My teaching system has developed over many years. I have always been interested in how to improve the rider so that they can help their horse. I have had many, many influences over the years and I have taught riders of various levels. I particularly enjoy teaching people that have lost their confidence and/or that have position/balance/asymmetry issues.
I have been horse mad (obsessed) since very young. At the age of ten I set out to wear my parents down and eventually managed to get my first pony at age eleven. This first pony was shared with my best friend and we paid for her upkeep by working at the stables where she was kept (we lived in the suburbs of a large industrial city in the north of England) and by doing paper rounds.
I was born with a significant hearing loss and went through school without hearing aids. Consequently I didn’t do very well at school, I only learned to read properly at the age of eight. Throughout school I sat at the back of the class and day - dreamed about horses for pretty much all of the time. I was classed as a ‘slow learner’ and was placed in remedial classes for most subjects.
By secondary school I had perfected the art of being invisible, pretty good for a very tall uncoordinated adolescent, and so I was able to carry on with my daydreams about horses uninterrupted. My school did not mind if you did not apply yourself, as long as you did not cause trouble, so I managed to attend the final three years without putting pen to paper - literally. Every minute that I was not at school I was with my horse or working to pay for the upkeep of my horse.
I left school at sixteen without a single exam pass result and started my first job with horses. After several years of very hard labour for very little pay I decided that I need some qualifications.
I had met Stuart when I was sixteen while doing that first job with horses and he (having had a far better education than myself) encouraged me to go to college to obtain a degree and eventually university where I obtained a Masters Degree (in Equine Science). Those two years of studying for my Masters Degree were incredible and I will always be immensely grateful for being given that opportunity for further education.
Stuart also needed to obtain a degree as we wanted to emigrate from England where we were both born. Stuart completed a degree in Youth and Community Studies and eventually worked in Youth Services both in England and later in Australia after we emigrated.
We lived in Australia for about 25 years but we currently live back in the UK, speaking, travelling, writing and researching.
Finally getting a good education was one of the best things I have ever done and I firmly believe that education is the key to almost everything that is important in life (along with health). I believe that anyone can learn more at any stage in their life if they have the desire to learn.
Scroll down this page for more information about me - I have started writing a book about an 'event' that changed my life in 2012 - you may be interested in reading it (at the bottom of this page).
Stuart has been a 'horse husband' for over 35 years ago, his background is in Social Sciences, mainly youth and community work, but he has the ability to see thing from a different perspective to most people. He began to apply these insights into the way we managed our horses and the land and began challenging the traditional way of horsekeeping. He was instrumental in developing our system, The Equicentral System.
Ten years ago he gave up his job to concentrate full time to our new business, offering new insights and exploring new ideas. In 2012, I was very ill (I am now fully recovered) and Stuart took over the running of the talks from that point. Since then he has been the one mainly delivering the seminars with talks in Australia, the UK, averaging about 30+ talks a year. He is the co-author of all our books.
● The BHS Equine Welfare Conference, Scotland, May, 2018
● The Sustainable Equine Conference, Nottingham Trent University, July 2016 UK
● The Functional Hoof Conference Nov 2014, Aus
● Manning Valley Horse Health and Management Expo 2014, Aus
● The Equine Behaviour Forum Sept 2014, UK
● Equine Podiatry Conference Sept 2014, UK
● Horses + Climate Impacts Workshop June 2012, SA, Aus
● Ethical Equine Extravaganza June 2011, UK
● Equitana Melbourne, Nov 2010, Aus
● EquineX Canberra, 2010, Aus
● Equus Inspirations Expo Tas, 2010, Aus
● Sustainable Living Expo Armidale, 2009 , Aus
● Equitana Melbourne, Nov 2008, Aus
● Eumundi Sustainable Living Expo 2009, Aus
● Beaudesert Horse Expo 2008, Aus
● Quest Maryborough, 2007, Aus
● Beaudesert Horse Expo 2007, Aus
● The Human-horse relationships in work and play: Interspecies encounters in business, tourism and beyond Conference - Leeds, (UK), June 2018
● The IAABC (International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants) Conference, Manchester, UK, May 2018
● The BHS Welfare Conference September 2017
● The Human Behaviour Change for Animal Welfare Conference, UK, Sept 2016
● 12th International Equitation Science Conference, 2016, France
● Equine and Soil Management Workshop: Nov 2014, Aus
● 10th International Equitation Science Conference: 2014, Denmark
● 7th International Equitation Science Conference: 2011, Holland
● Dorset Wildlife Trust: Managing Grazing Animals for Conservation: 2011, UK
● RSPCA Australian Scientific Seminar: 2011, Canberra, Aus
● 6th International Equitation Science Conference: 2010, Uppsala, Sweden
● British Grassland Society - Managing Grass for Horses: 2010, UK
● ABA Fertility Control for Wild Horses: 2009, Brisbane, Aus
● RSPCA QLD World Farm Animal Day: 2009, Brisbane, Aus
● 5th International Equitation Science Conference: 2009, Sydney, Aus
● 1st International Equitation Science Conference: 2005, Melbourne, Aus
● RSPCA Equine Welfare Conference: 2002, Canberra, AUS
"Jane and Stuart are an extraordinary couple - they have the ability to make you feel at ease and to teach you at the same time. I highly recommend them."
"Jane has a wealth of knowledge about horses and a brilliant teaching style."
"My confidence has improved out of sight with Janes instruction - I now enjoy riding again, something I never thought would happen."
In this section I am writing about something that happened to me in 2012. I will be adding to it from time to time, the plan is to complete a book but for now, while it is in development, I am placing it here.
In 2012 I said I would write another book - or rather Stuart said I would - it was his way of affirming that I would still be here in the future. I am now starting that process after much trepidation - not the actual writing a book bit, the subject. But, I did promise myself I would do it - I will explain why later. So, the following writings are going to be that book. Eventually I will compile it and possibly publish it.
Monday morning 10am - July 2nd, 2012 - my life took a turn that, to say was unexpected, was putting it mildly. We had just arrived in the UK on the previous Friday from Australia as part of our travelling backwards and forwards between the two (work and family).
Two months before we had been in the USA because we were awarded a Churchill Fellowship to study Sustainable Horsekeeping in the USA and Canada. While there I had developed an extremely sore throat - probably tonsillitis or similar and straight afterwards I noticed a hard lump in my neck on the right. I really did not think much about it though because I felt fine once I got over the infection, in fact, it was around that time that I remarked to Stuart that I was finally feeling strong and well after having Glandular Fever eight years before!
So, when we returned to Australia, before flying to the UK, the lump was slowly but surely getting larger, so I had my doctor have a look and she sent me for some tests. But time was running out (before our flight to the UK) so I arranged for the results to be sent to a relatives doctor in the UK. Hence the appointment.
Along I went, so unconcerned was I, Stuart went to a local town for some test rides on some bikes, my relative took me in her car. I thought I would be getting a prescription for antibiotics - I was convinced it was an infection at the worst - but bam - ''there are cancer cells in the lump in your neck'' said the doctor, so to say I felt as if the rug had been pulled from under me was an understatement indeed.
Of course, we all have brushes with death, especially people who have been involved with as many horses I have for as long as I have, hooves flying past my head, numerous falls etc. but being told that you have the big C is something else entirely...
From this day forward, my life (and of course everyone close to me) was turned upside down. In the next couple of weeks I was to discover that I had late stage three head/neck cancer - no mean feat for someone that has never smoked and does not drink! I was about to find out that the treatment was particularly gruelling due to the position of the cancer and that I had about a 15% chance of making it through the next five years. Possible treatment included the complete removal of my tongue - which meant never speaking or eating by mouth again!
To be continued...
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