By most standards, Saltillo wouldn’t likely be considered a “big city,” but for Kori Thomas, it was big enough. Too big, in fact.
Thomas spent her childhood years surrounded by livestock and horses and knew she wanted her children to do the same. So, two years ago, the Thomases pulled up their roots and planted them at a small farm in Mantachie. They’ve spent the months since turning it into a home.
That work wasn’t easy, but then, most people don’t purchase a farm expecting a leisurely existence. For their first eight months on the farm, located on Warren Chapel Road, the family lived inside a small camper. They spent their days working tirelessly to renovate, clean and restore the old barn standing on the property. For the past two years, they’ve brought the barn back piece by piece, and animal by animal. When they arrived, the place needed a lot of love. It’s gotten it.
“Little by little we are making this place what it once was,” Kori said, “We hope to have it looking better than it did before.”
Their work was, and still is, cut out for them. The amount of progress since day one has been astounding, but Kori still isn’t pleased just yet.
“We still have a lot to do,” Thomas said, and even as she said it, she was clearly proud of what had already been done. “We have fencing, gates, and just a lot more cleaning to do. But we love this place, and we’ve done so much already.”
These days, just a couple years after they bought the place, the family lives in a trailer on their new homestead, which is also home to a variety of critters – horses, cows, chickens, rabbits, dogs and a few kittens. It’s a lovely setting, one that, for Thomas, brings back memories of childhood. The Thomases feel right at home.
Thomas and her husband both work full time, and their children are all enrolled at Mantachie schools. Life has become a balancing act for the Thomas family. Her eventual dream is to shed her current work responsibilities to focus solely on the farm. Until then, she finds harmony between her work life and farm life however she can. She offers riding lessons and trail rides, gives kids an opportunity to work with horses. And then there’s “Painting with Ponies,” a party, hosted by Thomas at her farm, in which children spend time with the animals at the barn and express themselves through art.
To Thomas, farm life is life. Working with animals teaches a person how to care for themselves and others. Horseback riding, for example, can help a child overcome fear, to lead and to enjoy the simple pleasures the world can provide.