Circle Up Horsemanship


Our 3-month course launches soon! Join our waitlist to be notified when this course launches.

This 3-month course offered by Beth Anstandig and horse trainer, Tami Thompson, blends together the Natural Leadership model and concrete learning about horsemanship.

Circle Up Horsemanship balances two equally important needs:
  • You need horsemanship practices and skills that can be applied in any discipline, sport, or activity.
  • You need a trusting and harmonious relationship with horses to support whatever you decide to do together.

Our approach is deeply personal and refreshingly practical. This style is cross-discipline horsemanship with a focus on building stable and safe partnerships between horses and humans.

$2,200 per 3-month course.

Our approach is deeply personal and refreshingly practical. This style is cross-discipline horsemanship with a focus on building stable and safe partnerships between horses and humans. Building the relationship between you and a horse is a form of training like any other skill building you learn. But we often skip right over skills building and get into action. With horses this can lead to stuck spots in training, frustrations and confusion in the relationship, and a crisis of confidence in ourselves. 

We know our participants have a variety of goals, experience levels, and desires so we’ve designed an approach that meets the needs of most humans and horses. Our approach provides simple and concrete practices you can weave into all that you do with your horses so you are attending to the relationship, whether you are coaching people with horses as partners, moving cows in the hills, or competing in the show ring. 

Our safe and supportive learning style will transform any of your self doubt or fear into a clarity of purpose and a peaceful connection between horses and humans. 


We know our participants have a variety of goals, experience levels, and desires so we’ve designed an approach that meets the needs of most humans and horses.

  • Those new to horses, this is a great place to begin if you have always wanted to be around horses and have not known where to start!

  • Natural Leadership students who want to learn how to facilitate horse-assisted learning, leadership, and coaching for individuals and groups.

  • Competitive riders who want to deepen their connection with their horses, improve performance, or resolve problem areas.

  • Riders of all levels who struggle with low confidence, self doubt, or fear.

  • Equestrians who have had negative experiences with their horses or their training program and want to re-establish goals or approach.

  • Horse trainers who want to fine tune their horsemanship and learn how to better coach their students.


Beth and Tami will teach a live horsemanship workshop twice per month. These workshops will be accessible via live feed and you can participate virtually by watching the class, experimenting with skills in your own location, and being part of the live class discussion. You are welcome to attend any or all of those classes in person if you live locally or wish to travel. The class will be held at Beth’s Take a Chance Ranch in Morgan Hill, CA. To complete certification, students will submit videos of their horsemanship practice and also attend an all-day in-person workshop to demonstrate their horsemanship skills. If you are not able to travel, you can schedule a virtual assessment. Please note, you will need to have regular access to at least one horse in order to participate in this course.


  • When people are committed to stable emotional presence and clear communication, a powerful and trusting partnership experience with horses becomes possible.

  • To truly integrate hands-on skills and develop our relationships, we need structure, concrete tools, consistent practice, and honest feedback.

  • Like horses, people need a trusted herd. We learn and function best in a safe community.

  • When we get stuck in our equestrian lives, we use awareness in our own leadership and in the relationship with our horses to find solutions.

  • We take ourselves everywhere we go. What we learn with horses is applicable in every aspect of our lives.


  • Equine psychology
  • Herd dynamics
  • Horse safety
  • Soft Feel and Contact with Hands, Mind, and Partnership
  • Suppleness in Our Human Body and Our Leadership
  • Using Energy to Influence
  • Safe and relationship-based horse handling
  • Groundwork skills including: 
    • How to create and maintain soft feel
    • How to create movement and direction
    • Disengagement of hindquarters
    • Relationship based lead rope work
    • Round pen at liberty
    • Application of ground work to riding
  • Equine health
  • Equipment, tack, and supplies
  • Ethics of human and horse relationships

Facilitated by

Beth Anstandig

Circle Up Head Cowgirl, Owner

Beth Anstandig is changing the way organizations, leaders, and individuals use their power. As a life-long cowgirl, writer, professor, and licensed psychotherapist, Beth has 25 years of experience developing, implementing, and training people in Natural Leadership—a model she pioneered. Natural leadership helps people awaken their innate awareness so they can live and work with more authentic relationships and connection. Beth owns Take a Chance Ranch in Morgan Hill, CA providing leadership, culture, and well-being programs through The Circle Up Experience. Together with an ever-growing menagerie of animals, Beth works with human herds onsite and online. She’s trained thousands of leaders and teams from some of the most renowned corporations, universities, and nonprofits. Beth’s fresh perspective and work integrating basic animal practices into everyday human life have been featured in global media including BBC World Service, PBS, and Forbes. She is a frequent podcast guest, contributing writer for MomsRising, and an advisor and content creator for Kahilla: A Basecamp for Women on the Rise. Beth has an MA degree in Clinical Psychology from Santa Clara University and an MFA degree in Creative Writing from Arizona State University. Beth is the author of A Garden of Forking Paths (Pearson Longman, 2006) and upcoming The Human Herd: Awakening Our Natural Leadership (Morgan James Publishing, 2021). She lives on her ranch with her daughter and an expanding community of animal herds.

Tami Thompson

Owner/Trainer at Firefly Farms

Tami started riding at the age of 4 and joined Pony Club at age 7. Tami's passion for horses lead her to ride and compete in many different disciplines while growing up. If it had to do with horses, Tami wanted to learn all she could. She spent many hours as a working student riding as many horses as possible and doing daily chores on numerous ranches and farms. Tami has been successfully training, breeding, and competing horses for over 20 years. Tami currently rides with Heidi Gaian on a regular basis and has had the opportunity to ride and learn from trainers such as, Gry McFarlane, Andrea Aston, Kelly Maddox, Buck Brannaman, Ricky Quinn, and more. She believes in putting the horse's health and well-being first and strives to find and develop what the horse excels at and is most happy doing. Tami is passionate about developing and encouraging the partnership and connection between horse and rider and strives to help them grow together with positive instruction and a soft feel.