Meet the Team

Julie-Anne Griffith

Director, Assessor, and Supervisor for EFL & Mental Health First Aid trainer

Julie-Anne began her working life as a British Horse Society accredited instructor in the mid- eighties when she founded her own successful horse-riding centre whilst still in her teens.

The loss of use the premises where she ran the business prompted a move to London, and this saw the start of a new career in growing communications businesses (Millicom Cellular UK and SKY PLC). Over 10 years she developed leadership and change management skills through lived experience and study with Open Business School whilst working full time. After becoming a parent in the mid-nineties she chose to follow a career in Further Education where college term holidays were a better fit with family commitments, and she progressed from an initial post as a lecturer in horse management to leadership roles in quality management and academic development.
Since 2011 she has run her own practice as a strategy facilitator, with a special interest in balance scorecard and executive coaching. She’s trained to European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC) senior practitioner level in business and executive coaching, and also achieved distinction in a QII certificate in Equine Assisted Learning gained in 2016. She’s qualified to deliver Ofsted and SQA accredited Mental Health First Aid courses, and is in the final stages of Diploma studies with the International Centre for Coaching Supervision.

A brush with cancer in 2007 provides first-hand experience of the link between physical and mental health, and underpins Julie-Anne’s a clear focus on supporting well-being in individuals and organisations. After near miss, with a kick to the head by a much-loved horse, Julie-Anne decided to explore new ways of being around horses and in now enjoys bringing together her two passions, horses and helping individuals and teams to be more self-aware and effective in their every day life and work.

Her training as a facilitator of equine assisted learning brings together her knowledge and experience of coaching life & work skills with the most up to date evidence-based practice in working with horses.

Dr Kim Brown

Director and Internal Verifier for professional Diploma

In her role as Director of Equi-Scotia CIC Kim brings some external perspective and experience as a senior practitioner in the filed of Equine Facilitated Therapy.

She is the Founder Director of Nature Therapy CIC, a national award winning, not for profit social enterprise. The aim of this organisation is to enhance mental, emotional and sensory intelligence through unique experiences in nature.

Kim delivers a range of transformational professional and personal development courses in the UK and Europe. The courses are grounded in a blend of ancient wisdom and modern-day science. This includes being alongside horses – and wolves.

Kim started work in a psychiatric hospital over 45 years ago. It was here she first noticed improvements in the quality of life for patients who were able to spend time outside amongst nature.

Her subsequent career has been as an emergency nurse, a specialist midwife, as a Child and Adolescent Mental Health practitioner, and as tutor who specialising in Experiential Learning.

Kim has been a Senior Advisor for the Home Office, CEO of a charity, and a University Research Fellow. Over the years she developed numerous projects for vulnerable children and adults for which she won national awards. This includes a national Nurse of the Year and an award for Inspirational Professional of the Year.

She has always been invested in mental health and researching the impact of nature – this led her early on in her career to undertake Higher Degrees in Research Methodology and Health Education. In her spare time, Kim qualified as Expedition Leader. She still enjoys using those skills to spend time living off grid at her home on a mountain in Portugal.

More recently Kim trained as a Rhythm to Recovery Drumming practitioner. She adapted this practice to facilitate drumming circles for people with a dementia.

Kim spent five years traveling the world for her Doctorate in Health Science. This involved researching the many different ways horses’ impact on human wellbeing. Kim can be contacted through making an enquiry on the Equi-Scotia website

Liz McGarvey

Director and Internal Verifier for professional Diploma

Liz is a person-centred executive coach and facilitator who delivers leadership training with a strong emphasis on emotional intelligence. She has been coaching for over 7 years and has experience of coaching leaders from FTE 100 companies, a wide range of public sector bodies including the Home Office, Foreign Office, Ministry of Justice and the NHS. She has also coached the CEO’s of 3 different international charities. Liz coaches on a wide range of subjects including imposter syndrome and confidence, management of change, operating in a new role, leaving an organisation well, and relationship management.

Liz has also been an experienced Executive Manager with over 20 years of leading large teams within a £1billion public sector organisation with over 10,000 staff. She has worked at an operational level as an Area Manager, a strategic level working on cultural change and at a national level as a Deputy Director servicing the business and Defra.  Liz was the Executive Manager responsible for an innovative Rapid Response Catchment Project in the North of England which involved working with communities and partners to enable communities to be more resilient to flooding.

During her time in executive management, coaching became a strong and integral part of her leadership style.   Liz has enhanced my skills with a Post Graduate Certificate in Executive and Business Coaching, and this has enabled her to successfully coach and mentor many people.

Liz leads on developing student coaching and emotional intelligence competencies on the Equi-Scotia Professional Diploma programme.  She can be reached through the contact page on the Equi-Scotia website.

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Mike Delaney

Consultant, Assessor & Supervisor in EFL & EFP

Mike is a co-founder of Equi-Scotia CIC and LEAP and the LEAP EFP/L Model.  He helped design the Equi-Scotia Professional Diploma assured by SQA, and the Ofqual-regulated Level 5 Diploma in EFP- LEAP Method, which remains the only regulated and recognised EFP training in the UK specifically designed for mental health professionals.

Mike is one of the leading practitioners of Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy in the UK, having pioneered its development since 2004. He initially introduced it to residential addiction treatment but soon realised its power and began using it in a range of conditions including young people who were sexually traumatised and adults with trauma and PTSD.

Mike is seen as an expert and regularly gives talks and presents papers on EFP/L in the UK and abroad, including a presentation of a research paper to the Royal College of Psychiatrists Conference in London around the efficacy of EFP for young people who have experienced childhood sexual trauma.

Mike is a Mental Health/Addictions Therapist with over 40 years’ experience working with individuals, rehabilitation centres and professional bodies in the UK and internationally. Over the last twenty years Mike has managed several facilities including Barley Wood in Bristol and the Addictive Behaviour Centre in Birmingham. He has also been responsible for developing four new treatment facilities, Silkworth Lodge in Jersey in 2002, Stepps in Gloucestershire in 2004, Bayberry in 2012 and more recently Delamere Health, the UK’s first purpose-built addiction treatment centre in 2020.

Until 2008 he was Group Clinical Director of The Stepping Stones Group, a large healthcare organisation for adults with Learning Disabilities and Mental Health issues. Since then he has had a successful private practice in Gloucestershire and Harley Street, London and has provided training for a number of organisations including Veterans Aid in London and Zenith Childcare in Gloucestershire.

In recovery himself from addiction to alcohol and drugs, Mike has had first-hand experience of the devastating effects of addiction on an individual and their loved ones. He is passionate about using his vast practical and theoretical expertise to help others succeed in recovery, whether it be from alcohol, drugs, depression, sex, co-dependency, food or gambling.

 In 2019, Mike returned to his native Scotland where has established his Private Practice and In January 2020 forged a partnership with Julie-Anne Griffith to create Equi-Scotia, a Community Interest Company providing a range of services including Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy and Learning, Leadership Training and accredited Equine Facilitated Training Courses. Mike lives with long covid and has stepped down as a Director to help manage his wellbeing but remains active in delivery online and practical workshops for Diploma practitioners. 

Lisa Ashton

Consultant & Assessor – Horse Behaviour & Welfare

Lisa Ashton  MBA, PGCE, BA (Hons) ESI Diploma, BHS Stage 4 Senior Coach in Complete Horsemanship, Pony Club A’Test 

Lisa Ashton is the UK authority in the application of Equitation Science. With over a decade of experience Lisa consults leading  organisations; Redwings, Blue Cross, Bransby, The Horse Trust, Mount St. John, Greater Manchester Police, UK colleges & universities, equine veterinarians and veterinary nurses, professional riders and owners. Lisa is the author of the chapter ‘Behaviour & Handling of the Horse’ in Aspinall’s Complete Textbook of Veterinary Nursing, former International Society for Equitation Science Education Officer, Expert Witness, Higher Education external examiner, Equitation Science lecturer and masters dissertation supervisor at Edinburgh University and the UK home of Equitation Science International. Presenter at Equine Industry Symposium 2019, Virtual International Equestrian Coaching Summit 2020 and ISES Summer Meeting 2020. 

Dedicated to helping more horses by helping horse lovers understand why, what and how of horse training, Lisa translates the latest research in Equitation Science. In 2011 Lisa founded EquiSci to help more horses via clinics, workshops, lectures and annual Conference, in Italy and the UK. In 2016 Equicoach.life was born, providing horse lovers with a safe online community; Coffee With Horse Lovers. In 2018 the online coaching mastermind – Espresso with Equicoach – provides vets, physio’s, coaches and horse lovers a horse centred learned community committed to showing up and advocating for the horse, pioneers on the path to giving horses a good life, not just one worth living.  Lisa can be contacted on lisa@equicoach.life

Rhona Harkness

Consultant & Assessor – Sensory Awareness, Mental Health, & Neurodiversity in EFL

Director of The Equi-OT (trading name of The Centre Occupational Therapy Practice), Rhona, has been delivering forms of Equine Facilitated Occupational Therapy (EFOT) and lecturing in this field for around 20 years.  Rhona works with children, young people, and adults.  She has a specialist interest in neurodiversity and mental health and has additional post graduate training in sensory integration. 

Through interaction and partnership working with horses, Rhona empowers individuals to facilitate change, gain clarity, and future vision.  Rhona demonstrates an advanced level of clinical reasoning, knowledge, and skills in this field.  She promotes and demonstrates best, evidenced-based practice, exercising a high level of personal, professional, and clinical autonomy.  Rhona works from the home base of the Scottish Borders; however, she will travel to deliver and/or lecture in Equine Facilitated Occupational Therapy.  The first student to complete Equi-Scotia Professional Diploma in Equine Facilitated Learning & Development which is quality assured by the Scottish Qualifications Authority, Rhona is now a valued member of the delivery team.  She can be contacted on rhona@thecentredotpractice.co.uk

Liz Morrison

Consultant – Health & Safety and NLP

Liz Morrison is a BHS accredited professional (BHSII, BHS Stable Manager) and sports coach specialising in supporting riders through modern coaching techniques and sports psychology.  She was one of the first ICF Professional Certified Coaches in the UK, and is an NLP Master Practitioner and Advanced Modeller. Earlier in her career she worked in Marketing and Stakeholder communications at Nestle, Mars, Rank Holidays and in Central Government.

She is also co-author of ‘The Veterinary Care of the Horse’ with Sue Devereux, published by JA Allen. It has sold over 140,000 copies and it set a new standard for clarity and ease of use in the stable yard. This understanding of horses, bio-mechanics and training for soundness is key to her approach.

 

She first became aware of the importance of mental attitude in sport when she was awarded a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship to Australia in 1993. She went to find out how the Australian teams were able to win so many equestrian medals. What she found was an openness about their need to improve and willingness to adapt their approaches that led to their success.

 

Upon her return to the UK she researched the area and started training in NLP and the newly emerging techniques of coaching. She has trained with and assisted the original developers of the subject. Her courses about applying NLP to riding have been attended by hundreds of people. Her book, Simple Steps to Riding Success was a great success and was been translated into several languages.  The book featured some of her work with riders with disabilities, which has led to her qualification as a RDA Coach (one of the few able to coach at any RDA group) and helping to set up Positive RDA – an innovative mobile group.

In her work as a sports psychologist for riders, Liz Morrison finds that an on-going focus on learning and self-awareness is the core to building confidence and the humility and openness that horses need from their riders. An MSc in action learning & UKCC level 3 are her recent areas for study.

She is passionate about horses, the connection to nature that they offer, and what they can teach us about ourselves. She lives near Wantage and has a group of horses with whom to play, train and  compete with.  She is highly approachable, with a lively sense of humour and loves to work with people who want to experience their relationship with horses more successfully.

Liz recently founded a community interest company called the Happiness Horsebox CIC to bring much needed wellbeing activities with horses into communities with a fully accessible, mobile,  and bio-secure space for horses and humans.    Liz can be contacted on liz@positiveriding.co.uk

Riley McChesney

Administrator

Hi, I’m Riley, an administrator at Equi-Scotia. I have a major passion for make-up which I have been practicing for roughly 8 years. My other hobbies include watching True Crime documentaries, fishing, not very well, and wildlife observation, I am also a dog mum to a handsome 7 year old pooch called Rufus who keeps me well and truly on my toes.

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