top of page


Essential Skills


Growth & Resilience

for a better Future



Welcome to The Matanya Effect where our classroom, our teachers and our methods of Skill Building are innovative, refreshing, reproducible, implementable and fun.  We have been trained by the world renowned Equine Connection - The Academy of Equine Assisted Learning Inc, who certify all over the world through the Academy of Equine Assisted Learning BuildingBlock™ course. You will see Equine Connection instructors in the videos provided, these will give a better understanding of the value of our programs and workshops.


Karen Ostenried.

Our founder and lead facilitator Karen started with a combined background in operations, biotechnology, and entertainment, that took her around Australia and Germany.  Karen knows how important, communication is to be successful in any area of life. Throughout her careers, she became fascinated with peak performance and the link between physical and mental skill development. 


She has also experience in outdoor education, fitness and trauma recovery after surviving the 2009 Black Saturday wildfires that almost wiped out her community. Her mission is to draw out the strengths of the individual to build relationships, resilience, confidence and results. 

Her knowledge of sciences, combined with stage experience and animal and human behaviour drives her to refine and fast-track individuals to give them practical skills to lead mindfully and authentically to the greater success for the benefit of the individual and the team/company or group.


She specialises in essential life and leadership skills integrated with absolute hands-on learning bringing in the power of the horse. The more fun it is, the easier and longer retention, so she and her team make it experiential and interesting with laughter compulsory and free-flowing.  She is Certified by Equine Connection Inc for EAL. 

The story behind the business name

This is Matanya.

She was a Quarab mare (Quarter horse/Arab mare).


She taught Karen everything there is to know about authentic leadership. 

This journey took them both about 3-4 years of intense study but yielded a partnership like no other.


Unfortunately, the partnership ended way too soon when a

seemingly harmless injury ended her magnificent short life

at the age of 7, but the lessons and laws remain embedded

in Karen today.  

The delicate balance of respect, authority and

empathy and assistance with lashings of consistency leading

to unquestionable harmony.  Nothing can come close to

replicating liberty activities with a wonderful horse. 


We lost Matanya in 2004,

but she is forever in our minds and hearts and it was only fitting

that she bear the name of our business. 


How we Can Help You

What we do

The Matanya Effect offers a number of unique skills development experiences that are based on the Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) Building Block TM program.  We can even combine these programs with more traditionals but still very experiential skills training modalities.  Designed for management, teams youth and families to develop essential life and business skills in the areas of leadership, teamwork, critical thinking and problem solving, resilience and adapting to change, developing relationships and increasing performance both for individuals and groups. 

What is the Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) Building block course?

What is EAL? To put it simply, Equine Assisted Learning is a learner based educational experience with horses.

More specifically, EAL is an effective approach to human development that encourages individual and team growth. Participants

engage in objectively driven exercises and find themselves learning valuable life skills in a fun and exciting atmosphere while working with horses.


EAL has proven to be effective, powerful, positive, educational, and creative.

The Academy of Equine Assisted Learning’s program emphasizes it’s building-block curriculum of facilitating life skills through positively reinforced interaction with horses.


Exercises are developed to encourage self confidence through validated, hands-on experiences.

Current research has found this experiential form of

learning to be most effective.

Our Unique side

Our classroom is very different, a tonne of fresh air, there is laughter a plenty but the main difference which is the key is that our teachers are not human.  Our teachers are over 500kg of muscle and power and yes they are horses.  They wont be pushed around and they have their own senses and brain and their feedback is instantaneous. 

Our programs are scientifically tested. 

Horses are tough and stead fast dance partners. Horses consistently react to stimulus provided by participants.


Some of the joys associated with working around horses are – they don’t judge but they constantly assess. Their feedback is honest and instant.

Learning to listen to what horses have to say is powerful and can often spur the answer to individual change.

By including horses in specially designed educational exercises, equine-assisted facilitators have greatly multiplied the participant’s rate of success to self discovery.


Horses can magnify an individual’s problem immediately and provide a skilled facilitator with an opportunity to identify an individual’s character. Horses don’t over think a participant’s motive but horses do challenge their behaviour and leadership.

bottom of page