Leadership through horsemanship. How one Alberta ranch is pioneering human growth.
There’s a rare quality some humans possess. A quality that enables them to see more in others than anyone would ever see in themselves. Equally as rare is someone who can truly interpret the nonverbal communication mirrored through horses. Pairing those two unique qualities together results in transformation and undeniable human growth. One of those rare souls is Jessica Kosheiff.
I first met Jessica in a little detached garage in a little town called Millarville Alberta. We were both there knowing we wanted to further our work with horses and pair that with helping humans. How? Not exactly sure but we were there.
Right off the bat there was something different about Jessica. She was confident, knowledgeable, clearly had a phenomenal understanding of how horses worked, but also a deep knowing about people. It was clear she was going somewhere and anyone lucky enough to find her herd was surely destined for a path of transformation they’d never forget.
As the week progressed so did the excitement. A different way for people to work through stuff, an alternative to talk therapy. That you could get to the same place, often further but the horses could do the work was simply mind-blowing. The growth was unfolding right in front of our eyes through a heart coupling connection between horse and human when people were in close range of the horse. A new but rapidly developing field, Equine Assisted Learning (EAL).
So what is EAL? A partnership with horses and non-verbal communication to facilitate growth in humans. With loads of scientific research behind why it works it always seems to revert back to a place of often indescribable yet always undeniable learning + transformation. From children with all sorts of different abilities, teenagers just trying to sort the world out, to adults in trauma and business people, Jessica is a wizard with them all.
In February 2021 Jessica opened up her Equine Assisted Learning Facility, Seen and Herd at her families acreage north of the Klassen Hills near Teepee Creek. Jessica’s unique style of coaching, facilitating leadership + life lessons following the lead of the horse, has led to countless inspiring stories of confidence, growth + life transformation. Jessica pairs her past experiences working, training and gentling horses with her no nonsense corporate banking background, providing a experience unmatched in the EAL space.
Jessica’s proven system “leadership through horsemanship” takes children as young as three and adults of all ages and walks of life through numerous levels of 6 week programs designed to facilitate human growth. What happens in those 6 weeks is so much more than six one hour sessions. It’s like the horses are able to shoot straight to the heart of the matter very quickly creating leadership confidence and Trust. Jessica has an uncanny ability to narrow in through reflections of the horse and mirror back making it crystal clear what’s going on for you.
But it doesn’t stop there for Jessica pairing her intuitive gentling style with the forgotten horses in her Project Pen. Take Molly the Mule who was picked up at an auction by an older couple and lived a small existence as a pasture ornament for over 10 years before they decided retire their farm and as such Molly had to go. Lucky for Molly she got a soft landing being thrown in on a wagon purchase to Jessica. As usual Jessica allowed her to simply settle in & be part of a herd before working with her & bringing purpose back into little Molly’s life. Starting with training her to pull the wagon she came with + soon after Jessica broker her to ride. Molly gave numerous kids their first ride + even taught some EAL students to drive! Knowing she had a bigger purpose & so much to offer someone, Jessica set out to find the perfect person for Molly. Her new best friend is 8year old Austin who is on the Autism Spectrum. Austin had recently lost his own mule and was struggling. Today Austin’s Mom beams “Austin & Molly are inseparable. He runs out to her every morning and she comes down off the hill to meet him. He climbs on my goats playground and she comes over and stands sideways so he can jump on her and sits on her for hours while she grazes and walks around. She is so tolerant and gentle with him. She is seriously an angel and we are so appreciative of her”. Part of the project pen idea is teaching the life lessons to her EAL students that come with letting horses go. As she finds the perfect space for one she opens up space for the next lucky forgotten horse.
As Seen and Herd approaches a year Jessica and her herd have a laundry list of raving fans equipped with the tools to create a more positive future for themselves. “When we empower others they empower their families and build a stronger community. I feel super fortunate the herd & I get to witness & be part of the process!” says Kosheiff. If you are ready for the next step, for something more in your life, the place to start is Seen & Herd!