What is Equine Coaching?
Imagine you are outdoors in nature, with your team, and you’re asked to direct a horse from one end of the arena to the other. What would you do? Do you encourage the horse by saying, “come on, you can do it” and motioning frantically with your hands? Do you talk firmly to the horse? Maybe you even get behind the horse and push (which we don’t recommend, for obvious reasons). This simple exercise can tell you a lot about you and your teammates’ communication and encouragement styles, and creates a natural discussion about it within the group.
Equine-Partnered Coaching is life and career coaching that accesses the power of horses as role models and teachers. Through groundwork exercises designed to evoke deep insight, questions, and conversation, participants receive immediate, accurate feedback on how they are being in life and work. Horses often operate as mirrors and guides that spark reflective metaphors for people. Since horses are prey animals, they are primed to read human emotion and behavior and will clearly show us what is and isn’t working in our approach as leaders. They also have healthy herd dynamics, evolved communication systems, and strong boundaries which all teams can learn from and directly apply to the workplace.
An equine coaching session allows individuals to work one-on-one or as a group with horses to understand themselves and each other through specific exercises that generate stronger emotional intelligence. For instance, participants may deepen in trust, authentic self-expression, vulnerability, confidence, clear communication, and more. All workshops include a debrief of what happened as well as an plan to bring back to the office.
Equine coaching brings something new to the table. By partnering with horses in an interactive coaching experience, it helps people develop and retain key business skills such as:
Synergy & teamwork
Respect & rapport
Responsibility & accountability
Our Equine Coaching Experiences are customized to the groups’ needs and interests. We offer half day and full day experiences. Please contact us for a custom quote for your team.
Meet Kate Neligan
Kate Neligan is an equine-partnered coach, writer, and speaker whose life’s purpose is dedicated to the healing and transformation that happens through the human-animal bond. Kate bridges leadership strategy with spiritual psychology in her work with corporate organizations to help individuals access their inner power, increase their emotional intelligence, and become aligned with the qualities of their authentic self. She pairs her intuitive gifts with those of horses to build stronger teams and leaders. Through experiential education, mindfulness, and communication exercises, Kate helps companies with performance, productivity, and prosperity. Kate has also been a TEDx speaker, a best-selling published author and blogger, and a marketing executive at major corporate entertainment companies. She is available for unique off-site team building and leadership retreats at horse ranches around Los Angeles (i.e. Agoura, Thousand Oaks, Malibu, Camarillo, and Sylmar), as well as near Boulder and Denver, CO.