Welcome to “Lizza’s World Spotlight!” Leading up to the release of my next book, “Hole in the Rock,” I decided to take some time over the next few months to share a little bit of the world in which Lizza, my main character, lives. Twelve-year-old Lizza is an animal-rescuer extraordinaire, so I decided to find people who would totally be besties with her if she were real!
In today’s “Lizza’s World Spotlight,” meet Jennifer Moore, a riding instructor and horse rescuer. Jennifer owns Blackhawk Equestrian in Twin Falls, Idaho and has taught English riding lessons since 2003. I asked her a few questions about animals and animal rescuing.
Q: Have you always been around animals, and do you consider yourself an animal-lover?
A: Yes! I have always loved animals and am horse-crazy in particular. I grew up on a farm where my parents boarded horses for other people.
Q: How many animals/pets do you currently have? What types of animals are they?
A: I currently have 10 horses, 2 dogs, 2 goats and a lot of chickens…
Q: What was your very first pet?
A: My first pet was a lop-eared rabbit named “Buttons.” I shared Buttons with my sister. This rabbit got its name because it chewed off the buttons of my coat.
Q: How old were you when you got this pet?
A: I was 6.
Q: Do you think everyone should have a pet? Why or why not?
A: Absolutely! Having a pet teaches valuable life lessons and responsibilities, such as having to take care of your pet every single day, having to find someone to watch your pet(s) if you’re gone, etc. It can even help young kids begin to understand the life cycle when a beloved pet dies.
Q: What is your favorite kind of animal?
A: Horses and dogs are basically both my favorites.
Q: What made you decide to take in a rescue animal?
A: My husband basically decided. He brought home a horse that needed some TLC. He was underweight and had other health issues. I knew we could help nurse him back to health and either find a good home for him or let him stay forever.
Q: What do you wish people knew about rescuing animals?
A: People don’t think about the time commitment needed to care for animals, especially rescue animals. For example, horses need to be treated like horses every day–they need to work, be active and be around people. When they aren’t, that’s when you often see accidents happening or maybe you’ll see injuries that will go untreated for a while because the owners aren’t paying attention. So rescuing animals isn’t just about getting a cute dog or a horse to admire. It’s a big responsibility.
Q: Do you plan to take in any more rescue animals?
A: Absolutely! I’ll take in goats, pigs, cows, any animal who needs proper care.
Q: If you had unlimited space and could take in any animal you wanted, how many do you think you would have? 🙂
A: I could have up to 12 horses, 10 goats and 3 dogs, but no more than that. I know my max. I have my business teaching riding and know how many animals I am able to take care of given the amount of time I have to dedicate to them.
Following is a photo of one of Jennifer’s students, as well as a photo of Jennifer giving a few instructions to the student.
Jennifer feels that it’s an advantage to run her business as she does—she teachers her students not only how to ride but how to properly care for the horses they ride on. Each lesson starts with learning how to curry and brush the horses, how to care for their hooves and then how to put on the bridle and saddle. Lessons end in the reverse: the saddle is removed and the horse is brushed again before being led back to pasture. Jen says that her older, more experienced students are a big help because they learn to look for cuts or other health issues the horses may have and take care of them. This way, the students help care for Jennifer’s horses. And one day if they are horse owners themselves, they know how to take good care of their animals.
Many thanks to Jennifer Moore–she would so totally be one of Lizza’s heroes!