About

Kristi Ross, horses, Black horse, cattle, ranch, cowboy, cowgirl, horse show

Kristi Ross on Chili
Photo Credit: Shutterlife Photography

 

 

Welcome!  I am honored you stopped by!

I’m Kristi Ross – formerly known as Kristi Kjeldgaard, or to many, Mika’s Mom.  I live on part of my family’s ranch in a beautiful river bottom in Western Colorado and have five passions.  God, family, horses, writing, and natural health.

God and Family

As it says in Matthew 22:37, Love the Lord my God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.  Luke 10:27 adds, with all your strength – and I do!

There have been many times in my life the Lord has been my strength.  I have been tired, beaten, down, broke, and had no strength left to go on.  He was my strength.  It is for Him I write.

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I have a quick story to tell you explaining why I’m writing to you here.  Our story begins over 30 years ago.  That is when my daughter, Mika, was born.  God has been preparing me for this moment since that very day.  He saved my baby when she was born more dead than live and has been working to transform me ever since.  As I look back over my life I can see His fingerprints on so many things.  He put me in just the right place, at the right time, over and over again.  He saved my life, physically, and then saved me spiritually.  As he was rebuilding this cracked pot He put words in my head that had to come out.  Every night as the world laid it’s head down to rest, I opened His Word and a notebook, and the words spilled out.  Some nights it was only a few sentences.  Sometimes it was half the night.  I had no one else to talk to so He became my confidante.  Writing to Him cleansed my soul and quieted my spirit of all the day’s events, heartaches, and joys until I was empty and could lay my head down to sleep.

Horse passion

I’m crazy about horses.  Over the years I’ve had to find balance where horses are concerned.  They no longer dominate every conversation and every thought.  They are the frosting on my life, and writing is the cake.  Together they are the sweet dessert of life.  But until now the writing has been hidden under the frosting of horses.

Writing and riding.  I’ve done both most all my life.  I have a scar on my cheek from when at fourteen months old I poked my head up out of a saddle bag tied on behind my Mom’s saddle and an oak brush scratched me.  Remember, I was little enough to fit in a saddle bag. Trust me, that’s little!

Colorado Mountains - Kristi Ross

If I could have, I would have written something about it!   Over the years I wrote something about everything that happened in my life.  Isn’t it interesting how God puts desires in our heart as a young child and sometimes it takes most of our lives to figure out what we are supposed to do with them?

I started raising horses at the ripe old age of six and have continued for over fifty years.  My Dad taught me about horses.  He was the fifth or possibly sixth generation of Ross’ in America striving to raise a good horse.  My daughter, son-in-law, and I still strive to raise the best performance horses we can.  That makes us sixth and seventh, or seventh and eighth generation horse breeders. And the word Ross originates before Medieval time in central European Countries and in Scottish Gaelic means “Horse Lord” or “Lord of the Horse” due to the righteous bond between anyone with the surname Ross and their relations to horses. So who knows how far back my family has been raising horses.

My first horse was an ornery Shetland named Bullet. No one else could touch him but he let me ride him without even a bridle. My first “big horse” was a wonderful ranch horse Dad gave me.  His name was Black Horse.  Guess what color he was!  He was the most amazing horse and took such good care of me.

Black Horse - Kristi Ross

Black horse loved me unconditionally.  He was my constant companion and confidante.  Black taught me everything a young girl needs to know.  He carried me on cattle drives, up and down mountain trails, learned dressage and how to jump with me, and how to win a trail class with me.  After teaching me, I handed him down to my Mom and he was able to get her over her life-long fear of horses.  She handed him down to all my nieces and nephews, who in turn handed him back to me for my daughter, Mika.

I started showing horses at eight, but my horse training/showing career began at fifteen.  Some horse-show friends asked me to ride their halter stallion.  They needed riding points to make him an AQHA Champion.  I did it.  Didn’t make a dime, but Kristi Ross found her calling.

I loved showing horses and decided to go to college for a degree, but also a certification in horse training and management.  Working hard I learned everything from colt starting to horse shoeing and added that knowledge to my years of lessons with some outstanding riding instructors.

Graduation found me moving South.  Over the next few years I was fortunate to work for some of the greatest trainers in the nation.  After which my, now “ex”, husband and I were able to build our own successful training business.  We trained many World Champion horses and riders in addition to winning numerous state and national awards.  I was even hired as a guest instructor at my former college, Lamar Community College.

I loved using my knowledge and experience as an instructor. The success of my students eventually led to an invitation to be a clinician for the American Quarter Horse Association in their youth and amateur programs. While this was a great honor, I am still most proud of my students and their incredible success, then and now!

During all this, I was writing, journaling, and writing poetry.  But it was always hidden.  I have been a closet writer since roughly nine years old.  There was a diary or a journal in my room long before it was popular.  But I never shared what I wrote.  That was too personal. To allow anyone to read my thoughts made me too vulnerable.

In high school I took a Creative Writing class.  The teacher accused me of plagiarism in one of my pieces, after which my Mother had to initial all my homework to verify it was mine.  Looking back, I realize that was a complement.  But as an emotional teenager it was humiliating and pushed me deeper into the closet.

The next time my writing saw the light of day was at my mother’s funeral.  My family asked me to write something for Mom.  Writing the piece and reading at her funeral was one of the most difficult things I have ever done.

Finally, after all these years the Lord has given me to opportunity to combine these two passions.  He gave me the courage to bring my words into the light of day for others to share. And it has brought me such joy!  I hope some of the stories I share will bring you joy as well!  May God richly Bless you as you read on!

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