Name: Liz Cornell
Location: Astor, Florida, USA, which is between Ocala and Daytona Beach
Certifications through Angel's Animals? Equine Myo-manipulative Functional Therapy, Equine Craniosacral Therapy, Equine Kinesiology Taping and Animal Neuro-myofascial Release Technique
When did you decide that you wanted to work with animals? When I was young my family assumed I would become a veterinarian, but I could not stomach animals suffering, so I went the business/computer route. Meanwhile I’ve owned horses forever, and I delved seriously into dressage riding in my late 20s. I started teaching riding part time 20 years ago because I wanted horses to be happy under saddle – watching bad riding, especially bad dressage riding, inspired me to help others for the sake of the horse. About 7 years ago I got into the Masterson Method to help my horses and they responded immediately to my light touch. When the door opened two years ago to find another career, I researched the AA courses and it was a natural fit, as I really wanted to learn all the therapies offered.
What animal influenced you the most growing up? Probably the 16.2-hand Quarterhorse mare that dumped me weekly when I was 14. By 16 we had it all worked out and we were buddies.
What animals do you currently own? Currently I own 2 dogs, a mini Aussie and Chihuahua, both adoptions. I own 2 Warmbloods, one is a 5 yo mare whom I bred, and I own her daddy who’s 13 and schooling Prix St. Georges dressage. I also have a few boarders on my farm.
What makes your animal bodywork practice stand out? One thing is my knowledge of training and gait biomechanics. I always ask a lot of questions about what’s happening under saddle with a horse. To jumpstart my career I offered “Soft & Supple” clinics in the area where I would give a massage to a horse, identify any stiffnesses, then the rider would tack up and mount and I would coach her with stretching exercises, any discipline.
People often use me to help solve their horse’s problems – I’m good at reading the horse to diagnose and pinpoint the issues, especially bizarre problems that vets haven’t solved. My husband says my hands “have the gift” which is why I tend to use my hands more than physical tools to give comfort to the horses which, frankly, has brought some amazing results. I think growing up playing the piano has helped me develop the feel one needs for this line of work, which I can thank my musical parents for.
What message would you like to share with potential clients? Good equine bodywork is something your horse will benefit from, even when it seems like the horse is “fine.” I never thought my own horses needed it until I became a practitioner, and they responded so positively to the therapies I am sorry I didn’t get them help sooner.
What message would you like to share with others who are thinking about pursuing a career in animal bodywork? Being a bodyworker has so many obvious rewards, yet it has its ups and downs as you build your business. Yep, it’s a business, which means you wear a lot of hats whether it’s marketing, sales, customer service, accounting, continuing education, etc. Generally it takes about three years to build any business from the ground up, so be patient, continue to learn, have realistic goals and plan accordingly as you pursue your dream of a full schedule of horses to help with your magical touch. If you want it bad enough, you’ll get there.
Every month Dr. Barbara acknowledges and showcases one of her certified practitioners! You could be next!