Wow! What an incredible ride these past few days have been. One week post-conference and I’m still basking in the joy of being in community. I am overflowing with gratitude and excitement about what will come from all the connections made. Thanks to each and every one of you who made this event such a memorable experience. Together, we forged connections, shared wisdom, and created a warm and inclusive space that aligned with our values at The HERD Institute® of ensuring that everyone feels seen and heard.

One of the coolest things about this conference was the awesome blend of perspectives. We celebrated not just our different backgrounds, but also the diverse ideas and experiences we brought to the table. I am so grateful to all our speakers for sharing their love and passion for their work, and for stimulating such interesting conversations. And it wasn’t only that our speakers were rock stars, but it was YOU, the attendees, who really brought the house down. Your questions, insights, and stories were the secret sauce that made this conference sizzle. Every chat, every panel discussion, it was all powered by YOUR willingness to lean in with curiosity and openness. In planning this conference, our aim was to foster an environment where we could challenge the status quo and bring more diverse perspectives to the forefront of our field. From our Oasis space to conference facilities, we were all about making this event a place where everyone felt not just welcomed but embraced. And the feedback and buzz on social media has certainly been a testament to that.

I know that many of our community were unable to attend the conference. I know that it’s not possible to recreate the feel of the conference for you, but I’m hoping that you’ll be able to share in the love, nonetheless. We are currently working on the conference recordings of the key presentations so that we can share those with you. I’ll keep you updated on the progress of that. In the meantime, we’ll be inviting all attendees and HERD members to our next virtual HERD Gathering to debrief and share their experiences of the conference, ask questions about anything that was left over, and most importantly, continue our connections.

As part of the closing ceremony at the conference, we created a collaborative poem. In sharing our insights, experiences, and hopes from the conference, we were able to weave together our journey:

Sharing The Love of The HERD

The journey builds community. Start together.
Sharing wisdom through relationship –

Horse-centered relationships with common purpose

Belonging in this group and being felt

lets us destroy the colonialism we were dealt.
Stronger together with infinite potential
our minds expand as we contemplate the possibilities…

while shoveling shit

Leadership is knowing when to pivot

and when to stay steady

for the sake of your herd
Inspire heart-felt transformation and being embodied badass,
9 people came together and agreed why is collaboration hard,

it’s the vulnerability of generosity and authenticity.

Drop the mic.

Holding space for one another is validating.
Our connections revitalize our spirit and purpose

A sense of belonging is the heartbeat of The HERD!

My hope is that the connections we made will continue: collaborate on projects, stay in touch, and support each other’s ventures. Let’s carry the spirit of inclusivity, diversity, and belonging forward. With hearts full of thanks, we’re excited to see what amazing things will come from this shared adventure.

With love and gratitude,

Executive Director