“My South African childhood left me with a love of open spaces, horses, and sunshine! My former breeding stallion Uhuru was named from the Swahili word for freedom or liberation, because I resolved that he should never be stabled. My connection to Africa was expressed for many years through anti-colonial and anti-apartheid solidarity activism and academic work in African studies.
“After having two sons as a single parent, I trained as a psychotherapist in the psychodynamic tradition, working with groups and couples as well as personal therapy. I moved into family court work, doing risk assessment and therapy with violent families.
Defying caution, rather late in life and with no previous experience, I also became a horse breeder, which is how I got to know Sarah – we both had children at a democratic school in Devon, and she and David came to ride with me on Dartmoor.
I now want to use my life experience to help people in the growing fields of nature and equine therapy. As an eco-socialist I also love to support the next generation! My greatest passion is to ride the horses I love so much, out in the landscape and without bits or horseshoes.”
“I’m a Craniosacral therapist, healer and Reiki master/teacher. Originally, I worked as a technical, sales and factory manager – but for the past thirty-something years my life has been devoted to helping others to get well, whether that be physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually. My clients have not been limited to humans – I have successfully treated horses, llamas, hamsters, dogs, cats and a goldfish!
Music has always been a central part of my life – I play several brass instruments, saxophone and guitar, and enjoy playing, conducting and composing. More recently I’ve also taken up painting – in acrylics, water colour and hot wax. I also love spending time with my two adult children and my young grandson.
For the last twelve years I’ve run regular small healing retreats in my cave house in Andalusia. In September 2019 I led my first retreat here at La Volée, combining an introductory Craniosacral course with meditation and live harp music. I’m looking forward to developing my retreat programmes here – incorporating the beautiful energy of the land and the horses.”
“In April 2017, four days after the death of my mother, I stood in a frosty, sunny field with Moon River and a newborn foal. This was my first visit to Erica at La Volée. As I looked down over the valley, with River nuzzling my shoulder, I felt as if a door swung open – letting in the amazing possibility that I could actually live in this magical place. Released from my duties as a carer, I knew that here, together with my husband David, I could co-create a fulfilling life, bringing together all my skills and experience.
I’ve been a theatre designer, a community arts facilitator and a holistic therapist. I’ve organised and led healing retreats, and I’ve raised three children and cared for my elderly parents. My lifelong desire to bond with and ride horses, free from conventional restraints, was fulfilled several years ago when I met Erica. I eventually bought from her my beloved Eos and Maggie – now reunited with the herd in France.
David and I have always dreamed of running our own retreat centre, and now this dream is coming true!”