Some of you may have been wondering what happened with Jessica. The short answer...I took her back. The long answer...After our first lesson in which she slammed on the brakes and did not want to go across the diagonal, this problem continued to come up. In hindsight, this actually happened twice while riding her out in the field the first week I had her (before the lesson). I just didn't quite connect all of the dots. It normally happened mid way through a ride with no warning that it was coming. I tried pushing her forward with my leg, I tried using the whip to get her going again and that did not work. She was even more resistant and felt like she would consider rearing. The only thing that seemed to work was just to sit it out until she decided she was "un-stuck."
Side Note: One very defining horse in my life was a mare named Roxy, (similar to Sprinklerbandit and Izzy). If you've been reading for any length of time you have probably heard me talk about her. Roxy was a gorgeous thoroughbred mare who I got off a feedlot. I owned her for almost 3 years and invested a lot of time, energy, and emotions, not to mention the money! Although we had some good times, we also had some really bad times. Not only was she very athletic but she was not the most willing partner. After that experience I made the decision that if I wasn't riding something I really enjoyed, I wasn't going to ride.
We had about a week of this before I asked Tarra to try her out for me. She hopped on and off they went. Things started out well enough with Tarra telling me she thought the issue could be worked through, but by the time her ride was over we had both decided this just wasn't working. Jessica was the worst she has been and at the end of the ride she was throwing a tantrum even just walking around the arena. She'd walk fine and then decide to back up, bump in to the arena wall, and generally not cooperate. I contacted her owner, and the rest is history.
I'm quite honestly a bit frustrated and discouraged. I did not expect it would be that hard to find a horse that I could ride around the arena, take on trails, and generally enjoy. Even leasing is a big financial commitment and I'm torn between being an adult and doing something smart with my money (since I do already have two horses), or pursuing another horse. The only thing that makes waiting unattractive, besides missing out on all sorts of fun horse adventures, is that I know I'm going to have a green 3 year old on my hands in two years, and I don't want to be out of practice!