myself. It’s just a stupid cookie.

I gently broke the cookie in half and pulled out the slip of paper. I didn’t look at it, but held it up for Melissa to read. “What does it say?” I asked her.

“Oh my.” She said after reading the paper. “If that isn’t a sign, I don’t know what one looks like.”

“What does it say?”

“It says ‘Don’t be pushed by your problems. But led by your dreams’.”

Melissa smiled. “In bed.”

I rolled my eyes at her addition to the fortune. It’s a game we’d been playing since we first met. “Amanda, it says that you should use that money from your grandma to open Outlaw Farm.”

Not entirely convinced, I shoved the piece of paper in to my pocket. I still needed to talk to my husband about the news and we would decide together what to do. After lunch, Melissa and I went our separate ways. Melissa had to head back to work. On my way back home, I drove by the large property where I always wanted to put Outlaw Farm. I stopped on the side of the road and just looked at the property.

It had a large barn, a cute ranch style house, an outdoor arena, and plenty of large oak trees to provide shade. It had been abandoned for a few years and needed some work, but it would be great for a small training center. As I sat there, I could imagine the horses in the paddocks and people riding in the arena. Just as I got ready to pull away, I saw a gray mare and her foal crest the small hill behind the house. As I watched, the two walked over to the house and started eating the grass under one of the big oak trees.

At that moment, I knew what to do. I would use the money from my grandmother to buy that property and open Outlaw Farm. Now, I just needed to tell my husband.