Todd & Maureen Owens, Licensed Parelli Instructors

Parelli-in-the-Workplace-ToddOne of the things that we always hear is how much the Parelli Natural Horsemanship Program not only makes a positive impact on the lives of horses, humans and their relationship with each other, but that it also enables the human to create positive changes within their own lives. The principles and philosophies of the program very much lend themselves to personal growth and development.

Parelli-in-the-Workplace-MaureenWe have found this link to be present not only within the individual personal lives of our students, but also within their professional lives. One of the greatest examples of this connection can be seen in a workshop that we ran for the York Region District 16 OSSTF branch of Educators who work for the York Region District School board. This was a unique opportunity that presented itself to us, as we were able to create and facilitate a workshop that applied to professional development in a corporate setting.

Our workshop, titled “Horses: Experience The Truth about Body Language and Personal Development”, provided educators with the opportunity to explore a variety of strategies, knowledge and interactions, between both human and horse, that enhanced their understanding about the power of body language, and how it has an impact on all relationships and interactions with others. During the workshop the educators learned about and applied the principles of horsemanship and their understanding specifically to themselves, their lives and their classrooms, while also sharing their own experiences with each other within a variety of scenarios.

Parelli-in-the-Workplace-1The pedagogy encompassed the use of equine psychology, simulation, guided discussions and the opportunity to work in-hand with horses. The participants learned how to use their body language to communicate with the horses while learning how this understanding can enhance every relationship in their lives, particularly those in the classroom and the workplace. All of the content within the activities and discussion was then drawn back to their daily lives, teaching practice and how they could enhance their communication skills, particularly when interacting with students and colleagues.

Parelli-in-the-Workplace-10There was no horse experience necessary for those who signed up to attend and for many it was an eye-opening and fascinating experience to have the opportunity to be around horses and interact with them. The participants also discovered that by understanding horse behavior they could make connections that would enhance their professional practice and own lives as well. For many, it was even their first time around horses!!!

This workshop was fun to facilitate and we thoroughly enjoyed the process of creating, teaching and learning along with the participants. This was a unique experience for us at The Horseman’s Word Ranch and we look forward to having future opportunities to bring our program to the workplace.