By Jonathan Guignard
Two local women are putting a new spin on leadership training in Alberta.
Janet Murray and Roxy Wright are about to begin a program called Lodestone Leadership: Become a Leader, that helps create balance and shared power in upper management through equine facilitated learning.
Murray and Wright are both qualified to teach advanced Eponaquest techniques in horse-human relationship skills, mind-body awareness, emotional fitness, assertiveness and authentic leadership.
Wright has been teaching people how to ride horses for 12 years and it’s how she met Murray.
Murray grew up in the city and never really had any exposure to animals or farm life of any sort, but always felt drawn to horses.
As Murray continued to ride, her passion for horses grew. As time past, both Murray and Wright decided to take equine learning courses.
Over the years, the two have done a significant amount of research into the topic and have read every book written by renowned author, Linda Kohanov.
Linda Kohanov is an author, speaker, riding instructor, and horse trainer. She is best known in the equine facilitated psychotherapy field, also known as equine assisted therapy.
She is the author of five books, The Tao of Equus: A Woman’s Journey of Healing and Transformation through the Way of the Horse (2001), Riding between the Worlds: Expanding Our Potential through the Way of the Horse (2003), Way of the Horse: Equine Archetypes for Self Discovery (2007), Power of the Herd: A Nonpredatory (2013) and her most recent book , The Five Roles of a Master Herder: A Revolutionary Model for Socially Intelligent Leadership (2016).
Kohanov runs a Eponaquest Apprenticeship Program on advanced leadership training in Amado, Arizona.
Murray and Wright applied to be in her apprenticeship group and Kohanov accepted.
They recently completed an one year apprenticeship and are very passionate about sharing what they learned with the world.
“The impact I see horses having on all kinds of individuals from the corporate world to people who have experienced trauma in their lives and even people who just want to explore learning new skills with boundaries and new disciplines is amazing,” said Murray.
“The possibilities of learning with the horses are endless and that’s what I am excited about.”
Murray attended many other seminars on leadership in the past and realized there was a gap in the leadership world.
“It’s very unique in that it’s an experience instead of a lecture. There will be concepts that are introduced to you that may not follow other leadership models, but it’s very powerful in that you have your very own experience with the horse,” said Murray.
“It’s very personal and what you bring to that is who you are and the horse helps you learn where you are are at and where you need to go.”
“It’s advanced personal development. We take people exactly where they’re at and move them forward as much as they want to go,” said Wright.
Murray and Wright will begin with a one-day workshop in September, but plan on providing a two to four-day workshops as soon things start rolling along.
During the one day workshop individuals will spend half the time inside a classroom learning and the other half will be spent doing one-on-one exercises with the horses.
“At the end of the first day you know what kind of questions to ask and by the second day we start answering them for you,” said Wright.
A new 20,000 square foot arena is currently under construction just outside of Magrath and will include classrooms, a full kitchen and dining area along with overnight accommodation for leaders and specialists, and to facilitate retreats.
The building is expected to be completed in the next few weeks.
To learn more about equine facilitated learning, Murray and Wright encourage people to attend their one-day horse experience workshop with Linda Kohanov on August 20 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m along with Kohanov’s one-day indoor seminar on August 22 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Coast Hotel in Lethbridge.
To register go to http://www.lodestoneleadership.com/programs.