Background and Training


Rachel started riding when she was 4 years old but never went to Pony Club until 11 years old. During that time she completed at Area Trials successfully and completed her B Certificate. From there she went on to compete at Novice Horse Trials and Three Day Events.

Overseas Experience

  • 10 months in England working with Andrew Bennie eventer (Short listed for Olympics and World Champs a number of times). Riding and schooling young horses. Grooming at Novice, Intermediate and Advanced Horsetrials throughout England.
  •  6 months in France working with Showjumpers. Generally young horses of 3-5 years old. Schooling and jumping young horses. Travelling to competitions.
  •  6 months in Germany working for Peter Luther who was on the gold medal winning Showjumping team in his younger days. A stable consisting of 40-50 horses.This consisted of a lot of riding and travelling to competitions. Daily lessons on the flat and jumping. A great learning experience. 8 months in Germany working for a family with eventers.
  • While working in these stables she learnt a lot about reading horses and saw a lot of horses put through hard training methods that sometimes worked but other times left the horse sore and tired. Good and bad horsemanship was seen. She learnt what not to do with horses and what caused injuries.

Back to England for 2 years

  •  Trained as a Fitness Instructor with the YMCA and worked in Gyms in London.
  •  Trained in England in Human Sports Therapy and Swedish Body Massage over a period of 6 months.
  •  Combined gym and massage therapy work together.

Back to New Zealand

  • Train in Equine Massage at Equinology USA in Australia 1999
  • I studied Touch For Health in Hamilton.
  • I studied with an American Chiropractor in Thames learning techniques on humans and horses.
  • Trained at the New Zealand College of Massage, in various techniques and anatomy classes.
  • In the winter of 2000 she went to the International Academy of Equine Sports Therapy in Germany. This course was 5 weeks long with only 4 days off in that time. Michael Baxter who runs the academy is a Canadian. Michael is a leading expert in back flexibility assessements and performance related problems. He was also a blacksmith. Michael presents research papers to the vet associations around the world. The course covered: acupressure, osteo-therapy, back flexibility assessments, anatomy, shoeing, riders influence over the horse and electrical stimulation of acupressure points.
  • Since December 2000 Rachel have been working with the Bioptron Light Therapy unit which activates quicker healing of injuries and balancing the body's energy system. She also use colour therapy with the different lens.
  • From November 1999 - September 2000, I worked on Vaughn Jefferis horse Bounce, leading up to the Sydney Olympics.
  • Worked on Mark Todds horses over a period of 4 years.
  • Completed 5 Day Equine Myofascial Release course in June 04 with Ruth Mitchell from USA through Equinology USA.
  • Completed 3 day Fountation clinic with Jock Ruddock on the Equine Touch 2003.
  •  Completed 2 day Animal Communication course with Kathleen Berad in 2006 from USA.
  • Completed Equine Thermography course in USA 2010 with Donna Harper.

Rachel Harford Equine Therapy
Stillwater, Silverdale,
New Zealand

Mobile: 0274 863014