Life Skills Development
& Horse Services
Foundations Skills Development & Equestrian Centre is all about reaching your highest potential. Every person, team or horse has within them to achieve greatness, and at Foundations we are committed to helping you do just that.
Skills Development Programs
Through experiential hands-on learning we facilitate the development of foundational life skills necessary for individuals and teams to reach their potential and succeed in both their personal and professional lives.
Horse Riding Lessons, Horsemanship
& Farrier Services
“Foundation before specialization.” Pat Parelli.
At Foundations we offer just that, with beginner western riding and horsemanship lessons for all ages.
The foundation of the horse is their feet. Ensuring your horses feet are trimmed, balanced and ready to go sets you and your horse up for riding success.
Why Do We Work With Horses?
Our teachers are 1200-1500 lbs.
Effective teachers have clear boundaries and expectations. There is no pushing around our teachers. They will only cooperate when their expectations are clearly met.
They are a prey animal.
Being a prey animal requires horses to be alert and present at all times. Their senses are highly sensitive and attuned to their environment. They can actually hear our hearts beat and will react to the slightest changes in an individual or team, creating the opportunity for facilitators to find those “teachable moments."
They are just like us - sort of.
Horses require a leader they trust and respect, just like successful teams require a leader they trust and respect. Herds to horses are like teams to people. Knowing this allows us to parallel what happens in the arena to what happens in real life, so the lessons stick.
We have been trained by the world renowned Equine Connection - The Academy of Equine Assisted Learning Inc, who certify all over the world through the Academy of Equine Assisted Learning BuildingBlock™ course. You will see Equine Connection instructors in the videos provided, these will give a better understanding of the value of our programs and workshops.
Why do we work with prey animals?
Horses are steadfast and predictable teachers. In order to survive horses instincts and senses are very astute. They must be aware of their environment and quick to react. In the horse world boundaries and expectations are clear and concise, and corrected quickly if challenged. They don’t judge, but they do remember. There is no skirting around the rules and cheating will not be tolerated; but, in return they provide honest and instant feedback.
Building a solid foundation of skills.
Experiential learning, is the oldest and often one of the most effective modes of learning, as it appeals to all the senses, developing strong neural pathways for retention and future use. During these interactive and hands on skills development programs, horses are allowed to do what they do best, which is be a horse. They don’t overthink participants motives, or doubt their instinct, but they do respond to and challenge behaviours and seek to establish who the leader is. Through this understanding of the nature of the horse we are able to effectively facilitate teachable moments where participants are able to seek, find and develop their skills and find success.
What is Equine Assisted Learning?
Equine Assisted Learning is a learner based experiental learning educational experience with horses. Sounds fancy, but what does it mean? At its root Equine Assisted Learning is actually an effective approach to human development that encourages individual and team growth through interactions with the horse. Participants take part in objective driven exercises that require them to learn life skills in an hands-on and engaging environment. This learning style has been proven to be a positive educational experience that is effective, powerful and creative. The BuildingBlock™ curriculum of facilitation emphasizes the development of life skills through positively reinforced interactions with horses.
Youth Life Skills Programs
Our Youth Programs are designed to develop life skills for success through the power of experiential learning. Skills developed through these programs are learned and retained enabling each youth to move forward and reach their individual level of success. Horses provide “loud teachable moments” that stick. Making the skills developed in these programs a reliable toolkit from which youth can pull from when faced with choices as they move forward in life. The Youth Curriculum is longer term and ranges between 8 - 12 sessions. This allows the youth participants time to build, reinforce and apply the life skills they develop with their equine teacher.
Women's Development Workshops
Have you ever asked yourself, who am I? What is it I want out of life, or where am I going? As women we tend to take on many roles: mother, wife, friend, daughter, aunt, employee, employer, and the list goes on. It can become like a juggling act, Over time it can become easy to lose the one important piece that started it all, YOU!!! Your hopes, your dreams, your identity and belief somehow get lost or dropped in the chaos. The truth of the matter is, as women, although we hold many titles, our most valuable title is, I. Who we are fuels and powers this great engine we call woman. We are leaders and examples to all those around us, and we are at our best when we are authentically ourselves. When our tank is full, our feet are set on firm ground, we can lead ourselves first and, we can love, nurture, support and empower those around us to do the same.
There are so many barriers we come up against along this journey. Fear of judgment, fear of not being enough, or fear of failure are some common ones. What if you could work with a teacher who has mastered the very skills you're looking for? One who lives in the now, without regrets, know who they are and aren’t afraid to stand in their truth. A teacher who is assured and a leader to themselves, but also knows how to care and nurture those around them, and does all of this without judgment and with unbiased honesty. By nature the horse is all of these thing and more. Open yourself up to the opportunity of this experiential women's workshop to be taught by the masters and rediscover yourself! Stand and be authentically you!
Corporate Team Building Events
Team Building Events and Retreats are fun and all, and who doesn’t appreciate a change of scenery from work; but, what if you could get more out of your event? What if you could have a innovative, memorable and result-orientated day with some of the best change in scenery possible?
Our corporate and team building workshops are designed to do just that. Spend the day emerged in experiential learning as a team lead by the most engaging and beautiful 1200 lbs teacher, the horse. Our objective driven programs build trust, leadership and communication in an atmosphere of cooperation and collaboration. Get your team working together towards success. Your team will leave this workshop with skills built on experience rather than theoretical knowledge from just another boardroom. NO riding our teachers, this experience puts everyone on the same level, and allows our teachers to provide answered and honest feedback to grow and develop individual skills as well as the team synergy.
Horses lives depend on leadership, cooperation as well as respect for the skills and responsibilities of the individual members. In the herd there are well defined roles and responsibilities. Everyone has a job, knows their job and is held accountable to it. Interpersonal communication is crucial for the survival of the herd. Horses seek and require these same qualities when interacting with humans. Team activities are designed to facilitate effective communication, collaborative problem solving and through the unique teaching style of the horse you will discover team dynamics you never knew existed. The herd is a powerful parallel for any team and this interactive environment of horse/human interaction is an effective and memorable approach to team building and leadership development.
Horsemanship & Riding Lessons
Foundations offer Beginner Western Horsemanship & Horseback Riding Lessons in the Lethbridge Area learning the basics of the horse, in and out of the saddle. Gain confidence while working with horses!
Quality Farrier Work
Specializing in equine hoof care, our high quality farrier service provides a positive experience to your horse, ensuring a balanced foundation!
For those interested in reaching their potential as a horseman we at Foundations offer beginner western riding & horsemanship lessons. Regardless of age our horses don’t judge and neither do we. We offer a fun inclusive environment for all ages, where your welcome to bring your horse along, or work with a member of our equestrian team.
"If you are only a student of technique, then the options become very limited. On the other hand, when you are a student of the horse, the options are unlimited.” - Mark Rashid
At Foundations we focus on working with the horse, not against them. When it comes to farrier work we believe in looking at the horse as a whole. A job well done not only means that the shoes are well suited and well fit, but the experience has been positive for the horse and he’s a little better because of it.
“Two feet move your body. Four feet move your soul." - Author Unknown
Equine Assisted Learning Facilitator, Riding & Horsemanship Coach & Owner/Operator
Amber has a diverse background which has always been directed by her drive to help others find their inner strength and grow to their fullest potential. This passion has led Amber to work in health care, post secondary education, and to serve on provincial advisory boards for people with disabilities. She has seen people at their worst, and people at their best, and feels she is very blessed to be able to take the journey with them.
It's a lifelong dream of Ambers to finally pair her experience and passion for helping people reach their potential with one of her greatest teachers in life, the horse. Through Foundations Life Skills Development Programs, she now works with individuals and groups to facilitate experiential learning at its finest to develop skills at a whole new level.
Equine Assisted Learning Facilitator, Farrier, Riding & Horsemanship Coach & Owner/Operator
Jason, or “Jay” as we say around Foundations, grew up on a farm in Southern Alberta. If he wasn’t working or riding motorbikes he was typically with the horses. They have always had an innate capacity to help Jay temper emotions, listen to him talk and take him to the school of hard knocks when he needs it. Jay worked for many years as a Motorcycle Mechanic followed by a career in welding, but, as interesting and challenging as the trades can be, he wanted to provide more than a convenient skilled service. He wanted to invest in people, to give back, to find a way to give to others the things horses have offered him over the years. Finally he realized he can’t, but the horses can and he can be there to facilitate the process. Jay, his wife Amber, and their two kids Ty and Alora, moved out to an acreage just north of Stirling, AB the summer of 2017 in order to make this dream a reality. Jay knows that people can reach their goals in many ways, but there’s a few key ingredients: Never give up. Once you have that piece, all you have to do is learn and implement the skills needed and your success will happen on its own.