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Business Development Services

Business Development Retreats

An Investment That Will Make A Difference

Self awareness is so important for job performance that 83 percent of people scoring high in self-awareness/emotional intelligence are top performers. When you are self-aware you are far more likely to pursue the right opportunities, put your strengths to work and – perhaps most importantly – keep your emotions from holding you back.  The need for self-awareness has never been greater.  Guided by the mistaken notion that psychology deals exclusively with pathology, we assume that the only time to learn about ourselves is in the face of crisis.  We tend to embrace those things with which we’re comfortable, and put the blinders on the moment something makes us uncomfortable.  But it’s really the whole picture that serves us.  The more we understand the beauty and the blemishes, the better we are able to achieve our full potential.  Getting to know yourself inside and out is a continuous journey of peeling back the layers of the onion and becoming more and more comfortable with what is in the middle—the true essence of you.

Our Business Development Retreats provide a dynamic process of building leadership and self-awareness skills through horse-human interactions.  The ability of managers and leaders to effectively embody these skills impacts an organizations’ bottom line, since successful team building, interpersonal communication, and conflict resolution efforts are crucial in today’s marketplace.  While interacting with horses, individuals become able to identify and shift their limiting behavior patterns that prohibit them from developing trusting relationships in business settings.

What do horses have to do with Self Awareness and Leadership?

Because of their social, hierarchal nature, they insist on knowing ‘who’ is leading each step of the way.  They do not care about our title of authority or our high IQ.  They are inspired to follow when we are clear about our goals, committed to results, and are willing to negotiate along the way.  When participating in Mane Gate’s Business Retreats, the horses become a metaphor for how you are currently leading in your life and work environment.  Horses are wise mentors in this unique type of work, as horses never lie or have hidden agendas.  Instead horses respond to what they see and feel in the moment.  As prey animals, their flight instincts become instant mirrors and non-judgmental feedback mechanisms for humans.  Horses sense and respond to a person’s intentions, emotions and 

thoughts that are conveyed subconsciously through body language.  Through the experience of observing a horse’s response to their requests and directions, each person learns how to communicate more effectively, face their fears and manage their emotions, and become more consistent and congruent with their actions, making them successful leaders.

Through observation of herd dynamics and one-on-one interaction with individual horses, attendees also learn new relationship building skills.  A tremendous confidence boost comes from learning how to connect with and direct a one-thousand-pound animal while standing on the ground.  Retreats with horses are highly interactive and provide an ‘in the moment’ learning experience, teaching skills which can be difficult to acquire in more traditional settings.





Through participation in our Business Development Retreats, individuals and groups will learn to:

  • Expand cohesiveness and productivity within teams and partnerships.

  • Experience breakthroughs that increase the depth of Emotional Intelligence.

  • Face fears and learn new behaviors to gain personal power and respect.

  • Move from conflict into resolutions and agreement more quickly.

  • Develop skills to work through uncomfortable, emotionally charged situations.

  • Build trust in relationships and teams.

  • Make choices and take action based on courage and awareness vs. automatic, ‘learned’ responses.

  • Lead others with earned authority, rather than a formal title or position.

  • Gain greater awareness of your communication strengths and gaps.

  • Discover how your nonverbal messages influence the way others perceive you as a leader.

  • Align your intent with body language that supports – rather than sabotages - your message.


What will we do and how does it work?

It’s not what you learn about a horse while attending our Retreats that makes them excellent coaches for your business,  it’s what they show you about your leadership teams that matter.  From the moment participants drive up and inhale the fresh country air to the moment they leave, the serene beauty of nature and its calming effects, automatically initiates rejuvenation and creativity in their mind and body.

Most of our clients have been there, done that, when it comes to leadership development and team building programs.  They’re looking for something different.  They’re ready for accelerated learning, trans-formative insights, and leadership skills that work in any business arena.  We facilitate breakthrough experiences that involve leaders and teams in a variety of fun and challenging encounters with horses that stretch your perspective of what it means to be a leader.  We design powerful, effective interactions between people and horses, supported by coaching, personal reflection and peer feedback.  Your team will walk away with leadership competencies that will stay with them long after their Retreat is over.

By incorporating horses into leadership development, we learn that leadership is not about "command and control," but rather about our relational abilities.  Horses teach leaders how to listen to what is not spoken, to trust their intuition, share their vision and to take embodied action for successful change.  It turns out that what is reflected in the arena as they work with the horses is an accurate reflection of the success and dilemmas of their leadership style.  Horses are our diagnostic wizards, reflecting where an individual or group is aligned and working effectively and where the gaps or lack of clarity and communication are impeding one’s success.  These unbiased reflections help one to develop the inner commitment and character required to be successful in this rapidly changing world.


Our full day Retreats begin at 9:00 a.m. and end at 3:00 p.m., and provides lunch, beverages, handbook, and a day filled with experiences that they will never forget.   See our "Retreat Cost" page for Ala Cart Options.  All work is done on the ground, (no riding) and no horse experience is necessary.  We have two locations in Roberts, Wisconsin (just 20 miles east of St. Paul, MN) that accommodate our learning experiences regardless of the weather!

We ensure that each participant understands the essence of their interactions with the horses, and how to immediately apply their learning into their business environment.  We are serious about our work and our horses are trained and valued teachers.  Participants will feel stretched into new perspective ways of interacting and leading while becoming self aware and empowered by their equine connections.


Ask about our 30 day FREE email correspondence with your team to support accountability on their new skills and company goals.




Contact us today with your questions, receive a quote, and to reserve your spot. Click on "Schedule A Time To Chat" below to find a convenient day and time that works for you!


Doug Hartman.jpg

" 1200 lbs of WOW!  When it comes to Leadership Development, Team Building, and Collaboration there are loads of classroom courses out there to choose from.  However, most of these classes rarely give us lasting "ah-ha" moments because they are duplicates of what other classes have tried to teach, and that type of learning isn't the kind that easily sticks with you, mostly because redundancy is difficult to stay ingrained in your memory.  This is where Mane Gate separates itself from others.  Shan and Bridget custom tailored the sessions for exactly what I was looking for: better teamwork and collaboration within my team, and a good/fun/unique morale boosting event away from the office.  They nailed it!  From the moment I arrived and was introduced to the rest of the Mane Gate team, which consisted of 2 huge and initially very excited horses, I was certain I was in for something memorable.

Engaging directly with these majestic animals and exercises that Mane Gate catered specifically for me, made this learning session one that I knew I'd never forget.  With hands on group activities that included these horses, and the exercises honing in on the areas that I was looking for improvement in, I knew I found a better way for a developmental course, to stick with myself and my team.

As a Business Executive, looking for a return on my investments, the time spent with Mane Gate and the exercises that we went through with the horses has repeatedly been discussed and refreshed within my group.  This type of learning sticks, and i'ts easy to apply once back in the office.  I highly recommend Mane Gate,

Doug Hartman

Harland Clarke

Jim Herbert.jpg

" I have worked with Mane Gate Coaching for the last few months.  Shan has been terrific! I also participated in a demonstration with the horses on Team Building.  Very enlightening!  Not being a "horse person" and having spent very little time around them, I was skeptical.  It was very interesting and took me, (and the people I was with) to some unfamiliar territory. I can see the tremendous benefit for people looking for help dealing with difficult situations. I would encourage anyone to participate!

Jim Herbert

Mortgages Unlimited

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