Like many other young kids, Jessica immediately fell in love with horses the first time she stepped foot in a barn. This love was fostered by her grandmother, who trained and bred Appaloosa horses throughout her life. “Gram” took Jessica and her sister, Rebecca, to a friend’s barn, where Jessica would watch and feed the ponies treats, until she was finally allowed to take her first riding lesson at the age of 4 years old. From then on, she was hooked.
Growing up in central Maine allowed Jessica to experience various disciplines, including english and western pleasure, hunt seat, jumpers, dressage, and eventing. After joining Tamarack Pony Club at the age of 8 years old, Jessica decided to focus on eventing under the instruction of Dana Susi at Wild Child Farm. Throughout high school, Jessica grew into an instructional role for Tamarack Pony Club and assistant barn manager at Wild Child Farm, as well as competing through training level in eventing and first level in dressage throughout the northeast United States. Jessica continued on to work for and learn from eventers Babette Lenna and Ashley McVaugh in Massachusetts, as well as at competitions up and down the east coast. In those 15 years, from when she put her foot in the stirrup for the first time, to going off to college, Jessica built a strong horsemanship foundation. Her skills, that have since been built on, include extensive first aid, functional anatomy, show prep and grooming, safe handling, showing horses for sale, and instruction of private, group, and horsemanship lessons.
Jessica started her college career after returning from a winter of working for Babette in Aiken, SC. Her first three semesters were spent at The University of Southern Maine, where she worked at Hearts & Horses Farm as a riding instructor and therapeutic riding assistant. Jessica then transferred to The University of Maine, where she graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Psychology in 2018. During her years there, she worked for Debbie Place at Peppergrass Farm, eventually taking the role as assistant manager, and contributed to instruction for Penobscot Pony Club, as well as taking on clients of her own. After graduating college, Jessica moved to Ocala, FL as the barn manager for Jeanie Clarke, and later parted ways to focus on instruction and creating her own clientele. She also spent time volunteering at Stirrups ‘n Strides Therapeutic Riding Center to continue her passion for using horses as partners in a therapeutic setting. All of these different experiences in the industry and throughout the country have produced the horse woman that Jessica is proud to be today.
Jessica is ecstatic to be based in Aiken, SC full time to continue working towards her personal and professional goals in the equine industry. Her other passions include spending time with her husband, Hunter, and their two dogs, Lily and Luna, as well as friends and family. Jessica also enjoys gardening, reading, traveling, writing, spending time on the water, and drinking a good cup of coffee.