Connection & Harmony

Communication Lessons From Horses, June 11th-12th, 2022​

Communication Lessons with Horses
This course explores the ways horses communicate with each other and with us, in order to find lessons we can apply in our own lives. Following up from our previous course on Leadership, we focus specifically on the art of communication, in both the authenticity of the message, and our ability to observe our recipient to determine if our message was received and understood. In the many arenas of our lives, from working in the office, performing roles in the community, to organizing personal and family obligations, we can all improve our communication skills.
This is a traditional-style clinic, where you are encouraged to bring your own horses. The morning sessions on both days will be groundwork and afternoon sessions will be riding.
In this two-day course, Brenda Murrow, Ph.D. and Matea Babcock will discuss communication from both human and horse perspectives. This clinic will support communication skill development for humans by applying the fundamentals of horse herd dynamics.
Effective communication includes sending a message and ensuring it is received. We will be learning how to understand ourselves more, to be sure the messages we intend to send are the ones that get delivered. Then, we will take time to gain observational skills by viewing horse herd dynamics. From there, we will explore human-horse relationships, to see the ways horses inform us they have received the message, and are willing to work with us in partnership.
Saturday – begins with presentations about human and horse communication
For humans, we will learn how verbal and non-verbal communication is expressed, including non-verbal elements of communication such as body posture, voice tone and prosody, and more.
As prey animals that generally survive in a herd, horses are experts at communication. We will share the ways they can subtly inform each of other of danger, playfulness, food, and other messages with only small movements, gazes, and body positions.
Throughout both days of this unique clinic we offer the opportunity to have real-time feedback on your communication skills. We will be working with videos of exercises in small group formats. You will then be supported with ways you can improve your communication with your horse during the clinic.
Besides “get’er done” how do we know if our horse is understanding our intentions, and if they are responding out of fear or partnership?
The main method of communication riders have with their horses is through the reins, so we will focus intently on what our hands are saying to our horses.
We will define and experience what it is like to have a good connection with your horse.
Now that you have improved communication with your horse, we will discuss how bring these skills to the other arenas of your life.
Auditors are welcome and encouraged, but will be excluded from the hands-on experiences with the horses.
You won’t want to miss participating in this horse experience on communication skills.
You’ll learn:
-What increases effective communication inside and outside of the arena
-Increased awareness of verbal and non-verbal messages
-How to better align intended and received messages as a communicator
-Skills in assessing horses and humans for their understanding of your message
About your Instructors:
Brenda Murrow, Ph.D.
Dr. Murrow is a licensed psychologist who leads Connection Therapy, a private practice focused on serving rural communities in three locations. The multiple populations served by Connection Therapy provide a wide range of concerns that Dr. Murrow and her team are able to support. Prior to practicing in Kansas, Dr. Murrow spent two years as a post-doctoral fellow at the Reiss-Davis Child Study Center in Los Angeles. She also is an adjunct professor who has taught graduate-level courses in psychological assessment, theory, research, and statistics. Dr. Murrow has completed research projects and had work published in the areas of animal-assisted therapy and how attachment affects development.
Matea Babcock
As a horse development specialist, Matea understands the horse psychology behind the training. This can fast track your progress. She has been teaching professionally for the last 9 years and her experience in the horse industry ranges from colt starting, and trail riding green horses to working with gaited horses, and cow working. Her focus is on helping you excel with your horse. Whether you are just starting out or need help fine tuning your lead changes, this clinic will challenge and empower you!
$360/rider for 2 days
Audit: $50/day
Early Bird Specials
Sign up for two days as a participant before May 8, 2022 and pay $330 (normally $360 for the weekend). Sign up and pre-pay are required before May 8, 2022 to take advantage of the early bird special. Payments can be made via check or Venmo. All payments are final and non-refundable. Call or text Matea at: 785-741-0201
Do I need a horse?
Yes, please bring your own horse. The morning will be ground work and the afternoon will be riding.
Is this therapy?
No. This clinic is meant me to be generalized education and not a replacement for therapy with a licensed professional. It is intended to be for education purposes only in a collaborative and friendly learning environment.
Who Is This For?
The intended audience for this interdisciplinary course is intended to explore what the horse-human dynamic can teach us on the topic of communication skills and is open to learners of all backgrounds. The diverse skillsets of the instructors serve as a platform from which to consider learning and development from a wide variety of viewpoints. We encourage participants who may be horse owners and specialists, have leadership positions in corporate offices, are mental health professionals, as well as anyone with an interest in this topic to join us and participate in this lively and entertaining learning environment.
We are all working to be better communicators with our horses and in life. You are sure to enjoy this practical hands-on horse experience!
Time: 9:00 am-4:00pm


*Proof of current negative coggin’s required.

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