Shari Montana, Founder & MontanaQuest
My lifelong fascination with horses began early - my very first memory is of riding my Mom’s horse when I was only 2 ½ - of his flowing black mane, the brown saddle horn, my blue snow pants and the gravel road. It was love at first ride… I’ve been riding and playing with horses ever since.
As Founder of River Pines Horse Sanctuary, I have been renegotiating the horse/human collaboration with abused, neglected and abandoned horses since 1976. Our mission is to provide a lifetime home of safety, comfort, companionship, play and end of life care for up to 20 horses in residence.
I’m a working, studio artist in my parallel career. I do traditional and narrative horse and pet portraits as well as my nature-based original drawings, paintings and ceramic sculpture.
My education includes (but is not limited to as I am a perpetual student): BFA in Painting and Ceramic Sculpture, UM, Missoula, MT, 2001; I studied Painting and Sculpture in a 3 Month Intensive at the International School of Art, Montecastello de Vibio, Perugia, Italy in 1994 BA in Clinical (Research) Psychology, with emphasis in Exercise and Emotion, Eastern Washington University, Cheney, 1987; Eponaquest Advanced Instructor, I studied Equine Facilitated Learning and Equine Facilitated Emotional Intelligence (EFEI), at Eponaquest, Worldwide, in Amado, Arizona, 2008-2014 authorized to teach their Power of the Herd and Connection-Focused Therapy trainings I’ve trained with and/or studied natural and conscious horsemanship from: Tim Hayes, F. Klaus Hemfling, Alexander Nevzerov, Linda Kohanov, Tom and Bill Dorrance, Ray Hunt, Monty Roberts, Frank Bell, Buck Brannaman, Carolyn Resnick, John Lyons, Pat Parelli, Mark Rashid and more – all I can get my hands on…
I’m dogmatic about no dogma whether horsemanship, politics or religion as there is a tool and a treasure in everyone and everything we’re exposed to. I went through the Parelli Levels 1-3 trainings from 2004-2007; I’ve attended numerous clinics with riders at all levels from Local to Olympic in disciplines from dressage and 3-day eventing to cutting, barrel racing and western pleasure.
My best instructors have been the amazing horses I’ve shared time with throughout my life! Thank you to each and every one!