The HJC Line-up

Kids don’t learn from people they don’t like.
— Rita Pierson

R. Ellen Jones
Owner, Chief Instructor

One of a handful of people in Canada with experience riding and working with horses in 6 continents - Ellen brings a worldly multidiscipline approach to her work with both horses and people.

Never satisfied with the "my way is the best way" approach, the pursuit of knowledge and experience has driven her to learn from horses and people the world over. Adapting to various styles and environments and picking the skills and qualities which spoke to her and her love of horses incorporating them into her own lesson program.

Exposure to different cultures has cultivated a teaching style with a foundation in communication and understanding - which has been bolstered by her achievement of certifications in both counselling and equine business management. Ellen walks the line between horse and person looking to bridge the gap and build partnerships between the two while fully understanding no two partnerships are built the same way. Her adaptability allows her to work with clients ranging from young "at risk" youth and teens, to adults and families ranging in ages and experience levels.

Regardless of the life or horse lesson being learned at HJC Ellen believes both horse and person require equal billing to achieve a quality partnership. Every student at HJC will be in service to their horses, learning the value of hard work and reward. The horse is not a tool designed to do our bidding - the horse is a valued friend and we are looking to explore their world - this is a relationship to be valued and respected.

The Hughes-Jones Centre is an architecturally designed facility built specifically to see through to fruition the ideas Ellen has developed regarding horses and people as well as providing a space where collaboration and the improvement of the equine therapeutic community can take place.

We can't wait to meet you!

We have a wonderful volunteer base which helps us deliver the program quality you have come to expect from us at HJC. They are too many to name and a valuable cherished part of Team HJC. Thank-you.
— R. Ellen Jones


About me and this crazy dream I have...

I cannot remember a time when I was not captivated by animals.

It was because of this love my parents (an architect and a librarian) put me into my first summer horse camp when I was 9 years old. What was meant to be a one week horse experience has developed into a way of life - one which has opened doors all over the world for me.

 Ellen in Australia (2000), riding the grey horse on the left.

Ellen in Australia (2000), riding the grey horse on the left.

After graduating from the Academic French Immersion program at Bluefield High School in 1999 - and knowing there was not a traditional route of post secondary education to work with both horses and people - I decided to travel and gain experience. The pursuit of my passions have led me throughout; Canada, the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Africa, Asia and most recently South America. Many of my travels, were inspired by animal study (horses in particular) and led me back to people when I found myself (by accident) at 18 years of age working with sixteen-year old gang members from Sydney in Outback Australia.

All over the world where I have had the privilege of working with horses I have seen troubled people find solace with animals in rural communities. I have had the most amazing fortune to be able to both teach and help direct people along this journey. In 2002-03 I became a counsellor to continue work with horses and people more effectively.

In 2006 I went back to school again - this time at the University of Guelph, Kemptville campus for Equine Business Management. With the help and encouragement of my family I was ready to build my dream in 2007 and moved back to PEI to write my business plan. I believe in the positive effects animals have on people and have witnessed them personally as well as professionally.

Animal Assisted Therapies\Learning are a relatively new and vulnerable field which require research, governance and development to succeed their full potential. It was my goal to see a facility built which fills these requirements professionally and responsibly so both animals and people can benefit as much as possible. I feel extremely fortunate to have been able to build what I hope will be the facility at the forefront of the AAT movement on PEI. Read about Ellen's thoughts on the industry by clicking here.

Designed by my father, Larry Jones of BGHJ Architects in Charlottetown, our facility goes above and beyond what I could hope for. My father took my notes and created an innovative, edgy and funky building to house my ideas. HJC is a place for people designed for horses. The top two floors are my apartment where I live with the lovely pooch Lalla and our mouser Spencer. Being onsite all the time allows us to stay close to the horses and gives us an amazing response time when\if something should happen.

Like the building our approach is a little bit different from what’s currently being practiced in the horse and youth worlds. We believe that knowledge is power and we try to teach our students as much as we can about horsemanship, believing that imparting a skill in whatever form will empower self-esteem and self-worth in children of any age.

Horses have led me all over the world. I believe this should be a comfortable place and hope that our clients come to feel as at home here as we do.

We are growing every year and invite you to join us as a part of HJC.