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On our July-August issue front cover, we feature Lisa Drayton and her Friesian Warmblood gelding Sam, photographed by Olya Tutova from 42beats Photography. Lisa featured on our cover exactly one year ago, and since that time, she has achieved her life-changing dream to start her own business, Feather Touch Equine Bodywork.

Always passionate about helping as many horses as she can and also strengthening the bond between them and their humans, Lisa clearly sees the bigger picture of improving the welfare and treatment of all animals.

Lisa is now qualified as an Equine Myofunctional therapist and is now studying to become a Masterson Method certified practitioner. I spoke to Lisa about the recent life changes and what plans she has for the future.

What’s on the cards for this year?

My goal is that, by the end of the year, I will be a certified Masterson Method Practitioner while continuing to grow my business and clientele, helping as many horses as I can be pain-free and happy.

Where would you like to be in five years time?

Hopefully, I’ll have added another modality to my toolkit, I would like to do CranioSacral Therapy through Upledger Institute. At the moment that is the next thing that I would look into studying, then a biomechanics course.

I would like to expand my business and do some teaching/workshops to help support horse owners to help their horses. My dream would be that I’m living on some acreage with a few more rescue horses, a couple of goats, dogs and a donkey!

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What achievement are you most proud of?

Gosh, everything… It’s all led me to be where I am right here, right now and where I want to be moving forward. Even the mistakes… If I had to pick though it would be the most life changing ones. Not giving up on or selling my horse Sam because I couldn’t ride him – as I got so much more from him than I ever could have imagined and pushing myself to start up my business, stepping outside of my comfort zones.

When I was young, someone told me that, unless you had money to start with, you could never make a good living working with horses. That kind of stuck with me as a belief, so I pursued a career outside of horses.

As fate would have it though, along came my beautiful heart horse Sam who had some serious body issues going on. It gave me the drive to find help for him and learn as much as I could. Subsequently it reignited my dream of working with horses. I truly believe this is what I am supposed to be doing.

Who do you admire?

For their commitment to changing horses’ lives for the better, I admire Mel Fleming from ‘Connecting with Horses and Riding with Synchronicity’ and Jim Masterson of the ‘Masterson Method’.

Mel’s horsemanship is more about a way of ‘being’ with a horse rather than a way of ‘doing’. She teaches people to be the best possible version of themselves so that they can truly connect with their horses on all levels. For her, the horse always comes first.

Jim Masterson through his innate ability to read the subtle responses of horses has developed a method of bodywork in which the horse actively participates in the process by showing the practitioner where the tension is in the body and when it has been released. It is such an effective method of bodywork that improves performance, and builds levels of communication and trust between horse and human.

Jim’s mission is to help as many horses as possible and have them experience the deep release of tension that comes from this type of bodywork.

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to follow in your footsteps?

I guess just follow your heart, be true to yourself and do what lights you up on the inside. If it doesn’t fit or feel right don’t do it!

What has been your biggest challenge?

Myself… learning to believe in myself and in my abilities – staying focused and committed. Stop letting the self-doubt get in the way.

Where can we find out more?

You can find me on Facebook ‘Feather Touch Equine Bodywork’ or get in touch via email.

Olya Tutova - 42beats Photography

When Olya was just a three-year-old, she saw a horse for the first time on TV. Since that day, she has been in love with these graceful creatures.

Olya’s other passion has always been photography. It was just a hobby at first but later it became clear it was much more than that and Olya decided to become a professional photographer. So, in 2013 she enrolled in the Photo Imaging Diploma course at RMIT. While doing the course Olya started her own photography business called 42beats.

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