Two, one-day workshops for fifty participants of the Melbourne Business School’s Ryman Healthcare Advanced Leadership Development Programme 2021. Participants rated the overall Salta Horses experience 9.74 out of 10.
Here’s what some of the Ryman Healthcare participants had to say….
“So relatable to our company purpose.”
“I loved how we could translate the building the relationship with the horse and leading it to our teams.”
“Wonderful insight into self.”
“So different to anything I have ever done.”
“Beautiful impactful day.”
“It taught me that everyone is different and they need to be led in different ways.”
“Learnt SO MUCH.”
“Really great out of the box experience!”
Miranda Barnes, Group People Development Manager, Ryman Healthcare.
“Everyone loved it and most importantly have been able to link the learnings back to their own leadership and relationships. We couldn’t have asked for more.”
Our experience at Salta brought our team together in a way that has never happened before. No PowerPoint and no long boring round in circle discussions. It was totally engaging, action focused and positioned us for the changes we knew were coming. We are still talking about it!
"Incredibly powerful and profound"
" Very insightful and challenging"
" Insights into how I can grow and work better with my team"
" Strong development of our team cohesion"
A remarkable experience.
I have been somewhat afraid of horses since an incident in my teens, but with such warm support from the facilitators and within the group environment, the natural process of just being with the horses completely overcame any lack of confidence on my part.
The facilitators are clearly highly competent and deeply empathetic, and it was a very engaging and personally insightful experience.
Alison Ogier-Price, Mental Health Educator, Workplace Wellbeing
The whole experience has blown my mind. We are a relatively new leadership team.
At one point we realised that we had excluded the horses and we had to expand our circle to include the horses. I think that will be one of the take away points from today.
How Deirdre is able to connect it all back to the workplace makes it very beneficial.
We had to map out the journey that we've taken into Kilmarnock using the equipment. It made us all see that we've taken similar journeys to this point.
I would 1500000% recommend coming out to Salta Horses!
Tim Jones, GM of Growing Good at Kilmarnock Enterprises
"Just WOW! The whole experience is just phenomenal. The Salta team help you feel calm and connected. Working with the horses is a life changing experience that will stay with me forever.
And it’s all done with one of the most beautiful vistas as a backdrop. Just go do it."
- Tim Jones
Grow Good - Purpose Fuelled Performance
So I'm Michael Toothill, and I'm the General Manager of Kilmarnock Trust.
So we were driving out here and trying to guess exactly what was happening and where we were going. And when we turned the corner and saw the sign, I thought, "Great, I've heard about this and have never participated, so Wow, something new. What an opportunity."
How did the Salta Horses workshop relate to your work environment?
So, I'm new to Kirmarnock, so for me, today, it's about getting to know the team better. Just getting to know them, and to know how we'll be working together. So that's what I anticipated, well for me, is going to develop more.
As in terms of team building, I've loosely categorised it under that title. I've done a lot of team building, different activities. But to actually include horses as part of team building is definitely something new and novel. So I was excited and anticipating something new and different.
I think one of the standouts for Kilmarnock, that I'm developing, is around inclusivity, so, and through the various activities we did, and how horses became part of that, it helped and encouraged us to think, how do we consider others who are different, and how inclusivity can work for me in the workplace? And how do I perceive other people who are different?
What did you personally take away from today?
For me personally, going away, I know a little bit more about the new team that I've become a part of, and it's really reinforced what I was hoping - they are a very aligned team in a lot of ways, and also there are differences, differences that they celebrate together. And that means for me, I know I can be myself in this new team. I don't have to pretend to come with lots of knowledge and lots of experience, and be amazing. I can be amazing just by being myself.
Michael Toothill, General Manager for Kilmarnock Trust
Horses - I loved reading about them when a child, and growing up in a small rural village in Southland some of my friends were lucky enough to have their own ponies.
I spent time with them, and learned to ride - sort of.
But mostly my connection, and pleasure from association with animals, came from the domestic cats and dogs that were an important part of my city, and later life-style block life.
While living the 'good life' on this 30 acre block, I worked as a secondary teacher, and later, school counselor.
Understandably then when Deirdre offered me the chance of a 'Salta Experience' I was really keen to try.
And it was an EXPERIENCE - a really interesting one. For me, some of the fear, the uncertainty, of the unknown response of these large animals was still there, but it didn't last long, and wonderfully alongside that was the remembered joy of how domestic animals ( and for all I know maybe wild ones) can share and communicate an understanding with humans.
Big creatures, these horses, but so long as I offered respect it was returned, when I indicated a need it was answered - and gradually there was no need for fear or anxiety.
I'm not a natural animal person, so I was a little bit apprehensive. But I have to say I was remarkably surprised, actually I was quite taken with the horses, and they seemed to be a bit taken with me as well. I found them to be really calming and reassuring.
I got the air of a calm reassurance from her, and was so was quickly reassured that it was all fine. The session taught us that it's OK to be ourselves. It taught us that there are no norms, and it's a way at really looking at situations and saying that that just because this is the way we've always done things, it doesn't mean we have to. It also showed me that we have an amazing team, and that we are all here to support each other and encourage each other. It was really amazing.
I'm really proud of myself that I coped. I was really surprised at my interaction with the horses. I'm really thrilled about that.
Shirley Cameron, GM of Operations
"Thanks so much for running a fantastic workshop on Friday. Our team really enjoyed it and the learning opportunities. One of the things most of the team members noted was the calmness and peacefulness of the workshop which made it a very a thoughtful and reflective process. A huge difference from the noisy, chaos of our usual workplace."
- Debbie Clarke- Oceania Gold
I had the privilege of attending an Equine Assisted Learning session hosted by Salta Horses.
Now, I’m really not a horsey person, but it became quickly obvious what wonderful, honest life-guides these amazing creatures truly are.
Watching the opportunity for individuals to safely, gently explore their challenges, and path in life, with their chosen equine partner at their side, was very moving and uplifting. Seeing is believing – you too will be amazed.
Any individual or team will benefit from this unique experience in a wonderfully peaceful rural setting.
Open your mind and perform to your best. I cannot recommend this opportunity more highly.
Matt James Business Coach
Even though I grew up riding horses, I honestly didn’t think I’d discover as much about myself and my situation as I did, but the horses proved me wrong and showed me the way.
If you’re feeling uncertain about your own way forward, a session with Salta Horses is well worth the journey.
There’s no riding involved and anyone can give it a go. Go into it with an open mind and you’ll be surprised what you can learn from your new equine teachers.
Strategic Communicator and Storyteller
Deirdre was awesome. Her knowledge and her steering the session was fantastic. Really professional, and very understanding and caring.
The location is amazing. The view is spectacular. It's so peaceful and relaxing. The birdlife, and trees, and horses and everything. It speaks to my soul.
I'll be taking Deirdre's card home with me and passing it onto my husband and trying to get him to get a team building session out here!
Sam Fisken, Financial Controller at Kilmarnock
I had no idea what to expect and did feel a little apprehensive at first.
I'm a bit scared of horses, mostly because I don't know them or understand them, having not been brought up around them. They seemed quite frightening to me because they are so big and powerful.
Seeing the Salta horses at work gave me a new perspective, not only about horses themselves but also about our relationships with them.
But it doesn't stop there, the Salta experience, if you allow it, gives you insight into your relationships with other people as well as animals.
Something in the way we interact with the horses allows us to see who we are as people, how others see us, and, through the response of the horse, how we are accepted for who we are.
Lynne Brice - Organisational Director
My experience in the round pen with the horses was a turning point for me both personally and professionally.
Suzie Milne, Manager
Salta Horses was a wonderful experience. The horses are lovely and the team are so welcoming and accepting. Equine therapy made a huge difference to how I feel, not just when I was there but over the following weeks, and I'm sure it will last a long time. Thank you so much!
Young person after several weeks of sessions at Salta Horses
10 out of 10…. I could not recommend this more highly and will definitely be back!”
Whether you are building a new team, you have someone joining a well established team, or you have a business problem to solve, a day out of the office at Salta Horses is a unique and powerful way to promote critical thinking and team building.
I found the interaction with the horses teased out different perspectives, helped us resolve issues from another angle and we were able to see colleagues let down their barriers and be their true self.
Thank you Deirdre and team (two legged and four legged) for such a memorable
Michelle Sharp, CEO Unicef NZ