Paintedhorse is a Community Interest Company based in Meare, Glastonbury that provides Equine ReWilding for adults and young people. The team at Paintedhorse consists of a mixed herd of twelve horses and ponies who provide Equine ReWilding and experiential/facilitated learning with their human facilitators Livvy Adams and Georgie McBurney, both qualified LEAP practitioners. Together the team offer life changing and enriching equine encounters which can bring about personal transformation, emotional resilience and well-being. Equines can help people gain clarity, perspective and the confidence to live the life they want.
Paintedhorse offers Equine ReWilding for individuals, couples, families and groups. We have worked with Looked After Children, forces veterans, counsellor referrals, spiritual groups, corporate teams and support charity Key4Life by providing equine therapy for their programme designed for young men from Somerset and London deemed ‘At Risk’, and within HMP/YOI Portland prison (Dorset) with groups of young men on Key4Life’s pre-release programme.
THE HUMAN TEAM:
Olivia ‘Livvy’ Adams spent the early part of her career as a front line police officer in the Avon and Somerset Constabulary, working on the now defunct Police women’s Unit which helped women and children in abusive relationships, as victims of sexual, physical and emotional abuse. Having left the police force to bring up her two children, Livvy subsequently retrained as an accountant, and continues to work with several clients today.
After training with horse whisperer Franklin Levinson, EPONA instructors Rosie Withey from Horses as Teachers, Caroline Morgan, Mike Khan & Shelley Rosenberg at Telford Equestrian Centre, Leanna Millward of Flying with Horses and later with Ella Jones and Mike Delany at LEAP Livvy established an equine facilitated and experiential learning business called ‘Paintedhorse’. After studying Eco ReWilding and teaming up with Georgie the business now offers Equine ReWilding and aims to help people connect back to nature, and themselves with the use of horses.
Georgie graduated from Plymouth University in 2007 with BSc (Hons) in Animal Science (Behaviour & Welfare) after careers in the Army and police. During university she volunteered for the RSPCA (domestic and wildlife), Bat Conservation Society and became a Marine Mammal Medic for the BDMLR. George graduated from Exeter University with a PGCE in Secondary Biology in 2008 and taught in various secondary schools before going on to lecture at university level. George wrote a new BTEC in Equine Management for Kingston Maurward College where she was a Programme Leader. The course introduced Monty Roberts Horsemanship within a traditional equine establishment. Georgie recently spent 5 years fostering her niece and supporting her through paralysis to recovery and maintaining her education during this time.
Georgie is currently training as a Humanistic Integrative Counsellor specialising in Person Centred, Transactional Analysis and Gestalt. She has volunteered as an honorary counsellor for NHS Steps to Well-being in Dorset, and after relocating to Glastonbury, for Help! Counselling (for children and young persons). Georgie is DBS checked and a student member of the BACP. At a talk for counsellors Georgie met Josephine Sellers, a former equine therapist, who inspired her to qualify as a LEAP practitioner in Equine Facilitated Learning (EFL) where she met business partner Livvy. George also writes for Horsemanship Magazine.
THE EQUINE TEAM:
The Paintedhorse herd is a mixed herd of all shapes and sizes, ages, breeds and requirements. There are 7 mares and 5 geldings. Gunner and Prada are thoroughbreds, Rio a Criollo-cross thoroughbred, Danny a Hanoverian cross, Jac a Welsh-Arab, Ulha a French Trotter-cross, Logan, Blossom and Polly are Gypsy cobs, and Epona, Grace and Hope are Dartmoor Hillies. (Blossom and Polly are new comers and their photos will be up in good time).
All our horses and ponies have homes for life, some came our way as rescues from the meat industry and some were no longer rideable due to old injuries. Regardless of why and how they came, all are very loved and valued individuals and they won’t be sold on, even when they don’t wish to do this work anymore.
When they are working they are generally at liberty so they are free to volunteer their services or not; and there is always learning to be had from a horse that walks away from you. As a counsellor or teacher would professionally consider self care, it is no different for our horses. They have time off without people around. There is a number of complementary therapies between us such as The Equine Touch, Reiki, Zoopharmacognosy, Essential Oil Therapy, crystal healing and sound therapy which they ask for when they require it to shift anything they haven’t managed to themselves by being in a herd, running around, playing and rolling. We are lucky to be onsite with Lyn Palmer who teaches The Equine Touch which was known as Advanced Bowen for horses when it was first introduced to the UK. We are also lucky to have a good friend Jo Dutfield, a healer and medium, who can communicate with our herd in a very detailed way to catch anything we miss. These are all helpful additions in the pursuit of caring for and keeping our horses healthy, connected and ReWilded.
We won’t say too much more about this wonderful herd, as its actually all part of the learning experience to come down and meet them yourselves. Although you can keep up to date with all the equine news on the blog posts and we currently have a regular feature in horsemanship magazine.
OUR EXTENDED (HUMAN) TEAM:
Working with larger groups of clients Paintedhorse works with the following equine and mental health practitioners:
Nikki spent 18 years in a busy corporate environment after finishing her Alevels, she worked her way up to Store Manager and Project Manager for Tesco. Nikki knew her heart lay in therapeutic work as she retrained to become a Transactional Analysis Psychotherapist at the Metanoia Institute in Ealing, London and now has a private therapy practice called Resilience Counselling based in Enfield, North London and also works via Skype. Nikki is a Registered Member of the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP) and is Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) trained.
Nikki became hooked on horses from the age of 6 when she experienced her first riding lesson, and she went on to buy her first horse Dara when she was 17. They were lucky enough to have 21 years together in which they grew and learnt from each other. After attending a conference on Equine Therapy, Nikki realised that there was a way she could combine both her passions. In 2016 Nikki qualified as an Equine Facilitated Psychotherapist (EFP) with LEAP and incorporates EFP with into her private practice and works with Paintedhorse for large group work and supporting charity Key4Life.
Claudia is a Psychiatric nurse based in Somerset. Having trained in Bristol she became a Registered mental health nurse in front line services where she spent 15 years working on an acute admission ward, progressing to the role of charge nurse. Claudia went on to work in the community; working in a liaison service offering people in A&E, and on the wards, psychosocial assessments and providing safe discharge plans for them. Claudia currently works in A&E and with a Crisis Team. During her 21 years as a mental health nurse Claudia has gained much knowledge and experience in all aspects of mental health. In addition to traditional training, Claudia has an interest in holistic health and is trained in Reflexology and Reiki.
Claudia grew up in the beautiful Cornish countryside surrounded by many beloved animals. She became besotted with horses after a ride on next doors pony. Aged 12 she talked her parents into rescuing a Dartmoor-cross called Dougal who was ‘surplus to requirements’ after winning lots of rosettes in pony club games. She continues to rescue and is the reason Paintedhorse has the much loved Ulha whom she rescued from the French meat market and our newcomer Rio. As a child Claudia discovered a best friend in Dougal who would explore Bodmin moor with her and listen to her worries. As an adult in mental health services still ‘talking to horses’ she identified her emotional resilience was stronger than colleagues because of it. Claudia completed Monty Roberts horsemanship courses and attended a Franklin Levinson course on Equine Facilitated Learning, where she met Livvy Adams. She learnt about offering people therapeutic time with horses as a way of exploring ones self and working on what feels right. Claudia now runs a farm caring for, and learning from, her 18 horses/ponies. She takes some of those ponies onto a Psychiatric ward, to offer service users therapeutic time and mindfulness with the ponies. Claudia works with Paintedhorse for large group work and supporting charity Key4Life.