Horses have been an integral part of my life since day one. Born and raised on a small Quarter horse stud at the base of the Adelaide Hills in South Australia, my love for horses started at a young age and never waned! 
My horses not only taught me how to ride and work with them properly, they also taught me many valuable life lessons over the years and still do although it was only at the age of 21 that I realised the deep flow-on effect horses have to all aspects of our life.   

At the age of 17 I was diagnosed with Glandular Fever which rapidly developed into Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. This severely impacted on my life, basically halting it completely and causing major physical, mental and emotional illness. I was lucky enough to complete year 12 studies from home and just as this finished I booked my current horse Marquis in to be professionally started under saddle. The trainer allowed me to come over most days and began teaching me the training so I could do the work with Marquis myself and so began my love for horse training and working with horses in this way. It gave me a new lease on life and a purpose which lifted the severe depression I had been in for 12 months. I continued this journey in training and working with young and problem horses for another 3 years. 

It was as that chapter of my life came to a close that another chapter opened. I had already stumbled upon the world of Life Coaching and NLP when I was 17 but it was only when I was 20 that an opportunity to spend a weekend learning about NLP presented itself. It was amazing. 
At the time I wasn’t working so couldn’t afford to do the training but again, 6 months later, the very week I started my full-time employment the chance arose to enrol in the practitioner training and I took it. The whole goal of this 6 month practitioner course was for me to find a way to overcome my Chronic Fatigue once and for all. My goal was December 2012 and exactly December 2012 was when I made the shift I needed to and felt my life change. After a 4 year battle with illness I was finally free! NLP literally changed my life.

I was now doing a lot more training with my own horse, Marquis and as he was a very large and dominant horse I had always found him quite challenging. As much as I tried was as much as I struggled and one day in a particularly frustrating session, I finally realised something that would change things forever. Everything that I struggled with with him I struggled with in my life generally. I had no self-esteem, little confidence and allowed myself to be pushed around constantly before finally having a blow up about it. With this new realisation in mind I decided to look at our training from a different angle, which was as a personal development challenge for myself. From now on all the training we did became more of a reflective process and a learning experience for me, not just on a physical level of doing, but on a mental, emotional and spiritual level too. Although the journey of learning and growth is always challenging, I never struggled again and our relationship and skill went to a whole new level.

Seeing the personal changes within myself I realised the amazing potential that horses had for working with people in this way and doing research, realised Equine Assisted Therapy was already a well-developed modality. It was still very little known in Australia and there was not much available in the way of training so I continued working quietly on myself with my horses, both Marquis and then Avalon as well. In 2014 I decided to start my own business offering NLP coaching and also expand my qualification by studying Life Coaching. I discovered the same school, Hart Life Coaching, which I had discovered and liked when I was 17 and decided it was the right time to enrol. So started my Diploma studies in Life Coaching. This journey improved my business vastly and also gave me so many more amazing tools and insights. It was my teacher and mentor, Anne Hartley who discovered my passion for Equine Assisted Therapy and having experienced it herself and believing in its powerful work encouraged me to take a leap and go out and do it! 
At the beginning of 2015, while still finishing my Life coaching studies, I did exactly that and welcomed my first official Equine Assisted Therapy client. I have found this work to be so powerful for clients that I now run workshops, introduction courses and horsemanship clinics and lessons as well as individual sessions. I have now also done training in Equine Facilitated Learning (EFL) and also do work in this field. 

Benson is my off-sider for workshops whose help makes everything run smoothly on the day and has been an integral part of the business behind the scenes, helping wherever possible. He also happens to be our trimmer, keeping everyone’s hooves healthy and in shape. 

Aside from that he is the talent behind all the beautiful creations at Benson’s Blacksmithingas well as the many lovely pieces we have here at Consciously You. His unique artwork makes a great gift idea or an eye-catching addition to any home or office. Visit his Facebook page, Benson’s Blacksmithing to view pieces for sale.