Welcome to Spirit Gate Farm, nestled in the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island, BC. Surrounded by majestic mountains, rolling hills and 70 acres of pasture. Paradise to our herd of horses and the surrounding wild life that peacefully passes through the farm.

Spirit Gate, has manifested through my own passions and inspirations to make a difference in the world. Love of nature, passion for horses, a dedicated spiritual practice and a desire to be in service.

We are a nature based educational organization supporting those who hear the call of being in service and wanting to make a
difference in the world. Our focus is Embodied Leadership...inspired by horses, Youth leadership programs, human-horse life coaching, personal transformation programs and sacred agriculture practice.

Our team is a group of compassionate, mindful, skilled, experienced individuals with well-rounded educational and experiential backgrounds, in mind - body therapies, transpersonal psychology, consulting/coaching, equine behaviour and psychology, natural horsemanship and classical riding. 

We are committed to offering programs of exceptional quality based on the highest standards of integrity, authenticity, transparency and direct experience. Our calendar has several unique programs and services to choose from, and we can also design a program to meet your specific needs or the needs of your group.

We are dedicated to supporting and inspiring those wanting to explore their own paths of self discovery and grow in their
leadership potential. With my equine and human partners, we are able to provide a safe, nurturing, challenging and fun experience.

Journey through our site and if you feel called to inquire further, drop us a line and find out how we can support you.


and the team of Spirit Gate


We  are a group of creative, compassionate professional people dedicated to making a difference in our local communities and our global communities through the teachings of embodied leadership…..inspired by horses, transformational learning, and sacred earth practices.

Michelle Atterby - founder and facilitator, a pioneer of the field of Equine Facilitated Learning. Michelle strength’s in transformative learning have been deeply embodied in her work with horses for the past twenty years. Her accumulated educational and experiential background have paved the way for Spirit Gate to be one of the most unique and innovative EFL  program’s in British Columbia today. 

  •   A life long horse woman       
  •   Certified EFL facilitator    
  •   Equine Behaviour Consultant 
  •   Positive Reinforcement Trainer  
  •   Studied with Linda Kohanov of Epona, Debbie Anderson of Strides to Success, Barbara Rector of Adventures in Awareness, Deborah Marshall of Generation Farms, Pj Stegen and Kathy Moore of Equine Experiential Education Association
    • Certification in Applied Animal Behaviour - University of Washington

    • Certification in LLA - the science and technology of animal behaviour change
      Karen Pryor Academy graduate
    • Pursuing a Master’s degree in Clinical Animal Behaviour

    • Current student and pursuing certification with Marijke de Jong - classical dressage training
    • Member of and pursuing certification with International recognized Centred Riding Instructors organization
    • Member of and pursuing certification with International Association of Animal Behaviour Consultants
    • Certified Body-Mind healing practitioner
    • Student of the Ageless Wisdom and Raja Yoga meditation
    • Diploma of Traditional Chinese Medicine - acupuncturist (not practicing)
    • Certified Level 2 Jin Shin Do (not practicing)
    • Member of International Society of Equitation Science

Oriane Lee Johnston - 
Oriane Lee Johnston is an educator, writer and mentor dedicated to aligning the inner habitat of the soul with our actions and way of being in the world. Her work with horses and humans combines natural horsemanship, Equine Guided Learning and the practice of Spiritual Guidance.  She was the program director for Hollyhock.ca  for 16 years, and now co leads EGL workshops and spends her time with horses riding in the sacred mountains of Ecuador and  volunteering with horses in the African wilderness.  www.orianelee.com

  PJ Stegen

Founding member of E3A, former Executive Director, E3A Master Trainer

  • Founding member, Executive Director and equine experiential trainer of Horses for the Spirit and its youth and corporate equine-based programs
  • E3A Certified Master Trainer and Business Development Coach
  • Certified Parelli Natural Horsemanship Ground Level 1
  • Certified Professional Coach, certified by Academy for Coach Training in 2004
  • Certified Living Your Vision Life Planner in 2005
  • Executive Director of four industry trade associations:       Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA), Fibre Channel Association, The ATM Forum, and Gaming Standards Association.  She worked with 1,000+ corporate member companies and 2,000 individual volunteers developing and promoting technical standards for the Personal Computing (PC), System Storage, Telecommunications and Gaming Industries.