My life is extremely blessed! I am surrounded by the most wonderful support team.
My first blessing is being a mother. I am so proud to say I have a daughter; Madeline, affectionately known as Maddie. Maddie is the light of my life, her spirit is so bright and she is also horse crazy, and I am thrilled to see her huge heart so open to animals. Maddie rushes to my arms every night after work and fills my heart. She is turning into a little lady before our eyes, Peter and I could not be more proud of the soul she brings forth into the world.
My amazing husband Peter – ‘PW’ as I fondly refer to him. Peter is my rock, through my continued journey of life-long learning and my crazy work schedule! Peter is there for me day in and day out with lunches as I run out the door, and warm suppers after a long, cold Alberta day working on horses. He always lends an ear to chat and a shoulder to lean on when my day does not go quite as planned. Peter is a ‘drop everything’ kind of guy, whenever I require something built, or a task completed for my teaching, or my work, he is there. He completely supports me both professionally and personally. Each morning my mare is fed early so that I am able to complete my training ride before I head off to work. Peter is willing to schlep my mare and gear to shows, and he has sat through more dressage then any man should have too. Peter himself is a horseman, and his sport of choice is old-style vaquero roping – of which he does an amazing job! He continues to work with and develop our hand picked Salers herd of cattle. Peter has become known in the breed for his outstanding program of breeding, and sends bulls all over North America. The horse bug has also bitten Peter, and he is an accredited Professional Farrier. Working with him as a professional team member on different horse cases has been a great benefit to horse and riders alike.
Peter's amazingly selfless personality is most certainly developed through his upbringing. From the beginning of our relationship and continuing to this day, Peters parents have taken me under their wings and have treated me as their own daughter. Peter's mother and father; Merle and Ted Watkins, have been amazing role models of a very solid and mutually respectful marriage. Their family is always priority and they are the most supportive grandparents we could ever have for our daughter. Peter and I have subdivided the original family property in the Red Deer Lake District, and we are proud to boast that our daughter will be the fifth generation of Watkins to live on this farm! In 2012, the Watkins held a celebration for the families centennial on the land, family and friends joined the festivities from far and wide and a great time was had by all.
My own mother Betty has always been a wonderful inspiration for me. A true ‘Alberta Farm Woman', my mother showed me from a very early age that a woman can do anything her heart desires. Throughout my childhood, my mother raised her children, operated a horse and cattle farm while continuing to work full-time in the city. I have never heard my mother complain and her motto is: “If this is what you want in life, you do it! You can do anything you want – just make it happen – follow a plan, and succeed!” I remember growing up thinking my mom could do anything and I still believe it to be true. She is a blessed inspiration and a truly wonderful mother and grandmother! Now in her 70's, my Mom is still teaching dressage and competing on the national dressage circuit on her Warmblood gelding Piper – a horse that she bred and foaled out herself.
I am lucky to have a wonderful older sister; Michelle, who has always been such an inspiration to me. She is at the top of her field in feedlot health and teaches throughout North America on safe-handling and disease recognition in feedlot animals. Along with her husband Darcy, they own and operate a Charolais cattle ranch North West of Strathmore, Alberta. Michelle is a gifted horsewoman and has the ability to easily work with the most difficult horses. Michelle has always been there for me when I have needed her, and she is always excited to hear about everything that is going on with my life and with my horses. Michelle and my daughter Maddie have a lot of fun together on their play days, and being an Aunt is something my sister has a real knack for.
My brother-in-law Todd is much like my husband in that he is always willing to pitch in. Unlike PW, Todd is more into grease than fur, as he is a heavy duty mechanic. Anyone who spends a lot of time on a farm will note that a mechanic is one's best friend and Todd has always been there when something has stopped working. Todd and his lovely fiancée, Angie along with their two boys; Justin and Tanner also live on the farm property making this land truly a family farm.
~ Tina Watkins ~