The Natural Approach

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Curriculum Vitae

I was born in Scotland, but spent my formative years in Canada and the States, before returning to Britain as a young adult. High school in Ontario was followed by riding college in Virginia. Although from a non-horsey family, I was extremely fortunate to get a good conventional grounding in all aspects of horsemanship, because I began riding with Douglas Hood, a former member of the Canadian Show Jumping Team and continued my professional training with Kay Russell a List 1 Judge in the States, eventually gaining senior riding coach status.

Ten years' full-time work in the horse industry followed. This included riding school management, breaking and schooling, hunters, breeding stock and international showjumpers. Then, deciding on a career change, I returned to full-time university education as a mature student, where I gained an M.A. at St. Andrews and followed this up with a Postgraduate Certificate in Primary Education (Distinction) from Dundee College of Education.

I then taught in the state school sector for several years, while continuing my involvement with horses in my spare time: riding, training, coaching and dressage judging on a freelance basis. The teaching salary was great, but the work was extremely demanding. And, although I was very good at the job, the pull of horses was far too strong to resist forever!

So ... another career move! This time as a Lecturer in Equine Studies on the B.A. Degree Course at Warwickshire College. There, I was responsible for two modules: "Breeding and Marketing The Equine Athlete" and "The Horse in European Culture", as well as being a second year tutor for the degree students. I also organised work placements for the third year of the degree which was spent out in the horse industry. I enjoyed my time at Warwickshire College immensely, but I missed Scotland, and I was also becoming more involved in complementary medicine and a more intuitive approach to riding.

I really wanted to get north of the border again, so, a return to Perthshire followed and I set up and ran a very successful complementary medicine practice for three years ... until I got very seriously ill myself! Getting better was a full-time job for a very long time - and I'm still working on it. Which is where THE NATURAL APPROACH comes in. I've tried to incorporate all of my life's experiences into this business. I'm doing something I'm good at - teaching and communicating and training - and I'm also building up an excellent range of products which I KNOW inside out! And, oh yes, there's the freelance journalism too. I've written for most of the equestrian magazines on an occasional freelance basis over the past thirty years and still do a bit when I can find the time.

I would class myself as a very competent rider - NOT an outstanding one! Because I am not naturally well co-ordinated and neither am I particularly athletic or terribly brave, I've had to work at it. So, I can empathise with other riders or horse owners.

My considerable experience in the horse industry, aligned with an open and enquiring mind and a down-to-earth, realistic approach means that I can address issues at YOUR level, without being patronising.

If you think I might be able to help you, your equines, your pets or your family and friends, please do get in touch.

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THE NATURAL APPROACH, Woodside Cottage, Newton of Balcanquhal, Glenfarg, Perthshire, PH2 9QD
Tel: +44 (0)1577 830649
e-mail: thenaturalapproach@btinternet.com