What an extraordinary surprise I was gifted with when I met Lisa on Thursday September 20 2018 while she was working in Rome Italy.
To be precise it was in Campagnano (the suburbs of Rome) at Stefano Coata’s, professional showjumping yard. My name is Danielle Minelli and I am an American working in Italy for over 14 years. I am an Equine Shiatsu Therapist, Conventional Kinesiologist, and a Pilates teacher for over 3 decades. I started my incredible journey in Equine Shiatsu with Jill Blake and her school: The School of Equine Shiatsu, in West Sussex, UK. Jill is a true pioneer and master in her work. I was very lucky to have studied with her. This journey taught me to help show Equine partners (unfortunately still referred to as ‘owners’) another way to help our equine family members with a vast variety of issues.
I did my dissertation for The School of Equine Shiatsu on a comparative studies compiled over 8 months of treatments on 5 horses that were left on their own in a large plot of land consisting of three immense fields. Here is the clincher …. I gave them the complete freedom of choice to except or decline my offer of Shiatsu treatments. My equine participants suffered from many pathologies; Abandonment and trust issues, chronic and acute health issues. These treatments were conducted in an open field with no confinement, restraints, assistance, no halters or lead ropes, of any kind. It was clear, simple and reliable in reference to acceptance or refusal of the treatments. It was a high risk environment for me as a therapist and practitioner, but a very affective way to study the greater association between western and Traditional Chinese Medicine, equine / human communication and the freedom to choose.
Lisa Ashton was a breath of fresh air from the first moment I met her. Her professionalism, knowledge, generosity and genuine curiosity for her work and the work of others makes her a true treasure for all of us and our equine family members. Lisa was working with Stefano Coata at his yard, coaching him with a number of the horses under his care. One horse in particular SiSi. While Stefano and Lisa are doing amazing work with SiSi, and she has come a long way, the owner had asked me to stop by and give SiSi a treatment so I could meet Lisa.
Lisa welcomed me into the circle of work she has been doing with Stefano. She patiently listened to my over enthusiastic passion for Equine Shiatsu and Conventional Kinesiology. Lisa was interested in seeing all my diagrams on the Fascia and nerve pathways directly linking the visceral and organs with Shiatsu. Wittnessing how much more Equine Shiatsu is than just simple digital pressure, but actual therapeutic benefits.. My equine work here in Italy is challenging. Italy is a country full of centuries of traditions, culture and history. A very beautiful country. However change is slow here. I feel a lot of people are trying to see a different way to communicate and care for their equine partners here in Italy, but the change is slow. For the most part I have felt alone in Italy with Equine evolvement. … Until I met Lisa. I had always tried to explain to trainers that we work as a team, our work is different, but when united the equine client will benefit greatly. Lisa said to me; “no horse is an island” Her knowledge and positive support, her love and enthusiasm for making a change for all our equine friends. For teaching and sharing a different way to create balance and harmony between the equine and human partnership. To stop and listen to the equine language not with words. Lisa is manifesting a better way. She is a brilliant young woman full of humour, charm and smiles, she has a keen eye, with knowledge and professionalism she will make great changes in the equine world.
I look forward to working with Lisa with her “Italian Team” and can’t wait for her next visit to Italy.
Cheers to you Lisa !
Danielle Minelli MBSc(kin)