I first heard about Christy by email a few weeks ago, when she approached me about the Pink Owl Project. When I read about her, and what she does - I was not only wanting to interview her, I was super excited! My 8 year old daughter, has been for as long as I can remember - slightly obsessed with anything to do with horses! So yesterday we headed to Quispam, to meet up with Christy and her two horses - Casey and Autumn!
Name: Christy Clarke
Business: Gratitude Works Personal & Professional Development (with Horse Wisdom)
Location: Quispamsis, NB
How long in business: 3 years
What inspired you to start your own business?
I've always known for as long as I can remember that I wanted to work with horses and people in some kind of healing or therapeutic way, but it wasn't until I was in my undergrad that I discovered the kind of work my heart really wanted to do. I discovered it while reading about a woman who began a new kind of work with horses and people, and every cell in my body just screamed at me to 'Pay Attention!' This was it! I've pursued it ever since, gaining formal certification as a facilitator of Equine Facilitated Learning, and am currently a PhD candidate at UNB researching the entire history of how horses can be used in education and therapy programs. It is my absolute passion!
What type of services do you offer?
Gratitude Works' "Horse Wisdom" is about Personal and Professional Development. We partner people with horses for unique and powerful learning opportunities in our workshops and private sessions, for both individuals and groups. Gratitude Works also offers customized programs for businesses targeted towards corporate leadership development, trust, and teambuilding. We specialize in delivering learning experiences that cultivate skills in emotional agility, social intelligence, non-verbal communication, leadership, and relationship mastery. Horses have a sensitive intelligence that can teach us much about our own capacities for respect and clear communication. Gratitude Works provides the opportunity to individuals and groups to learn these necessary life-skills from the horses.
Christy in an outside area for workshops.
Our Facilitate Equine Experiential Learning (FEEL) workshops bring clients together with horses in fun, safe, and unique active learning experiences. Participants are able to engage fully with the mind and body, interact with the animals both one on one and in groups, and learn experientially through action and reflection. Activities in workshops are geared towards learning from your interactions with horses. Understanding the horses' response to you, as a person, can teach you about yourself, and show you how you can make positive changes in your life.
Whether in everyday life or business, it is important to know how to communicate, to take charge, to cooperate with others, and to be honest and strong in our emotions. Horses are magnificent, powerful, and non-judgemental teachers. Their feedback is immediate, instinctive, and given with precision. They share wisdom and teach us like no human teacher ever could.
What do you enjoy most about your business?
I honestly love everything about my business. Working with the horses and learning from their amazing messages is incredible. But getting to witness the truly profound and life-changing breakthroughs my clients experience in their interactions with the horses is my absolute favorite. It is humbling and inspiring to share those moments of courage, deep insight, and transformation!
What sets you apart from your competition?
We are a pretty unique company offering outside the box services as it is, but we are also a social enterprise committed to giving more than 50% of our profits to support horse rescue and scholarship programs to make Horse Wisdom more accessible to people from all economic backgrounds.
Our Mission is to give people the skills and training necessary to empower them to be the Leaders of their own lives, go confidently in the direction of their dreams, and genuinely live life as others can only imagine. And, our work partners with horses rescued from abuse and neglect, offering our clients the unique opportunity to directly help others when they invest in themselves.
What makes your business unique?
We play with horses! And, we do all the work from the ground (not riding) so absolutely no experience is necessary for our clients to have an amazing learning outcome. Horses are emotionally authentic by nature. They do not lie, pretend, or show false face. They respond instantly, instinctively, and individually to the people with whom they engage. Learning with horses is learning-by-doing, and through this experience we can come to trust our own intuition and abilities. Horses exist free from limiting assumptions about potential and possibly, and Gratitude Works programs are designed to show our clients how they can learn to live the same way.
And my absolute favorite image from the day ...........
Lisa Garnett is based in the greater Saint John Area, with a studio located in East Saint John.