CLYDE TWP – In the back of her mind, Kristen Humble always knew where she would end up here.
“Sometimes I joke and say I have to get some new life goals,” Humble said. “Because everything I have wanted, I have accomplished. I’m like the American dream.”
There is a lot that Marine City High School students probably don’t know about their Spanish teacher and girls track and field coach. Humble, 33, grew up hoping to own a horse and went out and earned the money herself to purchase a horse when she was only 13 years old.
“I did a lot of baby-sitting,” she said with a laugh. “I mowed lawns, shoveled snow. I did anything I could to earn the money and I made $3,000 by the time I was 13 years old.
“I think that really affected me because it taught me that no matter what I wanted I could go after it.”
While Humble has always had a love for horses, she never imaged that her and her husband, Kevin, would own 20 horses of their own. They also didn’t know they would own a 40-acre property called Humble Ranch for the past eight years.
“Kevin and I have both been into horses our wholes lives,” Kristen said. “I started when I was 10 years old and he started from birth and he has been doing it forever. We have wanted this before we got married and we made it happen. He is a full time blacksmith and works about 12 hours a day.
“I’m fortunate that in the winter time, he does all of the chores in the morning and I do the chores in the evening. We have a lot of friends and family that help us out.”
But that still leaves plenty of work to do, which oftentimes appears to have no end in sight.
“I pretty much work sun up to sun down every day mowing grass, weed whipping, training horses, riding horses, breeding horses, showing horses,” Humble said. “We do a ton of different things. I’m multifaceted.
“I don’t know how I find time. I put in a lot of long hours. I’m really passionate about teaching. I’m really passionate about coaching and I put a lot of time into that, and I’m passionate about the horses. There have been track meets where we had horses born the night before a meet and we were up all night. You get a couple hours of sleep and then you are with your students all day.”
Carlee Miller of Port Huron has helped Humble around the ranch for several years and seemed to develop her own love of horses from pitching in. That has turned into a career as a vet tech.
“Kristen has taught me pretty much everything I currently know about horses,” Miller said. “I have learned so much from her. Her passion for horses made me more passionate about it.
“If you work hard enough at something, you can get whatever you want. She has gotten this farm through hard work. It all started with that one horse.”
These days, Humble is spending her time breeding the next line of champion horses. Several of the horses she has bred have gone on to win competitions.
“She stays busy pretty much all of the time,” Kevin Humble said. “Her love for horses is the reason why she always has something to do. I think it was both of our goals to have the ranch.
“It’s been the plan. It’s a dream come true and it’s non-stop work. There is always something to do, but it’s a lifestyle.”
Humble doesn’t have any plans of changing that lifestyle anytime soon, even if that means putting in hour upon hour of hard work.
“During the school year, I teach all day, coach to about 4 p.m., grade papers to 5 p.m. and come home and I’m out at the barn from 5 to 10 p.m.,” Kristen Humble said. “We have 23 horse stalls that we clean every single day. I come in around 10 p.m. and the big joke is I melt cheese on something and call it dinner and then go to bed and do it all over again.
“It’s a ton of work but it’s doing what I love doing. I tell my students all of the time that if you love what you do, you never work a day in your life. You have to find what you are passionate about and I’m fortunate I have a lot of passions and a lot of things I am good at and that I like to do.”
Contact Joseph Hayes at (810) 989-6268 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on twitter @jhayes1136.