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I spent a large part of my life searching for my calling when it was under my nose all the time! Since childhood I had been drawn to horses and everywhere I went, even under the most difficult circumstances, did I find my way to them.

 

In my 20s I helped out with a vaulting group for children with behavioural issues and I have never forgotten the magic a small mare called Winnie wrought on those children: In came a gang of 17 anxious, angry, and distraught children. They groomed her, crawled around her feet, hung on her neck, screamed, laughed, cried. Winnie surveyed it all with a velvet eye and not once moving a hoof. Then each had their go, sitting or even standing on her back. After an hour a group of 17 calm and happy children left the yard. It was that simple, and I never forgot it!

 

First though I wound my way through several countries, degrees, and careers in journalism, theatre, television, and business. In all these occupations it was working with people that interested me most. Theatre and television, organisational change, mentoring and coaching, bringing together virtual teams, helping with start-up companies, marketing and PR, in all of these people, communications, and team-working were the most fascinating elements for me.

 

Then I was lucky to find the Alexander teacher and homeopath John Carpmael. In my Alexander lessons I was able to experience what it is like to be alive with every fibre of my being. This, of course, is a dangerous thing and leads to all kinds of changes! I woke up and noticed what really makes me light up, and the result was training in horse assisted learning and therapy. I trained with Mike Delaney and Ella Jones (LEAP).

 

Now I combine my passions for people and horses, and use many of the principles of the Alexander Technique as well. All the benefits of the sessions – being outside in nature, calm and healing from the horses, amazing insights every day – happen to me as much as to my clients. And for the horses, this work is equally wonderful. They get to interact with humans in a totally different way to their work in being ridden, enabled to express their amazing sensitivity and free to choose their human soul mates.

 

My practice is based in Suffolk, but I am able to run sessions wherever there are horses and people interested in trying it out.

 

 

Claudia Grist ,  MA ,  BA Psych ,  EFL cert.