On cold, wet, dark winter days when I’ve changed clothes multiple times because I’m soaked to the skin, and I’m feeling frustrated because the tractor broke down, and then the wind blows down a tree destroying a horse fence, and my fingers are too frozen to open a bucket of supplements, I start to wonder why I’m running a horse facility in the Pacific Northwest. Like, what am I thinking? There are certainly easier ways to make a “living”.
But then I think about this past Christmas day, and how my boarders, who are truly my best friends, brought hot spiced cider and cookies and we hung out in the barn laughing and talking about life and horses. Our ponies watched us over their stall doors, and love and happiness flowed. It was a meaningful and emotionally touching day during a time when I’d been feeling sad about the lack of a traditional holiday season. This is living!
There are many examples of times when my students, boarders, and other horse friends have supported me through hard times, and I’ve done the same for them. Together we celebrate the good times and support each other through the difficult ones. The comings and goings and mutual support on this old farm make it feel like a hub—a community built around a mutual love of horses.
I got into the horse business because I wanted to spend my life with horses, but it’s the people who’ve made the job especially worthwhile. I love training and caring for horses but helping people on their equine journey has made the job extra satisfying. Sharing horses with others is a wonderful blessing. I’m incredibly grateful that they continue to entrust their horses and themselves to my care and training.
And it’s not just my students and boarders who make my farm a community. There are the veterinarians, farriers, hay dealers, and those blessed people who take care of the horses when I’m gone. Many of the aforementioned I consider to be good friends and I always look forward to seeing them here at Blue Gate Farm. All of these people and their horses make this farm special and they keep me going happily and gratefully along, even on those wet, cold, windy days.
Kim Roe grew up riding on the family ranch and competed in Western rail classes, trail horse, reining, working cow, and hunter/jumper. She trained her first horse for money at 12 years old, starting a pony for a neighbor.
Kim has been a professional dressage instructor in Washington state for over 30 years, training hundreds of horses and students through the levels. In recent years Kim has become involved in Working Equitation and is a small ‘r’ Working Equitation judge with WE United.
Kim is the editor of the Northwest Horse Source Magazine, and also a writer, photographer, and poet. She owns and manages Blue Gate Farm in Deming, Washington where she continues to be passionate about helping horses and riders in many disciplines.