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.
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.
Since 2014 Kelly has been honored to partner with 8 licensed mental health professionals at two different facilities providing trauma-focused equine assisted psychotherapy services to adults and children. 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 taught children and adults horsemanship and riding, and currently coaches and facilitates workshops and team building events, both at home and off site.
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.
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”.
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.