The Lake Placid Dark Horse Challenge

LAKE PLACID – Chris Irwin, author of “Horses Don’t Lie” and “Dancing with Your Dark Horse,” motivational speaker and Canada’s internationally-renowned horse whisperer, will host a presentation at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 19 at Snowslip Farm, 208 River Road, Lake Placid.

Irwin will demonstrate his innovative work in learning resiliency and training for excellence through the medium of horses in The Lake Placid Dark Horse Challenge at Snowslip Farm in Lake Placid.

Irwin wrote the best-selling book on this subject from personal experience. Growing up in a dysfunctional family in a violent neighborhood, Irwin began his own dark horse training at a young age. From Eagle Scout to award winning musician to international Henley champion in rowing crew at the age of 16, Irwin went on to work with the Wild Mustangs of Nevada, transforming their primal and volatile nature into 18 U.S. National Riding and Driving Champions, and become a trainer and coach of novice to Olympic-level equestrians.

Irwin’s interests have since evolved into strengthening the age-old bond between horses and humans into a path for personal empowerment that goes beyond the borders of the equestrian world. In corporate leadership, sports psychology, mentoring for disadvantaged youth, programs for first responders and military veterans suffering with PTSD, rehabilitation programs for prison inmates and team-building workshops with nuclear physicists, Irwin’s timely and unique message is clear: “Horses need to see from us what many of us would like to see in ourselves and each other. They need us to have a calm, focused assurance. They need us to be consistent. They need us to be assertive, but non-threatening. They need us to be both strong and compassionate. In short, horses need us to be our best selves.”

From standing-room-only crowds at Spruce Meadows in Calgary to opening day of the races at Keeneland in Lexington, Ky.; from Equine Affaire Expositions in America to the prestigious Horse Event in Holland, Irwin’s inspirational presentations have been given to many leading organizations, including the Canadian Federal Government’s Convention on Leadership, The War Horse Foundation, State and Provincial Teachers Conferences and The Hague in the Netherlands.

Irwin was recently lead designer for the only university-accredited Equine Assisted program in Canada at the University of Guelph. His next project is a television series about equine assisted achievement and personal development which he plans to produce in Lake Placid.

Irwin’s partner in coaching and in life, Kathryn Kincannon, has long been connected with Lake Placid, for 10 years as general manager of the Lake Placid Lodge and most recently, as visiting trainer and life coach at Snowslip Farm.

Founder of Equiana Workshops and Clinics for personal empowerment, Kathryn plans to present healing-with-horses programs at Snowslip Farm beginning in 2014.