At first I did not see the plans any of these people had for me. As time passed, the pieces have begun to materialize and fall into place. Some, it was long after they were gone that I realized their motivations. As the story progresses I will disclose those pieces as they became apparent and what they meant to me as I began to realize I was but fodder for those who chose to take from others instead of earn their own way like the rest of us.
That is how life seems to go. We start off seeing what is on the surface and believing we have a good understanding of what is before us. Then time erodes the facade exposing the reality and we realize much was not as it seemed.
My reason for telling this story has to do with the horses. My blog is about them and what affects them. From my illness to the exploitation of my assets, it all affects my horses in some way. Because we are a bare bones operation anything that dips into our pockets or takes up our time unnecessarily means something on the farm has to wait. In one way or another it all comes down to the horses. They are the center of our lives so how could it be otherwise.
My hope is in sharing the story in sequence, others might recognize the facade before they have been conned. Afterall, it is much easier to work the puzzle when you see the picture. The writing helps me process and identify my mistakes. I come to realize what I missed and hope my mistakes might save others.
The most obvious problem was the red flags all over the place that I ignored. It is so easy to tune out that little voice that tries to warn. It has been my experience that voice is where I really need to place my trust. My instincts are much better at spotting the truth but I let my decisions be dictated by my fears. I couldn't have made any bigger mistake.
I think it was a combination of my illness and the victimization I experienced by Kelly Panowicz and Crystal Baker that clouded my judgement even more than it had been clouded before they did their damage. When thinking back over this part of my journey, it is hard to imagine I was so easily played. I have to remind myself that no one likes to admit he/she is vulnerable, let alone to oneself. Not recognizing the extent of my vulnerability and/or the ruthlessness of some people was part of the problem. It just never occurred to me I needed to be taking extra precautions to protect myself when I was so sick. I thought all I needed to do was focus on healing but instead I should have been building some kind of perimeter to protect myself from those lying in wait.
I know that sounds grim and that I have said it before but it is so easy to hear a story like this and think, "It will never happen to me." I know I am guilty of that kind of thinking because I have survived several things in my life that have brought others down. That has probably extended my feeling of invincibility that normally comes with youth and gradually departs as one ages.
Because I didn't feel old and I appeared to be healthy, I thought I would be going strong for many more years. I did have a life insurance policy to care for my horses if I should die but I did not have disability insurance to provide care for the horses in the event I was disabled.
If there is one thing that set me up to be exploited that lack of disability insurance was it. Because I do all the management on this farm including turnouts, training, grooming and marketing, there was a big hole left when I got sick.
The everyday care of the horses was covered but everything else was on hold. When I didn't know if I would live or die, all I could think of was what would happen with my horses. My husband and daughter do not have the skills to take over the management issues.
Then there was my breeding program. I had hopes it would contribute to the longevity of the Arabian horse. To do that would require getting breeding individuals into the hands of like minded individuals.
Because of the projected shortage of quality Arabian horses, I had deliberately retained all of the mares produced here. That would have been a great plan if the economy hadn't tanked. Now that I was sick it meant all my efforts to preserve these very specific and rare bloodlines were useless if the program now ended or breeding individuals were not sold to those interested in preservation breeding. That meant everything I'd worked for would have no meaning and my dream was done.
Originally I believed I had covered my bases. Because my granddaughter, and later, my daughter expressed an interest in being a part of my dream, I had made the effort to train them to take over if something should happen to me.
As it turned out the expressed interest was nothing more than an attempt by my oldest daughter to once again break my heart. My horses, while in their care. were not only poorly managed but a few have suffered long term effects from their sloppy care. With the price my horses have already suffered at the neglectful hands of Rachel and Colleen, there is no way, not even my death, that would ever put a horse of mine back in their hands.
It was only after their involvement with Angie Miller and Richard Galarza and the resulting lawsuit that I learned this was more than a family squabble. That left me little time before I got sick to come up with a replacement plan for managing this farm if something happened to me. I wish I had managed to come up with one but I didn't.
Many who have horses realize it can be difficult to get friends or even family member to commit to taking on a pet, let alone a horse.....so try a herd of them, in the case of an untimely catastrophic event. I had hoped I might discover, through an apprenticeship program, someone worthy of turning this all over to. That hope turned out to be just one more thing to exploit. That is what Jessica McGehee Thompson was all about. She didn't just want a horse.....she thought she could con me out of the whole farm. Sadly she was not alone.
To be continued..
A Little Background on Me........Open Doors for Con Artists.......