I have been fascinated by horses since an early age and have been lucky enough to have ridden and owed them for 40 years.
As a child I participated in Pony Club and local shows and later progressed to doing the BHS exams in order to become an Assistant Instructor. I also did an Open Learning BSc in Equine Science and was very traditional in my thinking about how to ride and how a horse was expected to behave and respond to the aids and training.
In 2005 I found the sport of Endurance thanks to an amazing Arab mare, Crusaders Angel. She had been competing successfully for a few years before I bought her and she showed me that I was capable of riding far better than I had been doing. Sadly Angel had fallen out of love with the longer distances in the sport I was getting hooked on so in 2008 I bought a young Arab to bring on with the aim of doing the longer distances, Ibn Sensation, or Mr Roobarb/Roo as he is more commonly known.
It was this horse that was to launch me (quite literally on several occasions) on to my current learning path. Everything I had ever learnt or been told up until this point didn’t work, it made the situations worse and he was constantly injuring himself and me.
He has taken me on a huge journey although it is one of discovery, not actual miles and kilometers as planned - learning about Natural Horsemanship techniques, Classical Dressage training, bio-mechanics and a variety of body working techniques.
In 2015 I was diagnosed with a brain aneurysm. Due to Roo’s sharpness and insistence of total focus and good balance from a rider I looked around for a riding partner that would allow me to carry on riding even if I had a stroke and found the wonderful Mariposon, or Mr P as he is affectionately known as, a retired Polo pony.
On the 23rd November 2015 I had a craniotomy and clipping of the right middle cerebral artery and started a long climb back to recovery.
This photograph was taken on Christmas Day during my first ride after the operation.
Mr P has been everything I could have wanted and more but the years of playing Polo have taken their toll so I have started out again on another learning path and have so far added aromatherapy and energy healing to my growing toolbox to help keep him and Roo sound and happy.
In September 2016 I completed the April Battles Level 1 Equine Musculoskeletal Unwinding Workshop which includes aspects of Myofascial, Massage, Craniosacral and Emotional Release Therapies and have been perfecting my techniques and broadening my knowledge on my own and other peoples horses since then. I intend to take the Level 2 course in 2017 and to further my skills with the craniosacral therapy and aromatherapy.