Merging her passion for equine experiential learning with more than 20 years’ experience in cruise industry corporate training and communications, Eileen Tighe founded Winning With Horsepower in 2010, in the Florida Space Coast community of Merritt Island. (The town slogan, “Where Dreams Are Launched,” proved prophetic for Eileen, but we’ll get back to that.) A successful equine-experiential coach herself, Eileen is the managing partner of Zen Ranch, a natural wellness center that’s the parent company of Winning With Horse Power. She’s also an associate partner in W/F Cowboy Enterprises, which sells quality quarter horses and fine custom leather work. Her interest in all-things-horse, she muses, “probably traces back to my childhood in St. Louis, growing up in the hometown of the Budweiser Clydesdales.”
At Carnival Cruise Lines, Eileen’s energy and insights were instrumental in the expansion of a three-person corporate training department into a dynamic operation with over 60 employees working both shore-side and shipboard. She specialized in employee communications, training and development, and guest services.
Eileen represented Carnival, speaking at international conferences, seminars for large groups, and at internal and external sales presentations and demonstrations. Founder and editor of the company’s employee print magazine and e-zine, Eileen designed, wrote and edited two books:
Work Smart, on leadership and management, and Picture Perfect, an employee recognition resource. She also oversaw all aspects of employee development and enrichment programs: facilitator-led, experiential, video and computer-based and on-line training.
One day, well into her corporate career, Eileen realized “things were out of balance. It was too much commuting, too little focus outside of work.” She began volunteering at South Florida’s Horses for the Handicapped. “It’s a lovely facility where I cleaned stalls endlessly, week after week, gaining a sense of accomplishment while assisting horses in doing their job. Simply coming in early for the morning feeding and sitting quietly in the barn, listening to the horses serenely chomping hay on crisp, clear days, I felt a renewed sense of peace and balance.”
Recharged and on a new path, she trained as an equine experiential coach. Opening her coaching practice at Zen Ranch, she began working with a wide variety of businesses, individuals, couples and groups from assorted backgrounds. Soon, though, the corporate communicator and trainer in Eileen identified two industry-wide problems: lack of public awareness about equine experiential learning; and a need to facilitate connections between providers and people who wanted equine learning experiences.
She began envisioning a global umbrella organization that would take what she calls a “Got Milk” approach to spreading the word about equine experiential and its varied areas of expertise — from leadership training and team building to therapy and academic research — while helping other providers build their businesses.
When Winning With Horse Power was only a few months old, in May 2010, Eileen introduced it in Orlando, to the annual conference of the American Society for Training and Development, the world’s largest training and development event. “There were more than 8,000 human resource professionals attending,” she says, “and I was so encouraged by the warm reception we got. Few of these pros knew about equine experiential learning but they were very interested.”
Winning With Horse Power’s website is fast becoming a major resource for equine experiential learning, loaded with industry news and features, business tips, and profiles of Associate Providers located throughout the United States, in Canada, Europe, Turkey and Australia.
From the deck of their home on Merritt Island, Eileen and her husband, Dennis, have enjoyed dozens of space shuttle launches — and the launch of Eileen’s dream, Winning With Horse Power.
She is a member of the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD); Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM); Path International; Equine Guided Education Association (EGEA); and Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA).
Today’s business environment demands a clear focus on productivity and return on investment. Eileen’s advanced knowledge of my 'Four Levels' ROI evaluation principles along with her in-depth corporate training background uniquely qualify her to reinforce these crucial concepts, as well as leadership and management theory, in a creative, memorable way.
Dr. Donald L. Kirkpatrick
Dr. Kirkpatrick is a renowned author and consultant, past president of American Society of Training and Development, member of Training Magazine Hall of Fame, author, consultant, professor emeritus
As a premiere coach, Eileen instills the positive self-confidence, professionalism and passion one needs to effectively convey their message to others. Eileen’s coaching and mentoring has been an asset to my career progression. Now, as a regional sales director for one of the world’s leading luxury cruise lines, Eileen’s years of knowledge and unselfish devotion in assuring my growth as a public speaker definitely played a role in where I am today. I make several presentations each week and each time I hear Eileen's encouraging words echo in my mind.
Eileen has the ideal combination set of knowledge, experience and patience as a coach and leader to make Zen Ranch a truly unique and successful learning environment.
Business Development Manager
Royal Caribbean International
If you are looking for something real and revitalizing that you can take home with you, then consider Zen Ranch. If your company is ready to move beyond the ordinary and take something of real and of lasting value back to the office, then Zen Ranch is for you. And if you are looking for someone to lead this adventure, then speak with Eileen Tighe. Eileen has the heart, wisdom, experience, sense of humor and proven track record to navigate between the corporate world and the ranch. She has always had a deep and unwavering commitment to personal and professional growth and is one of the nicest people that you would want to meet.
Dr. Rohn Kessler, Sparks of Genius Brain Optimization Centurean
I first met Eileen in 2000, when she began as a volunteer at Horses for the Handicapped of South Florida. She dedicated time cleaning stalls and caring for the horses. Eileen took it upon herself to become certified in equine sports massage therapy to further care for the therapy horses. Her care helped new horses settle in, as well as to ease the aches and pains of our veteran therapy horses. It was invaluable for the comfort of the horses, as well as enhancing their performance with the riders. Over the years it has been a pleasure to watch Eileen's equine interests and skills blossom. Eileen is yet again making a contribution to the equine field, in an ideal blend of her skills, energy and passion combined with extensive corporate experience, love for horses and desire to help others. Through Winning With Horse Power, Eileen is sure to make an valuable impact educating the public about equine experiential learning and promoting providers.
Juliet Holden, MS, LRT/CTRS, NARHA advanced instructor
I have had the pleasure to work with Eileen for a number of years, collaboratively developing and presenting annual executive educational retreats and leadership and management seminars, hosted on campus, corporate offices and seminars held abroad, traveling extensively as far as Panama for presentations. Eileen is a dymamic presence who relates well to diverse international audiences of all backgrounds, from entry positions to the highest executive levels.
Peter James, Executive Director Professional Training, Johnson and Wales University, North Miami Campus
As a business owner, rancher and guest ranch operator, I've seen a lot of horses and people, but when I saw my horse interacting with Eileen I was perplexed. I raised Lori, and when he was three he was bitten by a rattle snake. Since that experience he basically didn't like anyone. In 2002 Eileen visited the guest ranch we were operating at the time. When she went to checkout the corrals, Lori took to Eileen instantly, I had never seen anything like it. My family and I found her good company, too, and have become friends with Eileen and her husband Dennis over the years. I, in fact, was honored to officiate their wedding ceremony in 2008 in Cody, WY.
Wayne Brost, Lovell, WY