About

About us

Equine Inspired Leadership

To gain our confidence, leaders must demonstrate that they are paying attention to what is going on in their communities/organizations, are able to give clear direction with focused, inspiring energy, and are so authentic that their intentions can be fully trusted. Confidence in leadership makes a community or an organization agile when the time for change can no longer be avoided (Gunter, 2007).

Our Mission

To create opportunities for people to experience and learn what horses know about navigating through uncertainty.

Our Vision

To prepare generations of leaders capable of guiding healthy and sustainable organizations.

Our Clients

TeachingHorse has worked with thousands of leaders to develop the skills required to become confident in uncertainty and share leadership in complex systems. 

TeachingHorse clients include:

In partnership with the Center for Creative Leadership our clients include:

  • Ardent Mills
  • Carlisle IT
  • Catholic Healthcare Initiatives
  • Deloitte
  • Duracell
  • GOJO
  • Indiana University Health
  • Johnson Matthey
  • Kone Americas
  • Merck
  • Novartis
  • Philips HealthTech
  • The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • The William Keith Kellogg Foundation
  • The Women’s Leadership Experience

Our Model

The Diamond Model of Shared Leadership (below) was developed at TeachingHorse, LLC as a simple framework to guide decision-making in the midst of complexity and uncertainty. Each of the learning experiences with horses is designed to develop individual and team capability to share leadership using enhanced skill in paying attention, setting direction, focusing energy, and being congruent.

Attention

What needs your attention as a leader? Notice what is happening with yourself, others, and the environment.

Direction

Setting clear direction as a leader by choosing a point of focus, a vision, and guidance on critical next steps.

Energy

Setting a pace that matches reality, without over or under-reacting to changes in the environment.

Congruence

Aligning your inner and outer expression with the best interests of your team in mind.

The Diamond Model of Shared Leadership™

Preparing Generations of Leaders

In a herd of horses, leadership is shared. The lead mare sets the direction and pace of the herd. The lead stallion keeps the herd together and protects it from predators. Each member of the herd has a role in protecting the health of the herd. All of the horses in the herd contribute to the socialization of new or young members, teaching them what behaviors are acceptable and correcting those who behave in ways that could compromise the health of the herd. The ever-present goal of herd leadership is health, harmony, and unity.

Leaders are chosen based on their ability to demonstrate four capabilities.

  1. Leaders must demonstrate that they are paying attention and can detect even the most subtle shifts in the environment.
  2. Leaders are able to give clear direction on how to respond to the shifts.
  3. Leaders are able to follow that direction with focused energy, providing the herd with guidance on the pace with which to respond.
  4. Leaders display congruence of their inner and outer expressions. Ultimately, the herd members must know that the leaders have their best interest as their source of motivation at all times.

Our Team

TeachingHorse has developed a team of leadership development professionals and advanced equine practitioners to deliver exceptional experiences for our clients.

June Gunter

Founder & CEO

June Gunter, Ed.D., is the Co-Founder and CEO of TeachingHorse, LLC. Established in 2004, TeachingHorse offers a unique approach to leadership development that is inspired by how horses lead their herds. Our mission is to bring horses and people together to discover more effective ways of leading that create healthy communities. TeachingHorse has worked with over 5,000 leaders from around the world to develop skills required for moving confidently through uncertainty. June has worked in the field of leadership and organization development for over 35 years and holds a Doctor of Education degree in the field of Adult Learning from North Carolina State University. She is also the Co-Founder of Go-od Consulting, LLC.

Martha Figueroa

Director of Operations

Martha is a lifelong horsewoman with deep roots in Virginia.  Whether she is streamlining processes or deep in the day-to-day of making sure Teaching Horse is VUCA-ready, Martha takes great joy in being part of TH’s growing herd. Martha has a background in project management, employee satisfaction programs, and corporate event planning. On the weekends, you can find Martha on the dance floor, or in the barn with her mare and her family.

Abriana Johnson

Chief Growth Officer

Abriana is a multi-passionate creative who helps horse industry professionals build brand and web ecosystems around their business. With her veterinary background and a Master’s in One Health, Abriana enjoys studying the connection between humans, animals, and the environment. She shares her passion through Cowgirl Camryn, a children’s book series, and by hosting two podcasts for the horse industry.

Schelli Whitehouse

Chief Learning Officer

Hi, I’m Schelli Whitehouse, author of “The Business of Coaching with Horses”. Since 2008 as an equine-assisted coach and writer, I’ve made it my mission to advance the modality of expanding human potential through the wisdom of horses so that it one day becomes as popular as Yoga and Starbucks! 
 

Ginny Telego

Global Hub Leader

Ginny Telego is a lifelong horse person with a passion for using neuroscience to help people break through limiting beliefs to find new solutions to challenges.  She has a Masters Degree in Business Psychology and is dedicated to facilitating conversations between people with different perspectives as well as applying lessons from nature on how to collaboratively navigate change.

Toula Ousouljoglou

Strategic Advisor

Toula Ousouljoglou (MA, Organizational Psychology, Teachers College, Columbia University), has more than 20 years experience as a consultant in healthcare and financial services. Her areas of consultation include business process improvement, implementation planning, developing strategies to secure sponsorship for change, and strategic planning and deployment. 

A message from our founder

I had been working in the field of leadership development for 15 years when it hit me that most of what we understood about how to lead was no longer true or useful. The world had changed and our beliefs about leadership had not. I was watching people with the character to lead say no to the job and I began to understand why.

Our leadership beliefs are littered with clichés like, “It’s lonely at the top.” “There is no rest for the weary.” “Never let them see you sweat.” “All the responsibility falls on your shoulders.” Truthfully, who would want that job? Grappling with these truths, including my own deeply personal experience with them, set me on a path to find new ways of thinking about leadership. Ones that create healthy, sustainable communities.

My first step was to return to my roots. I had grown up with horses and remembered how much of my character was shaped by life with animals and in nature. And I found the perfect guide for my new path. Her name is Yani and this horse has given me the education of a lifetime. One of the greatest gifts I have received is the opportunity to combine my love of horses with my talent for developing leaders and teams. I look forward to sharing them with you. 

Our History

TeachingHorse was co-founded by June Gunter, Ed.D. and Beth Hyjek, MFA in 2004 in Rogue River,
Oregon at Grace Mountain Ranch where they lived with the founding members of the herd of 8 horses
(Yani, Rocky, Harley, Grace, Dream, Hope, Lucky Peanut, and Galen). In 2007, they returned to North
Carolina to be closer to their families and established Southern Grace Farm in Selma, North Carolina. In
2021, TeachingHorse was invited to make its new home at Double Run Farm in Leland, North Carolina.
In 2021, Co-Founder, Beth Hyjek decided to purse her passion of being a leadership development
facilitator and performance coach, specializing in working with adults, leaders, and executives with
ADHD. From 2004-2021, Beth served as the TeachingHorse photographer, Creative Director, Senior
Facilitator, and Chief Operations Officer. We wish her well in her new endeavors.

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