Leadership Training

Equine Experiential Education

There’s no greater example of team work than the ability of horses to gather together with a common purpose and thrive through clear, honest communication, well honed problem solving skills and creative, innovative solutions to new experiences. 

Horses Know Leadership…

Horses know a thing or two about working together in groups. They know that:

  • An individual depends on each member of the group taking responsibility for his/her actions and role within the group.

  • Each individual counts on consistent behavior of the other members to maintain stable relationships with each other.

  • An individual learns all of the time, all their lives, in order to be successful in their ever-changing environments
  • At all times, the group and its individuals are involved in a cooperative effort towards a common goal.
  • Mutual trust is the underlying foundation of the group. Individuals trust and respect their leaders are operating from a point of good intentions and a commitment to success for all concerned.

…and they are ready to teach YOU!



We invite organizations, work groups, nonprofits or anyone interested in developing better communication skills, encourage team building, gain more self awareness and learn to be authentic with the right tools, practices and behaviors to JOIN US for this class.



The focus is on specific skills useful to YOUR organization through instruction, discussion and experiential learning. The knowledge you’ll gain through interactions with the horses is practical, usable and designed specifically for your group, based on the surveys you submit to us before class.


Develop goals and measurements that can be taken to all levels of your organization and establish common group goals that encourage trust, communication, creative thinking and problem solving skills.

How We Can Help

Whatever  the strengths and challenges  of your organization, we can design a Life Lessons with Horses leadership training class that works for you!


Team building activities with horses focus on common group goals & team/individual efforts that support those goals.


Activities with horses are designed to encourage groups to clearly define roles/responsibilities in the group while enhancing specific strategies and skills.

Performance Standards

Develop measures of quality in the work you do and discover how to recognize continuous improvement during activities that allow the horse to reflect your approach and attitude to the task.

Environmental Well Being

Learn to use time wisely and to prioritize your tasks to find the balance you need to get the most out of every moment. Activities with the horses bring out the fun and humor we need to offset job seriousness.


Discover the value of honest, open, two way conversations reflected in the horses reaction and responses to your requests. Focus on clarity and intention in all areas of your work.

Team Values

During simple activities with the horses, you’ll discover the ability to be open to change, to value creativity and innovation and the importance of being appreciated and acknowledged in your efforts.


Why Learn about Leadership from Horses?

  Horses don’t care what you look like, what you wear, what car you drive or how much you earn. They don’t care what race religion, color, creed or gender you identify with. ALl they care about is if you are able to direct their movement CONSCIOUSLY with confidence, clarity and conviction-CONSISTENTLY! A true leader is able to positively influence behavior and effect change without bringing up fear or resistance! 


Classes can be designed to meet your specific needs. Each day is approximately 6-7 hours in length from 10 am to 5 pm with a one hour lunch time. Each leadership class includes a pre-class survey for each individual as well as written materials, resources and a followup/progress assessment done 30-60 days after the class. Classes are directed by a certified Equine Experiential Education facilitator and experienced horse specialist. 

We can design a half day, one or two day coursework for your organization.

Cathy Mahon

Facilitator, Coach and Teacher

Book Cathy for Your Next Leadership Class

Send us a quick message on how we can best help you with your next leadership training class. 


“It’s a great program, and not just for horse people” The biggest AHA moment was “being able to be calm around horses and seeing them from a different perspective”


Some of the insights from the others opened me to new ideas. Understanding the needs of others, humans or creatures, benefits us all”


Woman in the Arena

Reflections, Insights and More

Meet One of  Cathy’s Teachers

“Wave” 11 year old Arabian Gelding

Wave has been part of my family since 2013 when he arrived as a gift from a student who felt he was too much of a challenge. Once he matured, Wave showed me what a brilliant teacher he is by staying true to his personality-bright, curious, energetic and encouraging me to grow in my own assertiveness while helping my human students during life lessons. Thanks Wave!

Frequently Asked Questions

Learn How it Works!

Do I need experience with horses?

No. The workshops are not about horsemanship, training or riding. The horse is a facilitator for learning because of its unique characteristics (described below). You will have an experienced horse handler available to assist you at all times during the workshops.

Why do you use horses?
  • Horses are responsive beings with a strong awareness and sensitivity to their surroundings
  • Horses can accurately perceive a participant’s state of mind and quickly reflect this back to them
  • Horses provide immediate and honest feedback as to when participants have clear intention and when they do not
  • Horses have as many individual personalities, physical abilities and limitations as the people who work with them
  • Horses accept people for exactly who they are and what they present internally and externally IN THE MOMENT!
  • The ability to successfully communicate with the horse provides the means to learn better ways of communicating with others
What if I'm afraid of horses?

A safety demonstration is given before each session and the horses used in the workshops are trained to work safely around people,including our Shetland pony, Daisy. If at any time during the activities you feel unsafe or wish to observe only, you are encouraged to notify the staff for help in leaving the arena.

What should i wear to class?

Remember you are dressing to work with horses. Wear clothes that can get dirty and closed toed shoes with socks-no sandals, no exceptions.

WIll there be food served during group classes or leadership training?

Yes, lunch is available during GROUP CLASSES and LEADERSHIP TRAINING. We love good food and are lucky to live in an area where fresh farm produce is readily available. We have a trained chef that creates delicious food for all of our FULL DAY class participants. Snacks and beverages are available all day. Please let us know if you have any food allergies.

what about weather? What if i have allergies?

Programs are held year round. In the Northwest, summers are warm but sometimes rainy. You will spend time in a covered but unheated arena as well as outdoors in a pasture or roundpen. Dress appropriately for the weather. It is best to layer during all seasons. 

If you have known allergies, please consult your health care professional for recommendations. We keep a clean environment, but it is a farm with animals and plants.

What are SOME highlights of the experience?
  • Fun without fear as you meet new friends, both human and horse and learn to work as a team in your “herd”
  • Self discovery through immediate, honest, observable feedback from your teacher, the horse
  • Develop confidence, empowerment, compassion, independence and inner healing in a fun, non threatening environment
  • Improved communication, self esteem, empathy, tolerance for stress, problem solving skills, responsibility,  trust and improved interpersonal relationships
  • A chance to nurture your soul and find a greater connection to your natural self through the wisdom & intuition of the horse
Is E3 the same as therapy?

No it is not the same. Cathy is trained as an educator, coach and facilitator.  As a facilitator, her job is to keep the focus on the future, not the past, in the context of a learned skill, not an emotion or past event.  Participants are asked to focus on a social skill they learned, a personal insight, or a life skill that may lead to personal growth and making positive change in your every day life.

Equine Assisted Psychotherapy requires a trained mental health professional to be present and the work is done with his/her patients and the horses supervised by a trained horse professional.

What training has Cathy completed that qualifies her to facilitate E3 Classes?

Cathy has completed a certification training with the Equine Experiential Education Association(E3A) which is an international professional membership organization offering training, certification, business development and resources for the implementation of Equine Experiential Education (E3) programs by educators, coaches, professional development trainers and other facilitators.  Cathy is also a certified (International Coach Federation) professional coach.

How long are each of the activities with the horses?

The activities are 20 to 30 minutes followed by reflection with questions from your coach/facilitator and integration of the knowledge gained, into a plan to move forward in your life through positive change.

Do i need to be fit or athletic to participate in the class? Will I be riding a horse?

NO. There is no riding involved and any level of fitness is fine. If you can walk a half mile, you are fit enough to participate in the horse activities. If you have special needs and prefer not to walk, you can still be an active team participant. Anyone can enjoy learning from horses in this environment.

what if i have experience with horses?

Interestingly, people who love horses enjoy the classes because it gives them a chance to observe and learn from horses in a different environment. Our experiential teaching is not about horsemanship or riding; rather, you gain insights about yourself from horses, other participants and the facilitators. You get 360 feedback in real time!