THE ROMANTIC LIFE OF A HORSE TRAINER — DON JESSOP
Today I looked up.
I paused from my work and lifted my eyes from the flowing mane of my seventeen hand warmblood gelding, and saw Italy. Golden rolling hills. Italian architecture, and a herd full of beautiful horses roaming the eighty plus acres on which I was training. But I was not in Italy. I was just forty minutes from Sacramento, California, in a beautiful country setting near Rancho Cordova, on a farm called Silverhorne. If Italy had a mirror, this would be it.
The horses I came to know here, were known for their jumping prowess and beautiful conformation. Tall, elegant, powerful, and smart. These Hanoverian warmbloods, in the right hands, would win the Olympic games. The imported stallion, who no longer stands in his spacious paddock, represents the best of his German breeding.
And here I was, the lucky one who’s hands touched and help mold the future of these young horses. How did I get so lucky? Who gave me the desire to learn the depths of horsemanship? Who gave me the heart to feel the needs of every horse? Who gave me the opportunity to travel the world, supporting the future of all horses? Only God.
Tomorrow I travel again. To the place where seasons barely matter. To a place deep in the North Carolina country side where a group of willing students attend a weekend course to help improve their skills and relationships with their four legged partners. Here, and in many other places across the globe, such as the seaside farm in Rhode Island, and the seaside farm in Washington, and the mountain farms in Vermont, Utah, Nevada, and Montana, the deep south of Florida, and the even deeper south of New Zealand, I have the privilege of helping people learn about balance, alignment, energy management, bravery, courage, mastery level tasks, and so much more. Standing in a clearing, Guarded by rows and rows of trees, my group and I will sit atop our mounts, testing our new skills. Some will tempt their fates in the face of a small jump, while others will boldly climb aboard a brand new horse. Some will test their horse with the basics of flying lead changes, and others will pull off the halter and lead to test the boundaries of a liberty connection. Each and every student will walk away with a new found love for their horse, and a greater appreciation for their own capabilities. What a glorious endeavor I have chosen.
And what waits for me when I come home? A beautiful wife and daughter, who’s love for horses might surpass my own. I am blessed no doubt. I did not create my good fortune. But I didn’t deny it when it was shown to me either.
When opportunity is presented, will you believe in the romance of the possible future, or will you fear the expense?
Be bold… because life is full of fantastic things!
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