International Lesson Horse Essay Winner: Chili

Jamie Jennings shares her story of a been-there-done-that former rodeo parade horse who became her lesson horse extraordinaire.

Photo by Jamie Jennings

Chili Pepper came in to my life almost ten years ago.  As a former rodeo queen parade horse, he had seen it all. Those years in the rodeo circuit had also taken their physical toll on Chili. He wasn’t the newest or shiniest penny, but he shined enough for us!

Chili has taught a hundred young girls and boys how to mount up, steer, walk, trot, and canter. He has been the first love for so many children, nurturing that deep seated love for a horse that will last a lifetime. NEVER has he ever taken advantage or been naughty to a child. He loves kids and makes sure to be so slow and gentle with them.

My four year old son is now his primary rider, as Chili can’t carry much weight anymore. He has lost most of his teeth, has arthritis in his knees, hocks and back, and has Cushings disease. But through all of that, I know that if I have my son on his back, he is safe. He is worth every penny we spend keeping him happy and comfortable. Some say he is lucky to have us… but I know the truth. We are the lucky ones.

Photo by Abby Seashols

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