Reyna was born in western Kansas into a household of cats. But her first consistent animal experience was with horses.
Blind since a toddler, Reyna's parents were advised to enroll her in a therapeutic riding program. She was on horseback at the age of two.
By the time she was three, Reyna knew all the neighbors' dogs by name, breed, and age. She says she has loved dogs since before she can remember.
When she was four, the family moved to the Philippines for mission work. She spent her elementary years on the southern island of Mindanao, running barefoot, climbing trees, and swimming at the beach. While there, she also got her first puppy and her first pony, to be followed by many others.
Once the family was back in the States, her dad pastored a church in rural northwest Missouri, and Reyna truly learned to love the prairie.
When she moved out on her own, she came back to Kansas and put down roots on a small, six-acre hobby farm on the fringes of the Flint Hills.
She has degrees in political science and journalism, and is also a certified massage therapist. She has held jobs in those professions over the years, but her first love has always been for her animals and her land.
Today she raises registered Nubian dairy goats and German Angora rabbits. When she's not milking, bottle feeding, making cheese, making yogurt, cleaning the barn, cleaning the corrals, brushing rabbits, shearing rabbits, and carrying bags of feed and bales of hay, she stays busy walking, training, and showing her pack of ten dogs. And yes, she does also still love cats.
Film scores, thunderstorms, Medieval stuff, the smell of cut and drying grass, dark chocolate, singing (usually in a choir setting), sailing, strawberry-rhubarb pie.
Not a fan:
of scary movies, ice storms, radio commercials, down time.
"To the stars through difficulty" (Kansas state motto)
"An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An
inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered."
"Tomorrow's another day."
"True character is the way you act when no one is watching."
"There are no ordinary people. You have never met a mere mortal." C.S. Lewis
"We could never learn to be brave and patient if there were only joy in the world."
When they lived in the Philippines, her family gained notoriety by having a ten-foot-long reticulated python get stuck in their toilet. Missionary families talked about it for years.
Reyna has driven a car. It was her mom's sedan, around the church parking lot. She can also drive the John Deere Gator around her farm.
Despite living in Tornado Alley and having lived in the tropics, Reyna has never been in a tornado or a typhoon. However, she has experienced three significant earthquakes.
When she was a teenager, Reyna didn't just ride horses. She did gymnastics on them. She participated in the sport of horse vaulting, where exercises like stands, rolls, Cossack hangs and handstands are performed while the horse moves at a walk, trot, or canter.