Expedition #3- Giddy Up! Leadership Through Ranching

Words & Photos from Claudia M.

On our third expedition, our group went to the Spiritgate Farm at Duncan. The drive was long, but we realized it was totally worth it once we drove into the beautiful property. Once we arrived, we circled around in a room with a soothing music and talked about the rules around the farm and the schedule for the day. The experience we had was rather unprecedented, since there were animals running around the farm freely. And we met a cute pig called Hoover!

The first activity we did was standing in a circle outside with few loose horses and letting them come to you and connect with you. We weren’t allowed to touch them at first so they could really get a sense of you, but we soon learned the “sweet spot” of the horse and many other things they enjoy that most people would not have known. It was pretty cool how the horses approached and why had to stay calm as they roamed free sniffing at you. Later we got into groups of 2 or 3 and attempted to put the bridal on without force, this made me learn how different it is at the Spiritgate than other farms because it's all about what the horses want not the riders. This took a long time to accomplish for all the groups, but once we did, we took the next step and tried to walk and trot with the horse without tugging on the leash. Only by earning trust, bonding and showing them our positive attitude were we able to succeed and lead them. Overall i learned so much about how to not only read a horse's emotions but how to connect and get them to engage with you without any force. Everyone really enjoyed this experience and it gave us a whole new look on how to connect and treat animals. I look forward to building on the skills we acquired on future Expeditions.