A TALENTED woman from Penarth has received Royal recognition for her services to the equine industry.

Former Stanwell and Albert Road school girl Joanna Lowes, who was born into a “totally unhorsey family”, has been awarded a certificate from Her Majesty the Queen for her efforts helping veterans suffering with post-traumatic stress injury/disorder (PTSI/D).

She uses a method called 'Join-Up' as an effective tool to help participants rediscover themselves through the eyes of the horse, helping them to deal more effectively with emotional trauma and other issues.

Ms Lowes’ passion for horses began at an early age, when she attended lessons at Downside and Cardiff Riding School.

Penarth Times:

“Despite attempting to follow advice to get a proper career and keep horses as a hobby, I ended up riding throughout university and later travelled extensively – taking up equestrian positions in far-flung places,” she said.

Opportunity struck when she was selected to become an assistant to world-renowned California-based “horse whisperer” Monty Roberts.

“He had a demanding schedule of international commitments, from public demonstrations of his non-violent horse training methods to public speaking at events and personally training young racehorses for high profile clients,” Ms Lowes said. 

Her talents were recognised by the master of horsemanship, resulting in a huge learning curve while journeying around the world.

Penarth Times:

“I was riding previously unridden horses in front of large audiences, in wonderful historic buildings like the Spanish Riding School of Vienna.

“I went on to complete my advanced exams to become a certified instructor, and became a coach for Horse Sense and Healing Clinics.

“There we use ‘Join-Up’. Completing this successfully requires relaxation, self-awareness and a good dollop of trust between the horse and the person suffering with PTSI/D."

The clinics help ex-military veterans suffering with PTSI/D with resounding success, and it’s only the second occasion the British crown has awarded a certificate for influential equine work.

Ms Lowes, who has now moved from Penarth to Carmarthen, couldn’t collect her award at Buckingham Palace last month for social distancing reasons, and the event has been postponed for now.

Penarth Times:

“In Carmarthen we’re providing horse training for both uneducated young horses and those with remedial behaviour issues,” she added. “We’re routinely working with horses thought to be dangerous.

“A term often used for training a horse is ‘breaking’ – and it often means just that, using force and painful methods to cause a horse to give up and submit. It traditionally works but takes up to six weeks.

“As Monty’s demo, I was regularly sitting safely on horses within half an hour in front of audiences worldwide.

“My aim is to pursue and develop the successful, ethical training techniques that I’ve learned to help as many horses and owners as possible.”