Grow through what you go through.

Grow through what you go through.

I have not posted anything in quite a while, so I thought I would just sit down today and write a little update on everything.

Let’s get updating. If I thought previous months were crazy, I should think again. I had been looking forward to May for ages since my family came down for a visit all the way from Limpopo and my brother came from Natal, it was the first time in a long time we were all together. They had planned a visit for a while so that my sister could come down and live with me.  It was an awesome visit, and I loved being with my whole family again…we ate, we fished, we laughed and we ate some more. The older you get the more you appreciate the time that you have with family. I definitely savored every single moment. I think the goodbye was not as hard this time because my sister was staying behind. She has been with me now for about three weeks…time has just gone so quick while she has been here; I have loved every single minute having her with me. The days seem shorter and my smile bigger. She has brought back a side of me I had thought was lost…you do become the people that you spend most of your time with. That is the thing about stud farms; you see the same faces every day. There are no clients that come in on a daily basis. It’s just you and the same colleagues every day.  It is so hard not to fall into that trap, I found I was more negative and complaining was coming too easy. I decided to remove myself from all of that. I just need to thank my sister though…she has not been corrupted by the world – She is still my pure little sister and holds the innocence and safety of home within her beautiful heart. I thank God every day for blessing me with a friend within a sister and for bringing this opportunity for us to live together…I have been grounded by my family just by chatting to them but now I have a little piece of my family with me. I needed her more this week than I have ever needed her before. Sorry but this calls for a hashtag…


In between family visits, sister adventures, new adventures…life and work still goes on. I have already sent another lot of yearlings to the sales and have two lots being prepared at the moment. It is much easier now with the yearlings since they are much older (almost two years old now). They handle everything like champs, just walk straight into the walker, and they take blankets like a breeze. The horses (and I) are taking to prep much easier now. I know the routines, the horses, the schedules, everything….I am a yearling prep machine.

All the while we are dealing with yearling preparation and all tIMG_0510heir treatments and issues…we are almost finished with weaning all the foals. The last group will be coming in next week and then all the weanlings will be my department as well (that is probably one hundred weanlings).

All in a days work right. People always wonder what life is like on a farm, well, I am here to tell you. There is never nothing to do. There will always be a pole that needs fixing, a horse that needs tending, they all need to eat, and boy, do they eat! That is what I like about this job…every day is a new one…routine? What is that? Horses will always have something new to throw at you, a new lesson to learn every day.

Before we know it the breeding season will be upon us. At least this wont be my first rodeo. I don’t have to get use to a new routine on a new stud and everything. The only difference this year is I will or might be foaling on my own! Scared? YES! Excited? OH YES! This will be the biggest step in my career.

I still cannot believe I have been on this stud for almost a year. I thought I would feel like I wanted to stay, I thought I would have found my ‘permanent’ And then God does something to put me straight, as if to say, “Excuse me, why are you letting go of all your dreams…this is just a chapter in your story!” I have a great God. I am only 23 now. I still have a lot of the world to see and I WILL lead a horse in the ring at Gold Coast before I even think of staying in one place. Taking into account that there is still six months of the year left, there is still going to be a lot more to learn. This year is just going to fly by before you know it. I think I am more excited now more than ever to leave. I have gained experience in so many fields I never thought I would have the opportunity too, I gained confidence in certain fields and lost a bit in others. I am glad I stayed for more than a season, I have more experience under my belt and a beautiful addition to my CV.

Before I close…My mom made me realize that I have been so focused on the negative people and all the things have come against me that I have realized that I have forgotten why I love this job so much. I was so focused on the negative, I forgot about the positive. I was so focused on things that needed to be done, I was so focused on what could go wrong…I was missing out on all the moments that things went right. I heard once that life is 10% what you make it and 90% how you take it.  I decided to let stress, worry, and negative people control my outcomes. Not anymore. I have decided to go back to that little girl who just needed the warm breath of a gentle giant on her face to make her day, and the graze of a prickly muzzle to make her smile. You know what, you do only live once and if you do it right…once is enough! I am back to that girl who doesn’t have a job, she has a passion.

“…life is 10% what you make it

and 90% how you take it.”

Last week was not the greatest of weeks in the history of great weeks, not work wise but life wise. My Dad always told me that, “…once you have had the worst of the worst days out of the way, only good days can come after that…”

So, excited for the week ahead, I get to see my father and brother on Friday and I have an off weekend coming up! I have another week with the best roomie anyone could ask for, a job everyone only dreams of, a future to work for and be excited about, a loving family by my side. What more can I ask for?

I think you are all caught up now…that is just about everything in a nutshell. Thank you for readying.

Over and Out.

Another summer day, has come and gone away.

Another summer day, has come and gone away.

I am sorry I haven’t posted in a long time. It feels like forever, to be honest I have sat down and wrote several times but my mind was not quite in the same place as my heart. My mother taught me to never do anything when I am angry. So it would have definitely showed in my writing.

Well, the past two weeks has gone by in a flash. Last, last weekend I celebrated my 23rd birthday. My family brought me to tears as I opened their surprise package that they sent me. I was super emotional, I was going to say, “I don’t know why” but I am always emotional. That was the BEST part of the whole day. Too feel so close to them even though I am so far.

Only one whole week has gone by since, and I need a foot rub, a back rub, leg rub, head rub, and can someone rub my heart too? I have never ever experienced more mental drainage than physical. This job is definitely  the other way round right?! You know those movies, where there is always that bad guy that wont settle until their lies and wicked ways ruin your life and make YOU look like the bad guy. HELP ME! I have never had to deal with this before! I am stuck between a rock and a boulder!

Like superheroes, and nerds, and those unexpected heroes that save the day. I don’t feel like one of those. How do you fix this, how do you push through the climax and defeat the villain to find your happily ever after? I was told the past week that people have come, people have fought but lost the battle and decided that it was too much, (this came as a surprise to know that I am not alone, I am not the first one) I must stand out and be the change…be the light to finally defeat this darkness.

BE THE LIGHT! Be the light. This week’s challenge. To be the light in the darkness, be the one to finally conquer this battle. I am sounding really dramatic, I know. But this is how it feels, this is how I feel.

I cannot really share much about work, the horse industry right? In a nutshell, the season has been winding down quicker than we expected. We have only two mares left to foal and as usual, they will hold on to till the very last minute. I have foaled a total of fifty-four mares this season. To be honest, I am not as exhausted as I thought I would be. It was most definitely a very long season, and we had our ups and downs, but we made it. We made it. Normally it would start feeling more settled and a little relaxed but my stress levels are still at about ninety nine percent with the sales yearling in, and the multiple treatments that has fallen into my hands, sick horses, new horses, you name it…I am doing it. I have experienced some awesome things in the past week though, I assisted in my first castration (not as grueling as you think), and I was in charge of rectals and vet work. I have passed some major hurdles with flying colors. Told you its not all bad!

Best news of all…I am going home in 19 days!!! I really did feel bad in the beginning, but I am really past it. I have been used and abused by my so called “manager”. I was entitled to go home in December when I first got here, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU boss! I am going home for my sisters biggest day of her life, and a Christmas with my family. LIKE PLANNED. Once again, thank you boss, and may I just say thank you to God, I am blessed that is why I am going home as planned, I have His crown of favor.

Psalm 34:18

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.

Counting the days until I get to pack my bag and get on that plane home! Hug my parents, have long chats with my sister, ride my horse. Just BE HOME.


You are your only limit.

You are your only limit.

There is no other way to start a post at this point in my life other than. . . What a crazy busy week! And it’s almost the end of the season? This time it’s different for me, it doesn’t really feel like the end since we have the yearling preparation going on now for the sale in January. Although we are coming to an end with the foaling season, a whole other season is in full swing. My body does not cooperate with my mind anymore…I am in constant battle of convincing myself that I can push myself more and more every day, more mentally than physically some days.

This week I have had to vaccinate all my yearlings, as well as walk paddocks every other day in conjunction with organizing and dscf6519managing a whole barn of forty yearlings with five boys which included farrier twice this week, and a vet visit, as well as daily treatments and trying to get these yearlings in tip-top shape for a sale only TWO MONTHS away! Oh my goodness, oh my goodness.

We only have about nineteen mares left to foal on the farm, which is shocking, I can’t believe it’s almost at an end!  My fourth breeding season under wraps…although a whole new season will then begin for me…I have always left a farm after all the foals were born and I have never stayed for weaning or actually seeing the foals become yearlings. So, I am really excited to do something new and also have a place to call home for a year to save up some more money for my next adventure.  I had sleepless nights thinking about this decision…Am I wasting time staying here for a whole year? Am I just going to settle because I am comfortable? WHOA, let’s just hold on to those horses for a second. I am most definitely not comfortable! Hours are long, (but that changes with the season), I am confused by choices everyday because orders are coming from so many directions, and who do you listen too? Because if you “obey” one order the other turns their back on you…that is my biggest fear, becoming the hated. Are you afraid of being hated even though you know you have done nothing wrong? I am. People confuse it for “people pleasing”, but you know what…the world we live in today you are either somebody’s friend when you can be at their beck and call but once you say, “no” or even think of saying, “no”….in a blink of an eye you are the worst enemy. That is my biggest fear, hence I try to do my best to keep everyone happy and in the end I am the one who suffers. I will do favors for you, I will go the extra mile to lend a helping hand. I will do one hundred and ten percent for people even though I know that they wouldn’t even do the same for me. What is wrong with me?

Anyways, this weekend I took a stand for myself. I said NO for the first time in a long time, I said “no”. With no explanation or excuse, I plainly said I can’t do that for you.  Usually I would give up all my plans to help someone out, to lend a helping hand. This weekend I put ME first.  So, I have got to pat myself on the back and say well done Ash, for getting some balls and standing up for yourself for once. Like they say, Rome was not built in a day!

There you go, all caught up on the news and some of my thoughts on everything. I really just want to push this thought on everyone that will read this. Don’t ask someone to do something if you are not willing to do the same for them. Take it from me, the one on the other end…I have a really big heart and the word, “no” is hard for me because of that fear of being hated. That is simply called MANIPULATION.  It is not fair; it is not fair to put someone under that pressure. Don’t let someone fear being rejected by you so they are forced to do anything. I don’t know how else to put it, once again it is just the world we live in. But as my Mom says, why try so hard to fit in when you were born to stand out.

Let me just end on this beautiful picture that I took last weekend. These mountains make me feel so small and insignificant. I stare in awe of how beautiful God’s creation is. I feel rather selfish being caught up in my fears of being rejected by the people of this world and forget that the only acceptance I really need is God’s.


“Be who  you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

– Dr. Seuss –

What consumes your mind, controls your life.

What consumes your mind, controls your life.

My last post was pretty emotional. It was quiet the emotional week to be honest. I am glad that I got it all out now. I see the world through new eyes, and with a closed heart!

So, remember I told you that on this farm “challenges” come in small swells, well last week we had a tsunami of a change. We have now moved around fodscf6446rty something yearlings into stables to begin preparation for the National Yearlings sales in Cape Town next January. I must say I handled the change pretty well, still very much getting used to this “in charge” story. It’s not as easy as it looks being in charge, especially if no one sees you like that. It doesn’t help when your voice sounds like a mouse with tonsillitis, and you’re as small as a pebble amongst the boulders. It’s quite hard, but trust me this mouse can lose it too. I have lost it quite a few times already, but have learned that it doesn’t get you anywhere.

For example, I had once situation last week where I could’ve used some calming words for sure. I am not too sure of how to put this story into a political way so I will just share the point with you, the point is…I CAN catch a foal, I CAN wrestle a foal to give it a treatment, I CAN walk a yearling, I CAN hold a mare for the vet. Uh, it’s slightly frustrating being told to be careful 24/7, and being pushed to one side because a MAN can do it better. I wouldn’t do this job if I was scared? Anyways, I make the most of it by picking up a broom where I can and personally doing all of my treatments, BY MYSELF, even if the horse is crazy, I go the mile because that is the person I am.

How do you earn an authority position? I don’t know how to do this, I always thought that being the boss and making decisions was my thing…but it’s harder than it looks. Here is where it gets confusing, if you are given a position of authority and responsibility and then every time you try to earn it you get scolded for doing it wrong? Does this make any sense? This is why it’s so confusing, I am trying extremely hard to earn this position and it keeps slipping out of my fingers. Don’t give up, keep on keeping on. Yes, yes I know.

My goal this week…my goal this week is to be strong. I may be small, but I have a big heart, my Mom’s fire, and my Dad’s wisdom. I CAN do this, God would not have given me this position if He thought I couldn’t do it. That is a really encouraging thought. Plus, I must learn to stand up for my opinions. Why would you give me the authority to make a decision and then tell me it’s wrong. No, this week I am standing up for myself! And I am not going to complain about anything  … no matter how SMALL it is. No matter what is it, work, the weather, no hot water, no water at all, bad hair day, anything and everything. I will not complain about anything! Challenge accepted!

After a nice week of sleep due to no mares that felt like foaling, and a nice off weekend I am ready to kick some bum this week! No complaining, no worrying, just smiling, having a good time, being positive…it cant be that hard. I think the world thrives on negativity and anger and complaining, it’s very easy to fall into the same trap when you work with people who thrive on it. My Mom always told me that we become the people we spend our time with. Time to stand out, and realize that this is not how you want to live all the days of your life…Don’t fall into the trap, take your knife and cut yourself out, break out from that circle of negativity. Let your light shine, and keep spreading that light.

That was a whole bunch of feelings in one post. The season is almost over and with the yearlings coming I feel like we have started the season all over again. One way to keep us on our toes! Still very excited to be staying for another year. I have made my house a home, I have my cat, and my family is in the same time zone. Life is GOOD.

Until next time, spread your light this week! Go on, spread it, what are you waiting for?

Like a wild flower; she spent her days allowing herself to grow, not many knew of her struggle, but eventually all; knew of her light. – NIKKI ROWE

Time flies when your having fun!

Time flies when your having fun!


Eighty-two days into my Robertson adventure, my fourth breeding season, and my second official job. I am still smiling and enjoying every single minute. There have been a lot of changes but they come in really gentle waves which makes it really easy to get used too. For instance, our days have been a pretty regular with 7:00 to 17:00 job with an occasional evening of foaling, but now we have officially begun the breeding season, everything is in full swing which includes getting up a little earlier, catching more foals, the boys (aka the Stallions) will officially start their jobs, we will be seeing a lot more of the vets and we will wake up before the sun and go home without it. That is the next few months in a short summary. With already thirty-eight foals on the ground we have had a run up to the breeding season to get us ready for vet work and treatments and all the crazy that comes with it. Thanks to this, I feel totally prepared!

A lot of times this week I have wanted to sit down and pour my heart out into a post, but my Mom has always said that you should never write when you are angry or upset. It’s been a hectic couple of weeks, like I said, a run up to the season. But also there have been unnecessary stress that doesn’t even belong here caused by things (or in fact, people) that are not worth wasting my breath on anymore. Perhaps a test? Why must there always be something or in fact someone who has to play with your happiness? It’s funny though, as much as it worries me, my happiness overtakes it times one hundred! It’s so funny actually! I am enjoying my job so much more than “they” think “they” are destroying it. Sorry, but I got some news for you. My God is greater, and He has got my back! I have worked TOO hard to get this far and for someone to destroy it!

I declare now that you are no match to my God, He holds my future and not you. I am not afraid of you!


As much as I am happy where I am and so very thankful, I almost have an empty feeling I cannot really describe. You are probably all to familiar with that song, “I left my heart in San Fransisco…” well, I am pretty sure I left my heart somewhere on my adventures in New Zealand and Australia. I long with all my heart and soul to go back to that holiday I had with my sister in Australia. I would re-live those three weeks over and over again. I wished it would never end! How can you miss something so bad that it actually hurts! I wish I could just get us another plane ticket and go do it all over again! I actually think it’s a condition? I have got a serious condition, and the only cure is travel (preferably with my best friend aka my sister).

Well, as much as I wished I could turn back time…I have a wonderful, let me say that again, WONDERFUL job here and now. I am going to make the most of every minute and not waste any time. I am working towards that plane ticket! THAT is my goal, well, on top of my list of goals at least!

With long days ahead and lots of hard work I am looking forward to a busy week….I am focused and prepared for anything. My mind is ready and my goals are set! Watch out world, nothing can stand in my way! More exciting news is, tomorrow will be 10 days until I wrap my arms around my family! Yes, the Hammond’s are coming down to Robertson! I am so excited, I really just can’t hide it anymore! My boss asks me everyday how is my excited scale? Uuuuh, from 1 to 10…probably 100!

Anyways, good night and good-bye!

As I leave you, remember…

Time is free, but it’s priceless. You can’t own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep it but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it, you can never get it back.



It Is Well

It Is Well

The past few weeks have gone by like a flash, everyday, every week, same routine. Every now and then a challenge came my way but you know, nothing I cannot handle. I know God has always got it under control. When I cannot simply see how everything is going to work out, it just does because He has a plan to prosper and not to harm. This is my verse for life and it’s what gets me through everyday.

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

We now approximately have 20 foals on the ground at the moment, 15 of which I foaled. I am adding slowly but surely to my experience, coming into this job I felt a little rusty with my foaling. I am so confident now, I feel like I would be okay on my own. At long last! It just shows you that if you have someone who is willing to show you and teach you not for their own gain but because they really want to, how far you can actually go!

It’s been a learning curve everyday on this stud, I swear there is not a day that goes by that I don’t learn something! It has been rather refreshing working on a smaller stud and actually being in “charge” of a division. I always felt a little insignificant and my opinions did not really matter. I was just the quiet one in the background doing what I am told. Not without learning anything, that was my advantage! Of course, in the beginning you are going to feel like you are a nobody, technically you are! You cannot even dream of having the experience of some of the people in your field, the people who have been working there for the past fifteen years…they were once insignificant too.

I have big decisions to make next week, and future plans to make. My heart and my mind are in constant battle between reality and fantasy. When all your options are good which one do you choose? I just need to put it in God’s Hands and know that He has got it under control!

I am also a little home sick at the moment, and long for one more hug from my Mom, one more horse ride with my Dad, one more shopping session with my sister, one more family dinner. I just need to stress how important those things are, like the words to this song go…

Well you only need the light when it’s burning low
Only miss the sun when it starts to snow
Only know you love her when you let her go

Only know you’ve been high when you’re feeling low
Only hate the road when you’re missing home
Only know you love her when you let her go

You don’t really realize what you have until it’s not there anymore! I know we have all got to grow up sometime, but there is nothing wrong with missing home(especially when you have got the greatest family in the world).

Now that I am finished being highly sentimental, partly being of a small case of “homesickness”, and partly because my cat has gone walkabout again and he is out in one of the worst days of wind and rain since I have been here. He’ll be back!

So, it’s late and I did not want to leave another week without a little update. Let me end on a rather random but beautiful theory for the week. This week, let’s be pineapples, lets STAND TALL, WEAR A CROWN, AND BE SWEET ON THE INSIDE!

If it comes, let it. If it goes, let it.

If it comes, let it. If it goes, let it.

If it comes, let it. If it goes, let it. Easier said than done…

Have you ever wished that you could somehow know what the future holds? What you will need, what you will have to do to make all your dreams come true, what road to take? Have you ever wished that what you plan would just come easy and everything would be right? You wouldn’t have to hit “bumps in the road” or make detours. On the other hand, you wont learn anything if everything comes easy and is handed to you on a silver plate. Do you see the dilemma? Would you take the opportunity to see what the future hold for you? will it be easier? will it be harder? I don’t think anyone knows for sure…I guess God likes to throw in those curve balls just when you think you got everything figured out just to make you realize that its not your plan, it is His.  I felt like I had or rather HAVE the perfect plan for the next few years and recently come across a little detour. The biggest trial now is, do you try harder…or accept the “signs” that have been put in front of you?

So as you can see, I have come across a conundrum, while on the one hand I am rather disheartened that my dreams have hit a pothole, I reckon that its not a bad thing either. Life on the farm is going really well, I am happy and comfortable…and (this has never happened before) I can see myself spending a little more time here even after the season. But does that mean that I am giving up on my dreams of being a travelling seasoner? Does it mean that I am just settling for easy?

Anyway, I am now a couple weeks into the season, I have gotten two foals already! I am just excited that I haven’t forgotten anything. I feel like I am in my happy place when I am knee deep in straw, sleeves pulled up passed my elbows, grasping a little head gently with my hands as i welcome a new foal into this world. Cant help thinking every time that this is exactly where I belong! 

Now that the season has officially started!  Things are getting much busier on the farm as well, I feel like the days are just not long enough to get everything done. I better have some kick-ass legs after this season with all this walking going on! I can feel a difference in myself since I have been here, my confidence is making a bigger and bigger appearance everyday. I am glad I have got to work with many a treatment since my first day here, bandages, abscesses, cuts, swollen legs (I tell you, you are never surprised with horses). I also realized today that no matter how much you have learned or experienced in this industry, there is always…I repeat, always something else to learn.

So, this is stud life at the moment. I am loving it at this farm, really LOVING it! (I am sure this is the second time I have stated this) For this reason alone, I am not worried about the future. God sent me here didn’t He, I know He has it all under control. Like I said though, easier said than done. I recently read this statement, “It’s good to be passionate about your dreams, but did you know a dream can actually become an idol? If it’s all you think about, and you’re not going to be happy unless it happens your way, that’s out of balance. The fact is, sometimes you have to release that dream back to the Father.” (Joel Osteen) I am so guilty of this…and I realize that I am probably trying to  accomplish this perfect “plan” but lets be honest life is far from perfect! I cannot do it all on my own, and there is no rush. Like the great Mr. Player stated, “You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough!”