Leadership Workshop

Humans, Horses and Humor – Creative Ways to Foster Meaningful Relationships

A professional Development Workshop Hosted by Main Stay Therapeutic Farm

Establish meaningful connections and build your communication skills with your staff, customers and everyone with whom you interact.


A group of workshop participants stand on either sides of adaptive riding horse Howie as a Main Stay staff member speaks to the group.

Date + Time:

Friday, February 9, 2024
8:30am – 3:30pm


6919 Keystone Rd
Richmond, IL 60071


Coffee, light snacks, lunch included

Registration Closes on January 29, 2024. Registration Required.

Space is limited for this session. Please register by Monday, January 29, 2024 to be sure you have a spot! Sessions will be held in Main Stay’s temperature-controlled meeting rooms and heated indoor arena.


Workshop Overview

Meaningful relationships are the foundation for success both professionally and personally! This full-day workshop will highlight how to build strong, meaningful relationships which are integral to personal and professional success. Unique (and fun!) activities will focus on key topics such as increasing your “situational awareness”, active listening, building trust and improving your ability to remain present with others.

Tired of traditional workshops? Step outside your everyday work environment and come to the farm for a unique opportunity to be hands on with the Main Stay therapy horses along with fun, interactive skill building activities.

  • Horses are masters of non-verbal communication, live in the present moment and give authentic and immediate relationship feedback. They can help you learn more about how you actually “show up” allowing you to connect and build relationships more effectively.  No prior horse experience is needed and all activities are non-riding.
  • Utilizing humor and Improv techniques, tap into your creative side and enhance your communication skills including understanding others’ perspectives, being present in the moment and handling challenging conversations. Performing in front of the group is not required. You don’t have to be funny, just willing to have some fun! Victor Borge said it best, “Laughter is the shortest distance between 2 people.”
  • Networking time during lunch and optional farm tours of Main Stay at the conclusion of the day will round out the event. The day’s unique and playful experiences will inspire more meaningful connections in all aspects of your life.

Contact Jean Maraist at [email protected] or call 815-653-9374

Meet the Facilitators

Julie Ostrow
The Second City-trained Julie Ostrow teaches and shows individuals and organizations how to use improv skills and humor to improve creativity, communication, and collaboration. As a Humorous Speaker and Communication Coach, she utilizes Improv skills to lay the foundation for effective communication and the ability to be truly present with whom we interact.

Cindy Schwarz
Cindy is an equine assisted coach, master facilitator, experienced corporate executive and equine enthusiast. Her coaching company, Ears Up Leadership, marries her love of learning, leadership and coaching with her passion for horses and the power of equine facilitated learning. Cindy is a professional certified coach and certified facilitator for Dare To Lead™ by Dr. Brene´Brown.

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How You Can Help

Main Stay is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization and receives no state or federal funding. Through the generosity of individuals, private foundations, corporations and service organizations, Main Stay is able to touch hundreds of lives each year.
Accomplishments & Accreditation
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