Vanessa (Ness) Hawkins is a self-confessed horse nut, who was riding ponies in England before she could walk.
Emigrating to Australia as a young child and growing up in rural Victoria, where her British accent made her a target for bullies, Ness found solace in pony club, eventually competing at State Championship level and then overseas.
A desire to care for others led her into nursing, a career she juggled for years while still riding, training and breeding horses.
In 2016, Ness established Euroa Horse Park in north east Victoria, a multipurpose facility that offers farm tours, carriage rides, camping, stallions at stud, horses for sale and animal-assisted services.
Her focus is on helping people with disabilities and special needs, and she does this by holding regular clinics and seminars, educating people about the value of animals as a therapeutic tool.
In this episode of Paws for Thought, Ness explains how horses have given her conviction, a direction and a sense of purpose in her life’s journey.
For more information about Euroa Horse Park, visit https://welcometoeuroahorsepark.blogspot.com/