Erin is a Licensed Manual Therapist, an Equine Flexion Therapist through the Farriers National Research Institute of Georgia, Equine and Canine Sports Massage Therapist, and is a Red Light Laser Practitioner for equines and canines. She has always had a passion for helping riders and equine athletes achieve mental and physical health. She believes in a whole body approach to achieve a pain free and balanced musculoskeletal system for the rider and equine athlete. She competes professionally in several events including: dressage, western dressage, hunter-jumpers, working cow, and team roping. She believes that the equine athlete’s physical and mental health and wellness are as important as the rider’s when it comes to forming a successful and competitive team. Using her years of horse training, coaching, and experience, she is able to individualize care for each horse and rider and the specific needs of its discipline.
Erin was given the opportunity to compete on her past-sponsored mount in the 2014 NAJYR Championships in Kentucky. She taught lessons full time at McLennan Community College in Waco, Texas where she taught all levels of riders and a multitude of disciplines. She has participated in clinics with Peter Madison Greenwell of El Caballo De Espana located in England, Pati Pierucci an International dressage rider, and several Young Rider clinics, including a Pas De Deux and Quadrille clinic, along with attending many speaking engagements. She is a professional athlete featured on the Experience Dressage website which is affiliated with the United States Equestrian Federation. In addition to her riding activities, Erin worked as a veterinary technician at an equine veterinary practice. Her duties included assisting with routine veterinary care, mare care and breeding services, surgeries, emergencies, and farm calls. Erin has volunteered at R.E.A.C.H Therapeutic Riding Center, schooling the therapeutic horses and helping children with disabilities and Wounded Warriors from many branches of the military gain confidence along with mental and physical strength through the riding of horses.
Her current endeavors include competing in team roping and dressage, finishing her graduate degree from Tarleton State University, and completing her Master Saddle Fitter Certification from the Netherlands. With these certifications and skills in place, she plans to create a well-rounded system looking at both the rider and horse as a whole and creating a knowledge-base for equine athletes and their counterparts to be happier, healthier, and even more successful.
What's Your Why?
"If you have ever faced a significant crisis in your life, you probably have experienced the power of purpose to tap into reserves of energy and determination and courage you likely didn't know you had. Your mission was clear, your goal was compelling, your focus was laser like, and your potential was tapped. The power of purpose is similar to the energy of light focused through a magnifying glass- the same light to set fire to paper. Focus its's energy even more, as with a laser beam, and it has the power to cut through steel. Likewise, a clear sense of purpose enables you to focus your efforts on what matters most, compelling you to take risks and push forward regardless of odds or obstacles. The four Whys:
1. What makes you come alive? 2. What are your innate strengths?
3. Where do you add the greatest value? 4. How will you measure your life?" ~ Forbes Magazine
I have always had a passion for animals and I don’t think I can ever remember a time where I was not trying to help one or save one in some way. Competing in the sport that I have for so long, there is so much mental and physical stress that can come into play for both the equine athlete and human athlete. One of my favorite quotes to say to my students I have taught and people I have worked with over the years is “we must be the athlete that our horse already is.” Experiencing these stressors first hand along with my passion for animals and a few other things along the way set me on the path I am on today and gave me the opportunity to wake up and do what I love everyday.
I was competing to qualify for the National Junior and Young Rider Championships in Kentucky in 2014 on my sponsored mount. For those of you that do not know what this is, imagine a mini version of the Olympics for young riders where we can compete in the three Olympic events which are dressage, stadium jumping, and eventing. Young riders and their upper level horses come as a team representing wherever they are from in the country, regionally and individually. As you can imagine, it takes a lot of mental discipline, physical strength which includes weight lifting, cardio, yoga/Pilates, nutrition for the horse and rider to stay strong and healthy, and intense training days on the horse rain or shine and hot or cold. There is so much sport psychology and physical strength and effort that takes a roll in being successful as an athlete in and out of the saddle. I really started struggling with upper level movements because of the increased use of the seat and hips and I was always in a great deal of pain. Anyone that has ever been in a lot of pain they cannot get away from understands it takes a toll on your body and your mind. It seemed like the harder I worked and tried the worse it would get and for those of you that personally know me, you know that I follow through and do not like to quit on myself. We tried doctors upon doctors with different ideas, dry needling, ice baths suggested by the doctor, and so much more. It wasn’t until I found a now mentor and physical therapist who discovered my hip socket was rotated and I had extremely weak muscles due to a past groin injury from overcompensation of the other side which caused my hip to grind and pop continuously in the joint in and out of the saddle. I was pulled off the horse for a year with no riding if I ever wanted to recover. My dreams and goals were shattered on the spot. They opened up a study case about my hip and I stayed really depressed for a while because I lost who I felt like I was as a person. My trainer, barn, friends, and horses I was riding. They were all gone. Riding and championships was what I lived and breathed and I felt isolated and alone. I woke up one day and decided to be positive about my situation and try as hard as I could everyday to overcome the situation. I dove into the world of kinesiology, anatomy, biomechanics, and sport psychology based around the rider and horse.
This major life change and obstacle taught me so much about mental and physical health, strength from a human perspective, and about myself as well. Furthermore, they taught me about the type of things that can be achieved with our animals and what our animals can achieve if we take care of them and their bodies. I decided to combine my love for animals with my passion for sport psychology, anatomy, kinesiology and biomechanics, and holistic and alternative care and modalities. It is my ultimate goal to become a voice for animals who are in pain or just need a helping hand along the way. I strive to help every animal and human to the best of my abilities and individualize care for each animal and human that is brought into my practice.