Lesley is an enthusiastic horse woman and riding instructor with a background in education. Lesley has been developing and delivering equine and animal assisted programmes, in many areas of Ireland, with much success since 2005 and has been involved in private equine tuition for decades.
Her passion and belief in the benefits of this work originally fired her interest to explore the area further – She studied under the guidance of Heike Markmann, Belgium discovering a way of working with horses and people with extras needs. Her time spent with American equine programme leaders Drs. Alan and Jane Hamilton also provided Lesley with a new way of looking at equine assisted sessions. In 2010, Lesley won a scholarship to study at the renowned Fortune Centre of Riding Therapy in England. Her mentor, (Yvonne Nelson) a ground breaking leader in this work, inspired Lesley to delve deeply into the area of communication and horses. The building of trust and relationships through this nonverbal communication is the foundation on which Lesley’s work has been built.
Lesley’s community based work to date, includes horse project facilitation in various locations in Ireland, working with a number of different groups focussing mainly on the areas of youth diversion and outreach, early Suicide Intervention, education and awareness, parent and child relationship development, and various integration projects with ethnic communities in Ireland, in particular with the Travelling Community. Lesley also has significant experience of working with adults and children with intellectual and physical disability.
Schools to date that have worked with Lesley and the Ballycreen team include Corpus Christi Primary Moyross, St. Nessans Secondary School, Moyross, St Munchins, Ballynanty, St Anne’s, Ennis, Salesians School , Limerick, St. Peters School, Rathgar, Dublin, St. Augistines School, Limerick.
Lesley has worked alongside organisations such as HEALS (Horse Energy Alleviates Living Scars) and The Irish Horse Welfare Trust developing educational and therapeutic programmes. Other organisations that we have delighted to work with include Barnardos, Offaly Traveller Movement, Tiglinn Day service, Arklow and Sunbeam House Services Wicklow.
Donna takes on the role of our equine expert, having years of experience as a British Horse Society (BHS) riding instructor. Donna has a wealth of experience working in and managing yards in Ireland. Donna is also a passionate campaigner for animal rights and animal welfare. She leads the equine activity programmes.
Steve looks after all our sheep farming activities and farm development projects. He is especially busy on the farm at lambing time. Steve has worked with many different groups on the farm and does a great barbecue. He is also a dab hand with the ponies, having trained many pony club games teams to success.
Kate is a qualified adult, children and teenagers yoga teacher. Kate teaches yoga day retreats or yoga and mindfulness groups on the farm. Kate also has an MA in Child, Family and Community Studies and years of experiences working with children and families at risk in Ireland.