My passion for horses stems from childhood.
I grew up on a farm in country Victoria and rode horses with my Mum before I could even walk. My connection with horses grew organically; as soon as I managed to stand up, I decided to stand on the horse while holding on to my mum’s shoulders so I could see where we were going. One of my most cherished memories is opening my fourth birthday presents while sitting on my pony in the family kitchen.
Later in my childhood, I would train race horses in the morning with my mother and ride my own pony in the afternoon. The horses we had on the farm were all loved creatures: we rescued ponies and horses that were earmarked to the abattoirs and re-train them so they could go to new loving homes. To this day, my mother’s wisdom remains with me. “There is not a bad horse, each horse just needs to be understood with kindness and patience.” The same could be said of humans.
Later in life
As a young adult, I travelled independently through Europe, India and Egypt. These travels lead me on an unexpected journey of self-discovery as I learned to manage my emotions and adapt to unfamiliar environments. I combined my new understandings and my love for horses by training at the Institut für Pferdegestützte Therapie in Germany to become an Equine Assisted Therapist. My personal and professional development were enhanced by the fact that I completed a course which was delivered in a language of which I had no prior knowledge.
My diploma of Pferdegestützte Therapie and my personal growth enabled me to refine the Equine Therapy Program I had set up before embarking on my travels at John Marsden’s school: Candlebark. Since 2010, I have been supporting children and families of the school by providing them with tools to manage challenging life events. The program has become an integral part of the school community with many people requesting Equine Assisted Therapy outside of the school.