Skip to content

Just Like “New”

July 11, 2012

If faith could be likened to summer, and self-doubt likened to winter, then it would be easy to understand how the seasons of our life are so much like the seasons of nature. If we can celebrate and believe in our faith as a journey unfolds, then the creeping shadows of winter doubt will never overcome us. Not many understand this analogy much better than Jessica Dabkowski of Fort Collins, Colorado. She has built her equine career by re-directing her doubts into a faith that has carried her through to success.

Jessica was crowned the 2012 Champion of the Fort Collins Extreme Mustang Makeover, a journey with a plain bay mustang she named “Novo” in which she never lost faith. In Portuguese, “novo” means “new,” and with every mustang she works with, Jessica starts anew, never losing faith as she works to build another relationship and travel familiar paths towards a similar destination.

Day one, a world of “new”

Introducing children to the beauty and intelligence of a once-wild horse, Jessica helps spread the message about adoption with the trainers of tomorrow Photo credit Jessica Dabkowski 

Every journey has a few “wrong turns,” and shortly after this pic was taken, a spook and a fall caused a broken foot as Novo fell with Jessica, just a few weeks into training. Jessica would spend some time on crutches after surgery repaired the break with a steel plate. Novo’s training continued with Jessica on the ground, and friend and fellow mustang trainer Mary Gates in the saddle. Photo credit Victoria Wood 


Novo and Mary Gates, getting acquainted Photo credit Jessica Dabkowski

Jessica believes in taking new experiences “one step at a time.” Here Novo is getting accustomed to the sound and feel of a flag.  Photo credit Jessica Dabkowski  

Even with a steel plate in her foot,  Jessica was back in the saddle in just a few weeks, and Novo was feeling comfortable with the flag. Photo credit Bob Dabkowski 

Every journey begins with faith, and along the way, trust becomes a mile-marker of success.  Photo credit Bob Dabkowski  

As their journey together came to a close at the Fort Collins EMM event, another one was just beginning for Novo. After the competition, Dana Schlitter adopted the Champion mustang gelding, gathered from the Divide Basin HMA in Wyoming. Mary Dobbs photo  

Jessica, Novo, and Dana, together after the competition. They will work as a team to start Dana and Novo off on their own adventures together. Photo credit Bob Dabkowski  

With faith and perseverance, the “pot of gold” comes from knowing that your journey has challenged you and changed you for the better; the doubts of winter, while they may always chase you, remain in the early summer dust of one’s faith, tested and true.

Jessica Dabkowski, winner of the 2012 Fort Collins Extreme Mustang Makeover, owns and operates Pony Peak Stables near Fort Collins, Colorado along with her husband, Bob. Her “Growing Great Riders” lesson program serves clients along the entire Front Range, from Denver to Cheyenne. An only child, she grew up along the eastern seaboard near Atlanta, Georgia.  Jessica’s equine training foundation includes dressage and hunter/jumper, sound philosophies she applies to her mustang training. To date, Jessica has trained and found homes for 5 previously untrained mustangs, 4 of which have successfully competed in various Extreme Mustang events. For more information on Jessica, please go to


For more information on how to adopt a mustang of your own, please check out the available TIP (Trainer Incentive Program) mustangs at



From → Uncategorized

One Comment
  1. Courageous woman to hop back on so quickly! Great write up!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: