So I reckon in this life we all travel many different paths which of course take us on many different journeys and so my horse journey began at a pretty young age at a local riding school. That’s me, the first of the three; I’d been horse riding for quite a few years by the time this was taken.
I was a pretty lucky kid and got to move on from that riding school and spend my summers looking after Simon Ryan’s ex show-jumper. Of course at the time I didn’t realise this and so like most teens my prioritise started to change and so my path changed and along with it that horse journey. All through my 20s I still thought of and dreamt of horses BUT at that stage of my life I was “super” busy travelling and carving out a career in Financial Services.
2008, I’m 28; a long way from that girl sitting on that fence but lucky me I got the opportunity to spend a week in Price Canyon Dude Ranch, in Tucson Arizona. It was during that amazing week that my passion for horses fully came alive again; and so unknowingly, at the time, I meandered down another path.
I arrived home babbling about horses and determined to get myself back into the horse world and so bought my first horse. Considering the impending state of the economy its no wonder I picked an ex-racehorse, two for a penny considering the strain on the industry. Anyways apparently hindsight is a wonderful thing, but I now believe everything happens for a reason and so me and my ex-racer travelled down the next path together, and wasn’t it a bumpy one! Dynamo Dan, AKA DAN, played an important role in my present journey. I was brimming with enthusiasm but lacking in core knowledge, unbeknownst to myself at the time as is usually the case! So I set about working and schooling and working and schooling Dan with the hopes of pursuing a casual eventing career! Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, Dan had other ideas. Coming up against every possible, or so I thought at the time, issue, over a prolonged period I really began to despair on my path. Why had I ended up here I asked myself, what made me buy “this” horse, I dreamed of a “push button horse”, one I could ride without the worry of ending up on the ground. I just could not figure out how Dan, who was quite a pleasure on the ground, could become so difficult once he had a saddle on. I tried different trainers, gadgets, feed, shoes, along with some bodywork sessions; everything the “propaganda” AKA marketing machine prescribes but was losing all hope of getting anywhere. Dan bucked, spooked, shied, refused to go forward and eventually started rearing. Looking back now I can clearly see Dan was doing his very best to communicate with me but at the time I lacked the skill and sensitivity to tune in.
2008, and before this current journey began, I had gone back into part-time college and for my efforts was awarded a Business degree; typically, and not long after I started back in college, I was told that I was going to be made redundant from my long-term job in AIG. At first I thought about more studies in the business sector but soon realised that my interest in business had seriously faded and that horses were what I was truly passionate about. Around this time I began to research different equine bodywork courses and set upon a UK Equine Physiotherapy qualification and was due to start training after my redundancy. In the meantime however I became aware that Jim Masterson https://www.mastersonmethod.com/about-the-masterson-method-and-jim-masterson.html,
was returning to the UK to give training in the summer. I was aware of Jim and had looked at his training before but at the time couldn’t justify the costs. But this time I was ready for change and so made the necessary enquiries. Following the initial intensive training course in the UK I was hooked and so after deliberations I decided to go ahead with the Masterson Method certification instead. Back to Ireland and I enthusiastically started my case study work and also to regularly treat Dan. I was blown away by the changes in him, physically, emotionally and under saddle. By helping Dan release the tension accumulated in his body I helped change how he felt in his body. He started to float under saddle the same way I saw him float in the field.
I could see the potential of my training to not only treat horses but to learn to read and better communicate with them. At the same time I realised that my own sensitivity would need some serious fine tuning and so I embraced all that colleagues, mentors and most importantly the horse could teach me. I travelled to the UK, USA, France and Geneva to hone my skills and met some amazing people and horses in the meantime.
I also studied Equine Biomechanics, Gait Analysis and Lameness at Whittle College (UK,) under Dr. Barbara Crabbe DMV, to develop my understanding of the difficulties faced by the veterinary industry in trying to diagnose equine conditions. Horses are prey and herd animals so they do their best to hide any pain until it is impossible to do so anymore. This makes the veterinarian and body workers job a lot more difficult. How easy is it for the doctors who’s patients tell them where is hurts instead of trying to hide it! So with my corporate background and a never ending desire to provide solutions I did some more research to see what I could do to help provide affordable solutions in these situations. It was here that I learnt about infrared and its amazing ability to see what was going on under the skin. So while in the US I trained as a Level One Themographer and an Equine Themographer. At the same time I affiliated with United Infrared, Inc, this gave me access to qualified veterinarian interpretations of my infrared reports. Now I was working alongside some amazing vets but also vets who were qualified and experienced themographers. What a combination; but I’ll chat more about that in another post.
Back in Ireland I was fortunate to spend some time with some local equine vets which helped me develop a practical understanding and appreciation of the work they do. I genuinely believe, with every fibre of my being, that all experts in the equine industry should work together harmoniously for the well being of the horse. The horse, as I’m sure you know, is the most amazing, forgiving, humble, proud (I know its a contradiction but it’s true!) and patient animal.
Over the past few years I have really changed my way of life and my attitude to life. I am definitely happier than ever and being located in the heart of horse country, Co. Kildare Ireland, I hope to bring a lot of relief to horses and owners in the area