Saying Goodbye: My Working Student, Jolene Perdue

Jolene Sitting on Cisco

Jolene was only ten years old when she came to take riding lessons from my wife Caroline, here at Stoddart Creek Stables. Right from the very beginning everyone knew she was going to grow up to be a horse girl because she never wanted to go home. She would get here first thing in the morning and stay all day long. In those days Jolene was a shy little girl who “never” and I mean “never” took off her riding helmet. Looking back one could say – she didn’t talk a lot, but she was always ready to ride.

Riding with Caroline gave Jolene a wonderful opportunity to ride a lot of different hoses and to go to the horse shows. What can I say, Caroline’s kids were always in the ribbons – and for that matter – they still are wining championships and reserve championships in the Hunter/Jumper show scene in Calgary Alberta.

Jolene & Peso
(Peso is our Conamara Stallion)

Yes, Caroline taught Jolene how to ride a horse centered and balanced, but more importantly, she taught her how to develop “rider feel”. I can remember, because Jolene had a nice feel with the horses, Caroline would get her to ride all of the ponies that the younger kids were having problems with. This really helped develop Jolene’s riding skills and at the same time it saved Caroline from having to ride them herself.

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Well I guess we all have to grow up and leave home sooner or later – no different for Jolene. On August 22/07 Jolene left for Taiwan as an exchange student to “Tie One On” – oops – I mean to study in Taiwan. Don’t worry it’s my weak humor.

I can’t speak for Jolene, but I was sad to see her go – she’ll be gone for a whole year. I will miss her company – she was one of the few people that every laughed at any of my humor. I will also miss all of the help she so willingly gave me. Yes, she got to ride a lot of horses and learn a lot with me, but she also got to clean a lot of tack, do a lot of grooming and cool out a lot of horses – it wasn’t all fun.

Jolene also helped me start a lot of colts – we worked well together – she took the time to learn my program, but most of all, she took the time to work on herself. I always told her that success with horses is all about learning how to be like and think like a horse – so she started wearing a ponytail hair due. That’s just another wonderful zap of my humor!

In closing, I just want to wish Jolene the best with her new venture in Taiwan and tell her that the horses are here waiting for her return to Canada – Home Sweet Home!

Jolene & Cisco
Stoddart Creek Stables

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