Like a lot of people who read horse blogs, I’ve been a horse lover since I was a kid. I tried to convince my folks that if our yard was big enough for four kids, two cats, and our Siberian Husky, it was big enough for a horse. A little horse? A pony? They were not impressed with any of my well-reasoned arguments, though my favorite auntie did say she would get me a horse if I could find a purple one. I found many a “purple” one but apparently she had a keener eye for color and alas, no horse for this city kid.

Fast forward, through the 70s with Western Pleasure riding lessons and summer camp rides with my sister Alison, through the 80s and my time working on a guest ranch teaching kids to ride, through the 90s…keep moving…nothing to see here…and right up to modern times. I’d just left my high tech job and was looking around for the Next Big Thing in my life when Alison and I decided to re-enter the world of horses. We tried barn after barn looking for an instructor interested in adults, and for a chance to have more of a horse experience than a 45 minute lesson once a week.

Four years ago, fairly early on in our quest, we stopped for a while at Horse Haven at Bear Creek and started to work on a plan for the future. What if we could find some other people like ourselves, and what if we could find some land not too far from our city lives, and what if we could find some really great horses, and then put them all together, add some amazing mentors, shake it up and have THAT be our Next Big Thing? How cool would that be?! It would be the best.

So Alison and I left HHABC for a while, kicked around at more barns, met some amazing mentors, shopped for land, and learned everything we could about horses. Our plans were coming together slowly, but we were getting more and more clear on what we wanted. About the time we felt like we had an actual tangible dream, Donnell called me for lunch and conversation. I was up for that because that meant horse-talk and I do love to talk about horses. Alison and I met up with Donnell, and heard Donnell and David’s idea for their Next Big Thing….  To this day I still get goose bumps when I remember her describing her Next Big Thing and hearing how it was very nearly the same as our Next Big Thing. Not putting much stock in coincidence, we were all three a little stunned. Once we started talking about all our ideas in more detail, we decided we were on to something.

So now here we are, making it real…The Urban Herd.  As you might guess, there are already a bunch of stories about how we got this far, with a bunch of stories yet to come. They all have the word “horse” in them and most of them end up in laughter as we continue to learn how much we have yet to learn.

Fortunately, there’s no better teacher than a horse.