Meet Sam from Hoof to Tail Healing
Since University, I have worked in various admin roles, and I still work in admin now for 4 days a week as well as running my business. I think it has taken me until a few years ago to find what I really want to do!
How it all started
When we adopted our staffy, Beth, she had separation anxiety. I did a lot of research into how I could help her to be a more relaxed, happier dog, and came across acupressure for animals. It can be used for so many health conditions and emotional issues, and just from a gentle touch.
I thought if I could learn acupressure to help Beth, I could also help other animals as well.
I have always had a passion for helping rescue dogs, since volutneering at the RSPCA when I was a teenager. This seemed like the perfect way to help rescue dogs again.
As well as acupressure, I trained in reiki before starting my business. I'm qualified to give reiki to both people and animals, and at first didn't want to narrow it down too much, so I came up with the name of Salamander Therapies, based on my tattoo of a salamander.
However, after a while, I found my business led me to work with dogs and horses more regularly, so I wanted a name that reflected that more. I had also trained in other therapies, such as massage, myofascial release and animal communication, so felt I had grown out of my old business name.
I played around with a few different names that incorporated dogs and horses, and settled on Hoof To Tail Healing. I had mixed responses from friends and family. But once I got the logo done, everyone loved it!
I started the business in 2013. Although I am the only person who does the actual therapy sessions. I definitely have a great team behind me as well. My husband helps with photos sometimes, and has just started to help me create some videos. If I have any trade stands, he comes along as well, greeting unsuspecting dogs that walk past the stand!
I would have no followers on Instagram without my faithful staffy, Beth! She is an absolute star at posing for photos to help me show what I do, and give tips on how other dog owners can help their dogs.
After first training in reiki and acupressure, I discovered other therapies which the trainer offered. I love to learn new skills, and after my animal communication training, I learnt from the animals themselves, that they would often need a little massage in some places, a few acupressure points, and some reiki. So having learnt both physical therapies such as massage, and energy therapies such as reiki and acupressure, I can ensure I can help with the exact needs of each individual dog.
Last year, I started #ThursdayTherapyTips which were mainly tips on using essential oils with dogs. This proved so popular, that I began to sell essential oils as well as using them in my therapy sessions.
"The connection I feel when I see an animal physically relax from the therapy I am providing, makes me feel very lucky."
There are no "average" days, which is just how I like it! I have face to face clients, where I go to their house, distance sessions where I use a photo to connect with the dog, and I hand make collar charms and post them out to dog owners. After the rigidity of working for someone else, I love that my days are so varied, and I have the freedom to try out new things like training for a new therapy, and having trade show stands.
"It is fabulous to hear feedback from clients when there has been an improvement in their dog's health, mobility or temperament. "
I love to have trade stands at events such as fun dog shows, as I get to speak to people about the physical or emotional issues they are having with their dogs. And I get to meet lots of dogs on the day as well!
I have a communication session with a horse to help her feel less anxious during dentist visits. The client wanted a follow up session to check the horse had felt better about it. And when I asked her if she felt ok about the dentist having visited, I got a stroppy teenage style “No!” I reported back to the owner, and she laughed, saying it was just like her!
If I could do anything else other than what I'm doing now I'd love to work for an animal charity which helps to train dogs to help people to live a more independent life, such as guide dogs, or medical detection dogs. The work the dogs do is amazing, and they make such a difference to their owners lives.
My staffy Beth, isn't just the inspiration for my business, but also models for lots of my social media posts, and as a result has a growing fan base! Friends had reservations when we took on Beth as a resue staffy, as they knew about the breed's reputation in the media. So it has taken me a while to get used to all the lovely comments people make about how cute she is.
I also have a tuxedo cat, called Smiley. He is also a rescue, and always takes everything in his stride. He has the entire neighbourhood under his paw, and has many houses he stops in on, and gets fed!
And finally, I have a horse called Riaz. He also features largely in my social media! He has arthritis in his neck, and some compensatory issues from the arthritis, so is a happy recipient of regular therapy sessions.
Horse riding has always been my favourite way to relax. There are so many things to concentrate on, that you forget anything else going on at the time.
When I need some “me time” I love to go on my own in the afternoon to the cinema when it is quiet, and get totally engrossed in a film.
Find out more about Sam and her business at www.hooftotailhealing.co.uk