LEAD (Leadership through Equine Assisted Discovery) Program

instructor petting a horse in barn - student petting horse in arena

April 22-26, 2014 - Tuesday through Saturday

Leadership through Equine Assisted Discovery (LEAD)

Course Description

This five-day experiential learning course has both an equine and a leadership theory component.  Mornings are spent in the arena interacting with horses to understand and influence their behavioral responses; afternoons are spent in the classroom. The program is recommended for new leaders, current managers, or individuals looking to do personal development or develop a better relationship with their horse. Whether you have experience with horses or not, LEAD will improve your understanding of human and equine behaviour and communication through body language. Horses react to their immediate environment, providing instantaneous feedback and insight to the true intent of people around them. The horse is a consistent tutor. Humans must be clear and consistent to interact successfully with the horse. The horse offers us the opportunity to explore our senses, feelings, and ideas.

LEAD is the first university-accredited equine-assisted leadership program in Canada; participants receive a University of Guelph certificate on successful completion of the program. Through a series of carefully constructed activities, participants will develop skills in four main areas:

Management & Leadership

  • Creating a personal leadership vision
  • Goal setting
  • Building relationships marked by trust and respect
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Recognizing passive, aggressive, and assertive behaviour
  • Offering constructive feedback
  • Distinguishing horse and human personality types

Team Building

  • Being an effective member of the team/herd
  • Relating to people with different personalities

Communication Skills

  • Authentic and effective verbal and non-verbal communication
  • Recognizing non-verbal cues
  • Active listening
  • Identifying barriers to communication

Personal Development

  • Recognizing your own personality traits
  • Recognizing and adapting to the personality traits of others
  • Managing negative emotions
  • Overcoming fears
  • Assertiveness training
  • Presentation skills
  • Interacting with horses confidently
  • Applying the basics of learning theory

Program Facilitators

  • Dr. Katrina Merkies: Associate Professor and Researcher of Equine Behaviour and Welfare
  • Maria Sowden-Weingarden: Human Behaviour Specialist, Trainer, Facilitator, and Certified Coach

Supplies, Dress Code & Footwear Required

Appropriate footwear is required when entering the horse barns or arena. Footwear must be closed toed and closed heeled with non-slip sole e.g. paddock boots, rubber boots, hiking boots, work boots or riding boots.

Admission Requirements & Course Descriptions

  • Please consult the LEAD brochure for information.
  • April 22 -26, 2014 - Tuesday through Saturday
  • Cost $1,600
  • Small class size. Register now.


Angela Rodger Casey
Admissions Clerk

Tel: 613-258-8336, Ext. 61377
TF: 1-800-585-1784, Ext. 61377
Fax: 613-258-8384