Riding from state to state has been in the back of Brandy's mind since she was a young teenager. She first got the idea from watching Bonanza episodes. She would day-dream about being a traveling cowgirl who would work on a ranch for a while, then move on to different territory. She would travel the northern states in the summer, and the southern states in the winter. But Brandy never really thought it would be a reality.
In December of 2010 Brandy was visiting with a friend, Megan Parks, and they were talking about Megan's trip to backpack Europe in August of 2011. Megan was still looking for people to go with her and the idea intrigued Brandy, but she knew she couldn't be without her horses for that long. "I remember saying," Brandy says, "that's a great idea, and I would love to do an adventure like that, but I would need to do it with horses. If I ever found anyone crazy enough that I trust to see the trip through, I'd ride state to state horseback."
That's why Ashley is known as the crazy sister.
In February of 2011, Brandy and Ashley were talking on Facebook when their dad mentioned about going out to North Dakota to work on ranches due to the big oil boom. The girls started joking about it, and then about being the traveling sisters who would ride the west on their horses just like in the old west movies. The more they talked, Brandy started to realize that Ashley was serious and this could be a reality. She called Ashley and they talked for almost 2 hours about the risks, the adventure, and how it could happen.
The next morning Brandy woke up and the idea was still fresh in her mind and she knew they had to go for it. Things had fallen under for Ashley, so she had no idea what else to do with her life, and Brandy didn't have any plans for the future, so this trip gave hope into their lives. And that's what the trip started as. Brandy and Ashley were looking for hope and they have always found it through horses, even when all else fails. The girls also wanted to grow closer to the Lord and spread His love around and the message of Hope He gives. The girls asked the Lord to take the trip and use it for His glory. They both agreed to give it to Him and do whatever He asked of them.
In the spring, after plans for the trip were under way, Brandy was talking with Pastor David Wolfe about the trip. She started to say that she felt the need to ride for a cause, but didn't know what to ride for. It wasn't her trip, it was God's, and so she was waiting for the Lord to bring one around. Pastor told Brandy about the Haiti Water Project and the first thought that popped into her mind was, "Lord, this is way too big! I can't handle all that!! Do you know how much responsibility that is going to be! How can I do that and take care of the horses as well?!" Then the Lord had something to say, "Don't you remember what you said to me 2 months ago? You said, 'Whatever you want Lord, that's what we'll do. This ride is yours, we're leaving it open to what you would have it to be. Just let it bring glory to you in big ways!' I'm holding you to your word."
So, Brandy listened to the details about the project, and the more she heard the more she knew they could make the trip happen. After all, the God who set the stars in place was asking them to do it, and He never quits a project He starts. If the Lord calls you to do something, you just do your part and the Lord will take care of the rest!
So, the trip became Horseback For Haiti and is now in motion.