Founded in 2018, Racing Hearts is an Equine Assisted Therapy practice based in Moorooduc on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, just under an hour from Melbourne.
The practice is based at Graybrook, a 30 acre purpose built property with multiple paddocks containing horse shelters. The property also has a dedicated sand arena for horse training and for Equine Assisted Therapy Sessions and also incorporates a farmhouse.
As an Equine Assisted Therapy practice, Racing Hearts is proud to be first of its kind in Australia, not only offering Equine Assisted Therapy to humans, but also rehabilitating retired racehorses to act as “assistant practitioners” as well as helping them find new homes and a new life after racing. To date we have rehabilitated more than 100 retired race horses working with Racing Victoria with a large focus on their Reset Program which caters to horses with special needs.
Currently Racing Hearts has 10 human staff members with a large range of qualifications and experience in the mental health sector ranging from counsellors and mental health nurses to clinical psychologists. We also have 25 non-human staff members (horses) who are all different shapes, sizes, and temperaments to suit any client need or experience.
Meet The Team
Founder and director of Racing Hearts, Lisa has been helping horses and humans for many years. Originally from Ireland, Lisa made the move to Australia in 2009 to investigate opportunities in the horse racing industry. Since then, Lisa has been called upon by many educational and government representatives to advise on education and horse welfare.
Back in Ireland, Lisa developed an equestrian centre which focused on assisting those who wanted to ride for pleasure and in competition and was a regular coach at Pony Club events. Part of this business involved educating horses for various disciplines for clients and retraining retired racehorses. Lisa was a regular competitor in show jumping and horse trials events across Ireland and the UK. After breaking her leg in a riding accident, Lisa was determined to use this time productively and so studied counselling and psychotherapy through Maynooth University. This was the spark that ignited Lisa’s passion for helping people in a different way to traditional riding lessons.
On returning to riding, she was offered a job as a track rider with a local jumps trainer – a riding technique that was very new to her – to help accelerate her recovery and fitness. This was a pinnacle turning point in Lisa’s life and where her love for the sport of horse racing began.
During her time in Australia Lisa has furthered her education by completing a post-graduate degree in psychology and has been employed by the racing industries governing body, Racing Victoria, to advise on education, equine welfare and jumps racing. Lisa has also been called upon by some of the country’s leading trainers to ride and educate their race horses as well having been nominated for multiple awards for her contribution towards equine welfare.