CHRIS JONASON

Chris is the owner and operator of Rendezvous Ranch. She apprenticed with Mark Bolender for two years and was his first certified trainer. Chris has also been an outfitter for over 30 years. From this experience, she is able to recreate real world training obstacles for backcountry riding. Chris is a certified Mountain Trail judge and a skilled dressage, western and English equitation instructor.

Chris was raised in Washington State and experienced her earliest horse memories while on her uncle’s cattle ranch in Ellensburg. At age nine she already owned her first horse and continues to be enchanted by the beauty, power, and sensitivity of the horse. In 1983 she graduated from South Puget Sound’s Horseshoeing and Blacksmithing program as an A.F.A. certified farrier. She recalls that the testing procedure was quite rigorous. She managed C.J.’s Horseshoeing for over 20 years, honing her skills and techniques.

The journey of moving to “barefoot” began after she acquired a Kiger mustang from Eastern Washington who had never been shod. After less than a year of traditional shoeing, Luna’s perfectly formed and rock hard feet began to develop problems. Realizing that nail-on shoes might be part of the problem, Chris started to look to a more natural approach to hoof management. After discovering the work of “barefoot” pioneers Pete Ramey and Jamie Jackson, Chris removed the shoes from all her horses. After participating in dozens of natural hoof care clinics and trimming hundreds of horses’ hooves, she created Holistic Horse Services, which currently serves over 100 clients. She has been a long time instructor, teaching courses in swift water rescue, boat handling, horsemanship, and horseback riding. Chris is a mentor to many students on their pathways to becoming professional instructors and horsemen. Her rescue curriculum brought her an award for writing from Rescue III International.

Chris is an outspoken advocate for equine welfare. Her non-profit organization, The Equis Now Project, provides trimming training and assistance in developing nations. Chris has spent significant amounts of time in Haiti, Ecuador, and Romania learning, educating, and, as always, riding.

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