Horses and Humans: A Collaborative Path to Leadership Growth and Development

Horses act as a mirror for one's leadership style, and patterns of communication and behavior. The way horses respond to a person’s requests and ways of being with them, help the person to see what kind of outcomes their actions produce. Do their actions help or hinder leadership and team effectiveness? The skills it takes to influence a horse are the same ones it takes to influence and work with people.

For more information about our programs with horses at the Healing Equine Ranch, please call 213.358.7049 or email

Leadership Retreats

Our retreats provide an embodied, practical experience while teaching natural horsemanship skills that translate easily into the workplace and improves one's ability to succeed as a leader and within a team. The retreat activities create an opportunity to stay present in the moment, to cultivate mindfulness and energy awareness, and to test out and be successful with enhanced leadership skills. We currently offer one day, three day and week-long retreats.

Self-Care Retreats

Too often helpers put the needs of others first and find themselves depleted. Our self-care retreats are designed to help individuals to create a strong body and mind that supports consistent wellbeing. Via trauma- and resiliency-informed exercises with horses, helpers raise awareness of habitual patterns that prevent self-care, while building skills that activate healthy boundaries and practices that can be taken into the workplace.

Individual Coaching

For those leaders who want a more intense and personal growth experience, A Thousand Joys offers a 13-week individual coaching series that combines sessions at The Healing Equine Ranch with video coaching. This coaching series focuses on raising awareness of leadership patterns, increasing a leader’s emotional agility and ability to navigate change and communicate effectively.

Participant Feedback

100% %

Recommend the retreat

94% %

Rated the retreat excellent or above average

88% %

Agreed the retreat helped them develop & improve leadership skills

Truly an awesome experience; The retreat was perfect. The venue was perfect. The animals and their temperaments were perfect. Learning goals and objectives were successfully accomplished.
Excellent experience, I highly recommend the visit. One day was like a week from the office.
It was a great team building exercise; it helped us to get together. We see each other almost every day and we pass each other, but to take the time out to know where everybody is at; to know what you're feeling...I think that was a great help. Now we can understand everyone's perspective and it was very humbling to be able to relinquish some of the control we have.
I learned how to become a stronger leader…to relax, think and execute…that I need to be patient in my leadership instead of taking on all the problems. I need to trust my team; I can't run everything.
Everything about the experience was cathartic. The physical environment was relaxing. The retreat facilitators and horses were supportive and promoted personal growth and development.
My experience with the horses made me think about the boundaries I set at work and how I allow, or not, others to act effectively. I'm clearer on the amount of pressure I need to apply to motivate others.