BACKGROUND & TRAINING
I was put on a horse before I could walk by horse mad parents. At the time my father was a stud manager and my mother was an instructor at the local riding school. When we came to NZ I went to pony club and competed in show jumping and eventing in my early to mid teens.
Dad had his owner trainer licence so I used to ride the race horses and do track work for him as well. We had heaps of horses around at the time and sometimes I would ride several in a day even when I was at school.
I then went off to work in horse studs in the Waikato where I did yearling preparation, handled and looked after the stallions, helped break in young horses and exercise them. From there I went to the UK to work in hunting and eventing stables.
I trained in human massage over 30 years ago and in my early twenties also taught herbal and aromatherapy workshops. I first experimented on with massaging Dad's horses well over 20 years ago with great results but it wasn't until I returned to NZ that I started my training in Equine Therapies.
I have been a full time Equine Therapist and Independent Saddle Fitting Assessor for over 14 years full time (part time before that) and involved in natural therapies for over 35 years. I have an extensive background in working with horses of all different disciplines, and I was one of the first therapists in NZ to really promote professional bodywork on endurance horses and also help educate them about saddle fitting. I have had many North Island and National champions as clients, and I also traveled to France to the 2014 World Equestrian Games with the NZ Endurance team as the official team therapist working on horses and riders.
I have been a Seminar presenter at the 2014, 2015 & 2016 Equidays. I was one of the first clinicians to give a seminar on saddle fitting at this event that was so full the attendees were out the door!! More recently at Equifest November 2020 I held clinics all three days on Signs of Soreness and Saddle Fitting and Massage Moves.
I was the NZ course co-coordinator for the internationally recognized Equinology - the largest complimentary equine and canine therapy school in the world - for many years after asking them to come to NZ.
I ran a professional 4-day saddle fitters’ course for The English Saddle Company in February 2015, with an externship and extra 2 day follow up course for successful students after that. Sarah helped with stream lining ESCs range and also design features of some of the saddles they stocked.
I am now looking at holding horse owners’ and professional courses for trainers and therapists.
I work with all breeds & disciplines - from minis to racehorses, show jumpers to pleasure horses and everything in between, and all levels of riders from beginners to advanced.
Looking at the whole horse is essential to getting everything working the best it possibly can. Educating owners to look for signs of soreness and learn basic massage & stretching techniques, and looking at how their saddles are fitting, results in a better rider horse relationship and better performance.
Currently based in around the greater Waikato and Bay of Plenty and regularly go to the lower north island. Will consider other areas for groups
I used to run herbal and aromatherapy workshops and was one of the few to teach these. I taught people how to use herbs from their garden and also make natural products using essential oils and herbal extracts.
I trained in human massage which included relaxation, sports massage and aromatherapy. I have also done a human sports massage refresher course a few years ago but equine and canine massage is definitely my preference.
COURSES & EVENTS ATTENDED
• Clinic presenter at Equifest New Zealand (2020)
• 3-Day Dissection Course with Sharon May Davis (2017)
• Clinic Presenter at Equidays New Zealand 2014/2015/2016 for Signs of Soreness and Saddle Fitting to great reception
• Teacher's Assistant & Training to Teach the Equinology EQ75 Horse Owners Massage course in Australia (February 2015)
• World Equestrian Games in France as the NZ Endurance Team therapist working on horses and riders (August/September 2014)
• EQ900 Equinology Progressive Anatomy Discovery Course (clay & hands on) with Debranne Pattillo (January 2011)
• EQ103 Equinology Advanced Equine Massage (Level 1) with Debranne Pattillo USA (2009)
• Equine Nutrition 2 Day Course with Dr Lucy Tucker (July 2008)
• Equine Orthopedics with Dr Deb Bennett from the USA (2007)
• NZCM Human Sports Massage refresher (June 2007)
• Equine Anatomy and Dissection with Dr Deb Bennett from the USA (April 2006)
• EQ700 Equinology Saddle Fitting and Farrier Science with Dr Kerry Ridgway from the USA (February 2006)
• EQ1100 Equinology Myofascial Release course with Ruth Mitchell - Golladay from the USA (November 2005)
• Hoof Trimming Cinic with Peter Laidley from Australia (September 2005)
• Anatomy, Conformation and Movement seminar with Dr Deb Bennett from the USA (May 2004)
• EQ100 Equinology Equine Sports Massage with Debranne Pattillo from the USA (February 2004)
• Tallgrass Introduction to Equine Acupressure and Traditional Chinese Medicine, Equine: 5-Element Theory, Meridians and Specific Conditions 1 & 2 with Amy Snow and Nancy Zidonis from the USA (November 2003)
• Equine Sports Training with Kathy Duncan from the USA (November 2003)
• Equine Touch Course with Jock and Ivana Ruddock (July 2003)
• Equine Massage with Catherine Bird from Australia (May 2003)
• Natural Hoof Trimming with Paul Chapman from the U.S.A (February 2003)
• Equine Aromatherapy Certificate from Catherine Bird from Australia (January 2003)
• Energy Healing Workshop with Barbara Clearbridge from the USA (2003)
• Equine Massage with Rachel Phillips from the Waikato (July & August 2002)
• Diploma with Health and Harmony College from Australia in Medicinal Herbs (2001)
• Statement of Attainments College of Australia in Aromatherapy for Pets, and Aromatherapy for Business (2001)
• BSY Diploma in Massage (1996)
• BSY Diploma in Nutrition (1995)
• NZCM Certificate of Massage (1994)