Call to Adventure
Call to Adventure
Horses are magical creatures. They enrich our lives and feed our spirits. They can call to adventure an ordinary life and transform it into a life of horse adventures. These magnificent animals play a central role in many world mythologies and have long been our companions in work and play. For centuries horses have moved us from one place to another, both physically and spiritually, inspiring many great horse adventures along the way. The very name “horse” is a call to adventure.
My Call to Adventure
Like a lot of little girls, I was born loving horses. And like most little girls, I was not born into a horse family. I am the youngest of four children. My father was a mechanical engineer and contractor, and my mom was a stay-at-home mom. My mom always said “Lisa’s first word was horsey, not mommy.”
On my fifth birthday my parents took me to the County Fair to ride the ponies. I remember getting out of the car and thinking how great the ponies smelled. My mom on the other hand said she wanted to wait in the car with the windows rolled up. The joy I felt riding the little pony around in a circle was immeasurable. It was then my parents realized that their daughter’s passion for horses could be a serious problem.
My First Horse
From then on I begged and begged (and begged) for a horse of my own. My parents told me I would have to wait until I was 10 years old, but in the meantime they would look for a facility that offered riding lessons for children. They had no luck, and so when I was eight they gave in and bought me my first horse. Then came the second problem: where to keep her? – could she live in our backyard?
For the first year she was boarded over an hour away. Every day my father left work early to drive me out to see her. It began to dawn on him that the horse needed to be closer to the family. He began to look around for property and 1971 he purchase the ten acres of land in Walnut Creek at the base of Mt. Diablo that is now DeVito Equestrian Center. I feel so blessed to have had parents that supported and nurtured my dreams.
At that time the farm consisted of a main house, a dairy barn, a swimming pool and pasture space. My father built the horse barns, arenas, and paddocks. My father knew I had a passion for the horses, but did I have enough passion to do the work? He wanted me to learn the business of boarding horses, so when I was in middle school, my father gave me six stalls with paddocks to manage and maintain, encouraging me to follow my passion while teaching me life skills. I also began showing horses around the country.
By the time I was entering high school, the farm had become one of the largest boarding facilities in the Bay Area. We had also expanded the business to include a full scale lesson program for children. And in my early twenties
I had an extraordinary youth because I had extraordinary parents.