On the Farm – Katherine Eisenhut

“You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.” –We Bought a Zoo (Movie)

Katherine will never forget the morning she woke up and realized she could purchase her own horse. Having the love of horses running through both her parents’ family lines, Katherine was now a married woman with children of her own, who never grew out of her young girl dream of having her own horse. When her father, Ted Ludeman Sr. passed away in 1999 of Asbestos related cancer, it was one of the hardest trials of her life. Ted was an incredible father with an adventurous “can do” spirit. He encouraged going for dreams and turning them into realities, as well as not letting failures get in the way of ultimate successes.  Horses were a bit too expensive back in the day, otherwise he would have gotten Katherine one…and she knew it.

As the result of reluctantly filing an asbestos related law suit at Ted’s request in 1999, Katherine received a decent size settlement a few years later.  She had always been very conservative financially and otherwise, not taking many risks.  “I first thought of all the responsible things that could be done with the money, like paying for braces, putting it in a savings account, or any other of the various “responsible” choices.  I then remembered my childhood dream of having a horse, and how much my dad would have wanted me to fulfill that dream….then literally jumped out of bed with crazy excitement, determined to make it happen!

Interestingly, I didn’t really know much about horses at all, let alone how to take care of them.  And, contrary to the norms of the horse world, I bought my first horse in flip-flops.  It was hysterical really. But I was driven by the dream, and knowing I could do it. And I did! In the process of looking for the right horse for me, I was led from one horse owner to the next – each excited to share their equine knowledge with me.  It was a truly exciting journey, and I was guided every step of the way.”

To sum up an otherwise very long story, one horse turned into six, and a few years later Katherine and her family bought horse property in Temecula, CA, where they relocated from Orange County. Katherine now runs her own ranch where she has become a very competent horse owner and rider. She has rescued numerous horses and other animals, providing better lives for them all. She also opens her barn as a place where young girls can take riding lessons at reduced rates.

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