Kelly Jones is a certified equine professional with the Natural Lifemanship Institute. She is passionate about supporting people who are struggling with that feeling of being stuck, who want to break through unhealthy patterns of behavior that are affecting their relationships and quality of life. Through her innovative method of partnering with horses, whether in a team with a licensed mental health professional or as a facilitator of coaching and workshops, her clients gain awareness, and experience a lifelong transformational shift as they reconnect to themselves and others. This journey helps them gain clarity and confidence, so that relationships improve as they get from where they are, to where they want to be.  To book a session with Kelly click here.

Always present is Kelly’s lifelong love of horses and her humble approach to learning something new about horses every day. Since 1999, when she purchased Ponderosita Ranch, home to South Wind Equestrian Center (est. 2004) and Unbridled Connection, Inc. (est. 2019), Kelly has interacted with horses daily and manages her oasis in the Texas Hill Country, as a refuge for those seeking healing and restoration.

Her Story

Kelly became committed to helping humans heal as a result of a lifetime of challenging experiences (traumas) that taught her resilience and a knowledge of how hard it is to tackle the things we don’t want to think about.  From childhood abuse from a relative, a near rape at age 15, nearly being killed at the hands of her then fiance’, a narcissistic husband and then marriage to a veteran with severe PTSD, along with several serious physical injuries, Kelly learned that time spent with the horses seemed to bring safety and calm. Over the years various horses would provide a re-centering and space of presence, to help heal and remind her of who she was inside. Through a series of many difficult events, she continued to rely on God and never give up, which strengthened her resolve and commitment to “just keep swimming”. (Dori from Finding Nemo)

Even as a young child Kelly was able to connect to horses in a stable where she worked, and recognized the fear and pain some of the horses were experiencing, and she saw within herself an ability to calm the horses and at the same time find safety for herself with them. A life long love of these beautiful and gracious animals drives her passion to learn more and help others. Kelly continues to place equine welfare as a top priority, recognizing that they are sentient beings and worthy of our respect and affection.  Their ability to connect authentically in deep relationships with each other and us, is powerful and life-changing.  We learn so much from them if we take the time to listen.

Along with learning about horse behavior through fostering rescue horses, teaching adults and children how to care for and ride horses, and providing horse boarding for a large variety of horses, Kelly was presented with opportunities to recognize the healing power of horses.  A series of women who had been wounded began to trickle into the ranch, and Kelly placed them carefully with a kind-hearted horse, whom they began to groom and nurture.  Over time the change in the demeanor and posture of those ladies began to change dramatically and watching these transformations compelled Kelly to research why.

What is it about being in the presence of horses that is so settling for the human spirit? What is it that seems to cause our bodies, minds and spirits to heal when we spend time with them? This passion and empathy for other living things, and desire to intentionally help more people heal, drove Kelly to become a bit of a nuero-science geek.  She loves studying the brain and the nervous system and has woven a deep spirituality into this journey of learning. Everything is connected.  Humans to each other, animals and humans, everything to nature…it is a beautiful woven tapestry. When we intentionally tap into our True Selves, and take off our mask and unravel our ego, we are able to recognize a renewed sense of self and strength from within.  A true recognition of who we are created to be is unveiled and this grows and strengthens over time. Working with horses, in a natural setting, can transform and heal lives.It has happened again and again at the ranch.

Experience

Since 2014 Kelly has been honored to partner with 9 licensed mental health professionals at two different facilities providing trauma-focused equine assisted psychotherapy services to adults and children. This experential modality of treatment for the symptoms of trauma-related events, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, TBI, ADD/ADHD, attachment disorders and more is effective and

She started her career in 2004 training horses and has managed a boarding facility since then, having taken care of over 200 horses representing different breeds and personalities. She has also bred horses, rescued horses and accompanied her daughter through the dressage show circuit. She has taught children and adults horsemanship and riding, and currently coaches and facilitates workshops and team building events, both at home and off site.

Currently Kelly is coaching adults who are experiencing anxiety and a feeling of being stuck.  Through helping clients recognize what triggers in life can cause a sense of being overwhelmed, Kelly is able to help clients regain clarity and experience a sense of relief and peace.  Everything we need we already have, we just sometimes need help finding it. This work is a life calling for Kelly and the ripple effect of each of her clients healing and regaining strength, effects all of their relationships and in turn the community. To schedule with Kelly click here.

Equine Welfare and Behavior
Help for Equine Professionals, Therapists, Horse Owners and Facility Owners

Kelly has a true passion for both equine welfare and human healing. Kelly’s 20+ years of daily interactions with horses have provided her the opportunity to learn about and experience the nuances of equine behavior, and she has woven these experiences into helping humans, while protecting and caring for her equine partners. Kelly’s training and experiences have given her the opportunity to be a specialist in this growing field, a term she does not take lightly.  These valuable experiences have also prepared Kelly to teach and mentor other equine professionals and facility owners and managers, who have sought her guidance and knowledge.  To make an appointment for a mentoring session click here.

Equine welfare is one of Kelly’s highest priorities, and educating horse owners on horse behavior, holistic horse care, facility management and programming has become a favorite topic.  Only through daily interactions with horses in a natural setting, can we even begin to understand these highly sensitive and relational animals.  Kelly also enjoys working with horse owners to improve their connection and relationship with their horse(s), something that improves not only health but performance for these equine partners.  One of Kelly’s specialties for example, is discerning whether a horse is present and a willing participant, or recognizes their tendency to “check out”, leading owners to believe they are content and “safe” or “bomb-proof”.

Education

Kelly continuously pursues additional knowledge and training through multiple opportunities with professional organizations who are experts in equine facilitated activities and therapy, trauma and nuero-science, horse behavior and facility design and maintenance.  These include the Natural Lifemanship Institute, The National Institute for the Clinical Application of Behavioral Medicine, Leif Hallberg Masterclass 2020, the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, and as many books, podcasts and journal entries on nature (biophilia), experiential psychotherapy, mindfulness and healing, that she can squeeze into a day!  Kelly received a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration in Marketing from Texas Tech University and enjoyed corporate life until she became a mom. Then she enjoyed raising her two children as a stay-at-home mom for 10 years.  After a divorce she has run the ranch and been a single mom since 2007.  Kelly’s pastimes, other than horses, include fly fishing, skiing, hiking, reading and gardening.