About Jo and Doug
I started to ride at 2 years of age, and that is when my passion for horses began. Over four decades later every day I realise how much more there is to learn. After spending my first 18 years living and breathing horses, I then had to leave horses behind and spent the next two decades building and running
businesses in London. Since moving to South Africa in 2008, I have been privileged to devote myself full time to horses.
Doug, to be honest, is not a massive fan of horses. He is more of a dog person. Despite this he has been incredibly supportive of everything I do and shares my ambitions of what we can achieve. He owns his own successful businesses and is an exceptional administrator and organizer. Doug is very involved in everything we do and are planning (because those are not my strengths) and we make a great team.
We bought the beautiful Hemel en Aarde Farm after over 2 years of searching for the perfect location. We had been looking for the ideal place to build a heavenly Equine Retreat, so the farm name is particularly fitting. We are continually developing our facilities, both for horses and for hosting workshops, clinics and retreats for equestrians.
Our aim with the farm is to develop a Centre of Excellence and Learning for those passionate about equine and canine health care and wellness modalities
We were determined to ensure that all horses on the Farm are cared for in line with the high standards she grew up with in England. Although I had no formal qualifications, on the farm I have always used natural training methods and wellness modalities, and are lucky enough to have a great team of Equine Professionals working with me.
I wanted more. Both to develop my own academic equine knowledge and health care abilities. After much research on the options available internationally, I found Equinology.
With the flexible, modular combination of online distance study, the intensive onsite course and the subsequent multi-faceted externship an incredibly rewarding journey, for myself and my horses. The Certification process was accessible from our farm in Hermanus, whilst I was still working, I could set my own study timetable, and the onsite course was just 9 days long.
I started studying with Equinology in 2011 and I qualified as a Certified Equinology® Equine Body Worker in 2012. I subsequently passed the University of Guelph Equine Exercise Physiology course to compliment this, which was fascinating and is knowledge I value everyday. Since then I have added several other Equinology courses and techniques to my skills, including Equine Myofascial Release Levels I & II, Advanced Body Work Techniques & Intro to Spinal Mobilisations, and Biomechanics & Gait Abnormalities.
It allowed me to turn my passion into my profession. My educational journey will be lifelong as every day and every course adds to the puzzle!
I valued my EEBW Certification highly and was desperate for more SA based Equinology Courses to further my knowledge and qualifications as well. We also wanted to raise awareness of what Body Worker’s do and develop value in our work as a profession and career path.
So Doug and I decided to take control in January 2017. By setting up EquiCanis Africa and becoming the exclusive facilitator of the Equinology® and Caninology® Inc courses and certifications in South Africa we do just that.