Anytime anyone asks me to tell them the story of how I met my Fiancé Tyler, I light up a little inside. It’s one of my favorite stories to tell because though it may be a wild one, it feels like something right out of a storybook.
And what better way to tell you, than to have my Fiancé present for all the fun? (see video below)
How It All Began
It was the summer of 2018, and I was in my bedroom scrolling through Facebook one night when I got a friend request notification. Now honestly, I didn’t think much of this at first, because I was kind of used to having random people add me. And for a hot second I thought about declining it. But I noticed his profile photo was him on a horse with a little baby calf. And my heart swelled (nice strategy babe).
I thought to myself “hmm who is this guy?” After some light stalking I saw that he lived in Montana but was from California, a few cities away from where I grew up.
I decided to accept his request and then proceeded to go and like a bunch of his photos in hopes that he would send me a message. And well, it worked. Shortly after I got a DM from Tyler and we made small talk for a bit.
He was really respectful in his messages (some guys just straight up hit on you out the gate) and seemed nice enough. He told me that he was sitting at the Salt Lake City airport heading back to Montana after visiting his family in California. I got a little bummed because I realized I probably missed my chance of meeting him any time soon since he just left California.
He said once he landed in Montana he would have a 4 hour drive back to the tiny town he lived in so he asked if he could call me on his drive. With butterflies in my stomach and hearts in my eyes I said yes. So I waited around for his plane to land and sure enough, he calls me.
We talked for the entire drive that night and something that stuck out to me was the very first question Tyler ever asked me on that call. He asked if I loved Jesus. And right then and there was probably when I first started to fall in love. I felt as though all of my prayers begging God to send a Christian man my way had been answered.
But in the midst of all my butterflies, deep down I knew that this was probably too good to be true. I have done the long distance thing before and it never panned out. And this guy was halfway across the country from me. Figuring it would go no where, that is until Tyler asked me about my career as a horse trainer.
At this point in time I was working basically full time as a horse trainer and part time as a photographer.
Tyler told me that he had a horse up in Montana that needed trained and asked me how much I would charge to have him fly me out there and work with his horses.
I squealed because not only did I want to meet him but also because this was going to be an amazing opportunity for my business.
Within 24 hours we had all the logistics figured out and I had a plane ticket bought for me to fly out to the big sky country in the next month or two.
The First Time We Met
On the morning of my flight I was so nervous. I almost missed my flight actually. And sitting on the plane I was excited, anxious, and hoping that he wasn’t going to be a total creeper. He was going to pick me up from the airport in Billings, Montana and then we were going to have to drive 4 hours back to his town he lived in.
I got off the plane and made my way to baggage claim where he said he would meet me. I was coming down the escalator and saw him sitting down with his back to me. I knew it was him because there he was all Cowboy’d up and looking like everything I had ever wanted.
My whole body was shaking with adrenaline. I had never done anything like this before but at the same time I knew I was right where I needed to be. He finally looked up and saw me and stood up so fast and came over to me. We smiled, we hugged and he chuckled asking if I was nervous (probably noticing my body shakes LOL)
He was so kind and instantly I felt at ease.
We walked out to the parking lot together and over to his big dually pickup truck. Yeah that was a real lady grabber too if I may say so myself.
From there, we did a little shopping in Billings (I’m assuming to be able to hangout a little before making the long drive together) and then we hit the road for the 4 hour drive.
It didn’t take too long for Tyler to grab my hand. And we spent that whole drive talking, and getting to know each other. I don’t remember much of what we talked about but I do remember feeling so at ease and already like I had found my person.
The Next Two Weeks
The plan was for me to put a 30 day start on Tyler’s horse and his roommates 2 horses. But once we arrived into town we took the first couple days to get acquainted and get me all set up for the training that needed to be done. Tyler showed me around Hinsdale, Montana. The tiny town of 200 people he lived in.
It was perfectly cute and like no other place I had ever been.
Just like in the movies, everyone knew everyone. Tyler introduced me to the gas station workers and all the little shop owners. But my favorite place by far was the little bar in the center of town. AKA where we spend the evenings after work relaxing and dancing and having a good ol’ small town time.
Tyler had his own custom farming business up there so his schedule was pretty flexible. Every day we would go our separate ways in the morning to head to our work places, but somehow always ended up back together at lunch time. And then early dinner. Needless to say it probably was not the most productive 2 weeks ever. We spent several hours on the river, wakeboarding, jumping off bridges, and slowly falling in love. Too corny? Don’t care.
Now you may have noticed I said 2 weeks instead of 30 days as originally planned. Well that’s because our time together took and unexpected turn that would forever set the tone for our relationship.
About 2 weeks into my 4 week trip, I was getting ready to put the first ride onto Tyler’s horse. If you don’t know about this stuff, this could be a pretty dangerous situation so Tyler stayed around to make sure everything went okay. I ended up jumping on his horse and to my surprise she was perfect. She stood still and I just about cried because I was so proud of her.
Then I was going to get on one of the other horses who I had already put several rides on and wasn’t worried about at all. But then it all blew up.
After swinging one of my legs over this horse it took off bucking in circles (which sucks but it is what it is) after staying on for maybe 40 seconds I decided I was probably coming off. I started looking at the ground and planning where I was going to fall. I took a dive and hit the ground (again this usually sucks but doesn’t hurt). I would have been fine if that was the end of it but unfortunately the hell-ish ordeal continued.
The horse continued to buck and spin right over the top of me. With all the adrenaline pumping through me, I blacked out but Tyler told me the horse’s back legs went on both sides of my head. God was really watching over me on this day.
And poor Tyler had to just stand there and watch because there wasn’t much he could do. When he finally saw an opening, he grabbed my arms and drug me out from under the horse and pulled me to the side of the round pen.
Thats when some of my adrenaline faded and I was hit with the most intense pain I have ever felt in my life.
Immediately, I knew my leg was broken. I could feel it in half and there was no question about it to me. Tyler tried to be a little more optimistic but when he felt and saw my leg we both knew it was time to go to the hospital. Calling an ambulance would take too long so Tyler picked me up with the help of his friend and put a saddle pad under my leg as a brace (some real wild west stuff). He drove me to the hospital that was 30 minutes away and I don’t know how I didn’t pass out from the pain on that ride.
When we got there they hooked me up to some meds to numb the pain and took X-rays. It was a clean break and I was told I needed surgery.
Hesitant, I called my parents and told them what was happening. We decided that it would be best if I could make it to CA to have the surgery to recover at home. And that very same night, with lots of drugs and a splinted leg we packed my bags, piled up in Tylers pickup and he drove me 24 straight hours back to California.
If I wasn’t in love before, then I can say without a doubt I fell in love on that drive.
The Rest Is History
After getting back to California and having my surgery, Tyler stayed in town with me for 2 weeks. We hung out, go to know each other and wondered what we would do now. Especially since I was going to have to recover for a while. Tyler went back to Montana for a couple weeks to finish out his jobs, but then he did something I never thought anyone would do for me. He shut down his business, packed his bags and left the life he worked so hard to get to just so he could be closer to me.
The saying is “when you know you know” but I don’t think I ever truly knew until I met Tyler. I thought I knew with other guys. I thought I would end up with some of my past boyfriends. But the feelings I had when I met Tyler go so far beyond anything I have ever felt in my life.
We are chasing our big dreams together, we put the Lord first and we are so wildly, stupidly, crazily in love. That boy has made every single one of my dreams come true and I couldn’t be more excited to become his wife.
We have been through so much together, including moving across the country 3 times for each other in less than a year of dating. God has moved in our lives in more ways than I can count and I can honestly say that the greatest honor of my life was meeting Tyler. As for the rest of our story? To be continued……
Click here to listen to the Q+A Podcast Episode I did with Tyler
I'm Sarah Elrod
I'm a Cowgirl turned serial entrepreneur.
I'm a horse trainer, western wedding photographer, business coach and ranch wife.
I help women in the western industry grow thriving businesses from rural America.
When I am not strategizing new marketing tactics, you will find me riding my horses, cuddling my cattle dog, or kissing my hot husband.
There is also a good chance I am buying way too many outfits from western boutiques.
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