Breakout Session #3: Heed Your Horses:
Developing a Meaningful Language for Partnership and Facilitation
Horses detect and respond to subtle nuances in human behavior, but humans are not always as adept in understanding equine partners. This session will explore how to establish a unique and rich language with each member of your herd, including strategies for opening up lines of communication, recognizing your horse’s first yes and first no, and identifying when you are missing something important. In live and video demonstrations with the Possibilities Farm herd, Carrie will offer examples of a facilitation vocabulary and worksheets that you can begin using immediately, in which your horses give specific “homework” to your clients. You’ll discover new ways to listen and teach, access deeper levels of horse wisdom, and build partnerships that delight you, your horses, and your clients. You’ll want to run right out to the barn and try this out!
Carrie Brady is the founder of Possibilities Farm and is passionate about supporting humans and horses in discovering their unique strengths and gifts and developing the confidence to share them with the world. She is an experienced executive and consultant who has served as a Vice President in two healthcare associations and has led national and international efforts to improve healthcare.
A lifelong horsewoman who always believed she would work with horses but couldn’t find the right fit in her childhood “careers with horses” book, she became very excited after learning that medical schools were partnering with horses to teach doctors bedside manner and teamwork skills. She became a Level 1 Equine Experiential Education (E3A) Certified Practitioner and a PATH Certified Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning and opened Possibilities Farm in 2016 with two warmbloods who had been injured in their jumping careers. The herd has now expanded to five, including two minis, and a semi-feral Nokota® horse who offers wild wisdom and will be joining the herd this spring. Despite the differences in size, background, and “training”, Carrie discovered that her unique techniques for opening up dialogue, asking her horses’ opinions, and offering choices produced consistently rewarding partnerships.
Carrie initially thought she would be doing mostly corporate EAL, but her horses had other ideas and she always follows their lead. She now offers a wide range of personal development, wellness, and community building activities including workshops, coaching, energy work, drum circles, and visits to hospitals, schools and other community organizations. As her communication skills with her own horses deepened, clients increasingly called upon her to speak with their animals of all species, as well as to teach them how to hear their own horses differently.
Before returning to her childhood dream, she earned a JD from Northwestern University where she was an editor of the Law Review, an MA in Sociology, a Patient Safety Leadership Fellowship, and became a Reiki Master. She authored several widely used healthcare resources, and now writes regularly about horse wisdom. She released her first Word from the Herd book, How to Thrive During a Pandemic and Anything Else Life Might Throw at You in November 2020. She currently serves as the Vice President of E3A and is settling into the second home for Possibilities Farm in a beautiful retreat-like setting in the Hudson Valley of New York.