Q&A with Sheryl Jordan // Equestrian Director // Salamander Resort & Spa // Middleburg, Va.
What is EquiSpective?
I created this trademarked program more than 20 years ago to give individuals from all walks of life, regardless of equestrian experience or interest level, an opportunity to interact with these powerful and wise animals. In the process, participants develop a higher sense of self awareness and walk away with effective tools to carry over into other areas of life, whether professional, personal or social. Because horses are highly sophisticated at reading intention, energy and action, they give the participant authentic feedback and insight.
Salamander Hotels and Resorts’ owner Sheila Johnson felt that my program would be a synergistic fit along with the wellness and personal growth opportunities offered at the property.
How does the program benefit groups?
Corporate groups have experienced cohesiveness, connection and insight into team dynamics. They also receive unique understanding into the influence of subtle communication and the positive power of respect-based leadership. All participants have been fascinated by the experience and amazed at what they learn about themselves individually and as a group. The exercise does not include riding, so even those who may have no interest in horses or comfort level in equine interaction can safely enjoy the program. Even individuals who do not “like” horses or even fear them, end up participating and leave feeling empowered.
What other equine programs do you offer groups?
Our walking trail rides offer a relaxing, comfortable and scenic exploration of Virginia Hunt Country for guests of all skill levels. Groups are limited to six riders per hour with two guides, creating warm and informative interaction. We encourage our guests to enjoy the experience as a partner with the horse as a sentient being, rather than just as a passenger on a furry recreational object. Individuals and groups can also enjoy enlightening riding lessons in English- or Western-style, and Essential Horsemanship, which teaches grooming, groundwork and safety around these large animals.