Equestrian Jessica West: Finding Joy During the Pandemic

An independent P.E. student, Jessica West is an Equestrian at the Norco Equestrian Academy.

Equestrian Jessica West: Finding Joy During the Pandemic

My favorite animal has always been horses and after watching YouTube videos and going on a few trail rides, I realized that this is what I wanted to do the most,” stated Jessica West in an interview with the Matador Messenger. A seventh grade independent P.E student at BYMS, Jessica has been riding horses since 2019.  She competes as a “hunter”, which is defined as jumping but with good posture.


Jessica practices 4-6 hours of horse backing per week. She notes that being at the horse stables can take up a lot of her time, but it is also a good leg workout. The academy she rides for is called Norco Equestrian Academy. As of today, she has participated in three shows and won 9 rosettes, a trophy, and a plaque. Two of the shows were hosted at her academy while the other one took place at Pepperglen Farms.


Jessica has a horse named Bamboo. Bamboo is a thoroughbred, which is best known for racing. She loves working with horses because it makes her feel relaxed and calm. “If you love animals, horseback riding is an amazing sport for that,” Jessica commented.


Going to the stables often takes up lots of Jessica’s time, which results in her not having enough time to finish all her school work. Although Jessica always tries her hardest to achieve straight A’s, she acknowledged how challenging it can be sometimes.


“For people who might want to try it out, the first thing is to get your own riding helmet,” she observed. There are a lot of different types of horseback riding. For example, there is western riding, which contains barrel racing, pole bending, western dressage, and more. In English riding, there are hunters, jumpers, dressage, racing, and steeple chasing. “Don’t be quick to make a decision,” Jessica concludes, “try all of the ones that are interesting to you and then make a final decision.”