We’re delighted to announce that Shannon Jones has kindly agreed to join our expert panel. Pictured here with her lovely horse Jake, Shannon is based in Eastern Kansas in the United States. We're so excited about this because we know that Shannon is a true all-around horsewoman who will be an enormous asset to the Programme. Many people, including some very famous 'names' from the western riding world, already enjoy Shannon’s popular blog ‘In Rhythm With the Horse’. But now there’s even more - we can also learn from her articles, which will be published on this website. Here’s a bit about Shannon, in her own words.
In her own words…
‘I have been a horse person since I was a very small child; I began climbing on a friend's pony around the age of five, started formal riding lessons around the age of seven, and got my first horse by the age of nine. I was active in 4-H as a kid, and began showing at 4-H shows and local open shows soon after getting my first horse, but progressed to the Class A Arabian shows by the age of twelve. Throughout this natural progression, my horses were at the center of my heart, the most important thing in my life. They were my best friends and confidants, and I swore to them early on to always give them the best life I possibly could. In return, my horses have won me many prizes and accolades, but most importantly, they have taught me courage, trust, perseverance, honesty, commitment, kindness, and self-sacrifice. My blog is dedicated to those values and to the horses that helped me learn those lessons.
The first and most important hat I wear is that of a riding instructor. I provide quality instruction from start to finish, specializing in applying dressage (training) techniques to all seats including Hunt Seat, Saddle Seat, Western, Side-saddle and Bareback. All fundamentals of good horsemanship are covered including groundwork, beginner’s skills, safe trail riding, preparing the horse/rider team for the show ring, performance improvement, advanced horsemanship technique and well-horse care for all breeds. I especially love working with beginners and children; when experiencing their 'firsts' with them, I rediscover the joy of horses that I have felt my whole life. I use safe, ethical training methods, and have many years of experience teaching, including work with timid riders and “special needs” children and adults. I put great emphasis on sports psychology and reaching the physical through the mental and spiritual; yoga stretching and breathing methods are used to release stress and gain flexibility. I think that having a bachelor's degree in communication enables me to reach people; my methods and philosophy are easy to understand and accessible, and I try to approach all of life and learning with a sense of fun.
I also have worn the hat of the competitor. My family showed Arabians and Half-Arabians for many years. I have won two National Championships, as well as a Reserve National Championship, in English Pleasure, and also several National/Regional/State titles in saddle seat equitation, reining, stock seat equitation, side-saddle, five gaited, and western pleasure. The past few years, I have been outside the show ring, helping my students achieve their horse showing dreams, and staying home with my two young children, enjoying watching them grow up. I really enjoyed my days as a showman, so quite possibly, I will return to it sometime soon.
I am also a breeder of top notch AQHA reining horses. My mare Miss Bam Bam Command is highly sought after as a broodmare. In 2004 I received the National Reining Horse Association “Breeder’s Award” in recognition for breeding Commanders Nic (by Boomernic), leading money earner of the NRHA. There are several up and coming reining horses out there that bear my name, so keep an eye out for them. They are out of some of the best stallions in the biz; Wimpys Little Step, Conquistador Whiz, Custom Pistol, Skeets Peppy, Gunner, Master Snapper, and ARC Matt O Lena, to name a few. I am dedicated to creating a horse that is athletic, beautiful, trainable, and nice to be around. There are few things I enjoy more than talking about bloodlines and analyzing conformation.’ [Note from the WRDP team: Miss Bam Bam Command is pictured left and, as you can see, is a beautiful palomino. We can see why she's in demand!]
Shannon’s role on the WRDP
Shannon has agreed to contribute training articles, the first of which addresses Flexibility and Straightness. Click here to go the article. We think it's great!