Challenge U, LLC | andi@challenge-u.com | 760-535-3052

©2019 by Challenge U, LLC

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Unique, customized programs that effectively develop
individuals, teams and leaders through the wisdom of horses.

Team Talk

Communication is essential for effective personal and professional relationships. And yet, it is one of the toughest skills to master. Why? Perhaps because 93% of our communication is nonverbal. To be effective, it requires an awareness of what we are “not saying” with words. Horses are master communicators. So, isn’t it natural to learn from them how to better communicate? We think so.

Why Horses? Learn more here.

Browse our Equine Experiential Programs, or click on a specific program to learn more!

HORSE WISDOM IN COMMUNICATION

Horse Wisdom in Communication is designed for any group or team of people that want to build effective communication in a sustained and unique way with a high transfer back to their daily environment.

It’s now commonly recognized that only ten percent of human communication is verbal. And yet in our culture, we’ve virtually become mesmerized by words as our social and educational systems teach us to dissociate from the body, the environment, and the subtle nuances of nonverbal communication. Much of human brilliance is driven less by the brain in your head than by newly discovered intelligence centers—now called ‘brain two and brain three’—in the gut and the heart. The highest reasoning and brightest ingenuity involve all three of those brains working together.

Communication is essential for effective personal and professional relationships. To be effective, it requires an awareness of what we are “not saying” with words. Horses are master communicators. So, isn’t it natural to learn from them how to better communicate? We think so. This training offers skills and tools to communicate with clarity of intent, congruence and use feedback to know what adjustments need to be made in order to create maximum efficiency and higher productivity in the workplace.

THE CONGRUENT LEADER - EQUINE LEARNING FOR EMOTIONAL AGILITY

Studies on the neurophysiology of emotion show that even human beings exhibit stress responses in the presence of incongruent people. In Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships, emotional intelligence pioneer Daniel Goleman cites research proving that not only does a person’s blood pressure escalate when he tries to suppress feeling, the blood pressure of those interacting with him also rises. Basically, unless you’re a sociopath, your blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing intensify when you’re frightened or angry, even when you’re wearing your best poker face. It takes extra energy to hide these feelings, which adds to the anxiety radiating from your body, through whatever complex process scientists are only now beginning to uncover. Lie detector tests measure arousal fluctuations. Yet, you don’t have to be hooked up to a machine to reveal a hidden state of mind. Living beings are hard-wired to transmit and receive this information at a distance. Our culturally-induced emphasis on verbal communication lessens awareness of this valuable information over time, but anyone who retains or reclaims use of this natural ability appears downright psychic compared to the rest of the population.

As prey animals, the volume of this recently discovered “sixth” sense is turned way up in horses, who become noticeably agitated in the presence of people who are incongruent, who try to cover anger, fear, or sadness with an appearance of well being.

This is not an equine judgment of our tendency to lie about what we’re really feeling; it’s a reflection of emotion’s physiology—and its contagious nature. Horses show signs of stress when their human handlers try to suppress emotion, then calm down the moment the handler openly acknowledges that feeling. By making the fear or anger conscious, by becoming congruent, the handler effectively lowers his own blood pressure, even if only slightly. But it’s enough to drop the horse’s blood pressure in response, which the animal demonstrates by sighing, licking and chewing, and/or lowering his head.

The easiest way to become congruent in the presence of your horse is to admit (even at a whisper that no one else can hear) that you’re afraid, angry, frustrated, or confused. Your horse won’t understand the words, of course, but your body will register positive physiological changes that your mount can read nonverbally, and he will be less likely to spook as a result.

The good news is that authentic positive feelings are contagious too. A person who truly feels peaceful in situations that unnerve others can have a calming effect on everyone around her. This is a key skill in becoming a great rider—or a great leader of human beings for that matter.

Discovering one’s self is a lifelong journey. In order to stay effectively on that important path, especially in times of change and challenge, it is critical to continue one’s personal growth; to continue to learn and add tools to one’s tool box. In any of our personal development workshops the focus will be on “U”. The purpose will be to discover your strengths, to uncover areas of development and continue on your journey to you “knowing” you and aligning your steps to your values.

Typical outcomes in our Personal Development EEL formats include:

  • Begin using emotions as information: What are the messages and how can I use them to be proactive, grounded and centered in my life?

  • Get feedback about your communication and how to be most effective in your communication

  • Understand and experience the importance of connection to be effective in relationship

  • Connect with your heart; begin to follow your path from a heart-based space.

  • Build trust with yourself and others through learning how to be congruent.

  • Learn how to establish and maintain clear and consistent boundaries.

  • Learn how to get information from your body to support yourself in the most effective communication and collaboration with others.

THE EMPOWERED PARTNERSHIP - EQUINE LEARNING FOR COUPLES

Challenge U’s EEL program for couples is effectively used as pre-marital work, or as an investment anytime during the relationship to support skills necessary in creating and sustaining a healthy, happy, fulfilling relationship.

The Empowered Partnership helps couples explore the true place in each of us where we “know” who we are, what we want and what is really most important in our relationships. It is designed to help couples build or increase relationship skills that support communication, listening and connection in a healthy and proactive way.

By participating in this program, you and your partner will:

  • Discover congruence and the importance of it for a trusting, healthy relationship

  • Understand personal boundaries and how to effectively set them without judgment

  • Learn how to listen and hear what’s being said at a non verbal level ; create new levels of intimacy

  • Understand and experience receiving feedback from a neutral space

  • Discover and recognize energy fields as a primary tool for effective communication

 
 
 
 

WHAT PEOPLE SAY

I knew I would be working with horses, and that we would be focusing on non-verbal communication, but I honestly thought it would simply be a matter of watching for a swishing tail or twitching ears. Your workshop gave me a much deeper level of understanding in regards to the energetic boundaries each of us emanates, and how powerful the response can be when these thresholds are crossed.  I was also fascinated to learn about, see, and actually “feel” these boundaries while interacting with the horses. I feel anyone who interacts with other people on a regular basis would benefit greatly from this workshop. The ability to create an environment of calm and mutual cooperation in any business dealing is invaluable. I would highly recommend you, your capable crew and your magnificent horses to anyone who has a desire to create more harmonious business relationships with others.

— Lane R.

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