Elaine developed an affinity with all animals, especially horses from a young age and enjoyed the usual riding school and pony trekking activities as a child. There was a break from this development due to the pressures of further education and university but when she returned to riding in her twenties and her knowledge grew she soon realized that there were big gaps and flaws in traditional UK training and schooling methods especially from the horses’ viewpoint and decided to try “natural horsemanship”.

She trained with many of the original Parelli instructors and other international experts from differing horsemanship disciplines to gain a wide cross section of skills and expertise over the next few years but avoided becoming a disciple of any particular brand. The skills and experience gained were practised and improved through a variety of horses and owners until she eventually got her own horse, Chad, whom she met the day he was born, and purchased at 9 months of age. He was an Anglo Arab (a rather large one!) who became both student and teacher for all Elaine’s accumulated knowledge and what he became was the product of many years practice and training (and mistakes and issues resolved). He was an inspiration for further training (for Elaine as well as her clients) but was mainly a much loved family member. Elaine continues to train as she believes that learning about, from and with horses never stops and there is always more to find out.

Elaine met Franklin some years ago when investigating ways of bringing horses and children together in a mutually beneficial way. The hope was to find a new and innovative way of teaching children that brought a deeper more rewarding approach to relationships with horses. Elaine also saw the benefits in the therapeutic side of interaction with horses that did not “use” the horse as a tool as part of the process but brought benefits to all parties involved. A chance discovery of the methods and techniques of Franklin Levinson and EFL (Equiine Facilitated Learning) seemed to offer all the desired outcomes and Elaine attended courses in both EFL and Training thru Trust.

Elaine became Franklin’s co-coordinator in the UK until she moved to Australia in 2009 – all the family took up residence in Victoria where the training business is now operating – the horses have been joined by 2 Border collie dogs, and 2 cats! The formation of AEFL Pty Ltd was born out of Elaine’s desire to promote and develop the methods and techniques of EFL in a way that can continue to develop and grow and will  promote best practice through the training of EFL Faciitators. Although many of her EFL clients are classified as having a disability, Elaine believes EFL can be beneficial for anyone and everyone should experience the magic of horses at least once in their lifetime!   Elaine will pursue this goal in conjunction with her other horse activities probably until way past her sell-by date! Horses are not a pastime in this family; they are a way of life that constantly provides new learning and relationship experiences.

Elaine Russell