Ainsley & Lissie at Halloween
My love affair with horses showed from the time I was old enough to point to ponies in a pasture. Coming from a sailing background, however, my family wasn’t impressed. As a young teen, mucking stalls and eventually taking out trail rides in exchange for lessons, my passion for horses was further ignited. There is something magical in spending time with horses in nature, and to this day, being out in the wilderness with a good horse is the most peaceful way I know to be.
Many years and many horses later, I took a leave of absence from my job as a labour and delivery/operating room aid, ready to try something different from regular life at a hospital. I worked as a guide in one hour trail riding facilities; I loved working with the horses but struggled with the challenges they faced each day. Unskilled but enthusiastic riders often had little ability to empathise with what sheer hard work it was for horses, weaving their way over rocky, uneven ground while balancing riders on mountain trails, unaware hands jerking on reins, the inevitable banging on the horse’s back as people tried to stay in the saddle. (Not to knock anyone – we all had to learn and back in the day I learned on some wonderfully patient trail horses.)
Despite attempts to advocate, tack didn’t always fit well, and the inequity of more money out than in would trickle down to the horse’s care; as the season stretched on, more ears were pinned in the morning at the hitching rail as the horses became grumpier, yet still had to pack bouncing tourists around. It was an enormous learning experience on so many levels.
When my husband and I decided to open our own riding business we knew we wanted to gear our rides towards the experienced rider. BC Horse Vacations was born, and over 9 years, we took an amazing array of people out on luxury multi-day Inn to Inn rides. The beauty of catering to the experienced rider was that our international clientele – from European judges to fox hunters, coaches, trainers, breeders, para-Olympians, backcountry riders and backyard owners – all appreciated how well cared for our horses were, and often asked how we kept them ‘so nice’.
Our horses were cared for and cared about. The most essential lesson I took to BC Horse Vacations was the importance of considering the horse, mentally, physically and emotionally. The tack fit. Veterinary care was important, as was proper hoof care and quality feed. They had plenty of days off, stretching out in 100 or 200 acre pastures, leased specifically because it’s what ‘the Boyz’ needed most to decompress and be happy horses.
The significance of body work was evident – for horses that climb mountains all day for a living, a great massage and chiropractic work kept them feeling fit and mentally ready, willing and able to head out each morning in good humour.
Of all the body workers we utilized one therapist stands out as having the most impact on our horse’s well-being. She had studied at Helen Wood’s Equine Therapy Program, and the first time watching her work, I witnessed our horse Scully’s topline change within a single treatment. He had 21 misalignments, this in a horse with no known injury – other than a single bout of laminitis many years earlier.
When the time came to again change careers, I knew immediately what my next life chapter would be – a HJW equine therapist, helping horses heal and feel their best. As a mature student, I threw myself into the program with the desire to be the absolute best therapist I could be. The foundation of my work is in spinal alignment, but incorporating more massage and acupressure, becoming a Reiki Master and integrating my skills as an Advanced PSYCH-K ® facilitator not only enhances the healing process, but whole horse wellness. As a multidimensional healer, I’m able to go deeper than the physical, to tap into messages underlying dis-ease or dis-function, releasing the root cause of problems which may be manifesting in the body. I help create subconscious shifts around health, behaviours and trauma, all while doing the extremely important hands on body work.
I now work full time doing what I love most, helping horses heal physically, mentally and emotionally. The passion felt as a young child has evolved to be stronger than ever, and the satisfaction from helping to relieve pain and soreness… from feeling muscles that have been in rock hard spasm soften… from observing horses transform from lame to sound… from having a horse who’s been hurting close his eyes, press his head against my chest and sigh with relief… from hearing a client share the story of how their spooky, bolting horse saw his first bear and stood calmly after a PSYCH-K® session… to witness the brutally abused rescue who would wrap himself around a tree in terror at the sight of humans finally stand peacefully, unsedated to be examined by a vet… from watching horses stretch out their lips and contort into a U-shape in absolute equine ecstasy with deep massage…
These are things that fill my heart in ways that cannot be put into words.
How can I help your horse?
Ainsley Beauchamp (250) 295-7432
124 Pinewood Crescent cell (250) 293-6959
RR#1, Site 19, Compartment 19
Princeton, B.C., Canada