Martinstown Lodge

A Meath ‘haven’ where horses help people achieve their leadership potential.

Martinstown Lodge in Athboy, county Meath is a ‘haven’ where horses help people to bring out their ‘authentic self’ and develop their leadership skills.

There is no horse riding involved but instead a series of specially designed exercises with the horses helps clients to identify potential blocks to fulfilling their leadership potential.

Owner Emma Jane Clarke, who is an accredited coach and is trained in Equine Guided Leadership, explained, “these practical exercises with horses on the ground reflect how we communicate.”

“The horses act as a mirror and help people see in non-judgemental ways how they actually operate as leaders or as part of a team.”

“Leading a horse you need to be confident, grounded, centred and present and if you are not, the horse has a choice because they do not need to work with you. Horses reflect how we show up in the world, and help people overcome challenges or blocks that can hold them back, like issues with confidence or setting boundaries.”

She said women and particularly women with imposter syndrome – where they doubt themselves and feel like they are not genuine – are a key market she is targeting.

“We are working with corporates and multinationals as well as entrepreneurs and small businesses, with particular focus on women to help them tackle the inner imposter syndrome and help them get out of their own way”

“In the work environment, we can put on our ‘work face’ and are not necessarily true to our authentic self. Working with our horses will help to unlock and get rid of those layers, get back to that authenticity and be better at leadership.”

With a range of supports from Meath Local Enterprise Office she has developed Martinstown Lodge into what she describes as a “a professional haven, a centre where people can come and receive coaching working with our horses on the ground, no horse riding involved.”

She said the supports from Meath LEO helped take the business to a new level. Early on she accessed mentoring from marketing consultant Catherine O’Donnell of RightSide Managed.

Catherine said, “my role was to work with Emma Jane to give clear direction to help her work out what her key messages were. It is a very unique and innovative business, really exciting and so new. We worked together to get the key messages honed and refined and then we talked about the target audiences.”

Senior Enterprise Development Officer with Meath LEO, Lorna Cooney, said, “we immediately recognised the uniqueness of this business. We believe it is the only one of its kind that operates at this level in Ireland which also provides this particular type of coaching from an experienced professional who has been trained internationally in this field.”

The LEO provided a range of supports including mentoring, where businesses access expertise in a range of areas. Lorna said, “mentorship is extremely well received by business owners in Meath. Some people are shy about approaching us for mentorship as they feel this might reflect badly because they need help.”

“Our message is don’t be afraid to come and talk to us because that is what we are here for. We have a panel of very experienced mentors in various fields who are more than happy to share their experience and to advise up and coming entrepreneurs and indeed those who are trying to grow their existing business.”

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