1.Name/Where are you from/Where do you live now?
My name is Elizabeth Pedley, I am 38 years old, and originally from St Louis, MO. I am currently based in Wellington, but still leading a semi-nomadic lifestyle.
2.How did you get involved with horses?
I grew up riding in the Midwest and quit when I went for my undergrad in Chicago. I led a horse-free existence for nearly eight years when I gravitated back as a professional groom.
3.What was your journey with horses to adulthood?
My journey into adulthood didn’t necessarily involve horses, but growing up with them most definitely taught me life lessons that served my entry into adult life. Having worked quite hard growing up just for the chance to take lessons and show periodically, it set me up to appreciate that opportunities are abundant as long as you are prepared to create and earn them. People will help you achieve your dreams if you show you are committed to making them happen.
4.How have they stayed in your lives?
I fell back into horses a little bit accidentally. I needed a shift in life after a traumatic breakup and horses (and a very important horse woman named Janet McCarroll) were there to lift me up. That was the beginning of nearly 11 years working directly with horses as a groom up to FEI level.
5.How did you start your business/get into your current job?
I started ECP Massage last fall because I was beginning to feel physically drained from so many years of traveling with the horses and needed to create a life with a little bit more space for autonomy. I had studied clinical massage years ago in Chicago post-undergrad, and it felt like a natural transition given that the knowledge never really leaves you, and the nature of caring for horses was also a constant practice in healing and nurturing through touch and manual work. My new business allows me to still be near the horses, to help people heal their bodies and minds, and for a little more space to grow as a person.
6.What does your business entail?
I provide custom massage and bodywork sessions based on clients’ current physical and mental conditions. I have a strong background in clinical massage which is best suited to people dealing with rehabilitation, chronic pain, physical asymmetries, etc. I have also studied CranioSacral therapy which is a more gentle modality that is suitable for a wide range of conditions such as chronic headaches, PTSD, autism, and anxiety, just to name a few. I am currently pursuing more in-depth studies in myofascial release techniques and concepts.
7.What part do horses play in your career?
Although horses no longer serve a direct role in my career, my clientele is currently about 80 percent equestrian/20 percent non-equestrian. (I nearly wrote normal there, haha)!. I hope to continue to be able to be near horses even though I no longer work in the barn.
8.Do you have horses now? Or other pets? Tell us about them!
Currently no horses or pets! Not quite settled enough yet. I live vicariously through all of my friends’ animals.
9.What do you think is the best part about being in the equestrian industry?
The best part of the equestrian industry is having the chance to know so many amazing animals! I have been blessed to travel the world with so many funny, lovable, and talented horses. I love how different each individual animal can be. Secondly are all the interesting characters that tend to be involved with horses. Never a dull moment.
10.Is there another industry that you tap into as a resource to help with your business?
My business is technically part of the health and wellness industry, so I spend a lot of time reading/learning/experimenting in that space to then bring that knowledge to my clients in ways that work within the equestrian lifestyle.
11.How do you see something like Equestrian Businesswomen being able to help those within the industry?
I have found that in making this career change I have gotten to know people in my existing network on a deeper level, and certainly they have learned a lot more about me! Grooming doesn’t necessarily lend itself to many chances for in-depth conversations with people on a daily basis who aren’t on their immediate team. I think Equestrian Businesswomen can serve as a platform for people to reach out and discover talents that may have otherwise gone unnoticed because you never had the chance to learn about someone you might see consistently, but from afar.
12.What was the name of your first horse?
The first pony I was able to lease long term was called Rosie. I have never owned my own horse.
13.What is your favorite horse show/equestrian event?
I don’t necessarily have one specific favorite event...I loved watching my horses jump in Calgary, but that is also one of the hardest shows to work. I love traveling to the shows in Europe, but there isn’t one that is my favorite...I loved seeing all the different venues and seeing the top level European riders and teams. And Florida was always fun because everyone was in the same location for the longest period of time in the year!
14.Who is a businesswoman/entrepreneur that you look up to, and why?
There are so many!
-Taryn Toomy, who developed The Class and is now expanding to different cities.
-the women behind Sakara Life, bringing healthy, organic, plant-based meals to day-to-day life.
-Sallie Krawcheck, who is making investing more female friendly.
-Marie Forleo, helping guide and inspire entrepreneurs to succeed in purpose driven businesses.
-and of course my peers and friends that are navigating their own businesses daily.
15.Who is your greatest influence for getting into the business you’re in?
My greatest influence for getting into my current work is myself. I processed for a long time before I actually quit and did what seemed to be the most natural and organic progression of the next step.
16.What book/speaker/person motivates you and why?
This is a tough one because I am a voracious reader and podcast subscriber. Rich Roll, Lewis Howes, Marie Forleo, Casey Niestat, Ryan Holiday, just to name a few.
17.Where do you see yourself/your business in five years? In 10?
In five years, I would love to have a more expansive wellness company that offers more than just massage and bodywork. I don’t know what that looks like yet, but I’m very interested in psychosomatic studies, movement therapies, nutrition as medicine, and helping people to access the power to be well, balanced, and pain-free. Human optimization.
18.What is your favorite meal?
Oysters, veggie burritos, dark chocolate, coconuts, leafy greens, watermelon. I love food. Real food, not processed food.
19.What do you watch if you Netflix and chill?
I rarely watch Netflix as I prefer to read, but I did get into a few HBO series... and I like documentaries.
20.What is your favorite book? Favorite movie?
No way can I pick a favorite book! There are way, way, way too many. Long ago I would always say Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand. These days I’m much better at listing top three per category. Also there are people doing really effective and powerful work through podcasts. I find this is an easy way to learn quickly by listening to other people tell their stories about the work they do. I usually listen to one every morning while I get ready for my day.
Learn more about Liz here!