Lynn is a founder and owner of The Diettrich Farm in Salem, WI. I met this free spirit several months ago, and have admired her positive attitude, kindness towards everyone, and her passion for animals & nature. So, I recently travelled up to her farm to find out more about Lynn and her business.
Lynn’s origin story starts in Glenco, IL, where her family homesteaded in the 1800’s. Even as a child, Lynn questioned everything in her world, and showed a propensity for fierce independence. By the time Lynn went to college in the 7o’s, she chose a Catholic school in Santa Fe, NM to study. A few years later, Lynn moved to west Texas to work at a children’s camp. However, Lynn didn’t “feel” the connection between the community she worked in and the struggling neighborhoods that needed help and services. At the time, East Austin had a large low income community that Lynn really felt needed more help than was offered in the traditional sense. So, Lynn moved into East Austin to help the struggling people in a more direct way.
Lynn worked with a group of like-minded people to help those needing assistance in East Austin, and also volunteered at mental hospitals and nursing homes. Lynn later went to Georgia to volunteer for Koinonia (where Habitat for Humanity was born) with a group of conscientious objectors. These were the days of her growing and learning what a difference she could make in this world, one step at a time.
Eventually, Lynn finished her schooling, went home, married and became a mom. She lived on a rented farm in Antioch, IL with her family, and fell in love with the horses she owned and cared for. When her marriage ended, she found herself starting over again with a new partner and a new life at a recently purchased farm in Salem, WI. She was initially horrified with the place since it was a hoarders home where every barn and building was filled with junk. She still jokes that her partner almost literally dragged her up there to the place. She spent two years cleaning it out, and recalls having to bribe the garbage pick up workers with cookies to get them to keep picking up the piles of junk every week on her curb..
Lynn, her partner & son started running a garden and farm, but couldn’t make a living from it. Life was a real struggle. However, once people started seeing horses they had on the farm, neighbors started knocking on her door asking to board their horses there. So, Lynn’s horse boarding business was born and began to grow, and she felt a new sense of security. A larger barn and arena were built. Then her husband left, leaving her alone to keep the business running. Lynn’s accountant warned her that her rates weren’t enough to maintain her business. So, she raised them so that she could stay afloat, explaining to her clients how this was necessary to keep the farm running and the horses well cared for. However, once her clients heard this, Lynn literally lost half of her business almost overnight.
During this entire time on the farm, Lynn continued her own horse education. She not only continued her formal classes, but also studied people and their horses during their riding lessons. Because of this, Lynn began to act as a “horse communicator.” In other words, she could actually read the signs and signals the horses were giving to alert the rider of their fears or concerns. So, Lynn began helping people and their horses by training the owners to be better communicators to their horses as they ride.
And THAT’S when Lynn finally started bringing herself out of her financial hole. She continued her horse boarding business and teaching traditional horsemanship for several months until more clients came looking for assistance with their “Horse & Human Connection.” From there, Lynn started hosting trips to the mountains of Arizona with horses & owners to a working cattle ranch. She and her clients would take their horses out and have them work on the cattle farm. It was there that she and her clients really had fun with their horses, and they learned to trust each other even more.
After that, Lynn started the summer kids camp program, with horseback riding as the foundation. It turned out to be a huge hit. The camp includes riding, nature & horse-themed crafts and educational activities. Lynn firmly believes that it’s an investment in your child to keep them from getting lost during their formative years. In her words, “If they’ve found their passion- utilize it.” Lynn receives calls from now-grown kids who let her know that their horse experiences at her farm saved their life in their teen years.
She also now has 35-40 horses boarding on average. The barn and arena is always busy with staff teaching classes and owners coming in to go for a ride with their horse. She also offers a VIP Retreat for adults to help those who want to do a journey of self discovery using the horse and environment as the platform. This retreat is spent doing mindfulness exercises and getting together with the horse as part of their journey. This might include meditation, crystals, essential oils, body awareness, etc. In Lynn’s words, “Mother Earth and the Horses are our teachers.”
So, if you come to the Diettrich Farm these days, you’ll find parakeets and dogs (in the main house) chickens & guinea fowl (in their own house), cats (yep, they’ve got a house too), and- of course- horses (everywhere else). During her tour for me, I watched her love on literally every type of animal along our route. A former stray cat came running to get a snuggle from Lynn. He was found wandering her property by the children in her camp, severely injured and on the verge of death. He now proudly walks the property waiting for the next petting he can get from any person wandering by. I even watched a sweet little hen come waddling up for a snuggle with Lynn. I’m not kidding, this little bird just sat there happily as Lynn stroked her feathers. Then I watched as Lynn took out one of her own horses so that she could put eye ointment in one of the horse’s eyes. The horse never flinched or showed stress as Lynn removed the wrap and applied the medicine. I then noticed that Lynn quietly laid her hand on the horse’s head and kept it there. I asked what she was doing and Lynn replied that she was sending love and healing energy to her horse. I asked if she knew Reiki (a classic healing modality utilizing the hands for healing), and she said that she didn’t. This act of love and healing was coming straight from her heart.
Lynn utilizes divine help daily to foster the awareness and love of all. and it’s clearly seen at her amazing horse farm and retreat. Thank you, Lynn, for letting me highlight you as a Woman of Substance.