Horses are an integral part of my life. I believe they give me a mirror to “check in” on my personal progress and spirituality. My world was changed forever when I met first Trigger, then Lila. My personal journey to living an authentic life was kick-started by these noble creatures. Their honesty and transparency humbles me, and they see through to my soul. They see my true intentions clearly, and their sensitivity to and forgiveness of my human frailties is inspiring. They get it right when I get it right, and the more often I work with them, the more I learn about understanding and accepting that the perceptions of others are every bit as valid and reasonable to them as mine are to me.
I was not a girl that grew up with horses in my back yard, but I always loved to watch them and was a bit horse crazy from afar. When I turned thirty, I had the opportunity to be around and learn about horses, and they quickly stole and took over my heart. My first love was a registered Quarter Horse named Trigger. He belonged to my father-in-law, but he was purchased with the intention of becoming my teacher, and that he did. I learned to ride, but more importantly, I learned to love in a completely different way – more empathetic to the needs of others.
I began working in the oil industry and studying at night in 1981 and was awarded a Certified General Accountant designation in 1991. My career shifted significantly ten years ago when I made the determination to leave the high pressure of a downtown office and accepted a position at a nearby natural gas processing facility less than ten minutes from the farm. This has opened up the doors for an entirely new lifestyle, including coming home and visiting the horses at lunchtime.
My passion for the horses grew and I began to breed, train and show my horses. I have been involved in the Peruvian Horse breed since 1991 and was a Director of the Peruvian Horse Association of Canada for ten years. My horses have won more than 100 titles and my most successful show horse was the first foal born on my farm and with my breeder’s initials. RJT Colorado Real++ was three times Canadian National Champion of Champions Pleasure Gelding and won Versatility Horse awards at both the regional and national level in Canada and at several U.S. shows (and now partners with me in my programs). I’ve traveled extensively throughout the U.S. and Peru to watch shows, visit breeders, judges and trainers, and discuss breeding and riding with the Peruvian world’s foremost experts. I am passionate about sharing the merits of these special horses with others and have presented the breed at the Calgary Stampede for more than fifteen years.
As I worked with the horses over time, I found that the lessons I was learning that made me a more effective leader with the horses were translating into my relationships with people. My experience has been that taking a leadership role with an animal so much bigger and stronger than me can be intimidating, but is empowering when I get it right. This kind of experience has been empowering for me, and I believe will also be for others. Once you have stood your ground with a horse, a human no longer seems quite as threatening. It is not about domination, but about setting clear boundaries with a respectful intention. I began to study the application of these experiences into my career.
This thirst for knowledge and self-awareness led me to further studies and I completed a variety of coaching programs. I am:
- certified in the Equine Gestalt Coaching Method (TM),
- a Certified Coach Practitioner and Certified Master Coach (Certified Coaches’ Federation)
- Usui Reiki Master
- EFT Practitioner – level 1
- successfully completed Neuroscience for Leadership and Management and Master your brain: Neuroscience for personal development
- successfully completed Power of the Mind in Health and Healing
- a graduate of Chris Irwin’s EAPD (Equine Assisted Personal Development) Level 1.
My business management background combined with extensive horse experience gives me a unique perspective on equine facilitated learning. Since I was nearly 30 when I began riding, I also understand the concerns (and fear) of those who lack horse experience.
Horses brought the two- and four-legged teachers I needed to facilitate an ongoing experience of self-awareness. For this, I am eternally grateful. I was fortunate to have spent five years working with a “horse trainer” that willingly shared his knowledge with me. I feel a commitment to pass that legacy on. My heart sings when a horse or client “gets it” for the first time, and I see the pride they feel in that accomplishment. If I can contribute to that, my days have meaning.
Learn more about my philosphy.
Learn more about the horses and my breeding program.
Learn more about the horses in the coaching program here.
Read more about my experiences with Colorado as published in Peruvian Horse Quarterly.
Click on the image below for information on the Equine Gestalt Coaching Method.