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Why We "Circle Up"

Not that long ago, humans were more connected. We were more aware of how much we needed each other.

Humans have lived in “herds” for thousands of years — communities, big or small, that have provided us a safe haven for sharing resources and leaning on each other for support and fellowship. Even in these highly technological times when self-sufficiency is the norm, we still long to be connected. It’s how we truly thrive.

When we stray from our herd and stop practicing the basic elements of community-building and trust-growing, our groups and relationships suffer.

Through meaningful experiences and intentional conversation, we can reclaim and revive this simple but essential part of our human story.

Circle Up’s model of Natural Leadership and experiential learning with horses integrates human psychology, animal behavior, and natural systems to offer a unique approach to personal and professional development.


The Human Herd: Awakening our Natural Leadership

Finally, a guidebook that unleashes our mammal instincts and shows us how to heighten our self-awareness, experience our lives more deeply, improve our relationships, and step into a more natural—and powerful—way to lead.


“This book will crack open your inner human-animal soul. It’s an intimate look from a brilliant and transparent mind at how we can be our deepest selves.”

Bryan Kramer

Forbes Columnist, Podcast Host Humanly Possible, TED Talker

“If you are interested in unearthing the natural leader within yourself, I highly recommend you take a breath, settle in, and read this book.”

Maggie Merritt

Executive Director, Steinberg Institute

We come from diverse backgrounds with distinctive life stories, a wide range of expertise, and, at times, hilariously different leadership styles!

Yet, we share a common message and mission:

It’s time to wake up your Natural Leadership and more deeply experience your life.

We believe in the power of awareness, the gifts of authentic relationship, and the necessity of trusting community.

We call it Natural Leadership and we’ve walked every mile of this work ourselves.

Why We Work With Horses

See yourself through the eyes of a horse, and you see your true nature.

Our starting point with any group is with our horses. Simply put, horse work is our assessment tool. While more traditional approaches can be valuable to how we understand ourselves and each other, few are so immediately transformative.

Our equine-assisted activities (non-riding) allow the horses to teach you and show you parts of your leadership that need more room to play.

As prey animals, horses possess exquisitely attuned emotional systems and they are able to pick up on the ever-changing nuances of mammals’ internal workings as they assess for safety. The cohesion of the herd is at the heart of the group’s survival.

They rely on a radical commitment to awareness and to an ever-present feedback system flowing through their herd. This unique sensing system allows the horses to read each other and their environment so they can detect danger and look for opportunities to rest in safety.

It also allows them to read us and to notice the places where we are blocked. Because so much of our innate power is trapped in our thoughts and often self-defeating scripts, our truest desires are just out of our reach.

This is an opportunity to get honest AND gentle feedback from your equine teachers and coaching and support from your human facilitators.

You will leave a Circle Up experience with an open channel of your authentic power ready for you to bring into your world.

Beth Anstandig

Beth Anstandig

Head Cowgirl, Owner

Beth Anstandig is changing the way organizations, leaders, and individuals use their power. As a life-long cowgirl, writer, university faculty member, and licensed psychotherapist, Beth has 25 years of experience developing, implementing, and training people in Natural Leadership—a model she pioneered. Natural leadership helps people awaken their innate awareness so they can live and work with more authentic relationships and connection.

Beth provides leadership, culture, and well-being programs through The Circle Up Experience. Together with an ever-growing menagerie of animals, Beth works with human herds onsite and online. She’s trained thousands of leaders and teams from some of the most renowned corporations, universities, and nonprofits.

Beth’s fresh perspective and work integrating basic animal practices into everyday human life have been featured in global media including BBC World Service, PBS, and Forbes. She is a frequent podcast guest, contributing writer for MomsRising, and an advisor and content creator for Kahilla: A Basecamp for Women on the Rise.

Beth has an MA degree in Clinical Psychology from Santa Clara University and an MFA degree in Creative Writing from Arizona State University. Beth is the author of A Garden of Forking Paths (Pearson Longman, 2006) and The Human Herd: Awakening Our Natural Leadership (Morgan James Publishing, 2021). She lives in mid-coast Maine with an expanding community of animal herds.

Our Team

Brad Lande-Shannon, Core Facilitator
Brad Lande-Shannon

Core Facilitator, Horse Expert

Judith Forrest - The Circle Up Experience
Judith Forrest

Core Facilitator

Stephanie Holdenried - The Circle Up Experience
Stephanie Holdenried

Core Facilitator, Horse Expert

Amy Hublou, Core Facilitator
Amy Hublou

Core Facilitator, Horse Expert

Diane Hunter

Core Facilitator, Natural Leadership School

Andy Robson
Andy Robson

Core Facilitator, Natural Leadership School

Richelle Kozdial - The Circle Up Experience
Richelle Kozdial

Operations Manager

Gillian Taylor - The Circle Up Experience
Gillian Taylor

Administration Specialist

Tami Thomspon

Core Facilitator, Horse Expert

Staff Images (2)

Media Relations

Join the Natural Leadership School

Graduates of our online training program are invited to work with Circle Up. Now enrolling...

Humans are Pack Animals with Sophisticated Brains

Beth Anstandig speaks with Shelby John on her Confident Sober Women podcast about how humans are not so different from animals, the importance of self-care and having our needs met, and how humans allow their brains to talk them out of their needs.


The Power of Settling In

Beth talks with Julie Bacon, The Q Coach, of The Mindset Coaching for Handlers Podcast, about The Human Herd and how humans need to “settle in” as it applies to humans AND their dogs.

The Q Coach Pod | The power of “settling in.”


Understanding Discipline and What it Really Means

In Beth’s latest for MomsRising, she writes about the origin of the word discipline and how the concept is really about learning and teaching, and not so much about punishment. Read to learn more how to practice discipline with our relationships at work, as well as our kids.


Why It’s Ok to be Needy

Founded by the former editor of More Magazine, the CoveyClub is a virtual meeting place for lifelong learners. With excerpts from her book The Human Herd: Awakening our Natural Leadership, Beth writes how we can change our lives and relationships when we tend to our needs.


Modeling Vulnerability and Rethinking Leadership

Leaders don’t stop having needs just because they’re leaders. Yet too many of us, as both parents and leaders, still believe we're expected to know everything and do it all on our own. While at the same time, we're afraid to admit we still need others and support. In Beth’s latest for MomsRising, she writes why we need to model vulnerability and rethink leadership, and the risks if we don’t.


Expansion and Movement

“All living things move forward in some way or another. Expansion and movement are part of our life force.” It’s one of many important lessons from nature and animals, and one Beth has looked to as she embarks on a major move and new path forward. Read more in her latest for MomsRising. 


Beyond Recovery™

Beth joined Beyond Recovery™ with Matt Gardiner, a weekly podcast on how to live your best life free from addiction. She shares how her personal journey, including her own experience with addiction, influenced her professional path.

Watch Now 


Endurance Magazine Great Britain

The Spring 2023 issue’s “Understand Integrated Awareness” looks to Beth’s book The Human Herd: Awakening Our Natural Leadership and how The Four Channels of Integrated Awareness provide an interesting lens to view the relationship between endurance horse and rider. The article explores the psychology of the rider and “the challenges we face with our human analytical minds.” See Pages 20-22.


Learning to Need Others

Relying on others doesn’t make us weak. It makes us stronger and more resilient. That’s why, as Beth explains in her latest for MomsRising, we need to learn and practice needing each other.   


Allowed: Conscious Leadership and Personal Growth with Dr. Caneel Joyce

A social scientist and executive coach, Dr. Caneel Joyce is a trusted partner and resource for The Circle Up Experience. Beth made a return visit to the Allowed podcast where she and Caneel discussed how to strengthen the trust and relationships within teams through the principles of Natural Leadership, why self-care is essential and what being a part of a human herd really entails


Laid Off in Your Living Room: The Chaos of Remote Job Cuts

More than 200,000 tech employees have been laid off since last year with thousands of new layoffs announced in recent weeks. Beth spoke with The New York Times about the mental health impact and noted The Circle Up is working with clients conducting layoffs and those experiencing them.

Beth Anstandig - The New York Times


Mental Health is Physical Health

If we’re not working on maintaining ease, we’re moving toward disease. That's why mental health is physical health, as Beth explains in her latest blog for MomsRising. And our body is a signal system for both.


Gal on the Go Unplugged

Gal on the Go Unplugged features interviews with women from all walks of life, sharing their inspiring and empowering experiences. Beth joined the podcast for a wide-ranging conversation including authentic self-care, healthy boundary setting, and wellness lessons from the herd including Beth’s wild mustang.


Understanding Boundaries

Boundaries are not about drawing a line in the sand and everything changes. In Beth's latest for MomsRising, she clarifies what boundaries are and what they're not, and the role boundaries play in our relationships.


SuperPsyched with Dr. Adam Dorsay

SuperPsyched is a podcast dedicated to supercharging your life with the best in Psychology Education. In this episode, "Leveraging intelligence from our animal side," Beth joined host and licensed psychologist Dr. Adam Dorsay to share what we can learn from our animal neighbors to help us be more human.  


Normalizing Group Culture Around Needs

Horse herds constantly communicate with each other about group and individual needs. They never waste energy more than the moment requires because as a herd they need that energy to survive. We humans are the same. That's why it's so important to evaluate group culture around needs. Read Beth's latest for MomsRising.


Kris Clink’s Writing Table

From early reader and notice-r of things to a lifelong love for language, Beth shares her journey on this podcast for writers and book lovers and describes how she brings herself as a poet to the work she does as a therapist and a leadership coach.


Cutting For Sign

Cutting For Sign is an old tracking term used as a metaphor for bringing awareness to, finding and becoming one's more whole, authentic self. Beth was a guest on the podcast which features conversations with individuals who have 'cut for sign' in their life, sensing the clues, details, intuitions, meaningful moments and serendipities that have led them to their truer selves and unlocked their potential.


The Workplace Podcast

In an episode about her book The Human Herd: Awakening Our Natural Leadership, Beth joined The Workplace Podcast with William Corless and shared why and when the term "leadership" is triggering for people and relates to power and control. They discussed how to re-define leadership to first focus on how we take care of ourselves and needs, and how we show up in our relationships regardless of rank, title or hierarchy.


New Motherhood Lessons from the Border Collies

Beth writes about lessons for human moms and partners as she observes her growing Border Collie herd which welcomed a beautiful litter of six healthy pups in June. Read her latest for MomsRising. 

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The Bill Brady Show

Beth joined host Bill Brady for a 45-minute conversation about her book The Human Herd: Awakening Our Natural Leadership. Topics ranged from tending to our own needs and relationships to how we onboard and assimilate in new groups at work.  


Writer's Voices

Writers' Voices features in-depth interviews with writers, editors, publishers and others. In this episode, Beth’s shared that because we learn through relationship and story, each chapter of her book, The Human Herd: Awakening Our Natural Leadership, starts with a personal story. “They’re my stories about my own experiences with my animals and the core lessons that come from each of those stories. When we learn things emotionally and personally, we learn them very deeply.” Listen to hear more from behind the scenes of writing The Human Herd.


Live Boldly

Host Sara Schulting-Kranz shares inspiring stories of survival and triumph from everyday people and features professionals ready to motivate and guide through personal healing, growth and discovery. In this episode, Beth shares how to nurture the human animal inside of us.


Pivot and Change

In Beth’s latest column for MomsRising, she writes about how incredible innovation comes out of crisis and how our innate capacity to adapt to our needs is a core survival trait as human animals

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LinkedIn Live with Aofie O’Brien

Organizational behavior expert Aoife O’Brien and Beth highlight a few of the key insights from episode 110 of the Happier at Work® podcast, which featured Beth as a guest. 


Happier at Work

The Happier at Work podcast is for HR and business leaders who know their people are their best asset, and who want to retain their top talent. Beth joined host and organizational behavior expert Aoife O’Brien to explore the link between human psychology and animal behavior. Their conversation touched on psychological safety, supportive leadership, transforming teams into communities, collaboration in a remote/hybrid world and much more. Watch now.


Getting Over Our Self-Care Shame

Self-care gets a bad rap. It's seen as selfish, a sad part of our culture that teaches and models martyrdom. Beth explains why we're in a self-care crisis in her latest column for MomsRising.

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Voyage Michigan

Beth grew up in Michigan and in this magazine profile, she shares her circuitous path from poet to therapist to providing learning experiences with horses.


Mental Health in the Workplace

Beth was a featured panelist representing service providers at the Silicon Valley Business Journal’s Mental Health in the Workplace event. She spoke about how leaders can create the psychological safety needed so that the workplace becomes one less stress affecting mental health vulnerability.


Conversations Live with Vicki St. Clair

Beth joined talk radio and podcast host Vicki St. Clair to chat about The Human Herd: Awakening Our
Natural Leadership. Beth shared what horses can teach us about radical selfcare, anxiety, and giving and receiving feedback.


Social Animals

How to Human Podcast host Sam Lamott described Beth’s new book, The Human Herd: Awakening Our Natural Leadership, as, “for all of us who tried to talk to animals as children because we knew they had something to teach us.” Beth and Sam chat about many of those life lessons and no topic was off the table in this candid conversation.


Kansas Public Radio: Conversations

Beth joined the Kansas Public Radio network program Conversations to talk about her book, The Human Herd: Awakening Our Natural Leadership with host Dan Skinner and how to tune in and respond to the signals our mammal bodies are sending us all day long about our needs and relationships. Just one of several key concepts from the book discussed.


Equestrian Author Spotlight

The Equestrian Author Spotlight features inspirational stories from horse book authors. Beth joined host and fellow cow girl Carly Kade to chat about how working with horses helps us better address issues within the human herd and how we can embrace our innate mammal skills to deal with pressure and find a state of ease.


Equestrian B2B Podcast

Beth joined the Horse Radio Network/Equestrian B2B podcast which brings together industry leaders, entrepreneurs, and equestrians for conversations. Beth and hosts Jennifer Wood and Jennifer Connor, both from Equestrian Businesswomen chatted about The Circle Up Experience and how Beth has grown that business, as well as key experiences that inspired Beth to write her new book The Human Herd: Awakening Our Natural Leadership.


Freddy’s Huge Ask Podcast

Beth had a lively conversation with long-time Houston radio personality Fredy Cruz who says this about their episode, “To say I enjoyed this conversation would be an understatement.” They dive into several concepts from Beth’s book including Taking Your Animal Body for a Walk and The Instrument of You.


Living Better in San Diego

Beth spoke with Eye on the Community/Living Better in San Diego host Vicki Pepper about The Human Herd: Awakening Our Natural Leadership. She shared how there’s a lot to learn from animals about group behavior and how we tend to our relationships at home, work and in the community.


School for Start Ups

In this radio episode with host Jim Beach, Beth explained how leadership starts with how we as individuals lead ourselves. Because how we adapt and move through own experiences impacts our relationships and groups. It’s a key point of her book, The Human Herd: Awakening Our Natural Leadership.


Seattle Weekly

Beth was a guest on Lee Callahan’s Seattle Weekly. They chatted about the topic of what Beth calls, “radical self-care,” and the notion of going slow, to go fast. Topics explored further in The Human Herd: Awakening Our Natural Leadership.



Circling Up and Leaning into Our Mom Herds

In Beth’s latest MOMSRISING column, she writes about how moms need to speak up about our parenting struggles and circle up our mom herds as allies. 

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Mother’s Day Magazine

Beth describes in this Q&A feature how the pandemic has left parents, moms especially, burned out, bone-tired and emotionally drained and what moms need to do now to not just survive motherhood, but thrive! Important lessons from her new book, The Human Herd: Awakening Our Natural Leadership.


Everything Horses & More!

Beth joined host Caroline Beste for a live Tao of Horsemanship videocast. The two chatted about how horses model authenticity, vulnerability and self-leadership, and the role horses assume during Beth’s ranch-based group sessions.



The WGVU Morning Show

Beth joined host Shelly Irwin to explain how Natural Leadership, an innate part of us, is completely accessible to reawaken and practice so we can better tend to our own needs and be a viable member of our herds. She outlines how in her new book, The Human Herd: Awaken Our Natural Leadership.  



Book Excerpt: How We Settle In

If you've ever frozen for just a minute before walking into a room full of people, you’ll relate to "How We Settle In." It's an excerpt from The Human Herd: Awakening Our Natural Leadership. Learn, "how a slight adjustment can make a profound difference in how we take care of ourselves." It's one of nearly a dozen personal and inspiring stories Beth shares in her new book.


Spectrum News 1 Wisconsin

“One of the things I love about the horses is they teach us about radical self-care.” While in Wisconsin working with the leadership team at Rogers Behavioral Health, Beth explained how horses and other animal herds show us how to relax, be calm and take better care of ourselves. These and other concepts are the subject of her new book The Human Herd: Awakening Our Natural Leadership.


WPHM Morning Show

Beth joined host Paul Miller to chat about The Human Herd: Awakening Our Natural Leadership and how she partners with her horses to teach corporate executives about shared leadership, adjusting pace, and bringing groups into a state of ease and balance.


How Animal Instincts Can Teach Us to Be Better Humans

Healthcare professionals, including those that provide mental health and addiction care, aren’t immune from needing their own mental health support. In this compelling segment, Beth and John Boyd, CEO Hospitals, Rogers Behavioral Health, joined Lake Effect to discuss how Rogers plans to use Beth’s Natural Leadership concept to help support its leadership and care teams. The concept is the subject of Beth’s new book, The Human Herd: Awakening Our Natural Leadership
Listen to the full interview here.


Conversations Live! with Cyrus Webb

Beth shared with Cyrus how she views her new book, The Human Herd: Awakening Our Natural Leadership, as an invitation to readers to take better care of our own needs so that we can better show up in service to our herds and let our herds be of service to ourselves.



The Julie Chan Show Instagram Live

Beth joined Julie Chan to chat about The Human Herd: Awakening Our Natural Leadership. The two shared how it’s not just the animals that have so much to teach us, but also the kids in our lives if we take the time to observe and listen.



Following the Human Herd

During her conversation with host Mike Carlon, Beth shared her evolution from poet to therapist to author of The Human Herd: Awakening Our Natural Leadership and the freedom and beauty of a blank piece of paper.


WFOV FM Tom Sumner Show

Beth joined long-time Michigan radio personality Tom Sumner to chat about The Human Herd: Awakening Our Natural Leadership and how every day is a re-start to ensure we’re tending to our needs and relationships.



WorkLife: Bookshelf

Beth was interviewed about her new book, The Human Herd: Awakening Our Natural Leadership, for WorkLife's Bookshelf series, which features authors of notable books tackling topics relevant to future of work trends. Beth shared how nature gives us lessons in leadership, empathy and, above all, survival.


Noticing the Spaces in Between

In Beth’s latest post for MomsRising, she writes about the need to trust and embrace the spaces– the quiet -- in between life’s busy moments and demands and consider the “beauty of ambiguity” and “the adventure of uncertainty.”

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The Animal Effect Podcast

Beth joined Prairie Conlon, licensed mental health professional, and host of The Animal Effect podcast to discuss Beth’s new book, The Human Herd: Awakening Our Natural Leadership. The Animal Effect podcast examines the different ways animals can have an impact on our life.


Hasty Book List

Beth's book The Human Herd: Awakening Our Natural Leadership is featured in the April edition of the Hasty Book List.


Kirkus Reviews

A positive review from Kirkus Reviews for Beth's new book, The Human Herd: Awakening Our Natural Leadership. "A vivid, offbeat, and thought-provoking look at ways of dealing with the stresses of life."


The Journey On Podcast

Beth joined lifelong equestrian, former world champion, and trainer Warwick Schiller as a guest on his Journey On Podcast (Episode 73). Among topics discussed, Beth shared how writing and publishing her new book, The Human Herd: Awakening Our Natural Leadership, has been both an exercise in vulnerability and an opportunity to impact people and animals in a powerful and meaningful way.  

The Journey On Podcast


Coffee with the Authors

Beth joined ten other authors, including many bestsellers, for a virtual meet and greet to preview their upcoming books for book media and influencers hosted by journalist and USA Today bestselling thriller author  Hank Phillippi Ryan. Watch Beth's ten-minute interview about her new book The Human Herd: Awakening Our Natural Leadership.

Why Our Teens Often Do Know Best

In Beth’s latest post for MomsRising, she shares how teens are more connected to their mammal instincts and needs and by listening to them when they express their needs, we might also learn something about our own needs as adults.  

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Authority Magazine

In advance of the publication of her upcoming book, The Human Herd: Awakening Our Natural Leadership, Beth is featured in Authority Magazine’s ongoing Women in Wellness series. She discusses how self-care and attention to the stress in our relationships are necessary to overcome our current mental health crisis. 


A Different Kind of New Year--What If We Just Let Ourselves Be?

It’s hard to believe we’re almost at the end of January. But maybe that’s a good thing. The pressure we put on ourselves and each other at this time of the year! What a way to -- maybe not -- start things off! Beth explains in her latest post for MOMSRISING.

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Beth is featured in the latest issue of ShoutOut LA which introduces readers to entrepreneurs focused on having a positive social impact on their community or the world at large. She shares how by helping clients tap into their Natural Leadership, we can better attend to our needs, have deeper and more meaningful relationships with each other, and create psychological safety and trust in our groups and communities.  

Beth Killough on ShoutOutLA


Hardship and Herdship: We Need Each Other

As human animals, we’ve always needed each other. But we’ve spent a few generations forgetting just how much. The global pandemic was our reminder. A giant level set with an invitation to notice and find awe, strength, and innate connection in our human herdship. But we need to get intentional about herd behavior and practice leaning on each other for those instincts to become part of our daily lives. Beth explains in her latest post for MOMSRISING.

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The Nature of Closure

The natural rhythm of a new year offers us an opportunity to reflect and repair. It calls upon us to make meaning of what we have walked through and to think ahead to what we will encounter. But before we do the work of setting intentions and thinking ahead, we really need some closure. Read more in Beth’s latest contribution to MomsRising.

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Ciocca Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Santa Clara University

Broncos, Actually Video Series
In this episode, Beth (MA Counseling Psychology ’03) shares the dream, literally, that motivated her to start The Circle Up Experience, the impact of the pandemic on mental health and leadership, the role of horse and other animal herds in teaching us about relationships and well-being, and what it means to be an entrepreneur with integrity.

Santa Clara University


Conversations at Basecamp Podcast

Own your narrative. How can we improve the way we relate to ourselves and to others? Dr. Keba Rogers and Beth joined KAHILLA PODCAST, CONVERSATIONS AT BASECAMP for a conversation on Self-Authoring Your Script -- how to define your own beliefs, identity, and purpose for a stronger relationship with yourself and your community.


The Art of Human Whispering

Too often we lead and show up in our relationships with complete ignorance. We plow through each other’s sensitivities like heavy machinery.  With a slight pivot, we can become human whisperers, changing our approach to relating in some simple but profoundly effective ways. Read more in Beth’s latest contribution to MomsRising.

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Humans Now and Then podcast: The Nature of Leadership for our Human Herd

Humans, Now and Then explores how our rapidly changing world impacts our human experience, now and in the future.  As Humans, we belong in a group. Much like horses, belonging to a herd allows us to truly thrive. So, what can we learn from horses to help us better connect with those around us, and enable us to lead in more effective ways?  Beth spoke with host Rebecca Scott about how we can see our true nature through the eyes of a horse, and what we can learn from animals to help us center on our human selves.

Humans Now and Then Podcast


Conversations at Basecamp Podcast

Are You an Emotional Butler? We all have tipping points, even in the roles we willingly signed up to play. Too often, we think we’re showing up for the common good, a belief that can keep us propping up other people even if it’s hurting us and blocking them from growth. We think we’re supporting or nurturing. But really, we’re like a butler, pouring tea and providing a blanket that covers up the realities of life. Beth joined the Kahilla Podcast, Conversations at Basecamp to share how caretaking instincts can backfire, and how to cultivate awareness and healthy feedback mechanisms that will truly nurture ourselves and help support the growth of others.


Take the Reins Podcast

Beth joined Take the Reins podcast, Nikki Porter, for a deep dive into our ability to show up in life and recognizing the role awareness plays in all of our relationships. And toward the end of the conversation, Beth and Nikki share their personal connections to awareness and awareness fatigue as a mother. Take the Reins is a personal growth podcast featuring interviews with leading trainers and thought leaders.


Working with the Fires of Fear

While wildfires rage across the west, the elections, pandemic and societal unrest have fueled a fire of fear in our households, work teams, virtual classrooms, and neighborhoods. In my latest column, I share how we can tame these internal fires as we continue to battle 2020's inferno of upset and trauma.

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READ on MomsRising

Humanly Possible with Bryan Kramer

Learning to Continually Shift with Beth Anstandig
Humanly Possible with Bryan Kramer is a podcast that reminds us being imperfect humans is our greatest competitive advantage and where guests share stories about small shifts that make an epic difference. Beth shared with Bryan how we can tap into our natural awareness as human mammals for a wealth of information about how to take care of ourselves and operate with others. We chatted further about how we're all learning together to continually shift. Listen here.


Work and the Future with Linda Nazareth

What Can Animals Tell Us About How to Work Better?
Are there things that animals can tell us about how to cope with work stress and ultimately how to work better? Beth joins economist and host Linda Nazareth. In this episode, they discuss how human beings are mammals, but mammals who do not do a good job of being attuned to their own needs and acting on them. At a time when many of us feel that our lives are not completely in control, it may be time to take a cue from that and see if there are ways that we can express our needs in the workplace and ultimately get to a place where we are both happier and more productive as a result.


Value through Vulnerability Podcast Episode 132: Guest Beth Anstandig

The Value through Vulnerability Podcast (boosted by HumansFirst) and sponsored by Aequip is dedicated to helping put the human back into humanity. Guest Beth Anstandig chats with hosts, Mike Vacanti and Garry Turner, about how humans have a unique moment in the COVID Crisis to use the unprecedented pressures we are facing to wake up, adjust, and transform how we are leading our lives and how we are showing up in our communities.

Value through Vulnerability



Horses on ranches in California are helping people with symptoms of anxiety and depression – following an improvement in symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder when equine therapy was used on military personnel.


How Animals Can Help You Handle Stress, Anxiety: A BBC Report

Beth Anstandig joins Alison van Diggelen on her podcast, Fresh Dialogues, to discuss equine therapy and how working with animals can improve our resilience and well being.


From Chickens to llamas, Cow Palace sheltering animals displaced by Bay Area wildfires

As part of the rescue efforts, Beth Anstandig of The Circle Up Experience is temporarily housing 40 horses whose owners were forced to flee their homes in the California fires at Take a Chance Ranch.

READ the Article

California Wildfires: Bay Area ranchers and shelters rush to save hundreds of animals left behind

Usually The Circle Up Experience at Take a Chance Ranch is hosting online and in person leadership and consulting programs, but right now the ranch is housing more than 40 evacuated horses as the region fights wildfires.

READ the Article

Awareness as a Super Power to Manage Life's Fires

Practicing “pressure awareness” is a game changer in how we lead and show up for our children, spouses, and others. Humans don’t play with pressure, engage with feedback, or adjust until we hit overwhelm. Natural Leadership Awareness is about embracing and honing that mammal part of ourselves, so we have more self-care tools and better relationship strategies. 

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READ on MomsRising

Ag State of Mind with Jason Medows Podcast

Focusing on combating the mental health crisis in agriculture, join Jason Medows as he delves into the topics that are hard to talk about.

"Really exciting episode today with Beth Anstandig of the Circle Up Experience. Beth is a lifelong cowgirl who has combined her love of horses with her love of improving people's mental health into a great approach. Beth uses horses to help humans return to their natural state of being by interacting with horses. Horses can help us learn so much about our natural, primitive selves. At the end, Beth and I switch gears a bit to talk about each of our past battles with alcohol. We are both several years sober and we talk about the struggles and joys that this journey has brought each of us. Incredible episode with an incredible woman."

Click the link below to listen, or DOWNLOAD A PDF TRANSCRIPT.

Ag State of Mind Podcast

BBC World Service Health Check with

Alison van Diggelen from BBC World Series Health Check interviewed Beth Anstandig of The Circle Up Experience to report on how horses on the Take a Chance Ranch in California are helping people with anxiety and depression – following an improvement in symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder when equine therapy was used on military personnel.


How Beth Anstandig creates connections and communities...

There are ways to have a healthy work environment, even while working remotely.

Click the link below to read the article, or READ THE PDF.

Silicon Valley Business Journal

READ the article

Wrangling the COVID-19 Labor Divide

Now more than ever humans, women especially, need to wake up and utilize our Natural Leadership instincts and skills inherent to us as mammals including signals, sensations, and sensors about well-being and needs. We must return to the human-animal, the inner mammal, we lost as we became busy adults and parents.

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READ on MomsRising

The Find Your Awesome Podcast hosted by Kelsey Abbott

Kelsey Abbott is an intuitive Human Design Reader, a Certified Professional Coach, and Instigator of Joy. Kelsey helps spiritual adventurers remember who they are and why they’re here so they can uplevel with ease. 

"A life-long cowgirl, writer, professor, and a licensed psychotherapist, Beth helps people awaken their innate leadership gifts so they can live and work with more authentic relationship and connection. Listen in as Beth shares stories from the ranch and her own life to teach us about true leadership."

Click the link below to listen, or download a PDF transcript.


Nature's Medicine: A Virtual Wellness Experience

Allowed Podcast with Dr. Caneel Joyce

#11: Horses, Herds and Human Animals

In today's episode, we talk with Beth Anstandig from The Circle Up Experience. Beth teaches about natural leadership, humans as animals, and how people respond to pressure. She will also discuss the four types of awareness, that whether we are conscious of it or not, actually guide us in our daily lives.

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The Circle Up Experience Taps into the Human, and Hooved, Animals...

This isn’t the typical corporate culture training, with stuffy PowerPoints, dry lectures, and the dreaded “trust fall.” Instead, it features a bucolic, indoor/outdoor setting with horses, cattle, dogs, and other furry and feathered friends.

Read on Gilroy Life

Uncovering Hidden Beliefs

That bright and clear morning as I drove to Take A Chance Ranch, I could not have predicted what would happen to me that day.

Read on Medium

Four Reasons These Entrepreneurs Have Horses For Partners

Choosing your partners and staff is the most important job every entrepreneur has to manage to run a successful business. 


Don't Horse Around with the Chocolate

Gary and the crew head to Morgan Hill, California to talk with Beth Anstandig and Susan McCusker, the founders of The Circle Up Experience, a horse assisted leadership and team building program. Start Up Experience PBS | Ep: 6 (Video)


Seeing in a new way

"When we see ourselves through the eyes of a horse, we are seeing ourselves how others see us."


Don't miss out

Don't miss out