Group & Corporate Retreats

Without a doubt, horses have the inexplicable ability to read people. The question is, do you know how they do it? Do you want to know what they are saying?

No, I am not an "animal communicator." I consider myself to be a translator of the language of the horse. I've been blessed with the time to work with and ride over 700 horses in my lifetime. I've retrained dozens and rehabilitated countless. Horses are literally a part of my being, which is why I love to share my knowledge with those who would like to learn.

Now, you might ask, "Why do I want my group of friends, family or professionals to come to a ranch to be with horses?"

The simplest explanation would be that in a quiet, peaceful, serene environment, with even the smallest bit of guidance from an Equine Practitioner, horses encourage people to be "here" and "present." That often means that the baggage that is carried around by each person tends to be put aside, even for just a small amount of time, when working with or around horses.

People from all walks of life and ages can be affected by these beautiful creatures' presence. You don't have to be familiar with horses to enjoy what they have to offer. On the other hand, people who have worked with and ridden horses all their lives also find moments to embrace here.

What do horses have to do with a group or corporate retreat? Well, that depends on what you'd like to do.

One of the most popular focuses for retreats is Leadership. Why? Leadership can be intertwined into any number of focuses, such as, but not limited to: self reflection, being a better boss, a better home dynamic, leading through following, setting higher expectations in the work place or at home, etc., etc., etc.

How do horses relate to leadership? Because a horse's life focuses primarily on 1 main thing. Hierarchy. (Aside from their natural instinct to stay alive through eating and drinking of course). In the herd environment, you'll see there is a slew of leaders, all with different roles. Each day, those leaders battle to maintain their roles. However, those "battles" are not won through the use of verbal profanities, undermining one another, a battle of wills or bullying. Everything is established through the clear and concise use of body language.

The art of reading horse body language can only be developed through experience, experience meaning endless hours spent studying and learning the language of the horse. And those hours do not include hours spent in the saddle. The most valuable hours I accrued were those spent living with the herd. The art of teaching the language of the horse to non-horse people and horse people alike, is an art in and of itself! Why? Because I must teach you about what you see in the horse(s) in front of you, and relate it to interactions in the human world. Having worked in the Corporate world for a large part of my younger career, I bring an understanding of the challenges of the professional work environment into a place of relatability with horses.

What does a Group or Corporate Retreat look like? Whatever you want!
Remember, you are running the show, just tell us how we can incorporate into your master plan to make the experience memorable! Flexibility is key. We have had groups that have a facilitator to coordinate and run the activities daily and we "plug in" appropriate activities, OR you have the option of having us facilitate the entire retreat, with you providing feedback on what topics must be incorporated for the most dynamic and tailored syllabus. Horses can be incorporated in any capacity, from intuitive ground work (see Circles for Success + leadership), to taking the group for a trail ride (group bonding activity).

For some basic ideas on how the program works, please go to the Circles For Success link, a more in depth description.

Circles for Success, Intuitive Learning Program!

Here are the amenities we, The Natural Connection INC., have to offer at the Trail Barn: (See Gallery Pictures)

- Ms. Jean, her knowledgeable staff and ALL of her horses can be available to you and your group exclusively for multiple day retreats.

- Conference room for meetings at the Trail Barn

- Back porch with picnic tables for outdoor meals and meetings

- Up to 15 horses available for working with people both on the ground or under-saddle, trail riding will require 10 people per group so we may have to split you up in groups based on your numbers.

- Convenient learning environment, the round pen is directly accessible to the back porch so that the audience can sit at the picnic tables, in the shade, while learning and watching a demonstration in the round pen.

Here are the amenities the Marriott Ranch has to offer:

- Accommodations at the Fairfield Farm Bed and Breakfast and Farmhouse

- Pavilion Center for large group activities

- Western Town, a small façade of a western town located in the middle of the ranch, a great remote location for getting your group to focus on the task at hand, accessible via hay ride or vehicle.

- Marriott Ranch Caterers for breakfast, lunch or dinner meals

- Hay Rides for the relaxing tours of the property

REVIEWS FROM LEADERSHIP RETREATS:

"I thought Ms. Jean was brilliant with the horses and with guiding the small groups through the work. She really let us try to figure it out on our own and was positive in her feedback."

"Ms. Jean is a force of nature! Her sharing of her vast knowledge of horses was a learning experience for me."

"She was so interesting and definitely caught all our attention and focus. A vibrant and engaging person who is doing a great job."

For accommodations and setting up a retreat, please call 540-364-2627. Please ask for our Special Events Coordinator Kelley Moss @ kmoss@marriottranch.com

For a 1 day retreat that does not involve accommodations, please contact Ms. Jean at 540-364-3741 or best to contact via email @ naturalconnectionprogram@gmail.com

**Note, there are other local B&B's available as well, such as Black Dog Farm Inn at Mt. Welby and Glen Gordon Manor.**