My principles of practice are aimed at promoting the health and welfare of both humans and animals.
I specialise in treating horse and rider combinations, by improving function and balance, to create a safe, long-lasting relationship.
Treatment is delivered using a range of techniques underpinned by sound scientific protocols and reinforced with client education.
I have been involved with horses my whole life, and from a young age had a keen interest in horse and human biomechanics from many angles. e.g. Osteopath, rider, trainer, instructor, sports trainer (human) and sportsperson. Having such a strong connection to working with horses, I then trained in equine studies, teaching riding at all levels as a coach.
After many years working in Australia and the UK on horse yards performing a variety of roles, I've been self-employed as well as working for huge eventing and training yards in the UK at a high level for both amateur owners/riders and professional riders.
My career as a coach saw me teaching in dressage, eventing and showjumping and my work as a rider had me working in the same disciplines that I coached in, as well as an exercise rider for racing including flat and jumps. I have also worked as a groom/strapper and as a schoolyard manager.
Having ridden at different levels and disciplines I have come across problems at each stage.
From the ‘broken down’ horses where I rehabilitated them to functional use to the young horses who were pushed too hard too fast, older school horses ridden by inexperienced pupils, and ineffective training/riding methods causing lameness and unsoundness. In all disciplines, keeping a horse sound and functioning is a real art form and with the trials of exercise, you can get repetitive strain injuries. I've also helped riders find a better connection with their mounts, and I get so much satisfaction seeing a relationship evolve.
This for me boils down to safety.
Nobody goes out to have a bad session with their horse. Everybody wants a session where they achieve something, in whatever discipline that may be.
Whether you're a professional rider or an amateur, if a horse is uncomfortable, the likelihood of injury increases for both you and the horse.
After years of working with horses and riders, it was apparent that some problems were on repeat.
From the "just push him through" attitude to the "just let him have time off in the paddock", neither approach addressed the underlying issues.
So much of my time, energy and heart was invested, but watching the techniques and methods used which did not improve functionality, this repeated frustration for the horse and its rider, brought me to studying osteopathy, where I knew I could make a difference.
My Osteopathy career was a natural progression, and I studied for five years at RMIT and after two years of clinical practice, I then completed my post-graduate Diploma in Animal Biomechanical Medicine in Melbourne.
Now almost a decade into my work as an Osteopath specialising in equine biomechanics, my love and passion for the industry grows each day. I apply techniques on people and horses as well as other species (dogs, cats, and even a chicken!) and I enjoy collaborations within the ABM body (vets, chiropractors & osteopaths) and working with other industry professionals.
The joy that I get from working with horses and riders in a holistic way, ensures that I now help others who are in the position now, that I once was. The horse who started it all was my beloved Mae. She saw me through all my EFA coaching qualifications while suffering from navicular disease in both front feet. If I knew then what I know now, Mae would have seen a very different outcome.
Having been around horses for over 25 years I love the opportunity to expand my knowledge and deepen my understanding of these beautiful creatures.
I was lucky enough to start in horses quite young. I had my first Welsh pony at the age of 7. Her name was Buttons and she was pure black. I dont ever remember actually learning to ride, but I know she was my teacher. My parents weren't horse people, so I felt very lucky growing up, but also had to teach myself a lot! At the age of 13yrs I got myself a rescue pony, Charlie, then, when I wanted to compete more, I bought myself a $600 14.2hh Cremello gelding named Sky, who was one of those ponies, worth his weight in gold!
I spent my teenage years sucessfully competing in Dressage, Eventing, Showing and Pony Club on my own horses, and riding for others.
After gradutaing high school, I headed off to UQG to study Equine Science. It was here that I met Bec and we quickly bonded over our mutual love of horses.
She had Mae, and I had Sky, and eventually Chevy, a 17.1hh 4yr old Grey TB Gelding with attitude!
After University, I spent some time working as a Riding Instructor and Trainer on the Gold Coast and Brisbane, teaching riders with various ranges of experience in General Horse Management, Dressage, Jumping, Eventing and Showing.
My desire to travel had me finish up with horses in my early 20's, move overseas, and take on a full time role in hospitality, as Licensee of a country pub in the UK. I spent 2 years in this role before returning to horses in the UK as Manager of a small private breeding yard. This was a temporary role and when my contract ended 12 months later, I moved back into a Hospitality Mangement role.
My love of travel and horses has seen me lucky enough to visit and explore in some of the most beautiful and iconic places in the world on horseback.
When I returned home from overseas I began working as Ground Crew for an Airline at the Gold Coast Airport, which allowed me to continue to travel all over. After a few years, my time management and scheduling skills saw me move into an Operational role.
The decade I spent here helped me develop my Customer Service, Time Management and Logistics skills.
When Bec asked me if I would be interested in joining her on this amazing journey, I knew I could use my skill set in the best possible way. To help horses!