HITS Thermal: Lessons Learned

Jess and Aiden in stall


All good things must, apparently, come to an end and that’s certainly true for Jess’s excellent adventure in Thermal, California. But there are those things that do not fade and even keep growing once you’re home. In the end, it’s all about lessons learned, allies earned and the ongoing discovery of who you are—even under pressure. Ms. Jessica Brendlinger:


I’ve learned to trust myself and my horse, it’s when I start second guessing and over-thinking I end up messing up.

Q. Might this be the natural outcome of one’s first “high pressure” show?

No, the pressure wasn’t there because this is what I love to do. I love the big shows with big classes because it challenges me and I just thrive on that competition. The more in the class, the better. With the learning thing, though, I think I learn more from showing than I do from lessons sometimes because in lessons you can go back and fix and make corrections and school but in the show ring you go have to go with what you got and make it look the best you can and like you meant to do it.

Jess, A THerm vert 2000

It’s also a lesson in confidence because if you go in without confidence you’re probably not going to win anything. You have to have poise and confidence in order to have the most success. Also riding everyday is huge because it gives you more consistency than the usual 4 or 5 days i ride at home.


Oh my goodness that horse is an amazing teacher, he takes care of me when I need it but challenges me when I deserve it. He really has helped me grow a lot as a rider and competitor because one of my biggest faults is softening to the jump and riding the distance but with him, you can’t do that. He also is enough of a challenge to keep it interesting but simple enough to have fun.

Jess aiden thrm hori 2000


I cannot thank Deb Ettinger enough for this opportunity, it has really been amazing and her generosity has allowed me to grow as a competitor and be able to follow me dreams and compete at the big shows. Aiden is an amazing horse and has taught me so much, I couldn’t ask for a better partner to come to my first big California show with.

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One Response to HITS Thermal: Lessons Learned

  1. Dee Lewis March 1, 2016 at 2:38 pm #

    I loved being able to watch you ride at the HITS! Congrats! It was delightful to meet you and the rest of the crew! Nice horse, too!!!

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