Ariel Jones

Me and horses, one word


Proudest accomplishment

Going from being known as “that kid with the crazy horse she can’t control” to “the person with one of the nicest horses on the property”

Learn from my mistake

I once had a chance to take lessons on a very well trained horse called Smokey. My trainer Jody loved him and raved about how good riding him would be for me. I hated Smokey. He pulled ropes out of my hands, wouldn’t listen to my seat or leg, was slow, wouldn’t canter for me- my critiques for him were endless. One day, I told my trainer how I felt about Smokey and she explained Smokey was doing exactly what he was supposed to do- ignore everything but my very best. Smokey would only listen to my best, most focused riding- and he and Jody taught me an important lessons about getting a swelled head about my own abilities and expecting my partner to put more into a ride than I was.

Greatest Inspiration

Probably my first trainers and my long time mentor/friend Jody- they all really got into me that patience and kindness is the way to go with animals. And Willy- no one’s taught me more than Willy.

Worst ride ever

Age 11: I was riding my horse brand new horse Willy in a brand new, creaky(read as ‘made of scary noises’), western saddle. As we tried to canter, he spooked at the sounds of the saddle and got faster and faster. My instructor had me keep my reins long and try to slow him from my seat, but I then lost a big squeaky stirrup(read as, HORRIFYING SLAPPY THING), which upped Willy’s speed and panic so that we began to tilt inwards are a 45° as he bolted. To all who were observing, it looked like I was going to stay on, until gravity and physics got a good look and said: “I’m havin’ you.”

I broke my left arm, chipped my pelvis, and one of my lower front teeth. Willy was kind enough not to trample me as he continued to run from the flappy squeak monster.

Teaching style

Nitpicky screeching and Positive Reinforcement (clicker training). I’ve jumped a bit, ridden miles and miles of trail, schooled up to 1st level dressage, and even played polo for a summer!

If I weren’t an instructor

I’d be trying to get into some form of animal care. I’m hoping to go back to school for an MFA in Creative writing.