Located in Warriors Mark owned by Jimmy and Monica (Hershey) Brokenshire, Spring Ridge Farms is currently home to four Clydesdale draft horses. Along with providing what one would expect from a farm like this – wagon, sled and carriage rides, plus lessons – Spring Ridge Farms goes beyond that with a leadership training program aptly named: A Step Beyond Leadership, LLC.
Jimmy Brokenshire explained that the company is “integrating the use of horses for team building and leadership training. We can label and identify different horse behaviors and work with people when we are leading a 2,000 pound horse.”
Brokenshire said that horses feel and reflect what people feel. “If you are nervous/worried, the horse will do the same. They can actually read people as they are predatory animals. It allows us to practice our communication by expressing our true intentions – to communicate in black and white. This is a practice that we can apply every day when communicating with other people.”
Brokenshire bases his training on his experience in the military and the National Guard, as well as training for executives of large corporations, where he worked in the energy field both in the US and in other countries.
Leadership classes are available for groups or individuals either at Spring Ridge Farms (up to 40 people) or horses can be transported. Additional practical team building sessions are available for groups of up to 10 people. “We take places for horses for four-hour on-site team building,” Brokenshire said.
Involving horses in leadership and team building is also therapeutic for many people, according to Brokenshire. “We will look at the various characteristics of a good leader – having the discipline to essentially control your emotional reactions … how to deal with it when people depend on you … We can apply accordingly, how to respond to in any situation … Horses and leadership, and also, team building helps to level the playing field for everyone who wants to come, from the senior level to those who are just starting their careers.”
According to Brokenshire, training with horses has a longer lasting effect. “Working with Clydesdale is not something you do a lot in your day to day life.”
Step Beyond Leadership was created to help people become better than they already are, opening doors to the improvements that can be made by exploring the full potential of all people.
Brokenshire said training with horses can improve people’s lives by helping them be more alert, observant and pay more attention to what’s going on around them. “Sometimes in this fast-paced world with social media and our phones and things distracting you, it brings you back to the old ways of paying attention to people and having a conversation.”
Brokenshire said his business is connected to his faith and serves as a reminder of “how we all need to look at life and really be grateful for everything we’ve been given and use it for good.” He said he was grateful for the fact that he has horses, the opportunity to share them with others and, perhaps, inspire other people to do something unusual.
Spring Ridge Farms and A Step Beyond Leadership, LLC are located along Halfmoon Valley Road in Warriors Mark. For more information or schedules, contact Jimmy Brokenshire at (814) 777-4767, or email [email protected]