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  • Jessica Roush

Updated: Jul 29, 2018



Jen Joines writes:

This is my mini Kricket. She and I have been best buds since 10/2016. I adopted her from Falcon Ridge Equine Rescue (Valley Center, CA) after she was pulled from a severe neglect situation.

When I brought her home it was like the lights were on, but no one was home. She was dull, lethargic and had no sparkle in her eye. It broke my heart.

As I do endurance with my paint mare, we decided to apply similar theories to Kricket to try to get her healthy. I’d take her for SLOOOOOOOW walks on trail while a friend conditioned my paint in circles around us.

As Kricket’s stamina improved, I started seeing little sparks of personality. There was a fire breathing dragon hidden under all that mane!!! Those little sparks convinced me that I was doing the right thing.

Fast forward nearly two years later (gosh, time really flies when you’re having fun!!!) and Kricket has done things that most big horses wouldn’t dream of doing...

Kricket runs endurance with me. No joke, WE BEAT full sized horses and riders on 6 legs (two human, four mini).

Kricket shows in hand in a ton of disciplines. We have dabbled in halter (learned real quick that we both greatly dislike it), fun classes, jumping and trail. Kricket’s favorite class at shows is always trail.

But her true passion? Pounding miles under her itty bitty hooves. Whether it’s running/hiking by my side, or being ponied off my paint, this goofy, lovable, fire breathing dragon just wants to eat up miles.

She has done so many things in her year and nine months with me, but her biggest is yet to come... We are going on a trip to Arizona and Utah at the end of August. Kricket will take a whirlwind tour of the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Grand Escalante, and Zion National Park.

This little pony is just incredible, and I couldn’t imagine my life without her.

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  • Jessica Roush

One of the first toys I remember asking for as a small child was a sewing machine. I got a toy sewing machine that sewed with glue. In Jr High School my Home-Ec teacher had me hem all of the classrooms curtains because I was so good at sewing a straight line. The only thing that interested me more than a sewing machine was horses. 1+1= sewing for horses. My first youth job was working as a trail guide at a riding stable which I did for 4 years. The rest of my working life has been spent sewing at various factories. Now I have the best of both worlds- my horses and my sewing machines.

Horses in grassy pasture
Gracie and Silver

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  • Jessica Roush

Updated: Jun 13, 2018

What is your plan? What do you hope to be doing by next year?

When I was young, I rode my horses fearlessly and didn't even notice if they were argumentative. We went anywhere and everywhere. They were never sick and never lame. Now, 30 years later, it takes courage just to get on and I have to dig really deep to stay on when my horse starts bouncing around rebelliously, arguing that going home or staying home is a much better idea. This past year I've bailed out a few times. But it's a new day and I'll try again.


It's easy for someone who is standing on solid ground or sitting on a quiet horse to watch a struggling rider and give opinions as to what "they would do" in that situation- or look down their nose at someone who "gave up" out of fear and just did ground work instead of riding that day.... It's hard to be "that person" who gave up. Self preservation is a very strong instinct. Yesterday I felt quite broken and wanted to give up and go back to safer hobbies, such as painting, photography, sewing... Today I'm ready to try again. Make a new plan, follow through, get home alive, safe and sound. Today is a new day.


Life is this way too. Is there an area of your life that you can relate this to? What do you want to do but are, or have become afraid to do? Perhaps you are afraid of people and want to avoid or control things that are not yours to control? Don't give up. Pray about it, listen to God's leading and step forward instead of backward. What is your plan? What do you hope to be doing by next year?

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