I had the great honor of meeting Cathi earlier this year and I was instantly drawn to her warmth and positive energy. She is one of those people with whom you instantly connect. What I loved most about her was the fact that when she turned 50 she bought herself a horse. Why? Because she always wanted one! While some might say, “Woe is me, I always wanted a horse but now I am 50…wa, wa, waaa…” Cathi said, “I have always wanted a horse, I am 50, and there is no time like the present.” How cool is that? She’s acquired some additions to her farm which has led her to goat yoga and I am excited for Cathi to tell you her story!
A: I am a visionary with determination. If I believe, there is no looking in the rearview mirror…only through the windshield. Type A personality, with a tendency to be controlling. Passionate in sharing my dreams with others. Compassion for all animals. It’s dangerous for me to stumble upon a pet adoption…I’ve found myself in trouble with that several times. I am always up for a challenge. The more difficult the challenge…the deeper I dig. My family comes first…I feel blessed and full of gratitude every single day to live on this beautiful farm.
Q: What did you do in your first act?
A: I consider my first act adopting two of the most beautiful children a parent could only dream of having. Sam was 3 ½ months old when I kissed his cheek for the very first time. My delivery room was the United Airlines gate in Des Moines, Iowa. He gave me such a bright smile and that was after a 24 hour journey home. My husband traveled to Seoul for our precious daughter. Katie was 4 ½ months old when she came home to me. We bonded immediately and to this day we have a deep rooted love and connection with each other.
I gave up my career to raise Sam and Katie. I was the typical Soccer Mom…PTA Chair, Cheerleading President, etc. I loved every minute of being there for my children. For 18 years my title was CEO of the Huff Household.
Q: What led you to what you are doing today?
A: I purchased a retired Thoroughbred race horse at the age of 50. I dreamed of one day having Bronx in my backyard. My life was in transition…it was a tough time for me. My babies had grown up and I had such a deep void. When I walked in to the house on Five Acre Road…I knew I was home! I looked out my kitchen window and I saw the most beautiful barn where my handsome boyfriend, Bronx would be living. Fast forward 12 months and Atlantis Dream Farm (Bronx’s racing name) was born….three miniature horses, 4 Pygmy goats, 2 cats, 2 bunnies, and a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy.
Q: How did you come up with the idea for yoga with goats?
A: I had 2 friends that would come over to have coffee with my new baby goats. My friend Kristin had seen a video of goat yoga and suggested I give it a try. My husband came up with the name GOGA and so it began….
Q: What are your goals? Are there specific goals you want to achieve or do you do this purely for the satisfaction it brings?
A: My goals are to share my beloved animals with others. I love watching people walk through the barn or relax listening to the fountain. It brings me such joy and peace when others can “be in the moment” and embrace the beauty of Atlantis Dream Farm.
Q: What have you learned through the process of reinventing yourself?
A: I have always struggled with impatience. As I grow older, I am finally coming to term with not everything has to be perfect. I am comfortable being in my worn out jeans and cowboy boots shopping at the mall. I no longer feel the need to be competitive with others. Meditation is my new best friend! I try my best to be present and in the moment and enjoy the beauty around me.
Q: What advice do you have for other women who are considering a change?
A: Go for it! Never look back. Be passionate and go after the dream!
Q: How have you dealt with obstacles or setbacks?
A: I am experiencing one right now…a broken hand. That may seem ridiculous to others but a broken hand is tough when running a farm and a new business. I am not one to rely on anyone and I’ve had to ask for help…so not my style. Because I am competitive by nature, if there is an obstacle or setback…I charge forward. No stopping me. My orthopedic surgeon literally throws his face in his hands every time I see him. Yep, I am still mucking stalls, cleaning pastures, corralling goats and horses one handed.
Q: Would you do it all again?
A: Absolutely in a heartbeat!! Without a doubt its hard work and long hours but I love every second of what I do. As I type this…my goats are super vocal at the landscaper, Bronx just peeked his head in my tack room window which caught me by surprise and a sleeping puppy and cat by my feet. Life is so good and I feel blessed and full of gratitude with each new day!