Training Workshops

Our leadership and team building programs are designed to enhance the emotional intelligence of participants’ by engaging horses to facilitate personal development through experiential learning. While companies typically invest money and time in educating and training their employees to become effective leaders, it is generally underappreciated how profoundly an organisation’s working environment can impact its financial results. Indeed, research suggests that nearly one third of an organisation’s financial performance can be attributed to its working environment which, in turn, is influenced by leadership style. Effective leadership is driven by an individuals’ level of emotional intelligence, and the higher you progress in an organisation the less relevant IQ and technical skills become and the more important emotional intelligence becomes.



Traditional leadership programs typically don’t take participants’ individual and contextual differences into consideration and, as a result, research suggests they do not have a positive long-term effect. Moreover, traditional leadership programs have been criticised for having an overly didactic approach. It is argued that true leadership is about behaviour and needs to be taught based on experience. Therefore, our program is designed to couple experiential learning (present moment experiences with horses) with a theoretical understanding of how the brain works to provide participants with a holistic approach to leadership training and to enhance their ‘emotional intelligence’.

“It was different to any other form of leadership training and it was relevant to what we need – emotional intelligence.”

What to Expect

Through ground based activities with the horses (no riding involved), the participants become aware of the consequences of their emotional and physical presence (i.e. self-awareness) because they quickly learn that if they want to change a horse’s behaviour they need to change their own behaviours, thoughts and feelings. The theoretical component of the program outlines the latest neuroscience research and provides participants with a deeper understanding of how the brain influences human behaviour in the workplace.

“Going into the unknown, it made me challenge what I thought I knew about aspects of body language and leadership strategies. The post activity reflection was great to connect activities back to leadership and personal development.”

Why Horses

We involve horses in our leadership workshops because horses can only work within the boundaries of the present moment and offer a communication environment grounded in honesty and truth. Horses, therefore, provide participants with experiential learning opportunities and immediate feedback.

Horses can assist in demonstrating the consequences of emotion driven behaviour. If they do not trust your intentions, horses will not respond to your leadership. The energy of emotion is something horses sense and respond to. If they do not sense congruency horses will not look to you for leadership or safety. Horses respond to each person uniquely. Partnering horses naturally provides a learning opportunity to increase self-awareness, clear communication skills, trust and creativity to help us become better leaders.

“An amazing afternoon that helped consolidate how I behave as a leader. The conversations were insightful and a valuable tool. Thank you for letting us work with such beautiful horses.”


We have five facilitators that are involved in each workshop. Each have their own specific specialisation, skills and experience.

Facilitator: Sam Watson

Sam is a Chartered Accountant with both public and commercial experience. His focus has been to increase business value by helping businesses understand the drivers of financial performance; with an emphasis on data analysis, process improvement, strategy development and leadership.

Clinical Specialist: Leisa Watson

Leisa is a credentialed mental health nurse and has worked in this field with adults, adolescents and children for over 30 years. Leisa is also an accredited Equine Assisted Psychotherapy practitioner & in recent years has combined both these fields of work.

Former Business Professor: John Watson

John worked as a professor in the business school at The University of Western Australia for 40 years. His primary research interest was in SME performance evaluation and measurement. John has published a number of papers in leading international journals and won a number of awards for his papers.

Horse Specialist: Sophie Watson

Sophie is a highly skilled horsewoman with over 15 years experience owning and riding horses. While many of those years were dedicated to competing in the fields of show jumping and eventing, Sophie now focuses on groundwork skills and training her horses at liberty.

Horse Specialist: Ben Watson

Ben has been involved with horses since his early teens. He has had a wide range of experience in different horse disciplines, with a focus on horsemanship that builds human-horse relationships and trust.

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