Jessie Jerkins’ love of horses stems from family ...
1, 2, 3. That’s the countdown all babies hear as their parents stand them up and let go of them for the first time to start walking.
For Jessie Jerkins, the countdown was not for the same reason as most small toddlers. Jerkins first heard this as her parents let her ride her first horse.
Jerkins is a junior studying geriatric social work and minoring in psychology. When she’s not busy doing school work, you can find her at home taking care of her 24 horses. For as long as she can remember, horses have always been a part of her life.
“I have been taking care of horses and riding horses since I was born,” Jerkins said. “My grandfather Gigi owned draft horses, and it just started from there with my family and horses. My mom and dad said my sister and I were riding before we were walking. So I have been riding horses for 21 years.”
With school work and commuting, life can get pretty stressful for just about anyone. For Jerkins, stress is something she knows how to deal with. With help from her horses, she is always ready to face the next thing life throws her way.
“My favorite part about having horses is how calming they are,” Jerkins said. “I go out any time I am stressed out, and they will just let me ride them or sit next to them. It’s more calming than most people think.
“There is nothing better than having a horse give you a big old kiss when you are stressed out.”
Jerkins also noted a horse’s ability to discern.
“They are also very intuitive,” Jerkins said. “They know when you are upset, and they try to make you feel better.”
A love for horses is a family bond. It’s a tradition that has been passed down generation to generation. It’s something they all cherish together, and it’s something Jessie wants to pass down to her family someday.
“I will always share the blessing of horses with people, especially my family,” Jerkins said.
To Jessie, it’s a two-way street between the horses and her. She takes care of the horses, but the horses also takes care of her.
“I have a favorite saying that goes ‘Horses leave hoof prints on your heart’,” Jerkins said. “This is a love that I will always share with others.”