Dave Mowat, CEO ATBFinancial

At ATB Financial we recognize to have lasting relationships with customers we need to have strong relationships with each other. That means stepping outside our comfort zone and having those difficult conversations. Nancy Lowery and her team at The Natural Leader were integral to our ATBMasterful Leadership Conversation Program from the start. Stepping into the arena truly put many of us outside our comfort zone. Through the interactions with a horse, Nancy and her team coached every participant to an outcome so they truly experienced the impact their leadership presence has on every conversation. The horse day complemented the online and classroom content perfectly and brought to life the emotions and the interactions that can’t be created in a classroom setting.

Janice Webster

SVP / HR Solium

As someone who has been teaching leadership courses for years I am still fascinated how the most simple situation can turn into our most impactful learnings... I was trying to get my horse to complete a task without thinking about the outcome was and whether the goal I had set for myself was feasible, valuable or worthwhile. This became my huge ah ha moment back in the office.

Lesley Conway

President / Hopewell Residential Communities

The feedback on the individual and team day has been exceptional. Many think it is the best team building/learning event we have ever had! Very powerful! Thank you so much for an incredible experience! I will be in touch.

Allen Metke

Leadership Learning & Development / ATB Financial

In the aspect of conversations and leadership, through The Natural Leader, Nancy Lowery displays incredible clarity on how we as leaders show up within a relationship. Her ability to make this connection through horsemanship is clear, profound and immediate.


The Natural Leader programs have helped individuals and teams explore leadershipteam dynamics, feedback and communication through purposeful activities with horses since 2004.

Along the way we have developed some pretty solid relationships, ask any one of the almost 800 employees from ATBFinancial what a day with a horse means to their Leadership Presence.

“Just wanted to give you  a great big THANK YOU for having us for our week 6 Capstone for Masterful Leadership.  It was such a great day, and wow did I learn a lot (that Sydney!).” Tracy Williamson    Customer Service Manager | Shawnessy Branch

Our stable of references includes organizations such as ATBFinancialContinuing Education at The University of CalgarySanjel Inc.Fortis AlbertaShell Canada Scotford Manufacturing Centre, Connacher Oil & Gas, Nexen Inc, The Calgary Herald, Hopewell Residential Communities, Homefront Calgary, The Province of Alberta, The Calgary Stampede, Telus and Altalink to list but a few.


Lisa Van Hemert – Connacher Oil & Gas

Nancy did a wonderful communications and leadership session with my team. Not only was it interactive and engaging, but we learned so much while having a great time! In the end we walked away a stronger team with a new appreciation for our communication styles. I would recommend Nancy’s sessions to anyone looking for a team building activity that gets your group out doing something a little different and teaches them something about themselves.


Bruce Perrault – University of Calgary

Achieving effective leadership with a horse lays bare the essence of leadership. That profound moment has stuck with me for more than two years and effects how I interact with people on a daily basis.


Marc Hummel – The City of Calgary

“..the horses acted as a mirror reflecting ones leadership style back without the clouding of agenda, politics or preconception. Their action/reaction relationship to each of us was indeed pure and honest providing a unique opportunity for insight.

My greatest learning was the notion that confidence is contagious. As I became more confident so did the horses’ willingness (or confidence) to be led by me. Simple yet so very powerful because of how true this is in a team dynamic. It’s also important to appreciate that the “confidence” must possess a respectful and understanding quality that is built upon a mutual trust.

Thanks again for the great day of both fun and insight.”


Homefront Calgary

Well first – I want that little dancing light ball that Steve used to start our day! Then I want to thank Nancy, Steve and the entire team (including the horses!) for the gracious and gentle way they interacted with us throughout the day – I had the experience of being taken care of and yet free to explore the feelings, thoughts and activities of the day inside the context of leadership.


Lesley Conway – Hopewell Residential Communities

The feedback on the individual and team day has been exceptional. Many think it is the best team building/learning event we have ever had! Very powerful! Thank you so much for an incredible experience! I will be in touch.


Brian Pleet – Strategico

For conventional results try conventional programs. Like the people you lead, horses need and want leadership. Nancy’s hands-on learning using horses pushes you out of your comfort zone about how to lead, then brings you back for the “aha” moment as you realize it can work with 2-legged animinals just as well.


Marvin Luethe – Government of Alberta

The experience was totally tangibile – outside the normal classroom setting. smells, touch everything associated with the day. You emotionally connect with the learning as everything you do learn appears in a different manner. Working a horse gives you a reference point for how you impact other people. It was like a halo that you see in action – what you do everyday and what kind of influence do you have on others. Very positive experience.


Jeff Nelson – Anduro Marketing

I had a great session on leadership, communication and motivation with Nancy and Dixon (the horse). Very instructive. Getting a horse to go trot in a circle is not as easy as it looks. The analogies to motivating and leading employees is obvious.


Norie Dickson – Bruce Power, Ont.

I found this session life changing. I would say all of what we learned i.e. care about your employee; build rapport and trust; give them some rope so they can develop; have a goal in mind and be aware that you may go in different directions to begin, but finish the journey. You need to respect and be respected and it goes on and on. Thank you again for an awe-inspiring afternoon.


Barbara Ross – Delta West Developments Ltd.

I found that working with the horses was a great way to experience my strengths in working with people and some of my weaknesses. A horse has no personal agenda so they helped me honestly see what changes I needed to make to be a better leader. I really appreciated the opportunity to learn more about myself as well as learn from the challenges other people faced as we safely worked through the actives with the horses.


Reflecting on the U of C program Leadership: From Horse Sense to People Smarts – participants have provided the following comments:
“The course took two things that I’m passionate about, horses and communication and put them in a setting that was easy for me to earn. I was amazed at the immediate response that the horse gave to what I was trying to communicate. The experiential learning is great because I will always have a visual of what happened”.

Working directly with the horses was most interesting and enjoyable. It was a very interesting way to learn about my own leadership style and how it may be interpreted by others. Very helpful!