Path, Intl.-certified Registered Therapeutic Riding Instructor
2011 PATH, Intl. Region 7 Instructor of the Year
I started my model horse collection in first grade. The first time I remember riding a horse (an Appy!) was in second grade. I hated the bouncy trot but begged rides whenever I could. I attended Girl Scout Horsing Around camp. Without a live horse, I practiced my riding on the local carousel. In 5th grade I got to ride George, the best lesson horse ever, at the local community college horsemanship class.
Through family connections, I got to buy a green broke, 4-year-old POA, " Critter", when I was 14. I learned what it took to keep a horse; I hauled all of Critter's water from home for 14 years. For two years in a row, I was accepted into Girl Scout Hi Ho Sierras, a daily trail riding and a 3-day pack trip. From this experience, I learned instructors assign horses for good reasons. I also earned my CHA Trail Rider and Overnight Rider certificates.
I went on to graduate from Ellsworth Community College with an A.S. and certificate in Biotechnology. I finished a BS in Agricultural Studies from Iowa State University. I work full-time as a Biosciences Technician with the USDA.
As a Girl Scout leader, I inquired about volunteering my troop with One Heart. I ended up routinely sidewalking and leading - only occasionally accompanied by the troop. After years of volunteering, I was mentored and became a certified instructor in 2005. I was honored to be selected as the Instructor of the Year for Region 7 in 2011.
I own two miniature horses, Ava and her son, Tigger. I have Ava driving and Tigger ground driving. I hope to start working on horse agility in the near future. With more driving, I plan to be certified as a therapeutic driving instructor.
I enjoy teaching, but my favorite part is taking care of horses. All the horses at One Heart are wonderful, but I can't help having my favorites, narrowed down to just three...Bri, Dandy, and Miracle. When not at work or at One Heart, I enjoy Girl Scouts, gardening, orchids and succulents, entertaining my cats, working on my house, reading, and being an aunt.
Jen started out as a volunteer!