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    Coming Into Balance: Wyoming clinic offers leadership skills through horsemanship

    (Lander, WY) – Coming Into Balance, a horse-based leadership clinic co-founded by Fremont County’s Jim Culver, Lindsay Priefert, and Kelsey Wicks, will launch later this summer. This innovative program aims to deepen participants’ understanding of leadership, communication, and self-awareness through immersive experiences with horses against the backdrop of the Wind River mountain range. 

    Founded on the belief that leadership is a skill relevant to all aspects of life, the team wanted to cultivate a training that would reflect both the personal and professional leadership experience. The clinic allows participants to develop self-awareness, effective communication skills, and leadership tools applicable in diverse contexts. 

    “Effective communication and leadership skills are essential not only in professional settings but also in personal relationships and community engagements,” said Wicks. “Investing in our growth as leaders benefits everyone.”

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    With over 40+ years of combined horsemanship experience and leadership instruction at NOLS, Culver, Priefert, and Wicks crafted Coming Into Balance from a deep understanding of the invaluable lessons horses can teach about leadership. 

    “Our experiences traveling with horses and leading horse-packing expeditions in the mountains have shaped who we are- how we build relationships, communicate, and understand our capacities as leaders,” said Priefert. “We feel inspired to share what we have learned with others.” 

    What sets this clinic apart from traditional leadership development programs is its unique approach of utilizing horses as partners in the learning process. Working with horses develops a heightened sense of presence, awareness of body language, and energy dynamics that are fundamental to communication and collaboration. 

    “There is something unique about personal and professional leadership development that happens when we’re asked to build a trusting partnership with a horse, and achieve a goal together,” said Priefert. “While it might feel nice to talk about leadership, nonverbally communicating a request to a horse with your energy and your intention, and seeing how you manage the outcome, is an accelerated path to highlighting strengths and weaknesses as a leader.”

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    Participants can expect an immersive experience with daily horsework and riding, leadership discussions, facilitated reflection sessions, and personalized coaching. The program is designed to provide a supportive environment for practicing new skills and leadership styles and receiving unbiased, in-the-moment feedback from horses that fosters genuine, practical growth and development. 

    “Horses allow us to experiment and try over and over again – they are honest and forgiving. It’s both a challenging and safe environment to push your edges as a leader in the world,” Priefert said.

    Coming Into Balance will operate in two remote Wyoming locations: the Diamond 4 Ranch and Three Peaks Ranch. By immersing participants in remote locations with minimal distractions, the clinic creates an ideal setting for skill building and introspection, facilitating a profound learning experience. 

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    “Additionally, exploring these clinic ideas of horsemanship and leadership in a mountain setting is particularly poignant,” said Wicks. “I have found that some of the deepest, truest lessons I’ve learned have been in wilder places, where the importance of simple things is more apparent, and the effects of our actions can be seen more clearly.”

    With a commitment to personalized growth and learning, the clinic offers tailored experiences for participants with varying levels of horsemanship experience, from beginners to seasoned riders. 

    “Some individuals may already possess extensive horsemanship experience and are eager to delve into leadership roles and deepen their partnership with horses,” said Priefert. “Others, with limited exposure to horses, may be curious about the valuable lessons horses can teach them about leadership. There are also those who are interested in advancing their horsemanship skills while simultaneously enhancing their personal development journey. We are open to everyone.” 

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    Coming into Balance will occur August 20-24, 2024, at the Diamond 4 Ranch in Lander, WY, and September 25-29, 2024, at Three Peaks Ranch in Boulder, WY. For more information on clinic registration, visit https://www.jimculverhorsemanship.com/clinics or email [email protected].

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