I have never experienced a coach/guide with more energy and commitment to each person’s growth than Ariana. Not only did the horse work give me a piece of myself back…maybe the heart of who I am…but her intuition, her presence with each of us waking up offered a model of fierce compassion that I will do my best to live into as I grow myself as a coach. She is my first living example, of what those old Zen Masters must have been like. Fierce compassion and unwavering commitment.
Ariana’s business acumen and keen ability to help individuals excel is easily noted in her numerous accomplishments as a recognized leader of Equine Guided Education and Change Leadership. Her approach is truly original and has proven to be an exciting force in self-development and leadership training. As a Master Somatic Coach, she has worked with more than five thousand leaders, coaches, shamans, healers, artists and other individuals since the late 1980’s. She is the founder of Leadership & Horses™, visionary and co-founder of the Equine Guided Education Association and Strozzi Institute (Center for Leadership & Mastery) and adjunct faculty at Institute for Women’s Leadership and Enterprise Performance.
With innovative vision, Ariana blends equine psychology, biology, somatics, animal behavior and leadership savvy into an experiential format that trains emotional intelligence, self-responsibility, non-verbal communication, authenticity, and intuition. She is the author of two books, “Horse Sense for the Leader Within,” “Planning Your Business in the Horse as Healer Teacher Professions,” and a DVD,” Intuitive Horsemanship™” and has been published in the anthologies, “Being Human At Work” and “Horse Crazy,” as well as Somatics Magazine, NorthBay Business Journal, Press Democrat, San Jose Mercury News, San Francisco Chronicle, Ride Magazine, Western Times, Strides and Raptor Release.
She is a pioneer in the field of ‘Horse as Healer/Teacher’ (which includes the common acronyms of EGE, EAL, EFL, etc) beginning in 1989 with Leadership & Horses™ and eventually coining Equine Guided Education in 1999. She has been training other professionals how to incorporate horses into their professional offers since 1998.
She began pioneering this work in the 70’s training horse and rider in a variety of disciplines (winning champion awards in dressage, jumping, eventing, gymkhana, reining, and working cowhorse) when she realized horses were listening to subtle forms of energy, intention and imagery. She expanded her studies of animal behavior at UC Davis where she graduated with a degree in Zoology in 1984.
Ariana spent several years working with birds of prey and other wildlife at the UC Davis Veterinary School and other rehab centers, going on to manage several animal and equine facilities. The birds and wildlife taught her many of the same lessons that the horses had and she began to feel a need to bring the magic of animal communication into the world of people. She began studying human dynamics–aikido, leadership and somatics-and became a Master Somatic Coach in 1996. The seemingly separate worlds of horsemanship and self-mastery began to blend together and ultimately shifted her orientation from traditional horsemanship (in which we control the horse’s behavior through a system of cues and orders), to seeing the horse as a sentient being who can actually guide us into a deeper connection with ourselves and our whole lives.
In her words, “I enjoy sharing my love of animals, land and nature with anyone who crosses my path. My mission is to re-connect people to the natural world for the sake of saving the Great Mother Earth and all of her creations. I believe that time is of the essence. We need to take the reins in our own hands, form herds of like-minded people, share our dreams and stand tall in the face of adversity. We need to awaken our spiritual longing and inter-connectedness to all life and encourage possibility and hope in a time of uncertainty.”