by Holiday Banta
Horses. Most little girls dream about having a pony, and some are lucky enough to ride and have some lessons. There are not many of us who have the bug so bad that we built our career plans and dreams around one day owning our own horse farms. But I do.
I have loved horses all my life (18 months old with one is my earliest memory) and have been around them for most of that time too. This tale, however, all started in 1997 when my husband-to-be, on the umpteenth trip to “the barn” through land that was being converted to subdivisions and industrial parks said, “why don’t we buy some land before all the open space close to town is all gone?” We drew a circle around the city and set about finding the perfect place.
“Our risk has turned into the most rewarding time of our lives, although it has its daily challenges.”
The first indication that this was a risky venture was my mother’s admonition that “we have never owned land; you won’t know what to do.” Then the guy we purchased our land from was selling because he was getting a divorce. Next we thought we would “just see how much it would cost,” and contacted at least 20 different contractors to get estimates to build our dream farm (you cannot imagine how widely the estimates varied; it is REALLY hard to find a contractor that you can trust to deliver your dream). With what we thought was a good number in hand, we contacted all the banks. This was not only risky in terms of the effect on our credit for chasing this dream, but it was time-consuming and depressing. Turns out the old adage was true for the early part of our efforts: if you need money, you can’t get it. If you don’t, it falls out of the sky.
Fast forward 10 years: the bank actually found us, and we met a great contractor too. Our plans specified that our “house” would be built into the corner of our horse barn. So the question from our contractor when we were installing the HVAC system was: “Aren’t you worried about the smell?” We wondered what “the smell” was, and it turned out to be the horses! Horse people do not believe that horses “smell” (read: bad).
Our risk has turned into the most rewarding time of our lives, although it has its daily challenges. Realizing your dream is always worth it.
This year, the 18th annual Spirit & Place Festival will explore the concept of RISK during its 10-day long festival. Learn how other individuals perceive ‘risk’ and what motivates them to be a risk-taker.
Holiday Banta is a Partner at Ice Miller LLP, in the Litigation and Intellectual Property Group. She is a registered patent attorney and concentrates her practice in the areas of intellectual property litigation, dispute negotiations, U.S. and foreign trademark prosecution, and intellectual property licensing. Read her full bio here.