Managing Director & Lead Facilitator
Sarah founded Spirit and Soul and has grown the business from a small idea. Sarah’s work background has been largely based around psychology and working with difficult to engage clients. She has worked for a number of years in both custodial and community settings helping people facilitate change in their lives. Her work experience has helped develop valuable skills which will continue to be used in activities at Spirit and Soul.
Sarah has had horses since she was six years old and has always had a keen interest in more natural horsemanship methods. Having rescued various horses herself, she has learnt so much from each of them.
Being diagnosed with breast cancer at a young age caused a massive change in her outlook on life and how she wanted to then spend her time. Whilst being ill, Sarah continued to look after her own horses and she fully believes this is what kept her going. Having experienced illness herself she is well equipped to understand others coming out of such a difficult time.
Sarah is a certified equine sports massage and rehabilitation therapist which has helped most of the horses overcome injury or illness. Sarah has a degree in psychology, a Masters degree in Forensic Psychology as well as having completed other relevant courses and qualifications helping her support people. She has completed courses in both Equine Assisted Learning and Equine Assisted Therapy. Sarah is a member of the National Council of Psychotherapists (NCP) and is currently completing a Diploma in Psychotherapy.
Emma brings team management, operations and service delivery experience from a career in both the commercial and charity sector. Part of her role involves supporting our charity funded projects using valuable experience gained from working with vulnerable individuals and groups including those involved in the criminal justice system, affected by domestic abuse, alcohol or drug addiction and other complex needs.
Having spent her youth surrounded by all things 'horse' she finds being around horses a privilege and a joy. Emma enjoys facilitating sessions, creative problem solving and learning new things. She loves the fact that here at Spirit and Soul, no two days are the same and likes nothing more than mucking in and getting her hands dirty (lucky for us!).
Tori works in the office making sure that all our groups, workshops and day to day operations run smoothly, alongside taking the message of Spirit and Soul to other organisations and making sure all the IT equipment is running smoothly. With a background in running PMO’s and Programme Management in the IT sector, she brings her experience in the corporate sector together with a passion for horses and the life-changing impact that Equine Assisted Activities and Therapy can have.
Having ridden from a young age Tori attributes staying on the straight and narrow as a teen and young adult to the continual presence of horses in her life. When life took a few twists and turns leading to her experiencing Post Natal Depression and later Attachment Anxiety and GAD it was through experiencing EAT at Spirit and Soul that she was able to get back on track and find her confidence, drive and passion again. Now using all those attributes, she is working to ensure as many people as possible are able to understand and experience the therapeutic and life-enhancing benefits of being with our therapy herd, all whilst ensuring everyone is organised and being the ‘resident nerd’.
I didn't start getting horse crazy until I was 16 and started having riding lessons. I used to help out at a local stable in exchange for riding lessons. I got my first horse Badger when I was 18 (with my student loan!) We went through lots of life's ups and downs together, exam stress, relationships highs and lows, there is nothing like a horse hug when things get too much. Marriage, kids and lots of house moves. We were together for 22 years, the longest relationship I have ever had. Other horses have entered my life to Tom & Harvey the mini Shetlands, Tallulah the Fjord Horse whom I had from a foal and was a pocket rocket! The most personality I have ever known in a horse and the new guy, Logan the Highland Horse. I have been involved in Natural Horsemanship for the past 12 years and I really like how it is so much more than just riding the horse, it's understanding their behaviour with us and within their herd. Plus how our behaviour reflects straight back and you have to be with them in the moment and you can truly make an emotional connection.
Natasha is an Early years educator, Qualified Youth Worker and Holistic Aromatherapist with over 20 years experience of working with vulnerable children, young people and their families. Passionate about making a difference....even if tiny ones!
Natasha says - I fell madly in love with horses when at the age of nine I knocked on a lady's door who bred Welsh Cobs. She took me under her wing and fed my need to hang out with these wonderful animals. This coincided with being told that I had a bad hearing loss which had gone undetected. Being with horses, learning to ride on young stock and then eventually having my own Welsh Section B gave me peace, joy and confidence. Every day before school and again after school I escaped up the mountains on foot running all the way to be with Pride. She waited at the gate each time and called out. We explored the Welsh hills together often getting carried away with time. This was one of the happiest times of my life where being deaf did not matter, where the connection between Pride and myself was as one. I could think let's go this way and Pride would know. If I was sad she was gentle with me. If I was a bit too confident she would be frisky and a little wild, some days she would not let me catch her, in hindsight on those days something must have been going on for me that I was not aware of.
The relationship we had was special and so empowering. I would be a very different person today without it. 7 years ago horses came back into my life, in the form of Belle a Welsh Section D, who has a very similar temperament to Pride. Time with her is the same -space to just be, joy and peace. My recharge, my being in the moment, my time. I know from personal experience the power of horses in my life and have had been lucky enough to see changes in people who have had the chance to hang out with horses for the first time in their lives - it is mesmerising! Horses rock!
Freyja starting riding when she was four years old, but started learning properly when she was nine. Her first loan pony, Tilly, was from the riding school where she learnt to ride. Having the consistency of her horses helped Freyja whilst her brother was unwell and life at home chaotic. Being able to go to the yard and just 'be' gave her a safe space to process her feelings.
The horses at Spirit and Soul have found a kindred spirit in Freyja who prioritises their needs and ensures they are in the best condition to carry out their therapy work. They are all very fond of her!
Freyja joins Spirit and Soul from being a polo groom and will be caring for the horses as well as providing admin support, taking bookings and supporting with groups. Her experience with horses and their natural care, alongside her understanding of the benefits horses can bring for emotional and physical wellbeing makes her a valuable addition to the Spirit and Soul team.