1) Why are your workshops “human” only? My focus is working with you and helping you become aware of what you are bringing to the partnership/relationship while also increasing your awareness of what the horse is bringing. Frequently, when horses are involved it becomes about the horse instead of the person. In my experience the journey of being honest about who we are and what we bring to the table is not easy and requires plenty of acceptance which makes it very easy to make it about the horse instead of about yourself if horses are involved.

2) Why is the focus on developing awareness? The definition of “awareness” is to have knowledge or perception of a situation or fact. While this definition sounds pretty simple and easy, it is not often the case because of a person’s “frame of reference” which heavily influences a person’s judgments based on their ideas or beliefs.

Here are three examples:

Example 1. How often have you heard someone remark about how stupid a grouse is, or say the grouse just sits there and lets you run over it, It is hard to believe they are not extinct? Without knowledge or perception of the grouse, an unchallenged frame of reference may equate not moving with stupidity and also may limit a person’s ability to be open, inquisitive, objective etc. When a person practices awareness, judgement is suspended, curiosity is engaged, and empathy is felt. This allows for a person to have an appreciation for all living things including themselves. With awareness present in a person’s life they would wonder why the grouse does not move. This curiosity would then lead to an awareness that the grouse has an involuntary fear response that results in  “freezing”. The person would also discover that predators look for movement, hence further explaining the “freeze” response. As a person digs deeper they would learn about ground vibration, grouse eyesight/ habits etc. At some point, through awareness a person would realize that the grouse is not stupid but merely being a grouse. As a person’s awareness continues to develop, it may reaches a point where a person starts to wonder what they could do to not place the grouse in the “freeze” reaction. Empathy kicks in because the grouse is no longer seen as stupid. By developing a person’s awareness they  now have a relationship based on knowledge with the grouse.

Example 2. Two friends have a disagreement. One of the friends (A) is a talker so he/she tells everyone what happened, painting the other friend (B) as the problem. Soon (B) is no longer part of the group of friends. If (A) is a good story teller and changes his/her story to fit with the frame of reference of the person receiving the story, it is very likely that (A) will be believed and never have his/her motives/agenda questioned. All the people receiving the story that matches their frame of reference will align with (A). That alignment will be so strong that they will be unable to receive any information from (B). When frames of references are unchecked and unchallenged people form judgements that can be seriously flawed, incorrect, harmful and very hurtful to everyone involved including themselves. With the practice of awareness a person challenges their frame of reference, seeks validation/proof/information from (A & B) and does not get caught up in the “drama” where they then can become part of the problem.

Example 3. A person heads out to the pasture to catch a horse. The horse flattens its ears, snakes it head and bares its teeth and wheels towards the person. Most often this behavior would be labeled as a problem/ dangerous horse. When a person is practicing awareness, long before this behavior was exhibited by the horse, the person would have noticed minute changes in the horse. This would offer the opportunity for the person to check in with themselves utilizing the skill of awareness and question themselves about what they are bringing to this situation. This reflection may allow the person to take a different approach, and to also give themselves time to check in with awareness with the horse. This communication with yourself and the horse builds trust and respect and confidence and helps minimize dangerous situations.

Partner Up! is designed to facilitate awareness at many levels which allows each person to move towards being the best they can be. The movement towards awareness improves all relationships and especially relationships with a horse which is why I love Partner Up!

3) Do you do any workshops where I can bring my horse? No. There have been occasions where I do occasionally take a booking for a private/semi-private lesson. In order for me to consider a booking the person(s) must have attended all 3 tiers of the Partner Up! Workshop.  Contact:  partnerupworkshop@gmail.com for more info.

4) I have no fear, why do I need to attend the fear workshop?. A person does not have to have ”fear” to get benefit from the Partner Up! Workshop Tier 2 Fear-Friend or Foe . Tier 2 continues to build on the awareness developed in Tier 1 Developing a Strong Foundation with your Equine Partner.  Having awareness of the physiological and psychological aspects of fear will allow a person to have a deeper understanding of fear and provide insight on helping their equine partner or friend move from Foe Fear to Friend Fear. Through awareness of Fear, a person can now ensure that every interaction they have with their equine partner or friend does not unintentionally escalate their fear.

5) Where can I find more information on the Partner UP! Workshop?  Please go to https://berkanafarm.ca/Partner-Up-posts/   where you will find more information on the 3 Tier Workshop Partner UP!, Calendar of events, FAQ, and Meet the Facilitator. The Facebook link   https://www.facebook.com/PartnerUpPG/

Contact:  partnerupworkshop@gmail.com for more info.

6) Do you travel to other locations? Yes, if a person would like to host a workshop. As Partner UP! is a human only workshop winter is an ideal time to get together. Contact:  partnerupworkshop@gmail.com for more info.

7) I would like to host a workshop. What are the requirements? The host would supply a “kitchen table” with seating for 4-8 participants, tea/or coffee, and access to a washroom. Participants bring a bagged lunch. The host would promote the event and collect the workshop fees + mileage from the participants which would be paid to the Facilitator of Partner UP! upon arrival. The host attends the workshop for free. Contact:  partnerupworkshop@gmail.com for more info.

8) Do you charge more to travel? Yes, the km rate is .56 a km. to and from the event. Accommodation charge will be determined upon booking of the workshop.

Contact:  partnerupworkshop@gmail.com for more info.