The Day I Fell In Love With Jake

The Day I Fell In Love With Jake

How I Fell In Love With Jake

Vasquez Rocks was the first place I had ever taken Jake to for a trail ride, away from my home and it turned out to be an exceptionally hot day that June, we were prepared for heat but not to this degree. It climbed over 100 degrees that day.Vasquez Rocks My Western Heart photography


I set out with another rider, a gal I had rode trail with for years, we both had our trusty trail doggies. At that time I had Reba, a black border collie with white markings that had no more interest in herding horses, let alone sheep or cows. She was just perfect and so smart.

We headed out around 9 am but the heat caught up to us midway through the ride, it got so bad that Reba decided to climb under some brush, cuz there aint much more out there in the dry desert, just dry old brush that does not offer much shade. She decided not to come out from beneath the bush, Reba was trying so desperately to escape the heat from. It wasn’t working. We were not close to our truck and trailers, I was starting to panic, I feared she was having a heat stroke and would not survive. I didn’t know what to do, we offered her water and waited, but she would not budge. She just laid there panting. Reba was miserable. I was scared.

It was getting hotter by the minute, I had to make a decision. Finally I told my girlfriend, “Lift Reba up here in the saddle with me, set her on Jake”. I had no idea how he would react, a dog on his back plus my weight. My friend gently picked up all 45 plus pounds of Reba and set her up in the saddle with me, right across my lap. Guess what Jake did? He stood there, quiet as could be, just as if he had done this a 1000 times before. He could have cared less. We were able to ride off with no problems.

We had about a 45 minute ride ahead of us, and had to climb back up over a ridge to get back to our trailer, I held Reba and Jake did all the work. He just climbed over the ridge quiet and calm as a good trail horse should.

Yep, that’s when I feel in love with Jake, I mean I really admired Jake before that but this was our first big ride together and I had only had him about 6 weeks. For the last 11 years he has been as solid as the day I got him. Not to say a good horse can’t have a bad day, cuz they can, but I will tell you this. I would rather have a bad day on a good horse than a bad day, on a bad horse. If you are trail riding, or plan on trail riding invest in a good quiet horse, they are worth their weight in gold. I have been fortunate to ride the trails for many years, had many good rides, had 1 really bad and several others that weren’t so hot. One day I will share with you, what I feel makes a good trail horse, but not today, I will save that tale for later.

So that’s our story, that’s how I fell in love with Jake, I have loved and adored him ever since despite his quirky ways.  I think Reba fell in love with him too.

Here is a photo of us on another ride, this was not the day we carried Reba out on Jakes back, this day we were at Fraiser Park California, another wonderful place to ride. It is home to beautiful pine trees, streams and much kinder weather.

My Western Heart


Hope you enjoyed this tale for the trail, see you next time, until then, happy, healthy trails.


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  1. What a lovely story, Lisa. Amazing what happens between people and animals. Something very magical based on unconditional love. Jake sounds like a beautiful companion and I enjoyed hearing how your “love” affair unfolded!

    • Lisa J. Hoover

      Hi Beverly, thanks for stopping by! I have been fortunate in my life to have several “loves”, but Jake has been with me for some really big life events. Animals can be magical and their unconditional love is priceless. I will be posting on his sense of humor in the future, he is a character this horse, he is a character!

  2. Okay, now I love Jake, too! What an awesome story and what a beautiful horse.

    • Lisa J. Hoover

      Thanks Heather for loving Jake too! He is a sweet heart and has been such a solid horse and friend these last 11 years, he was even at my wedding and was photographed with me before the ceremony. Thanks for stopping by, I hope your move is going well!! Love your posts on your site!!

  3. What a lovely story. What a sweet horse Jake is!

    • Lisa J. Hoover

      Thanks Melanie for stopping by My Western Heart and thank you for the kind comment, he really is a sweet heart and he has a sense of humor too! I will explain that in another post later

  4. Anyone would fall in love with Jake, who demonstrated that he has compassion for his fellow animal beings. He is a hero and from what I can deduce, Reba got timely help too.

    • Lisa J. Hoover

      Ahhh he is a hero, and has been many, many times too Vatsala. He really is a kind horse, you can tell a lot by the eye of a horse, kindness comes through in their eyes. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Great story! He sounds like a wonderful horse. It’s amazing how they can just know that you need them to step up.

    I love my mare, but don’t really have that trust with her. We’re not quite the partnership I want to have, but maybe we can find it 🙂

    • Lisa J. Hoover

      Hi and thanks for stopping by MWH! Jake is and has been a wonderful horse, and has stepped up or down for that matter on many a time. He is a solid guy. It takes time to build trust, I have another horse I ride but we don’t have anything close to this kind of bond, but…he is newer and younger and it takes time to build relationships..even with horses. You will get there with your mare, it just takes time. Thanks for stopping by, come back again!

  6. I wasn’t ready for that type of ‘love’ story…the love for an animal is a special bond. They have unconditional love that can be difficult to find in humans! Thanks for sharing Lisa.

    • Lisa J. Hoover

      Thanks Liz for stopping by! Sorry about throwing you off there…Yes there is a special bond with animals, stop by again!

  7. I can see how you would fall in love with Jake. What a sweet love..

    • Lisa J. Hoover

      Hi Tracy Thanks for stopping by My Western Heart! Yes, Jake is a love, very kind horse and a good friend. Happy Trails

  8. What a beautiful love story. Jake sounds truly amazing and your tail rides are wonderful adventures. I’m looking forward to more stories from the trail.

  9. How sweet! That is a good horse… I have only been on one long trail ride in Arizona, where I was on a rambunctious horse, and I am not that experienced! It was a very long ride!

    • Lisa J. Hoover

      Welcome Kimberly! I’m a long time rider and I agree…a rambunctious horse on the trail is NO fun…at all, end of story. Glad you made it home in one piece! Please come back again!


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