Change Agents -- Back in the Saddle at Renewal Ranch of Arizona

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Now that temperatures in Phoenix are moderating, they are getting back in the saddle at Renewal Ranch of Arizona with two new workshops: "Does Your Teamwork Get the Horse Laugh?" and "If You Lead Them They Will Follow, If You Don't, They Will Graze!" Leadership Coach Gayla Hodges will be continuing to use traditional coaching and training processes in non-traditional ways using Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) to help teams become naturally effective.

After a slow-down for the summer heat, Renewal Ranch of Arizona is galloping again with equine assisted training and workshops for individuals and teams.

"Does Your Teamwork Get the Horse to Laugh?" and "If You Lead Them They Will Follow, If You Don't They Will Graze!" are two of the workshops offered by Renewal Ranch of Arizona this fall. Gayla Hodges, owner of Renewal Ranch (a part of Change Agents, Inc. of Arizona), believes learning and self-discovery should be both helpful and fun.

"Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) has come into its own in recent years. It is a unique and effective way to help individuals and groups learn more about themselves, their leadership styles, and about how they function as part of a team. It is also a particularly helpful way to help teams come together and grow," says Hodges.

Renewal Ranch emerged from Hodge's love of horses and her tendency to use traditional coaching and training processes in non-traditional ways as a Leadership and Change Leadership Coach. Working with horses, which is done entirely from the ground in these workshops, is a very powerful way to assess one's leadership style and strength. Hodges says, "It becomes very clear to people who ask a horse if he is ready to do something and then drop the lead rope, that unless they actually lead him, the horse is not going to move."

Hodges incorporates her Natural Effectiveness Coaching™ philosophy into EAL workshops, finding it a very comfortable fit. "Horses are different (they really do have distinct personalities) and people are different. Identifying one's natural leadership style and strengths and using that style to get a horse to do what you want it to do can be very enlightening," she says. "It is very hard to ignore 1200 pounds of feedback!"

Whether sales teams are learning to harness competitiveness into something positive and mutually supportive or executives are trying to learn how to effectively lead a corporation through strategic organizational change, horses are apparently excellent teachers. As the temperature in Phoenix moves to the levels for which the Valley is most renowned, Renewal Ranch is revving up for a busy fall season.

"Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) uses horses as active participants to help facilitate the learning experience. Horses are social animals. By examining equine behavior, and how the horses may or may not react to us, we can better understand what may be more effective in our own human relationships," says Hodges.

The way a horse reacts to an individual's interaction provides a visual metaphor for how co-workers or peers may react internally to that person's actions in a work or personal environment. This gives insight as to why individuals are (or are not) getting the results they desire from their personal and professional relationships.

EAL uses a team approach, bringing together a horse specialist, a trained facilitator and the horses, to complete the learning environment. All activities are conducted from the ground, making EAL less strenuous than most ropes courses and more fun than classroom teambuilding. Working with the horses provides insights not often found in traditional teambuilding, executive coaching, leadership development and conflict resolution experiences.

Although the Fall schedule is filling quickly, there is still time to register a group or a leadership training and coaching session.

About Gayla Hodges and Renewal Ranch of Arizona
Gayla Hodges is the President and Principal Consultant of Change Agents, Inc., a company that specializes in energizing workforces to achieve strategic goals. She has extensive experience in instituting corporate transformational change. In addition, she coaches executives and managers in leadership skills and team building. For more information, visit or call 623-362-3876. Renewal Ranch , located in Phoenix, AZ offers a variety of workshops, individual EAL programs and conflict resolution training to a variety of groups, teams and leaders. For more information on the Ranch, visit or call 623-362-3876.

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