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Shelley Gvozdanovic (B. PhEd)


Shelley has spent more than 20 years in caring for others. She attended Brock University right after high school with the plan of being a teacher. 


Fast forward a few years and when her daughters were young Shelley ran a home daycare so that she could be with her own children and offer quality care for other children. She spent a great deal of time volunteering in the classroom during that time. 


Shelley and her family relocated to Ottawa from Hamilton in 2004 and Shelley once again worked in daycare for a while but in a formal daycare setting. One of her daughters participated in riding lessons and so Shelley spent some time at Willaway Farm. Shelley quite spontaneously decided to buy her own horse without ever having sat on one before and then took lessons to learn to ride. 


After a couple of years Shelley convinced Susan to hire her as farm manager and that was 9 ½ years ago. Very soon after taking the job at Willaway Farm a discussion took place about Equine Facilitated Learning and Wellness and how it was something that Susan wanted to see happen at Willaway. So the learning began. 


Shelley took the Partners in Connection course at Horse Spirit Connections in 2011 and has completed Explorations in Equine Facilitated Wellness and Focus Training offered by the Professional Association for Equine Facilitated Wellness in 2012/2013. She is also currently working on her Level 1 with The Herd Institute. 


Shelley’s day to day job is caring for the horses and humans at Willaway Farm but she also co-facilitates most of the trainings, workshops and learning sessions at Willaway. This would seem to be where the teaching plans have come to fruition; many years after the original plan had changed. 


Lessons learned in daycare and as a mother carry over to working with horses. Gentleness, patience and a calm disposition helps to achieve results with both horse and human. Spending every day with horses is a great privilege and always an opportunity for learning. 

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