Wendy has been passionate about Horses all of her life – winning shows as a young girl, and taking the requisite number of falls! As an adult, she became a member of The Governor General’s Horse Guards where she honed her riding skills in military parades, musical rides, and lance work. Her passion then turned to Polo. Enjoying the thrills and teamwork with her horses, Wendy stopped playing due to a Polo injury and turned her focus to exploring deeper connections with horses.
Picking up a paint brush to paint these beautiful creatures opened the door for further studies in horse behavior and other animals from the wilds. This puts her in touch with the beautiful, ancient wisdom of nature and animals whose inspiration fuels her passion on canvas.
Wendy is a vibrant and successful entrepreneur who has worked in the corporate world for 20 years with Fortune 500 companies including Palm, Xerox, and Wal-Mart. She spent the majority of her time in the highly demanding corporate world learning about the power of intention. Working very hard to ‘be successful and exceed goals’, she found she was missing the call from her heart.
Wendy has explored her spiritual connections through the path of shamanism. She is a Pipe Carrier on the Sweet Medicine SunDance Path. She attained the position of Pipe Carrier on the Sweet Medicine SunDance Path and has trained as a shamanic coach. Combining this healing modality with the wisdom of the horse has opened a new world of powerful teachings for her.
Wendy is an Epona Instructor and has completed an extensive apprenticeship with Linda Kohanov and Kathleen Barry Ingram of the Epona Center in Arizona. (See www.taoofequus.com). She is also a member of EGEA (Equine Guided Education Association), NARHA (North American Riding for the Handicapped Association), and EFMHA (Equine Facilitated Mental Health Association).
Andre Leclipteux is a facilitator and director at Horse Spirit Connections. Andre manages the day-to-day farm activities being owner and caretaker of the land, the horses and the other animals on the property.
A graduate of the Epona Partners Program at the Epona Center in Arizona, Andre continues to work with horses on the ground helping others achieve self-empowerment and emotional growth.
His passion for the outdoors and love of nature has led him into exploring many geographical regions on land and water. “To open yourself to so many experiences and places is to seek the discovery of your true self.”
While exploring North and Central American native cultures, Andre found his spiritual path to be shamanism, which encourages the healing of self and others. He’s attained the position of Pipe Carrier and Fire Chief while on the Sweet Medicine SunDance path. He is a shamanic coach having graduated from the Institute of Shamanic Medicine, helping individuals discover their inner wisdom. He also leads men’s group in exploring and defining the ‘masculine’ in today’s world, incorporating native ceremonies with horse wisdom and interaction.
A graduate of Sheridan College, his first endeavors were in film, audio visual projects and photography. This led him into advertising, marketing and promotions. Andre has been involved with the communications field for over 25 years in various capacities, working in small and large agencies while servicing local, regional and national clients. His portfolio covers the gamut of Federal and Provincial Government to Canadian and International brands like Dr Pepper, Xerox, Microsoft and Lotus.
Andre has always had business and entrepreneurial flair – having started his first company while still in college. He left the agency business in 1986 to start his own consulting business - which gave him experience on the client side. Later in 1994, he started Wings & Ink, a successful marketing communications firm with Wendy. The company grew steadily into a multi million-dollar corporation with clients on both sides of the border, and received national and international recognition for its creative work.
Andre retired from corporate life in 2010 after the successful sale of Wings & ink to an international corporation looking to expand their stake in the Canadian marketplace. "There was a tremendous satisfaction in knowing what you dreamed and birthed had evolved and reached independence." He now devotes his time to the growth of Horse Spirit Connections.
Andre has a passion for horses, sound business acumen, and a desire to see people heal and lead heart-filled lives.
In fact, Victoria’s other passion is education. She enjoys helping people grow, whether in their careers or their personal lives – and welcomes innovative approaches to learning. Victoria is an accomplished educator, having honed her skill with extensive experience in Project Management and Employment Training, including international experience. She has designed, implemented, and facilitated various training programs: Technical English Language for Professional New Canadians, Women/Youth-at-Risk, Public Internet Access and Equine Assisted Team Building. She founded, 2 Lead Change, a business offering comprehensive services in training, program development, and facilitation to improve business or career results. Specializing in Career Coaching, English Language Learning, and Equine Assisted Learning (EAL), 2 Lead Change enhances leadership and communication skills.
A strategist as well as a teacher, Victoria has worked with the Agribusiness and Trade Unit of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Emerging Markets providing support in project/proposal administration, marketing, and recruiting for international development projects. In addition, Victoria is effective in client service relations, strategic planning, and staff/project management. She holds a Bachelor of Education specializing in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL), and is a certified Teacher of Ontario.
Victoria is very excited about incorporating horses into her field of education and training. She is a member of the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association, which has grown to over 2,000 associates across the U.S., Canada, and the world.
Karen C. Bouganim’s work centers on her heartfelt desire to positively influence a child’s mental health. She believes that anyone, child, adolescent or adult, can achieve their goals with a strong sense of self and positive self-esteem. Karen founded Tell Me Your Story to provide therapy tools and techniques that teach and empower children – and their families – to better understand and express their feelings. The outcome for all is greater self worth.
This unique approach offers the opportunity for families to heal and create a more harmonious and joyful life.
Karen has been in private practice since 1999 and has a home-based office in Mississauga. She is a consultant and therapist within schools in Toronto and Mississauga.
Karen incorporates and blends her knowledge and experiences as a Gestalt Psychotherapist (graduate of the Gestalt Institute of Toronto), Occupational Therapist (graduate of the faculty of medicine, Department of Occupational Therapy, University of Toronto) and is an apprentice on the Sweet Medicine SunDance Path.
She has a tremendous love and appreciation for nature and living things. Through the Epona program she recently experienced a ”phenomenal connection with horses” which is “truly memorable and unlike anything else.”
Janis is married to a man who shares her love of nature, has a very active daughter and an energetic, loving Wheaten Terrier. She has been studying a variety of disciplines and has been focusing on strengthening the mind–body connection through her studies of yoga, pilates and meditation techniques.
Professionally Janis is a marketing manager with one of Canada’s largest wineries, and during her off time she enjoys cooking, kayaking, reading and being one with nature.
Bruce D. van Ryn-Bocking MD, MBA
Van Ryn-Bocking is a pioneer in the field of Emotional Intelligence and has designed numerous workshops on this topic over the last 25 years. His background in Medicine and Psychotherapy gives him a deep grounding in how people think, work and relate both in creative processes and when under stress.
Over the past 25 years, he has founded a non-profit Community Health Centre in Guelph, Ontario, the Men’s Helpline in Guelph, two Medical Centres and a Wilderness Retreat Centre for personal and corporate development on the Magnetawan River. He has served on a number of Boards and committees including the United Way, the Business Advisory Committee of the Guelph Chamber of Commerce and the Board of the Ontario Recreational Canoeing Association.
More recently, van Ryn-Bocking has shifted his focus to serve the communication and relationship needs of corporate executives with his company PeopleSkills. Clients include RIM, a division of Toyota and numerous mid sized companies.
Van Ryn-Bocking graduated in Medicine at the University of Western Ontario in 1971. In 2003, he completed an MBA at Wilfrid Laurier University. In 2004, he was asked to teach the Business Leadership course at Wilfrid Laurier University School of Business and Economics for the school’s 4th year business students.Van Ryn-Bocking is married with 5 children and is an accomplished sailor, white-water canoeist, wilderness tripper as well as an avid Nordic and Alpine skier.