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MEET OUR TEAM

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Irina Amelina

Irina has over 25 years of experience working with horses, teaching people skills from the very basics to riding at a top competitive level. Most of her horse-riding skills were obtained at the Maple Leaf Farm, Del Mar, USA. Irina trained under Dale Harvey, an internationally renowned show-jumper, who managed the US Equestrian Team Olympic Trials in 2000 and in 2002.

After moving to Australia in 2000, she commenced providing private tuition to a broad range of clients, including children as young as 3 years old before establishing Equusterra and working solely with people with special needs in 2015.

She also holds a Bachelor of Education and English Language and has over 10 years of secondary and tertiary experience. "By combining my educational background with my passion and experience with the horses, I believe I can achieve positive outcomes and improve the overall well-being for kids and adults with ASD, ADD and high anxiety."

She is a registered coach with Equestrian Australia.

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Ekaterina Ilina

Ekaterina (Katya) joined the team with a strong background in hippotherapy, a physiotherapy on the horseback. This modality is especially beneficial for assisting in building flexibility of joins and strength of muscles in clients with Cerebral Palsy, scoliosis, kyphosis, and poor core muscle conditions. 

 

Katya graduated as a Bachelor of Adaptive Physical Education from St Petersburg Institute of Special Needs Pedagogy and Psychology. She worked as a hippotherapist in one of the largest centres in St Petersburg, Russia for over 7 years before moving to Australia. 

"I love working with children finding the best way to communicate, giving them positive vibes and emotions while the subtle work is conducted to the body and mind with assistance of magical horses".

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John Reynolds

“I feel every individual is capable of finding their own growth and healing as long as they are willing to challenge their own self-beliefs.” A walker of his own talk John has spent over 30 years studying and practicing health and well-being. He has worked in areas such as personal training, massage, life coaching, teaching health and fitness and role-playing within the corporate and Military sectors teaching communication skills.

 

Coming onboard recently with EquusTerra, John is excited to blend his talents with the amazing work that the horses offer. Equine Assisted Personal Development offers a unique opportunity for the client to receive direct connection with the animal and learn deeper aspects of themselves. It can help them to learn trust, to overcome fears and set new boundaries for themselves. “Most productivity and success happen to people when they are ready and able to let go of the old, outdated modes of thinking and behaving”.

 

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Sophie Walliss

Sophie has been a rider with EquusTerra from 2017, continuously developing her own riding skills, and naturally expanded into the role of a coach. She feels that the kindness and patience the horses build in humans through non-judgmental communication help our mindfulness and confidence. She is passionate about sharing her love to the animals with younger riders and builds great rapport with them. 

 

As well as her studies at QUT to become a social worker, Sophie is a Special Olympics Australia competitor, representing the Queensland team.

"There’s something meditative about communicating with horses, something instinctive where you eventually have to merge into one in order to move forward together. I think maybe that simple notion is why we are seeing such widespread success in the horse’s ability to break through where nothing else has worked, and we’re just left with a form of healing."

 

 ~  Robert Redford

OUR ANIMALS

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Jasper

Jasper, born 2015, a Quarter Horse. Steady, patient, great with lovely jogging trot and happy to work with kids and adults.

Moet

Mozzie, Mo, Mr Mo (Moet), born 2009 Selle Francais cross.

Cheeky, inquisitive, very much a people's horse. He is working nicely under saddle and keeps us entertained with his array of tricks and mischieves.

Gilbert

Lex

Jupiter

Gilbert, Gilah (Finders Keepers), born 1992 Hannoverian Warmblood. A bold jumper in the past, Gil has been a patient, wise leader of the herd and enjoys his semi-retirement.

Lex, born 2015, a Paint horse. Big step on walk and trot, big goof with calm, relaxed personality.

Our latest addition to the team, 10yo quarter horse Jupiter is quickly becoming our "Meet and Greet" committee and is a big smoocher. 

Pepi

Pepi (Willowcroft Choirboy), born 2005, Australian Riding pony.  Pepi is our "little man", very much loved by kids and has lovely paces. 

Micky

Micky, our lovely daschund, born 2011. Micky is everything this breed is usually not: patient with kids, fun to play with, loves his tennis ball.

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