Cultivating Presence; Restoring Balance & Deepening Connections
In my work I weave together a blended approach to supporting others. Including: lessons from the horses, the Eponaquest approach, Jungian depth psychology, trauma-awareness, and nature-based spirituality, in addition to my own ongoing inner-work and healing which underpins and informs all of my work.
I am passionate about: Supporting women to reconnect to their authentic-selves through reclaiming a deeper connection to their body, emotions and true needs. I love supporting people to reawaken and develop their gifts, qualities, passions and to follow their unique Soul's calling, so that you can begin to live the life you truly desire. I am dedicated to supporting people in their vulnerability and growth. I have a strong ability to empathise with others and to create and hold a safe, sacred space for individuals and groups; often described by others as "second to-none".
My guiding principles are: A firm belief in the mind-body-soul-spirit connection as the route to wholeness; that being deeply connected to and rooted in the natural world is vital for optimum well-being and what keeps us balanced; that soul speaks through the body and psyche in our symptoms, dreams and imagination, and that every living being is of equal value and all life is precious.
My innate gifts and qualities include: I am a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP), empath, Introverted Intuitive type, visionary, Shamanic knowing and techniques, Wise Woman and Wounded Healer. I have a natural rapport with animals and in particular with horses, and am committed to offering them a respectful, gentle, sensitive and loving connection and presence. I am a passionate advocate of horses as sentient beings in their own right, and in particular advocating for a true partnership role for the horse in all equine facilitated work. (See more about this in the sections: My Philosophy and Approach; My EFL Approach and in my book, The Horse Leads the Way).
Formal EFL Qualifications, Training, Accreditation, Memberships and Insurance:
I have 18 years’ experience of Equine Facilitated Learning practice, bringing a depth of experience and knowledge to my work. In addition, I continue to do ongoing professional development training, study and extensive reading to expand my professional abilities. I have been particularly studying Jung and Jungian Depth Psychology for a number of years. In the past two years I have also been studying trauma, particularly complex/developmental trauma and Polyvagal Theory. I am also a Trauma-Sensitive Practitioner graduate of The HeartMath Institute. I am fully committed to my own growth and healing and to deepening my capacities to support and guide other. I have undertaken many years of various forms of therapy including Jungian analysis, psychotherapy and spiritual counselling, coaching, healing, and much energy and body work. My approach is a fully holistic and integrated mind-body-soul-spiritual approach to all aspects of life.
Some of the CPD courses/events I have attended in recent years include:
As well as attending equine facilitated practitioner networking meetings, CPD days and conferences and various other talks and online webinars.
I have also undertaken a range of other courses to further enhance my learning and skills including: Introductions to counselling and coaching; health & safety; safeguarding for vulnerable adults; first aid at work and in equestrian environments; risk assessments; business writing; feminine embodiment practices with Awakening Women Institute; breath-work, and energy healing including Reiki Level I and Shamanic healing techniques.
Background and other Professional Experience:
My love of horses seemed to be present from my first breath and I believe that I came into the world with this love as an innate part of myself. As a young child I longed for a pony to love and ride but sadly this wasn't possible due to my family's circumstances. I had to be content with the odd pony-trek and riding lesson. Then, to my delight when I was 12 I was offered the opportunity to ride and look after two ponies, whom I loved with all my heart and spent all my spare time with. My formal career working with horses began when I was 16 and I trained with the BHS as a groom and riding instructor.
I then returned to continue my education at a local F.E. College; then I went on to graduate from the University of Bradford with a BA (Hons) in Peace Studies and a few years later I obtained a Postgraduate Certificate in Youth & Community Work from St Martin's College, the University of Cumbria. During my 20’s and early 30’s I worked in inner-city communities across Yorkshire as a support worker; welfare rights and housing advice worker, and a community regeneration and engagement development worker, supporting marginalised people and communities including refugees and asylum-seekers. I have substantial experience of working in the not-for-profit sector, both in front-line service provision and at the second-tier level, supporting the development of community-based organisations and social enterprises through project coordination, fund-raising, community development, administration, social media and website development. I have previously worked for The National Lottery Community Fund and The School for Social Enterprise (SSE). I have also developed and delivered staff training on various subjects. And I have supported women entrepreneurs and business owners with IT and marketing.
In my early-thirty’s I had my first, mid-life spiritual healing crisis and was forced through physical and emotional ill-health to take a much needed break from the type of work I had been doing up until then. It was then that I began some deep soul-searching to find out who I really was and what I needed and so I began to focus on my own healing. During this time I also found myself returning to the horses who had been sorely missing from my life and, I believe, partly why I had become so sick and unhappy. Through a series of wonderful synchronicities, I found myself discovering about the trait of being a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) which was a significant light-bulb moment for me and I then went on to Co-Host the first HSP Gathering in the UK & Europe in 2006 which Dr. Elaine Aron attended. As a result of reading The Highly Sensitive Person, I then read what was for me an utterly life-changing book: The Tao of Equus by best-selling author and Eponaquest founder Linda Kohanov. And so, following a deeply strong Soul-Calling for this work and Linda’s approach in particular, I then travelled to Arizona to train with Linda over a period of two years. On my completion in 2007 I established my EFL practice Equine Reflections; which was re-named The Horse's Truth in 2017. During this period I also began my Shamanic intitiation when I undertook much healing and have done some initial trainings in Shamanic healing practices over the years. I published my first book, The Horse Leads the Way in 2017.
I have also spent considerable time observing and photographing semi-feral ponies in the UK including The New Forest ponies and Welsh Mountain ponies. I also co-led a unique workshop in The New Forest in 2015, which I have written about in detail here. The lessons from observing these ponies underpin my approach to working with and caring for our domesticated horses and ponies and therefore, all of my EFL approach too.
You can also sign-up to my mailing list using the link at the bottom of any page, or contact me to be added to my list for updates on courses and workshops.
And if you enjoy my approach and find it valuable, there are a couple of ways you can support my work including my writing: Either pop over to my Buy Me a Coffee Page and donate or become a member, or consider making a donation of any amount using the button on this page.
Photo of Angela by Graham Barber, LRPS.