7080 Plank Road Charlottesville, Virginia 22903
Jontelle Forbus-Head Trainer/Owner
I was born and raised on my parent’s Nebraska farm where my father raised Quarter Horses. It was apparent at an early age that horses were going to be a large part of my life.
I was exposed to many disciplines of riding as a child, however decided at age 16 to pursue Dressage seriously.
In 1998 I took the opportunity of being a Working Student for Stal (Marcel) Timmermans/(Diedrick) Wigmans in the South of Holland. This led to the opportunity to work for Coby van Baalen. Over the two years I was able to ride many young horses for the van Baalen family; I learned to handle stallions, start young horses and prepare mares for breed inspections. In addition Mrs.Van Baalen allowed me to sit on several of her FEI horses, which became a pivotal development in my education.
In 2000, I returned to the U.S. and built a small business for myself starting young horses. During this time I studied under Deborah Bowman. Together with Ms. Bowman, we worked to prepare for the FEI Young Horse classes, and I became a USDF Certified Instructor.
I desired to continue my riding education, and in 2008, moved to Southern California. Working as Assistant Trainer to Jan Ebeling, I was able to ride many horses and begin at showing at the FEI levels in the California Dressage circuit.
In November 2009, I began working for Sue Blinks. I greatly admired Ms. Blink’s riding and wanted the opportunity to witness the development of her Dressage horses. This led to riding opportunities and to the position of Assistant Trainer. My duties ranged from riding the young horses in training, to schooling Sue’s FEI horses, to teaching client lessons. I also was able to participate in monthly clinics with Denmark’s Morten Thompsen.
Beginning in the spring of 2012, I have established my independent training business. I offer full training services as well as lesson services on-site, as well as clinics off-site.
My goals are to represent the United States internationally and to develop horses and riders to the FEI level
Jontelle Forbus Dressage is a collaboration of a group of dedicated individuals, carefully chosen to provide the best care, maintenance, nutrition and training possible.
Casey Widener; Head Groom
"I was raised in the city, not knowing much about horses or what was out there. One day I was watching TV and some horses came on. I was amazed by these big, graceful animals and instantly knew I wanted to learn more! My parents took me to the local barn, Columbia Horse Center, where I took a lesson. My parents and I knew-I was in this for life!
In middle school, I was still at the Columbia Horse Center and was working my way up the ranks. I was working with the working students as well as doing office work and helping clients. I always knew that I wanted to work with horses and loved the aspect of always learning something new and meeting new people.
When I graduated high school, I deduced to travel all over the US, to different farms, learning and managing. It was such a dream come true for me and one of the best experiences ever.
In 2015, I moved to Virginia to work at a summer camp as a barn manager. During this time, I met my fiancé. I worked at the camp for 3 years before it was time to move on and learn new things. Searching....I came across Jontelle Forbus Dressage. After meeting Jontelle, I knew I wanted to join her team. Because of her love for horses and the care she provides, as well as the learning she gives, I knew this was the place. The horses at this barn are by far the most personable, and you can't help but love each one! My time so far with Jontelle has been amazing and I can't wait to see what the future holds for all our clients and the horses."