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Meet The Team

We would like to introduce you to our dedicated team to you. From our directors to our facilitators, as well as our beloved horses, cats, and dogs, we work together harmoniously to ensure the delivery of exceptional service to our valued clients.

Jenny MacSharry
 
Managing Director, Founder and CEO of Small Strides,
Equine Facilitated Learning Practitioner and Coach 

Jenny's extensive experience in various therapeutic practices, combined with her deep passion for her work, makes her a highly dedicated and empathetic practitioner. She integrates different approaches, such as Somatic Coaching, trauma neuroscience, and Natural Lifemanship's Relationship Logic, to create a holistic and personalized therapy experience for her clients. Her commitment to her clients' well-being is evident in her unwavering dedication and the positive results she achieves. Jenny's genuine care and love for her job drive her to constantly improve herself and her services. 

Jenny has a wealth of experience in her field, being fully qualified as an Advanced EFT & Matrix Re-Imprinting Practitioner, Reiki Master and Intuitive Healer as well as a Level 2 trained Trauma Informed Equine Facilitated Learning Practitioner with Natural Lifemanship and is currently going through the next levels of training with Equusoma; Horse and Human Trauma Recovery, having completed her Fundamentals Level 1 & 2 training with them in 2020.

2023 has seen Jenny expand her scope of practice, where she completed her Level 2 & 3 in Counselling Skills and is currently a Level 4 student in Counselling Children, Young People and Adults at TIC+ in Gloucester and is registered as a Student Counsellor with the BACP.

 

​"Ever since I was young, I knew I wanted to get into a career path that would make a difference in people’s lives. This interest has taken me on a profound journey or studying, self-healing and discovery and eventually a full time job. I am committed to the well-being of all my clients and go above and beyond to cater to their needs. I truly care for all of my clients, and work diligently to help them work through the problems they face. Over the years I have worked with many clients dealing with circumstances that are unique to their lives with really positive results. I absolutely love my job and am always striving for ways to better myself and my service."

Louisa Tickner Jenkins
Equine Facilitated Learning Practitioner and Coach

Louisa initially joined the team in 2022 as a volunteer before transitioning into the role of a facilitator. With a strong background in Early Years Education and Care, Louisa possesses specialized knowledge in supporting children's emotional wellbeing and emotion coaching. This expertise was further developed during her Early Years degree at Bath Spa University, where she focused on the importance of these skills in fostering lifelong relationships. Louisa has also authored and delivered various training programs for the early years sector and social care, with a particular interest in early attachment, adverse childhood experiences, and supporting transitions for children. Her extensive experience in the early years field has allowed her to provide valuable insights into the complexities of later childhood and teenage experiences. Louisa's reputation in the early years sector has led to frequent invitations for consultation on projects and training programs.

 

Additionally, as a neurodivergent adult and parent to neurodivergent teens, Louisa brings a unique perspective on the challenges and impacts of neurodivergence. By combining her knowledge of child development with an understanding of conditions such as autism, ADHD, OCD, sensory processing issues, and learning difficulties, she applies this expertise to her practice in equine assisted learning. Louisa has undergone training in Trauma Informed Equine Facilitated Learning with Natural Lifemanship and is a qualified Equine Facilitated Learning Practitioner. She has also completed Level 1 EFT training and is pursuing further training to complete the Level 2 course. Louisa's deep connection with horses stems from her passion for horse riding during her younger years.

"I love being with animals and as an undiagnosed teenager and young adult I found being with horses enabled a complete recharge and reset of my mind and body. I am absolutely loving this new chapter in my life combining all my skills and knowledge working with the horses to support the emotional wellbeing of the clients who come to Small Strides and look forward to the future here."

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Rosie Mai Iredale

Director

Rosie is co-director of Small Strides. She has a background in social care and is a trained children's home manager. She held the role of coordinating the Bristol arm of the national pilot project, Staying Close. This initiative aimed to pioneer new methods of support for young people transitioning out of the care system. Rosie currently works for a sustainable design and build company, actively addressing both the housing and environmental crises. She also plays a role in the Wood Bridge Foundation, a charity committed to providing skills training for individuals released from prison on a temporary licence. Rosie is also a volunteer for the charity YCG. Where she contributes to the development of programmes focused on emotional resilience and work-based mentorship for incarcerated individuals. Her firsthand experience witnessing the transformative impact of Small Strides on young people further fuelled her commitment to supporting the organisation.

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Horse Care Volunteer
Summer Werrett

Since my early years, I have always loved horses. Whether it is riding them or simply being around them while taking care of stable responsibilities, my adoration for these magnificent creatures has only intensified. What has been created at small strides is amazing, I’ve had first hand experience to that. Personally, I have faced challenges in managing my emotions, but working with the horses has given me invaluable insight into identifying and controlling them. After leaving school, Jenny allowed me to stay on to volunteer, granting me the incredible opportunity to spend time with horses at least once a week, while studying Animal Care at College.

Horse Care Volunteer
Kirsty Rowlands

From the age of 4, I was lucky enough to be involved with horses and even owning my own. After participating in a parents' course, I became aware of the significance of small strides and how they can positively impact individuals. Looking back, I wish I had the chance to attend small strides when I was younger and dealing with mental health challenges. Volunteering with the horses brings me a sense of tranquility and aids in managing my emotions.

Horse Care Volunteer
Laura Wells

Laura started volunteering twice a week at Small Strides in February 2023 and says she has learned so much about horses in that time. 

Being around horses and in nature is fantastic for health and wellbeing, especially when going through a tough time. After being a secondary school teacher for 12 years and seeing the growing need for SEND (and particularly SEMH) provision, the equine-facilitated therapy work that Jenny, Louisa, the horses and the young people do together is truly invaluable. 

My son helps out at Small Strides during the holidays too; his favourite horse is big, gentle Blue and he adores Nala the dog. My personal favourites are Smokey (the very cheeky grey pony) and Pixie the cat.

Come rain or shine, my time at Small Strides is always one of the best parts of my week!

Meet the Horses

Blue

Blue, the eldest member of the herd, is 23 years old. He possesses a gentle demeanor and is known for his serene nature. Blue particularly enjoys receiving neck scratches and has a fondness for swede and carrots. Our companionship with Blue has spanned more than a decade.

Jo Jo

Jo, the oldest member of the herd, joined forces with Jenny to establish Small Strides in 2014. Over the years, Jo has supported countless clients in their personal growth and development, employing her distinct personality and captivating interactions. For over 12 years, Jo has remained a faithful companion to Jenny.

Smokey

Smokey, our mischievous Welsh pony, is adored by all. He is highly intelligent and always eager to acquire new knowledge. His ultimate delight is when humans scratch his rear. Smokey became a valued member of our team approximately 8 years ago.

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Dakoda

Our herd's newest member is the youngest one, and he has effortlessly blended in with the others. He has been with us for nearly 2 years and is about to turn 3. He finds joy in learning new skills and has gained all his knowledge from Small Strides. Despite being the baby of the herd, he has a wonderful sense of humor, a compassionate nature, and demonstrates kindness and gentleness.

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Nala & Pixie

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Nala, an esteemed member of our team, is consistently present to brighten your day. Despite being 8 years old, she still possesses the playful spirit of a puppy. Encounter her and experience the affectionate and gentle nature of this remarkable dog.

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Pixie, also part of the team is loved by all the clients. During the day, she finds solace in resting inside clients' vehicles and may resist if anyone attempts to remove her and by night is out hunting. 

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