July 26, 2011

Horsing around with Gallop Ventures

By Kathryn Brownstone, Communications Team

On Tuesday July 12 a group of 14 Junior League women got together at NCEFT in Woodside for an equine facilitated woman's leadership training, or in layman's terms, we hung out with an awesome palomino horse named Ben who very patiently helped teach us about our leadership styles. The session started out with observing Ben and two other horses demonstrating their natural leadership techniques which mostly consisted of biting, kicking and trying to make themselves physically higher than one another. Fortunately for us, once the other two were put in a separate paddock, Ben was a perfect gentleman!

Angie Klein attempting to put the harness on Ben.
The training itself consisted of a series of loosely guided instructions that allowed us to explore our instincts in new and unfamiliar situations followed by talking through our experiences so that we could learn from them as a group. Angie Klein bravely volunteered for the first exercise which had her put the halter on Ben despite not knowing how. After a first attempt which resulted in it being put on backwards, Amy talked through Angie's frustrations and then Angie tried again and successfully put the halter on correctly. After a few more exercises, which included five of us leading Ben around the arena with the actual leader rotating, we got to an exercise where you say your goal for the day, be it for your career, family life or personal life, and then lead the horse around while thinking about your goal. Ben definitely reacted to some people differently than others, with some people leading him and him leading others! The highlight of the day came at the end when they had Joy Peacock state her goal and then lead Ben around with no halter or rope! 

Sarah Shen, Calla Griffith and Joy Peacock with Ben.

Joy Peacock leading Ben without the halter.

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