“The Lead-Up Program helps participants learn how to improve their self-awareness and regulate their body language and emotions through specialized interactions with horses and specifically through the embodied experience of Join-Up. Participants intrinsically learn that violence is not necessary and that they can be powerful yet peaceful leaders through self-awareness and better control of body language and emotions,” said Katie Cunningham, Founder, lifelong horsewoman and promoter of equine and human welfare.
The Lead-Up program is based around workshops with horses in which participants ages 15-22 are introduced to humane ways of handling and interacting with horses. Participants discover non-violence and non-aggression for themselves through interactions with horses and principally through the experience of Join-Up® with a horse, the non-violent training system designed by Monty Roberts author of The Man Who Listens to Horses. Convinced there must be a more humane and effective system to train horses Monty created Join-Up, a consistent set of principles based on the horse’s inherent body language and herd-behavior. The result of Join-Up is a willing partnership based on mutual respect and trust.
The Lead-Up team has been developing the program since 2012 and has partnered with global organizations and local NGOs in Guatemala who have expressed the growing need to reduce violence in the communities they serve. Their team is international and varied in their talents but have in common the desire to take these groundbreaking methods to the world. They recently announced that the journal ‘Human Animal Interaction Bulletin’ has published a report by Dr. Judith Gibbons and team with scientific evidence of reduced violence and abuse toward horses and people through the Lead-Up Program.
Monty Roberts Certified Instructors traveled from across the globe to be trained and receive a specialty certificate to hold Lead-Up clinics in their areas. From the United States, Courtney Dunn was certified. From England, Chris Morris and Caron Whaley received their certification. From Hungary, Csilla Csaszar was certified. From Austria, Martina Hoebling was certified. From Brazil, Miguel Lupiano was certified. From Ireland Caitriona O’Meara was certified. From Germany, Denise Heinlein was certified. And from Australia, Caroline Jennings was certified. Also attending was Jerry Sparby from Minnesota who can help support the California courses as a therapist. Debbie Roberts Loucks has been strategic for Join-Up International to help organize the smooth development of this program to take it global. (taken from http://www.join-up.org/lead-up/)