Kristina Chancholo

What do you love about horses in Woodside?

My heart warms up when I drive throughout Woodside and I see old barns and horses in the yards. There is something very serene, grounded, natural, and spiritual about being surrounded by horses in your hometown. I love how my horse knickers at me every time I come home. I enjoy seeing folks riding on the trails. Horses bring a purity and beauty to Woodside, which can be felt. My 7-year-old niece was visiting from Arizona and after seeing a few horses in Woodside and riding a pony at Wunderlich, she said, “Now I know why they say Woodside is horse country.” I felt such joy when she said this.

What kind of riding do you do?

I currently trail ride but for 22 years I rode English. For over a decade I did post injury conditioning for sport horses in Woodside, which included polo horses, trail horses, and hunter/jumpers. I also specialized in riding and helping “problematic” horses and giving retired sport horses a new career as trail horses. Over 90% of my riding has been done on the trails in Woodside.

What is your favorite equestrian experience, or favorite horse story?

I really enjoy Day of the Horse. Before I did the horse fair I was a ride stop captain for the Progressive Trail Ride and it was amazing to see all the riders and horses out in Woodside. Now I am at the horse fair and I get to see the children’s faces light up when they see the miniature horses or while they are taking a picture on a pony. It brings me such joy to see how good the horses and ponies are with the young kids and to see the “horse spark” light up in the children.

Tell us something about you and horses…

Ever since I was 12 years old, I knew I wanted to be around horses for the rest of my life. I worked at a boarding facility from ages 12-18 cleaning stalls so that I could have riding lessons. I would wash horses, clean tack, paint jumps, fix fences, etc., to make enough money so I could show. I was able to get a riding scholarship in college where I obtained my B.S. in Animal Science, with an emphasis in Equine Science. I wanted to be an equine physical therapist but at that time I was told there was no way to pursue such a career, so I became a certified Equine Body Worker. About six months after graduation, I happened to get a client in Woodside, and I had never been to or heard of Woodside before. I haven’t left Woodside since. Horses are my life. Horses are who I am.
My very first client in Woodside was the previous owner of my horse. I knew right away that my Classy Girl was a special horse and that one day she would have a forever home with me. She’s now 21.

Is there anything else you’d like to include?

My equine love runs deep throughout my veins. My drive to keep horses in Woodside and to promote the awareness of how wonderful they are is my passion. I believe they are a special animal, unlike any other, and have a unique bond with humans. They are kind, gentle, honest, and I love seeing and hearing them in Woodside.