Equine Assisted Learning

Regular EAL Sessions will start April 17, 2023, weather permitting. Suggestions for a suitable weather-proof home for EAL are appreciated, donation of the use of a building would be super-appreciated!


Horses have an amazing ability to capture the eye and heart of many humans. Not only their beauty, grace and amazing speed attract, but also the natural connection on a deeper spiritual level brings horses and humans together.  When a horse and rider are attuned to each other we often hear “they move as one”.  This ability to communicate on a mystical or psychic level is what can be of great value to those who are in need of healing.  Special horses have long been regarded as “medicine horses” by the Native Americans.  The warriors and Shamans saw and experienced what horses could do to save and protect their human partners.  Today horses form the basis of healing therapies in many parts of Canada and around the world.  The horses ‘prey animal’ nature makes it wary of humans as predators; that they eventually trust us and even want to help us is an override of the genetic patterns that tell the horse to “RUN”, escape from the “meat eater”.  There are many documented cases where horses have reached out to the bereaved, the abused and the terrified. Horses have given these people peace and helped them ground themselves to allow the sadness, shame and fear to be released.  Horses can mirror what is going on in the human mind, whatever energy is moving there will also move the horse. That is how the horse can assist in healing and human wellness at Winning Ways.


Kelly has experience with at-risk-youth through a series of riding lessons taught to some young boys who were “difficult” at school and as well, she worked with Downs Syndrome children in riding lessons over several years. Her experience with the international volunteers, who have been at  Winning Ways over the past decade, has given her the opportunity to learn many techniques for helping humans in transition and guiding them to more insight about the way they think and behave. Watching animals (dogs, horses, cows and cats) reaction to each individual human gives a non-judgmental assessment of the person. Interaction with animals can teach many life skills and promote strong character building. Horses are highly sensitive and as such can intuit the human's emotions and underlying needs, it has been said that you can fool some of the people, some of the time but you can't fool a horse. This is especially true of the "brave" and "I know all about that" personae.  A horse will soon determine if you are knowledgeable and brave or just “bluffing”. 

Winning Ways Ranch has a number of experienced and reliable teachers in the horse herd.  They are schoolmasters that have been involved in human education for decades.  Tango and Dale are both Senior citizens (28 years old) who have taught many, many people, giving them confidence and encouragement.  Teddy Pony and Boss Mare Shadow have educated countless little people and even some adults to become self-assured and proud of their accomplishments. Watchful Ryder and observant Brandy are the herd vigilants and teach humans to care for those in their herd/group.  Dixon and Poppy are very friendly but insecure, they teach humans how to be trustworthy leaders.  Dharma, Missy and Mr Big may be small, but they are great confidence builders. Mook is at the other end of the scale and although he is huge, he is a kind, patient old gentleman. As facilitator, Kelly, will introduce Learners to a variety of horses in the herd and allow the horses and humans to form a connection.

Certification and Licensing by the national Equestrian Canada governing body involves verifying coaching expertise; background screening including criminal records check, vulnerable sector screening and annual disclosure; references; valid first aid/CPR certification, concussion, and other safety training as well as coaching insurance.  Equestrian Canada standards for earning and maintaining coaching designations help protect athletes, coaches, and the industry.

Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) Canada provides a leading-edge approach to equine-assisted learning programs.  EAL Canada has an established Code of Ethics and Professional Standards for the company and its graduates. Confidential information will be treated with honesty and respect and will not be shared with others unless required by law, or for the physical safety of the client or other persons. The integrity of their EAL programs and the conduct of their graduates are of utmost importance. 


EAL Canada understands the depth of emotion Learners may feel and is empathetic to each situation. Practitioners are also respectful of the horse who they consider their partner when working with Learners. They know the impact EAL situations can have on the horse. All Learners and horses will be treated with respect and compassion, considering their physical and psychological well-being.  EAL Canada Coaches have seen lives changed, hopes renewed and spirits lifted through the power and insights of a horse.  People deserve the opportunity to move forward to greater, better lives and horses can help them do that.

Feedback from Learners


“It helped to know that I could trust Kelly to choose the right horse for me and that she wanted me to succeed in my battle against fear, discouragement and despair as much as I wanted to be free of these.  I feel now that there is hope for me in finding meaning in the other things I do in my life.”


“I learned that my horse can reflect my mental and emotional state.  When I become preoccupied or take my mind off what we are doing, his behaviour reflects that uncertainty; when I am clear on my intentions so is my horse.”

Excerpts from a Thank You letter from a 13 yr old after the loss of her horse ......

"When we first started, I was feeling sad, angry and a lot of different emotions at once. When you told us to close our eyes and take a deep breath, I started to realize that all I felt was completely normal.  As everyone started to pick their horses, I knew that I wanted to be with Tango, because he is my favorite horse that you own. ......

When we made it to the end, I was talking to Tango about what I was going to say, and he just listened. ... when I was done talking about ***** I was feeling a lot better, and I was a lot calmer than I was before.  When we were letting the horses go away, I told Tango thank you for helping me. ... When we all came back to the stickman, I felt like a whole new person than what I felt like when we first got (to the Ranch).  When we left, I felt good, and I felt like I can be happy and talk about ***** better and without crying.  Thank you Kelly!" 

Kelly’s Equine Assisted Learning has benefited Ayla in so many important ways.  The number 1 thing is horse riding is her special activity.  Ayla doesn’t do anything extracurricular besides riding. (We are going to try private swimming lessons in the fall)  Ayla does not have friends that she goes and plays with.  She doesn’t get invited to birthday parties.  As a parent, it is extremely hard.  I have tears in my eyes as I write this.  Ayla can’t communicate to us whether it affects her but I think it does.  But riding is her thing and we see the joy it brings her. 

            Riding has given Ayla

·                    Sense of responsibility

·         Connections with new people

·         Sense of independence

·         Confidence and pride

·         Joy

·         Sense of accomplishment

·         Ability to learn new things

·         Help regulating emotions

·         Patience

·         Connection with animals

            The benefits Ayla has received will continue to grow as she keeps riding.  Ayla has only been riding for a few months but the rewards are infinite.  Like I said, the very first day of riding, Ayla was already a success story with Kelly’s Equine Assisted Learning.