Meet Our Team Of Specialists!
Specialists in this industry and why we are different is because the foundation of this certification is about the ‘Welfare of the Horse’! Our team of experts are passionate about horses and want to help you learn to hear them in their culture and their language. This well-established Certification began in 2009. We have made it our mission to "partner" with horses versus "using" them as tools. You will learn to hear the horses in their world. It's an unparalleled student experience.
Connecting people and horses - empowering both to live their best lives through life-changing, skill-development exercises that will move them forward to a life with purpose!
The Equine Connection Theme Song - Written by Equine Connection Certified Facilitator, Armond Duck Chief, a Juno Award nominee for Aboriginal Album of the Year at the Juno Awards of 2016 for his album The One.
How did Equine Connection get to where they are today?
Why are we different?
It truly is a story of guts and loss, passion and perseverance. Kari trained in 2008 at a company that is no longer in existence when there was a six-person partnership, including the program designer (Kari still works with the designer to this day). Kari was the only instructor in the world certifying in the BuildingBlock™ course for one year, as the original organization had dissolved their business.
Equine Connection had a hard go to start out. Three years of feeling frustrated and like they weren’t moving forward. But through all of this, they designed a course that will help people to avoid the trials and tribulations they went through, to get them on a fast track to success.
Connection through our stories help us humans to feel inspired to move forward in this short little life. If you’ve wondered who these crazy (yet loveable) women are that are Equine Connection, here is their story. Take a listen.
Founder & Master Instructor
Entrepreneur To The Core
Kari is the founder and one of the world's leading instructors in the Equine-Assisted Learning Certification Course. She helps others become competent as Equine Assisted Learning facilitators and to run their own successful horse businesses to make a living and, most importantly, to find their purpose on this precious earth.
Kari started the Equine Connection in January 2009 as a response to her passion for horses and people. She has always been interested in helping others reach their dreams and goals. As a Million Dollar Weekenders sales manager, she helped women empower themselves to find their voice and courage to create the life they wanted. As a motivational speaker, ...
Senior Instructor & Facilitator/Director of Sales and Marketing
Analytical Skeptic With A PR Degree
Carolyn was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, and although her background lies in communications, her true passion lies in people. After attending the Public Relations program at Mt. Royal College, I began my career with the Calgary Police Service in the Public Affairs and Media Relations Unit and it was her positive attitude and sense of humour that allowed her to see the best in people - even in the worst of circumstances.
After a brief stint in graphic design and at a law firm, I found a home at the Strathmore Heritage Days in 2007, where I met Kari. It was there she learned about the importance of community and how it can be strengthened by coming together to celebrate history, culture and traditions.
She then moved onto the Equine Connection, where she has discovered the true magic of the horse...
Jane Hemingway-Mohr Instructor & Senior Facilitator/Entrepreneur
Jane is an expert in authentic leadership development, combining her lifelong passion for, understanding of and extensive training in everything horses with her long history of corporate experience both in Australia and internationally. Over the past several years, Jane has immersed herself in the world of equine assisted learning and all that she can learn from horses about herself and others.
After establishing her own performance horse boarding, training and coaching facility in 2011, Jane soon realized that there was much more to being with her equine partners than riding and ribbons. Keen to share this special insight with a broader range of people, she qualified as an Equine Assisted Learning facilitator with Equine Connection Inc – The Academy of Equine Assisted Learning, and established Leading Edge Life Skills ...
Karsyn Skuter Instructor, Facilitator & Social Media Guru/Entrepreneur
Karsyn has had a passion for horses since a young age and appreciates the different personalities they possess and all that they teach. She works with the horses behind the scenes to make sure that they can contribute as much as they can, while still being respectful! Karsyn's love of horses also brought her to become a part of the Calgary Stampede Showriders!
After high school and spending some time working from behind a desk, Karsyn decided she needed to see the world and expand her horizons, taking a year to travel around Asia, Australia, and New Zealand - it is these travels that allowed her to see the cultural diversity throughout the world. Upon arriving back home she decided that the desk life was not for her and decided to go into the family business and become a certified EAL facilitator…
Alice Osborn Facilitator, Assistant Instructor Leading Edge
Alice’s expertise lies in Corporate Human Resources with a focus on Learning & Development and Leadership. She completed the Equine Connection Facilitator course in June 2017, enabling her to combine her past business experience with her lifelong passion for horses. Shortly after, Alice joined the Leading Edge team as the Director of Business Development. In 2018 she undertook further training to fulfill the role of Assistant Instructor with the Equine Connection Sydney campus.
Working across all our programs, Alice is passionate about ensuring our clients achieve genuine and sustainable growth opportunities through our experiential learning-based curriculum. She brings a wealth of experience in skill development having supported clients through the design and facilitation of programs to build skills such as Leadership, Management, Communication Negotiation and Team Building...
Elizabeth Shea Hands-On Training Instructor in Salisbury MA, USA
Elizabeth grew up in a small town in Massachusetts, USA and like most young girls had a deep love for horses. She enjoyed spending her days caring for and spending time with various horses her family had while growing up. Elizabeth married her highschool sweetheart, for 20 yrs they enjoyed the adventures of military life as her husband served in the US Army. Those adventures included traveling the world, starting a family, homeschooling their children and volunteering in their communities.
After experiencing an equine assisted activity with her husband at a Wounded Warriors event in Germany, Elizabeth knew equine assisted activities were the bridge between her love for horses and compassion for people. Upon returning to the states in 2017 Elizabeth became certified in Equine...
Marianne Cyr Hands-On Training Instructor in Salisbury MA, USA
Marianne grew up in a small town located in Salisbury, on the East Coast of Massachusetts in the USA. She developed a passion for horses at very young age living next to a horse farm as a child. Marianne found herself spending time and working with the horses every chance she could get and was lucky enough to own her first horse Queen Bonnie, a Standardbred Trotter when she was just 13 years old.
Marianne spent 5 years working with youth and families in her community at a local social service agency called, The Pettengill House, in her early 20’s. Her history with horses gave her first-hand knowledge of how effective they can be working with people of all ages and personalities...
Keri Drennan Hands-On Training Instructor in Woodstock ON, CAN
My journey started as far back as 20 years ago, and halfway through my journey, I found my first horse, and my healing started coming together. As I noticed the change in myself I needed answers. And with these revelations, I began my journey of researching how I could help humans with horses, the same way they had helped me. Once I found the right fit, I immediately got certified and opened up Partners For Success.
I learned the skills to implement into my own life, something I’d been trying to do with my therapist for years. The opportunity to work with a horse…
Meet The Teachers
Our horses guarantee; when I teach you, I will never judge you! I will never lie to you!! I am a teller of truth as that is ONLY what I can do because of my brain! I will bring love and healing to your heart! I will offer you a way to smile, to giggle, and to have FUN!! This learning, I promise to you, doesn't just stay in the arena; this is learning you will transfer into your own life!
Birthday: May 15/07
Sophie is a straight-haired Curly Horse & when she was 3 years old, she was spooked by a herd of minis & was cut-up by barbed wire. While getting fixed up, they discovered she was pregnant! She was a wonderful mom to 4 more babies & even fed other babies in the herd!
Pregnancy may not have been for her. When pregnant, she would lay down by a feeder, fence, or in the pasture & make a little snow bed that would melt & form around her, which was comfortable until she tried to get up, then couldn’t get her legs under her. The indent on her side is from when her owners had to get a tractor to get her up! This only happened when she was pregnant.
Sophie is a true mama and always knows the line of respect!
“I will show you the line of respect - for yourself and others, and nurture you as a mother would on your journey”
Birthday: June 7/06
This is Buddy - THE MOVIE STAR on the hit TV show, Heartland! But he isn’t all diva! His heart is huge and he truly wants to help all of his humans! He has a sweet and kind disposition but he also needs things to be super clear!
Buddy wants his team to be strong and communicate with each other. He needs that piece to feel safe. When his whole team is on the same page, that’s when he will move forward with you as a part of his herd.
“I will show you that with clarity comes success!”
Birthday: June 25/99
Kokanee is a loving teacher but will push you to step into your own! He was abandoned as a baby and he held onto that feeling of abandonment for a very long time. He was trained in dressage, but as a result of his trauma, he just wasn’t cut out for it.
He is totally cut out to be an Equine Assisted Learning teacher though. Kokanee has been through hell and fought his way back to being the strong and independent teacher you'll see today. He won’t allow you to just sit back, he will demand you to step into the true and authentic leader that you are!
“I will show you how truly powerful you are. If you can work with me, you can do anything”
Birthday: July 15/06
Colour: Red Dun
Brandon is the herd leader - meaning that he has a big responsibility. But he also knows that with that responsibility role on his shoulders, he still has to be able to have a little bit of fun! To work with this leader, you must pull out your inner-leader, otherwise, he snaps right back into his position as head of the herd! When his team is going strong, he loves to be able to hang his head nice and low and take a break from his responsibilities, as he knows that he is in good hands.
Brandon has had to overcome a lot, including people riding him far too early and being mistreated as a colt, but he persevered through it all! His friendly personality makes him incredibly fun to be around, as there is never a dull moment. If you are ever in need of a good laugh, Brandon's the man knocking at the back door ready to get the job done!
“I will show you that learning can be fun, all while discovering your true leadership!”
Birthday: June 15/07
Faye came to us after beating the odds against death! When she was only 2 ½ years old a horse shelter collapsed on Faye, opened her back right up and left a large wound on her back. Her owners must have seen what a beautiful soul she is, and after months of recovery, Faye's back healed leaving a scar she will have for life. But you would never know she ever had gone through such an incident.
Faye's strong spirit and love of life helped her overcome her trauma and injury and has turned her into teacher who develops boundaries and strength.
“I have survived trauma. We all have scars, but not all of us are victims.”
Birthday: May 21/02
Disco is such a strong teacher since he literally will not move until he knows it is right. He has been described as stubborn, but with the right leader, he will follow you to the ends of the earth. Disco is the man who will show you to go with your gut. To step into the person you are and believe in yourself. He is a chatty guy, and at times will flap his lips all over you to help you out. He wants you to believe in yourself, in your gut, and to have confidence in your direction.
“I will show you that when you know yourself and your capabilities, there is nothing that can stop you.”
OUR HORSES WHO WE LOVED AND LOST
Comet, March 29, 2023
Comet was the former leader of the herd. A true powerhouse as a teacher. He was a true teacher of confidence as he would bring people to a new place of leadership in their lives. He would bring you to a whole new level and yet still let you know that you were strong, powerful and you could do anything in this world. He truly changed the lives of so many.
Thank you Comet. From the bottom of our hearts and all the hearts of those you have helped over the years.
Song Credit: You'll Be In My Heart - Phil Collins
Pass, March 29, 2023
Pass was the balancer of our herd. He was our funny Passey Wassey and was such a phenomenal teacher. He helped so many to find the confidence and to be mindful in their lives. He helped people to stand up for themselves, to move forward, to be in the moment and to realize their true potential in this world.
Thank you Pass. From the bottom of our hearts and all the hearts of those you have helped over the years.
Roxy, November25, 2022
We recently lost our beautiful teacher, Roxy. Roxy was a fan favourite with our guys groups, the women’s retreats - well, really anyone she taught. She was a teacher of self-reflection and helped hundreds of humans during her time with us. Roxy was a phenomenal teacher.
Rest easy, beautiful girl.
From all of us who you have helped to feel loved, move forward, re-balance, heal and reflect, thank you Roxy.
You have forever touched our lives and will live on everyday in our hearts. We love you.
Jordy - October 5th, 2021
Today we had to say goodbye to the big man, the dude, the grounder, the heart… our Jordy. [????] [????]
Jords, we can’t never thank you enough for helping so many people. For being so grounding and being what so many humans needed, on so many days.
There are no words for how hard today was. Energy never dies, this we know, but for now our hearts break as we miss you so much already.
We love you Jordy. You will be with us always. [❤️]
Song credit: There You’ll Be - Faith Hill
JR - July 20, 2021
On July 20th, we lost our beloved JR. But something we realized about her after her spirit left us, is that JR wasn’t just our horse. This felt like such a profound loss because she became so many peoples horse during her time as a teacher. We can’t say we have “lost” JR, because of all that she left, not only with us, but everyone she every helped over the years. Being the “Mama horse” that she was, she created a safe space for people to learn, heal and release.
How does one go about thanking such a beautiful living being for such a giving service. JR came to Kari in 2009 as a donation horse. She taught Kari, Carolyn, Karsyn and hundreds of people over the course of her time with us. How blessed are each of us who are gifted to hear the horse as a horse and true teacher. We were blessed to be in her presence as she impacted so many lives. So many people over the course of these years said, “JR saved my life.”
One of the hardest things all of us have to do in owning these magnificent creatures is making the call for their next journey as we know in the wild, they would have been picked off and we never want our horses to have to suffer beyond what we can help them with. It was JR’s time, but we have not lost her. She will live on forever within our hearts and the hearts of 100’s of others.
Thank you, JR. From the bottom of our hearts, for all you have given.
Music Credit: Thank You© 2007 Johnny Reid