Fiona MacKay


Let me share a little more about myself, a published author and photographer, My love of horses started really before I can remember, being sat on my God father’s hunter at just 3 months old, posing for family pictures. I really can’t remember a time when I wasn’t fascinated and mesmerised by these magnificent, graceful creatures.
I finally convinced my parents to let me have riding lessons at the age of 9 and was soon helping out at the stables at the weekends. Like most children I’d tried a bit of everything, dance, ballet, gymnastics and swimming, but riding & horses soon consumed my life out of school. As a child I was never fortunate enough to have my own pony, but in many respects my experiences with horses were far more varied because of this, as I was never short of offers for rides.
I spent many years show-jumping, bringing on youngsters to jump and being trained by an international showjumper in the Top 200 Riders List, who herself was trained by some of the top British show jumpers of the time.
I also had the privilege of competing at national level in the Show Hunter Pony arena with a rather naughty little chestnut gelding, called Hornbeams Hurricane that I’d helped produce since a yearling when he had began showing in hand. I helped start & bring on many, many youngsters that taught me to be a considerate adaptable rider. I learnt from them about the need for trust & partnership, rather them dominance & dictatorship.
With a couple of friends we had western riding lessons & even dabbled with riding side saddle.

I later became involved in racehorse training and enjoyed the thrill that comes from working with these incredible creatures. Being able to take them to the absolute peak of performance was always awe-inspiring. There really is no sensation in the world like the adrenaline rush you get galloping a powerful thoroughbred around the Heath at Newmarket. The pounding of hooves coupled with the rushing wind in your face the only sounds to be heard above your own heart beat & that of the horse & of course the knowledge that the horse beneath you is a creature with its own mind that you will never fully control.
It was at this time that I began to really look into alternative methods of horse care & management, looking for a more natural approach to training and caring for our equine friends.
I qualified as an equine body worker specialising in sports massage and soon realised that this was just the tip of the ice-berg.
I took a brief sojourn from this when I moved to South Africa to manage a 64 bed hotel in the Kruger National Park. Although it would be fair to say that my life during this time was more intertwined with nature then ever before. We lived & worked in what was at times a hostile environment. The animals and nature’s ability to survive and recover from this harshness often left me to marvel at our own ill adaptation to life. We really have lost touch with the abundance of knowledge that Mother Nature holds. It was an honour and a privilege to be able to spend almost 5 years surrounded by such phenomenal creatures & an overwhelmingly stunning & diverse environment, an experience I will always consider myself incredibly lucky to have had.

Whilst in Africa I was able to combine the 2 great passions in my life (horses & wildlife safaris), when I spent time with my now dear friends Barney & PJ at Okavango Horse Safaris, in Botswana’s Okavango Delta. Barney has over 60 horses that live as a herd, led by her Stallion “Lamu”. They graze free together during the day, only being stabled at night to protect them from lions. They live as close to the way nature intended as I think any domesticated horse could: Living freely, grazing naturally in a gentle continuum of movement, following seasonal plants to help them maintain optimal health according to their needs.

When I returned to England I was lucky enough to find my dear old friend Jasper, now retired from racing & enjoying the life of a happy hacker. I was able to ride & spend time with him & it was like finding your favourite comfy long forgotten pair of shoes in the back of the cupboard. Being with him really was like finding part of myself again. So when his owners offered him to me I jumped at the chance & Jasper became the very first horse I had ever owned.
As you can see our stories have both come full circle back to each other & it is from here that we would like to invite you to join us as we continue forward on our journey so we can share the support & advice we’ve received from the many professionals in this area, that provided us with courage & inspiration in harder times and have gone on to become friends to us both.

I have been inspired to further my own studies into complimentary therapies since taking Jasper on. I have studied Reiki, now holding qualifications for Reiki One and Two and then going on to study Animal Reiki One and Two, with SARA, the Shelter Animal Reiki Association. I completed my Reiki and Animal Reiki Master with Kathleen Prasad.

I have a qualification in Kinesiology as a diagnostic technique. I have attended courses enabling me to utilise Crystal healing, Essential Oils & Herbal medicine for my own use and that of my animals.

I am currently undertaking further study with the Australian Bush Flower Institute, having already completed several workshops with Ian White the creator, I wanted to go on to study these amazingly powerful essences further, I will soon have my level one qualification and next year will be attending a workshop with Ian to complete study up to level three.I now hold their highest level as an advanced practitioner.

I have completed hands on training with Dr Kerry Ridgeway to utilise his acupressure points and learn more about fascia, equine gastric ulcers and high heel/low heel syndrome.

All of which compliment my initial Equine Sports Massage qualification that i completed with Equinology back in 2003.

I have also studied Numerology, whilst not always useful with animals (when birth dates might not be known) it has proved a useful & interesting tool for giving people (including myself) an insight in to their lives.

I continue also my quest for knowledge in utlising a natural approach to handling & training of horses, having now attended several of Ken Faulkner’s (Australian Natural Horsemanship) clinics over the last 6 years, as well as having lessons with various instructors utilising both western methodology and true classical horsemanship. I have more recently attended clinics with both klaus Schoneich and Manolo Mendez.
I still love to travel & if I can combine it with Riding all the better, one of my latest trips being to trek through the Andes in Patagonia Argentina with a group of avid african safari enthusiasts, whilst the big game of the african plains may have been lacking the scenery & the warmth & friendliness of the argentine people more then made up for it. Second only to safaris on horseback with PJ and Barney.
It is my hope that from the story of my own experiences and sharing the research I have done that Your Natural Horse can empower others to help horses of all shapes & sizes, no matter what the hurdles they face, to achieve and maintain physical & emotional well-being and live their lives to the fullest extent.
This leaves me with only a few last words from the great Mahatma Gandhi
“My Life is my Message” and “Be the Change you want to see in the World”
With Love