Horses and ponies are my passion and have been a big part of my life from an early age.
Having always been aware of our lives having other dimensions, and of the natural energies we all have within, and available to us,
I became drawn towards natural healing methods over twenty years ago:
Alongside working with horses, and also keeping my own, this initially led me on to studying and qualifying in several human therapies including Reconnective Healing, Reflexology, Children’s Reflexology, and Spinal Touch Therapy.
It was only a question of time before my attention inevitably focussed on how I could also help the horses!
Over the years, in what has been an ongoing and natural learning process, Equine Shiatsu set the perfect scene and foundations upon which to add and blend other modalities, including Equine CranioSacral Therapy, and more recently: Applied Animal Choices for Horses (the self selection of Herbs and oils) EMMETT Technique for Horses, and Tucker Biokinetic Technique
I have been fortunate to train with some of the most knowledgeable and respected teachers including:
The late Pamela Hannay - Equine Shiatsu.
Maureen Rogers and Dr Sandra J. Howlett - Equine CranioSacral Therapy.
April Battles - Equine Musculoskeletal Unwinding.
Dr Renee Tucker - Tucker Biokinetic Technique.
Each therapy is in itself very effective, and as each horse is an individual, it is so lovely for me to be able to have these modalities working either separately, or together in harmony where needed, and to have the satisfaction of giving something very special back to the horses - Something I always wanted to do.
A horse owning and Show Jumping background allows me to relate to the needs of both horses and riders.
I particularly enjoy helping with behaviour and confidence issues, and also my voluntary work with the East Midlands UK Special Olympics Equestrian team riders.
...... an early lesson for me aged 13 at the time, from my first Pony, Kelpie:
Already hooked on Ponies, having for several years been riding those belonging to my friends, both with, and sometimes without their permission; Kelpie very soon revealed to me his particular quirk ...
He would only go one way ... back home!
If I wanted to ride him anywhere it meant leading him there first - then he was quite happy to be ridden back -
He taught me a lot, and we enjoyed many happy rides back home together.
A lovely genuine Liver Chestnut mare called Queenie followed; and we enjoyed each other through Pony Club and local shows - My love of Show jumping had begun.
The transition from Ponies to horses was a baptism of fire.. a real eye opener! My Dad and I went to a respected dealer's large 'open plan' establishment to see a Bay horse which was for sale, and he was very nice, but I was busy eying up a Chestnut across the way, hanging over his stable door weaving for all he was worth.
We asked about him - a highly strung six year old gelding called Brainy; a failed ex Novice Chaser who had fallen several times in his limited racing career as he was
going too fast and out of control to negotiate the fences!
There were other good reasons not to buy him: He was in poor condition, was a bad ‘do-er,' had Ringworm,
was head shy, and was a whittler.
A Show jumping ‘name' had been to view him earlier that day but had walked away.
The inevitable invitation to try him was just too much to resist -
I couldn't ride one side of him! His blue touch paper was well and truly lit, and I could only sit tight, point and hope as we hurtled round a course of jumps; eventually coming to something resembling a halt some three barren fields away - both of us out of breath and sweating -
You'll do, I thought, as we walked sedately back. The deal was done ...
... subject to him passing the Vet - He failed due to his wind - We still bought him!
Gradually over the next few years with Brainy's new ‘Stage name'
Royal Graduate, we got our act together as shown above; and went up through all the Show jumping Grades from Novices, through to Grade A - Competing at County level, and International Classes in the UK, including Hickstead.
During this time I qualified as a B.H.S.A.I.
Brainy became a much loved member of the family, and on several occasions we said no to some very lucrative offers - he was ours and was not for sale at any
We moved from Kent to Nottinghamshire,
and bought (Dicey) Game Dice -
a wonderful, recently backed, 3 year old Grey Mare who proved to be so genuine and uncomplicated, even the old man could stay on!
Having produced her up to Grade B, we had to make a difficult and sad decision, ruled by finances at the time, to sell her in order to keep Brainy going. Dicey went abroad to fulfill her potential with a talented competitor.
It is truly said that many of life's pleasures are free; unfortunately for most of us who get involved with horses at an amateur level, that pleasure does not come free - it comes at a considerable financial cost.
Together with the fantastic support and enthusiasm from my family, I have always worked in other jobs to help keep the 'show on the road', and in addition to teaching, my other equine work has included working with top class Show Ponies and Hacks, and as part of a team breaking and schooling young horses, and re schooling ex racehorses. Many were straight from the racecourse.
Grooming, exercising, and schooling Eventers and Hunters have also helped to keep feeding the ever hungry expenses pot along the way.
A spell working with a Spanish Event Team rider, in this country preparing his Olympic horses for upcoming European Championships, gave me a fascinating insight into the methods of caring for and training these super equine athletes to attain maximum fitness and endurance levels, whilst keeping the risk of injury, and stress on their bodies and minds to the absolute minimum.
At the same time not forgetting that all this would be wasted without also maintaining their psychological wellbeing and overall happiness and enthusiasm.
The lesson learned here was what is good for horses at this level is also good for horses and ponies at any level when they are competing.