Jessica Adkins turns a life-long love of horses into a career
“I love being outside and being around the horses, who are my clients,” Jessica Adkins said when asked what she enjoyed most about her business, MWE Training and Sales, LLC.
The Seymour, Mo., resident has been riding horses since she was 2 years old; and had her first experience training a horse at age 9.
“She bucked me off every single day, cause I didn’t know what I was doing,” Jessica recalled with a grin.
In addition to training horses and acting as an equine sales agent for her business, this horse lover is a skilled blacksmith.
She interned with four different farriers over a period of 13 years, learning as she went, and developing a strong work ethic.
When asked what she would change about her job, Jessica didn’t hesitate. “I would have went to school, that’s the only thing.”
She has been shoeing horses for eight years, and while economics is a motivator, it’s clear watching her work, that Jessica thoroughly enjoys shoeing.
Watching her shoe a difficult Paint mare with no concept of respecting personal space, Jessica was the perfect example of carefully applied control, discipline and reward. By showing the mare what was wanted, giving her time to comply and controlling the situation when needed, the horse was able to conceptualize what was wanted and deliver. What could have been a dangerous situation was defused, and the animals received a reward for her improved behavior.
Combining her profession with motherhood is a challenge – fitting in doctor’s appointments and school with business – but Jessica finds a way to make it work.
“I don’t ever have enough time, it seems,” she said.
Jessica travels as long as four hours one way to shoe the horses of her customers.
“I pretty much work when needed,” she said. A typical day consists of shoeing up to 17 horses. If the job only involves trimming the horse, Jessica can trim as many as 32 animals in a work day.
This determined lady has also put her training experience to use, training horses of all types. While she works with any breed, her favorite type of horse is a stock horse. Jessica appreciates their versatility and athletic ability. She also enjoys gaited horses, for the comfortable ride they offer.
“I enjoy trailing them, because they’re super smooth,” she said.
Jessica particularly likes working with mares, and says she loves “their heart.” Jessica also starts colts and trains horses to be reliable trail mounts. Her current favorite is a red roan mare named Annie.
Jessica does a lot of her work at the Seymour Saddle Club. In addition, she enjoys participating in fun shows at the saddle club, which helps bring money to the organization.
“We do reigning, rodeo, barrels and poles,” Jessica said. She loves competition, especially in a variety of events. In addition to showing close to home, Jessica shows “all over Missouri,” she said laughing.
Currently, Jessica lives with her family in Seymour. The 16 Quarter Horses she owns reside at a rented barn not far from home. Three Quarter Horse stallions are pastured on land owned by a relative. Jessica also works horses at the barn she rents. The forward thinking woman plans to buy property to house both her family and horses.
Jessica has first-hand awareness of the dangers of her profession. Three years ago a horse she had owned injured her leg.
“She flipped over on me, it was intentional,” Jessica remembered.
Despite the risks, this lady is determined to make her living working with the animals she loves.
“As long as you stay in shape, it’s not too bad,” Jessica said. “I want to continue as long as I can.”