How do you pick where you’re going to live?

This was originally posted in 2016…I’m healthy and fine…but still trying to let people know that we don’t live in Texas (see the bottom of this post for more on that:)


I’m simultaneously excited and exhausted. Excited because I’m finally making my big announcement in this blog (give me a minute) and exhausted because- the cold I caught in April turned into something resistant to amoxicillin- and then became pneumonia. Ok, but now for the big news….

We are building a new place!

After selling our home, indoor and barn back in 2014 and ‘wandering’ for the last two years we have bought land and we are settling down again. And building everything from scratch. 

Last day of clinic trail ride at Mohican

Last day of clinic trail ride at Mohican

You may be wondering, “So how did you decide where to buy land after wandering the country?” 

I’m glad you asked.

Years ago, when we lived in Mount Gilead, if we wanted to go trail riding we would haul our horses to Mohican State Park for the day. Some of you who attended clinics at our place will remember the group of us hauling up to Mohican on the last day of our clinics. We have loved riding there for years.

For fun Jesse and I would drive around the outskirts of the state park land dreaming of living near the trails. Once when we were riding at the park we noticed a group of people riding who had obviously paid to ride for the day (the sneakers, shorts, and guide gave them away) and we followed them home. 

On the back side of the park was a horse property that gave guided trail rides on the park. “Wouldn’t that be an amazing location?” we said. But we were newly married, had small children had just bought our first house and were totally broke. But a couple can dream, right?

Over the years we still rode at the park. Just a couple years after discovering this horse rental property it went up for sale. We were still broke. It sold. Life went on. But every time we were in the area we still drove by. Still dreamed. 

Last year before we flew to Germany we went on another trail ride at Mohican. You might remember watching the video that I posted. But this time things got a little more strange. 

We were trail riding that day with a lady that we met when she attended a clinic several years ago. As we rode down the trail I told her the story about following the riders back to the property that bordered the park. Told her how it had sold years before but that we still drove by it, in fact we had just driven by it last week. Then I asked her, “Do you know the place?” And she replied, 

“Yes, I own it.”

I was shocked. I made sure we were talking about the same place and she was. I told her, “Jesse’s never going to believe this.” He was surprised too and then he asked, “What are you going to do with it?” To which she responded, “I don’t know, maybe sell it to you guys if you still want it.”


The land that we wanted over a decade ago was now being offered to us. We didn’t even have to talk about it. 

Yes! We would love it!

Some people might call it a coincidence but I call it a God-incidence. 

What are our plans? Build a large indoor, a house and rv hookups. Hold clinics again at our place where you’re invited to join us but this time, this time we won’t have to haul to the trails…we can just ride straight out onto them!

(Below is a video of the trails out our backdoor!)

Update: April 3, 2019

Just four days ago someone visiting us remarked, “Yeah, I thought you lived in Texas. I was surprised when Byron said he was taking lessons at your place.”


I loved you Texas…but that few months we lived there has been ‘branded’ into peoples minds, lol!

I’m still amazed at how this all worked out. Five years ago Jesse and I sold our house…with no plans on where we were going to live. We had three teenage boys eight horses (and a couple minis). The first place we went was Texas because a friend had just built a very large covered arena with an attached apartment. We left our house of 14 years on February 14, 2014.
After a few months in Texas we moved into a motorhome and then traveled the country, homeschooling three teens, towing a horse trailer and blogging every day. It was quite an adventure!
When we left Ohio we had no idea where we would end up. During our adventure we were heavily leaning toward Arizona or Colorado…but apparently God had other plans.

We live here in Ohio in our little cabin on a hill.

Our little cabin on a hill makes me smile:)

Our giant indoor & barn is a perfect contrast to the tiny cabin.


  1. Nicole Kobs on April 6, 2019 at 10:10 pm

    Isn’t that funny! Life is what happens when we’re busy making plans! My husband is currently active duty military and we have been planning to retire in Idaho, as we’ve planned for 21 years! But, as with yours, God has other plans! Looks like we ARE moving to Texas! Now for us to find the property! Maybe you can come down in a few years for a weekend in our (hopefully) indoor!

  2. Cassie on April 6, 2019 at 6:59 pm

    LOVE this!! That is such a God-thing! He gave me my first horse, my first job as a riding instructor, and many other things perfectly down to the minute. Now we’re in the place of trusting Him for our first place… So this was an exciting and encouraging read!

  3. Helen Lou Parnell on April 3, 2019 at 8:23 pm

    Awesome!! And Sue and I still have a visit to you on the bucket list! Your place was definitely God’s design!

    • Stacy Westfall on April 3, 2019 at 10:34 pm

      Let me know when you’ll be in the area…I’m easy to talk into trail riding or coffee at the local shop in town:)

      • Douglas E Fisher DVM on April 12, 2019 at 10:23 am

        Stacey. 50 yr ‘Amish mechanic’ in Huntertown 69Purdue with an access to a Puffer Belly Rails to Trails project in Allen County. A developer. My clients build million $ homes. Want to age in place with my wife & a horse on this proposed ped/eq/bic trail to Pokegan State Park. Ch 39 proposed a May 1 6:30 presentation and I would log ke to us your material to promote this concept. Been working my dream & doing needs to be & is now happening. Thank you for being a inspiration to my life.

  4. Leisa Crossley on April 3, 2019 at 5:47 pm

    I’m so happy for you & Jess. Waiting while God works things out is sometimes hard or just plain puzzling but there you are after meeting Carlee and you have your dream! You and I talked about this at the last Horse Fair in Montgomery Alabama. I shared how we almost didn’t come and how the crowds dwindled each year but we came because you were there. You lifted us up as you spoke and rode and it was definitely a God thing.
    My husband is facing a knee replacement in September and then I have to get him moving and back on his horse. Sometime next year we are going to join you on one of those rides in Ohio.
    God’s continued grace over you,

    • Stacy Westfall on April 3, 2019 at 10:33 pm

      It’s a plan & I look forward to it!

  5. Sarabeth Jenkins on September 1, 2016 at 10:02 pm

    I can’t wait for a clinic! I want that connection with my horse and the further horses I train. After watching your video time after time I am convinced your relationship is much stronger than mine. I want to learn how to develop that! So happy for you on the land purchase!!! Wonderful spot and sounds perfect to me too!!

  6. Nancy D. Brown on June 15, 2016 at 3:44 pm

    Congrats Stacy! I confess that I had to look up what part of the country you’ll call home. I’ve never traveled to Ohio. Let me know when you want me to write about your new facility for equestrians on the Writing Horseback blog.

  7. Vicki Huffer on June 1, 2016 at 11:01 pm

    Outstanding! I vote for God-Incidence as well.

  8. Martina Braden on May 31, 2016 at 11:01 pm

    Looking forward to coming to another clinic and taking a trail ride at the park. So very happy for you and your family. You guys are great!!!!

  9. Valerie on May 31, 2016 at 11:48 am

    You guys really are living the dream! I’m so happy for you and your family. I would love to come to one of your clinics and ride the trails! Just have to get there from Canada:) I hope you are feeling better and getting some rest. How exciting!

  10. Lisa Quinn on May 30, 2016 at 9:18 pm

    I’m so happy for you, Stacy! You’re living my dream!

  11. Debra Bricker on May 30, 2016 at 8:27 pm

    So happy for you!!

  12. johanna on May 30, 2016 at 4:59 am

    oh my gosh, that is wonderful to hear Stacy–congratulations on finding your dream place-

  13. Beth on May 29, 2016 at 11:17 pm

    That’s awesome what a great location!My favorite place to ride!

  14. Judy Bank on May 29, 2016 at 9:41 pm

    How wonderful! I hope when you’re settled you’ll post an event schedule!

    • Stacy Westfall on May 31, 2016 at 3:11 pm

      I will do that!

  15. Susan on May 29, 2016 at 7:59 pm

    Stacy and Jessie i am beyond excited that your back.
    Love. Chloe and susan.

  16. Mindi Berg on May 29, 2016 at 6:57 pm

    What a wonderful story…everything in God’s time. I am looking forward to attending your clinics!!!!
    Welcome back!

  17. kyle harmon on May 29, 2016 at 5:21 pm

    now how cool is that? He had it under control all along:). Happy for you Stacy.

  18. Merry Nixon on May 29, 2016 at 4:01 pm

    Excellent to hear! I wondered if Ohio would pull you back.
    Neat story and glad for you all. Welcome back!

  19. KEITH MCCLURE on May 29, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    Welcome back! We’ll definitely be looking forward in seeing you on the trails. For now, SR97 is closed to the east of Mohican, FYI. Also, if you know- Paul Weaver of Weaver Leather donated land for the new Holmes County fairgrounds (18 mi e of Mohican) that is currently under construction. Wish I knew of someone to help build an equestrian events center instead of a small horse barn and outdoor arena. Its been known that even if we have super dry weather in always rains the week of the fair held in mid-August. (If anyone is out there that can help- let me know!!! Never hurts to ask!) You folks are more than welcome to come visit. It’ll be the first year at the new grounds just west of Millersburg/

  20. Rebecca Vensel on May 29, 2016 at 1:36 pm

    Have to love a God-incident when you recognize it!!! Blessing on your return to Ohio. Once a Buckeye, always a Buckeye.

  21. Carla Carrabino on May 29, 2016 at 1:03 pm

    Love when you post !

  22. Wendy Signorella on May 29, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    How amazing for you and your family. A dream come true. It is so beautiful there. Look forward to hearing of more adventures?

  23. Karen Metzler on May 29, 2016 at 11:56 am

    Yeah, could not be happier you’re coming home !! Have always wanted to meet you ! Now I may have to buy a horse to make that happen !
    Congratulations on buying your “dream” property, God is watching over you ! HE/God has a plan ! ?

  24. Erin O. on May 29, 2016 at 11:45 am


  25. john hennessey on May 29, 2016 at 11:43 am

    welcome back to Ohio glad to have you back home!

  26. Linda Wilson on May 29, 2016 at 11:39 am

    Your mama must be so happy! Get well soon.
    Congrats on your new home.
    Settle down, settle in & enjoy the good life.
    Love to hear about your life & family.
    Linda Wilson

  27. Julie on May 29, 2016 at 11:19 am

    Congratulations! That is very exciting for you and all who follow you. I recently moved from California to east Texas where I could have my own piece of paradise…it only took 50 years:) I went from a boarding stable (with 250 horses and mostly weekend riders…ugh) to 15 acres in the country with my very own arena and barn!!!!

  28. Dana Marie on May 29, 2016 at 11:08 am

    So happy for you guys! I bet you are still happy dancing. 😀 Hope to visit one day!

  29. Betty Dotson aka Smokestack Betty on May 29, 2016 at 10:58 am

    I’m happy for you!! Congratulations!? Does this mean you’ll be at Quarter Horse Congress this year.?

  30. Chris Holm on May 29, 2016 at 10:56 am

    Congratulations!!! Dreams do come true. What a beautiful place. You guys deserve it 🙂

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