"I absolutely LOVE my job and am passionate about helping horses to lead fit, healthy and pain-free lives.
Although I enjoy competing and ridden work, I have always had an interest in ground work and rehabilitation. After completing my A levels, I took a fantastic stable management course at Writtle University College which inspired me to develop my understanding of the horse in further detail.
I worked on eventing, dressage, showjumping and hunt yards where I was involved with the healing of a great deal of injuries and was always volunteering to be involved in the rehabilitation programmes despite the gradual hard work that was involved.
When I was 20, I volunteered for 2 months at a retraining and rehabilitation race yard in Newmarket, where I was lucky enough assist veterinarians who were performing ultrasound and shockwave therapy.
I qualified from a degree in Equine Sports Therapy with Rehabilitation BSc (Hons) at Writtle University College in 2018.
The course consisted of both practical and training elements. My knowledge developed a huge amount due to subjects which included:
Animal therapeutic techniques
Extrinsic factors effecting performance
Rehabilitation and performance
Equitation physiology and psychology
Anatomy and physiology
I used therapeutic modalities, including pulsed electromagnetic field therapy, low level laser therapy, kinesiotaping and a hydrotherapy walker (aqua treadmill).
My gait evaluation and palpation skills developed significantly during the course and during my work on a case study horse Hugo, I was able to put many practical skills to use during each phase of healing. Our group were noticed for the degree of effort we put in.
Having been in the industry for many years, working a variety of competition horses, I had a growing interest in the use of different training aids and their physical effect on the horse.
My dissertation (final year project) was written on two different training aids which included the pessoa and the side reins and how they vary in rein tension. I investigated how the training aids made a difference to the horses gait movement on the lunge. I measured the rein pressure with a device called the 'Telerein'. I found that the most amount of rein tension was caused by the pessoa and that rein tension altered the horse's stride.
I was delighted that my dissertation was selected to be discussed at an equitation conference in Rome that summer due to its 'robust methodology' and impact on equine welfare.
Supplementary to my degree, I completed an Equinology® Equine Bodyworker certification. The combination of both a degree-level award and a professional massage qualification ensures that I can practice as an Equine Sports Therapist following graduation.
I plan to attend courses throughout my career in order to have a larger range of therapies to apply for the individual horse.
Other courses that I plan to attend in the short-term include the Equinology® Myofascial Release and kinesio taping and thermography training with equitherm."