I am a qualified counsellor (Registered Member of the BACP MBACP 374685) and worked for thirteen years in a high school with vulnerable young people and their families. In December 2019 I was signed off by my doctor as I was suffering with burnout. In hindsight this was partly due to the situation at work, which is reflective of so many educational settings, and also due to my personality. I am a perfectionist, highly self critical and a bit of a people pleaser. After several weeks of rest and recovery I made the decision not to return to my career but to choose a lifestyle route and work with horses, which had been a passion of mine since childhood.
Quite literally before I could walk I was up on a horse and I was so lucky as a child to be around horses and ponies. My Nan bred Shetland ponies and my sister and I spent every weekend at the farm riding and mucking out (or about!). I bought my own first horse after graduating from University and things kind of went from there. Initially I was happy hacking out but then wanted to learn more about schooling and moved to a yard with that could help me with that. Then it was training and competing so transport was purchased and this allowed me to ride for a local riding club and compete as part of a team. That gave me the competition bug and I focussed on British Dressage, qualifying for area competitions with Troy, my amazing Welsh Section D. Eventually Troy and I reached our glass ceiling and I took the heartbreaking decision to sell him which allowed me to purchase Florence, a beautiful, talented and tricky Irish Sport horse.
Part of my journey with Florence got me back in touch with an instructor who had helped my Aunt and I with another tricky pony when I was about ten years old. With her kindness, expertise and determination Florence and I competed up to Elementary Level, until an unexpected injury to her stifle ended Florence's ridden journey. At a really low point in my life she offered me a lifeline in the form of a lifestyle that I had always thought was slightly out of my grasp and I learnt so much from working with her about managing horses, a yard and riding. She also bred my second horse, a four year old Sport horse called Rosie who I have recently just backed to start her ridden career. I am loving working with her, seeing the person she is becoming and am excited to see how she progresses next year. Rosie was bought for me by my very supportive, understanding and long suffering husband of twelve years. I think I bored him into submission by going on about how lovely she was! The other important members of our family are our border terrier Poppy who is the most amazing yard dog and friend and a cheeky cat called Dylan who I snuck in when said husband was at the football.
Be Centred began as my personal journey towards achieving the best I could in terms of how I ride, how I train my horses and how I manage my emotions and mindset. During this ongoing process I have reconnected with my other passion - therapeutic work and helping others reach their full potential. I am really pleased and excited to be able to share the emotional and mental health benefits I get from being around these amazing creatures with other people and hope that non-riders and riders alike will get something from reading about my experiences or coming down to visit us.