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Meet the People
shana nicholls whispers equine learning

Program Facilitator & Director

Shana, along with her family, is the owner and resident of Confident Kids Canada on the edge of Sylvan Lake, Alberta.  Her background in horses extends nearly 40 years to include competitive english riding, horse training, and equine reproduction.  Having earned a diploma, with honours, in Equine Reproduction & Breeding Management from Olds College in 2006, Shana is certified in all aspects of maintaining an equine herd.


In May of 2013, Shana earned certification in the Equine Assisted Learning Facilitator course at Equine Connection, in Strathmore, AB.  Intrigued by this form of learning, Shana sought to expand her history with horses into creating profound experiences to benefit the people who come into contact with these amazing animals. 


As the business planning evolved, Shana identified the powerful influence it has on Youth at every stage of their healthy development. With a personal passion for helping Youth stay off of the hard path in life, Shana knew she had found a way to make a positive impact! 

Career paths outside of horses have given Shana experience in managerial roles as a purchaser for Oilfield companies specializing in tank inspections, and two successful business start-ups in the trucking industry.  Volunteer years involved in Youth sports and with the St. John's Ambulance have allowed Shana to establish relationships with a diverse network of contacts.  With an honest and open nature, Shana will be happy to serve the needs of local economy with the help of her noble equine teachers.

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Heart & Hands



callie life skills teacher

Equine Assisted Learning Teacher

Callie makes an impact on everyone who meets her! Although she is huge and noble, she may overwhelm you with her presence until you realize she has the nature of a large dog who loves attention! Having planned and raised her from birth, we have bonded with Callie and imprinted her with a calm and  a confident attitude since day one. Bred to be a show jumping horse, Callie was instead introduced to EAL because of her outstanding personality. It paid off! She is showing wisdom beyond her years and has brought great value to the program by providing participants with safe, teachable moments. Don't be surprised if Callie tries to hold her own rope or to 'help' put on her halter with her dexterous lips! While Callie shows patience and interest in the EAL program, she will also wander off or take a break if no one is in charge. Perfect for teaching leadership, commanding participant involvement, and adding her unique personality to inspire creative problem solving, Callie will point out your strengths and limitations with her glorious and clever charm!

haley life skills teacher

Equine Assisted Learning Teacher

Haley is a star! Originally boarded at our farm, she was abandoned by her owner after getting injured in a wire fence as a two year old. We took on the task of doctoring her for nearly two years after the injury and during that time she proved herself worth keeping. Young, injured and untrained, Haley displayed unconditional trust towards us even when she was shaking with fear of what was happening to her. Never once did she refuse to cooperate! Haley gives you her whole attention and always tries to please, which prompted us to try EAL with her. She loves it! Super in tune with her handler(s), Haley teaches participants to take a calm approach with trust being her core value. If a group is experiencing conflict or communication breakdown, Haley's sensitive nature will quickly make them aware of the problem. She approaches everything with a willing attitude, and looks for direction and support from her handler(s) to see it through. She is an ideal teacher of self-awareness and communication, who inspires a willingness to try in everyone who meets her!

belle life skills teacher

Equine Assisted Learning Teacher

Belle is a sweet little girl with just the right blend of trust and sensitivity. Her ears twitch like a radar as she carefully assesses the personalities of her teammates. She seeks trust and confidence from her handlers and is calm and forgiving as participants learn these values. Even though she was rescued from a neglectful situation, it was apparent that she was destined to become a lesson horse for kids. However, it was discovered that she had a back injury that prevented her from being ridden. She now enjoys life as one of our awesome teachers at Confident Kids Canada!

Belle displays strong 'prey instinct.' She is always aware of her surroundings which causes her teammates to think in the 'big picture.' The cause and effect of your actions (or lack thereof) will be pointed out by Belle as teams work with her. Always engaged and with a gentle nature, Belle guides participants to higher self awareness by providing a powerful impact and obvious responses to behaviour.

cody life skills teacher

Equine Assisted Learning Teacher

Cody is a beautiful addition to the team! He is a willing partner unless he senses no leadership - then he stops participating (perfect for teaching EAL!) Cody was donated to Confident Kids Canada due to their limited ride ability. Although Cody is only 12 years old, he has developed arthritis in his fetlocks (ankles) which causes him to trip and stumble with too much exercise. He's found a whole new purpose at Confident Kids Canada though! He will never be ridden and he has the nature to teach so many people the value of learning effective communication skills! Known to flap his lips up and down for no reason, nibble on clothing and untie shoelaces, Cody always looks for leadership in his teammates. (Where are your boundaries? What is appropriate assertiveness? Do you have self confidence...?) Cody asks all of these questions! He's a big horse with a kind eye and a willing heart. Cody is sure to engage participants as they work towards their personal development.

Let's Give Youth Every Chance to Succeed!
Call 403-507-9619
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