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About Jessica

Gifts That Led to Goals

When my love for horses began, my family did not have the means to buy a horse, but that did not stop everything inside me from living for horses as a young child.  After one pony ride, all of my focus was on becoming an equestrian.  My Aunt Barbara honored this dream and sent me for a riding lessons with Reiner Niewisch at River Run Stables for my 8th birthday.  Riding with dedicated Dressage and Hunter Jumper trainers opened up a whole new world and helped to shape the principles that guide me today. 

 
 

Centered Riding

I attended Delaware Valley University in Doylestown, Pennsylvania and majored in Equine Studies. There I met instructors who were certified in Centered Riding and the Alexander Technique. These two applications sparked great interest with me which led to connect with my horses deeply.  From there an understanding of how our balance and posture patterns affect the development and usefulness of our horses began.  

Years later I moved to Connecticut and was lucky enough to spend a few years riding with and working part time for Deborah Moynihan. Her extensive knowledge and experience in multiple riding disciplines coupled with her level IV Centered Riding certification was invaluable. She was generous to allow me the opportunity to learn on nice horses, like her fourth level thoroughbred "Ivy" pictured here.  

Finding a Mentor

In 2022 I began a mentorship with Amy Skinner.  Amy strikes a hard-to-find yet priceless balance of authenticity, witty sense of humor, and the ability to develop balanced equine athletes that is rare in the horse world.  She does this by dedicating her life's work to the horse.

Life With a Rare Disease

As a young rider; participating in Pony Club, 4H and being part of my barn's riding team gave me a home with people who loved horses as much as I did.  I competed often and gained experience by working with trainers; cleaning stalls, grooming for lessons and exercising horses helped me afford extra saddle time.   

At the age of 12 I learned that my life would include a rare disease now named Fibro Adipose Vascular Anomaly or FAVA for short.  Year after year I would navigate school, my riding schedule, hospital procedures, surgeries and physical therapy.  The disease is painful, but getting through physical therapy and back in the saddle kept me going.  

Living life with medical challenges has given me an edge when trying to spot imbalances in a horse's gait or training.  It also has fostered the ability to empathize with horses and riders learning how to reach for success through life's ups and downs.  We have all gone through difficulties or grown through tough situations, and acknowledging this can create an excellent learning environment.  This helps us all become emotionally agile, build perseverance and find greater authenticity.

Rescue 

Developing empathy for horses and riders while still wanting to compete made finding a place in the equestrian world difficult.  Professionals I worked with were tough and not always willing to take their time to develop a healthy equine-athlete.  All too often professionals who I met would rush to get a horse started, "broke" or moved up a level in order to build their name, produce desired show results and unfortunately they felt this was what they needed to do to just survive.  There were few widely used ethical ways to make a really good living in the horse world, and I was becoming very disheartened trying to find a place to put down roots.  

After a huge surgery and then becoming a mother to one in 2012, I reached out to a rescue in hopes of becoming a volunteer.  Barn work was good for recovering from both events.  While there I was able to see what happened to the horses who were affected by unethical training, breeding, keeping and riding.  I met more natural horsemen and women and realized equine biomechanics and a holistic approach were most important for me to focus on.  

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