THeather Cotterman, 2015 PATH International’s Region 10 Certified Equine Professional of the Year, was the Founder and Program Director of Equi-Valent Riding Center, an Equine Facilitated Therapy and Learning Center, in Delaware, OH from 2009-2013.  She developed the Barn Buddies: Horses Teaching Social Skills program offered to all children on the Autistic Spectrum and Developmental Disabilities., and the Horse Whispering: Leadership Development Skills Program for school students,  youth  groups, women’s groups and corporate teambuilding workshops.  Heather helps clients engage in Round Pen, Ground Work, and Mounted activities designed to enhance social, leadership, and personal growth skills. Prior to starting the nonprofit program  in 2009, she was a somatic riding instructor for 12 years, teaching riders how their physical and mental state affects their horses. Her 24 years of teaching experience in the field of dance has enhanced her ability to help students be enlightened equestrians. Heather has a BSE in Education and a BA in Choreography from Otterbein College. She completed her 15th year as Adjunct Faculty at Otterbein University prior to moving to Colorado. Heather is a Certified Centered Riding Instructor, a Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship Equine Specialist for Mental Health and Learning and a PATH Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor. She has attended clinics by  Monty Roberts, GaWaNi Pony Boy, Chris Cox, Pat Parelli, Steve Lantivit, Equine Affair, and others. Heather has  served as an Equine Behavior Consultant for EquuSpeak at the NARHA Conference in 2010. She is currently on staff at Pikes Peak Therapeutic Riding Center in Colorado Springs, working with Wounded Warrior soldiers, at risk youth, clients with adaptive riding needs as well as working with Equus Equation on EFL workshops.

Heather Cotterman  ESMHL, TRI

Sean Cramer

Leadership Education Adviser

Like you, practical leadership expert Sean Cramer, has seen the term ‘leadership’ used and abused in an endless manner. It seems a new leadership truth is born everyday. The only problem is that an old one doesn’t die everyday. How do we sort through them all? Are there really new leadership concepts, or are we really trying to figure out how to apply leadership effectively?

Sean uses his 23 years of experience as a Sergeant Major in the United States Army Special Forces, and his current role as a corporate Project Manager (PMP), to develop and conduct practical leadership training that can be applied by real people, in the real world.

As a Green Beret, and project manager, Sean faced countless situations that required the agile application of leadership skills, including:

  • changes to mission
  • ambiguous directives
  • inadequate resources (personnel, budget, equipment and time)
  • personnel challenges
  • cultural differences and cross-cultural communication
  • severe time constraints
  • unrealistic expectations
  • leading a team to war

Do any of those situations sound familiar? You’ve experienced many of them yourself (maybe not the war part). You may even be the leader that was responsible for creating these challenges! Regardless, you can navigate all of these minefields with efficiency by applying Sean’s rules of business warfare.

Your business faces many challenges; leadership shouldn’t be one of them. Your ability to cultivate strong leadership skills in yourself and others goes a long way toward ensuring mission success.

Sean’s credentials and training include:

  • Award of the Legion of Merit for exceptionally meritorious military service
  • Master of Science in Security Management
  • Graduate of US Army Sergeants Major Academy
  • Project Management Professional (PMP) certification by the Project Management Institute
  • Special Forces qualification as an Engineer Sergeant; Communications Sergeant and Senior Sergeant
  • Graduate of Crucial Conversations; Crucial Accountability; Influencer; and Change Anything training conducted by VitalSmarts
  • Graduate of Senior Non-Commissioned Officer leadership course

"My love for horses, and my experience of seeing their transformative power, motivates me to bring that power of transformation to other people seeking a more profound way of connecting and communicating."

Elaine Marion

Founder and Primary Facilitator

Elaine is a lifelong horsewoman and South Dakota native.  She moved to Colorado in 1997 after obtaining her BS from University of Minnesota.  Elaine has had her own successful riding instruction and horse training business for over 20 years.  As a competitor she has had numerous champions in multiple equestrian disciplines.  Elaine has a rare background working with young horses as well as “problem” horses, a skill sometimes known as “horse whispering.”   The challenges and rewards of this work give Elaine tremendous insight into equine behavior and an excellent ability to “read the horse.”  She translates these skills to working with individuals to benefit them in their own leadership and communication roles.

Elaine is a United States Dressage Federation (USDF) Silver Medal rider as well as a certified instructor with the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International.  She is also a PATH certified Equine Specialist in Mental Heath and Learning.  In addition to her own business, Elaine is also on staff at Promise Ranch Therapeutic Riding where she works with clients in adaptive riding needs as well as teaching a veterans horsemanship program.

Elaine is married to John Marion DVM and helps him with his successful equine veterinary practice.  They have two children and run their own small horse farm.