Dee Holdsworth

Qualification & subject:
Honours and Integrated Masters Degrees BSc (Hons) Equestrian Sports Science
Profession:
Therapist for Horse and Rider

What I do

I run my own company that offers a range of therapeutic services for both horses and riders. I specialise in rider and equine sports massage and strength and conditioning to optimise performance at all levels. I am now also the chairman of the Equine Sports Massage Association (ESMA), the youngest in history. I have worked with Horse and Hound Magazine to produce a series of videos focusing on rider exercises to improve flexibility, strength and fitness which was very rewarding as they were extremely well received.

The best bits about my job

I knew I always wanted to have my own business and I’m so lucky that I never get out of bed and think ‘oh god, I’ve got to go to work’ because I love seeing both horse and rider grow stronger and stronger and perform better and better. By working with horse and rider I can focus on all elements of the combination and the thing I love the most is the one to one bond between horse and rider. I also have the opportunity to go to lots of international events with my work, including at the London Olympic Games. I also work with a number of elite riders and nothing beats seeing them do well, especially knowing we have worked together to get horse and rider fit for competition.

How Hartpury helped me to get here

It was during my time at Hartpury that ignited my passion for equine therapy. Whilst I was completing my Equine Sports Science degree, we got asked who we would like to come in to talk and I asked for Iain Thompson, at the time he was the vice-chairman of ESMA. I shadowed him for months and knew that after the first day I went out to work with him that was what I wanted to do.