A little history on the Joni Fitts School of Horsemanship "JFSH"
The school was founded in 1980 and is a licensed & insured corporation based in Scottsdale, Arizona. JFSH provides horsemanship education and riding lessons to young and old alike. Instructors are nationally certified through the American Riding Instructor Certification Program (ARICP).
In 2004 JFSH became the only CHA (Certified Horsemanship Association) accredited riding school in Arizona. The school’s goal is to promote safe horsemanship practices and to educate the public through programs designed to create a strong network of qualified professional horsemanship instructors who provide the finest possible equestrian experience.
The School program is specifically designed to accommodate everyone from 7 years of age through adults, specializing in the timid, novice, or “rusty rider.” Whether your interests are recreational fun and relaxation, or you are giving serious thought to owning your own horse, JFSH combines various approaches and services to create a comprehensive program that maintains safety as the #1 focus in learning harmony with horses.
The School offers classes in both English and Western riding and riders are encouraged to try both styles. Trotting poles, small jumps, obstacles, and trail courses are used as an integral part of all programs. Because the school is not breed specific, students work with many different equine breeds, adding depth to their horsemanship experience.
Within all of the programs, lessons cover more than just riding skills. JFSH believes that in order for students to be truly comfortable and familiar with horses, they need to experience the everyday tasks of grooming and caring for the horse’s feet, as well as tacking and un-tacking the horse. Learning the various parts of the horse, saddle and bridle, proper care of equipment and sound, basic horse-keeping skills are encouraged.
The program has been steadily improving under Joni’s careful supervision, and her continuing new ideas have spawned a variety of exciting and fun programs.
Joni was an adjunct faculty member of the Equine Science Department (EQS) at Scottsdale Community College (SCC) from 1989 to 2003, where she directed and taught Horsemanship classes and Teaching Techniques in Horsemanship to student teachers.
In January, 2004 Joni became the Arizona State, Region 11 and the National Representative for the American Riding Instructor Association (ARIA). (Joni was again named the National Representative in 2005 and 2006.)
Also in 2004, Joni earned certification as a CHA site visitor. This certification qualifies Joni to tour riding programs and facilities to determine eligibility for accreditation by meeting all CHA program managements and site requirements. That same year, the Arizona Pinto Horse Association named Joni Trainer of the Year.
JFSH, Inc. has been providing a horsemanship skills program for the City of Scottsdale Parks & Recreation Department since 1985. The Parks and Recreation program is designed for beginning riders at an entry level. For more information on this program, see the JFSH Programs pages.