Combining Horsemanship and Leadership


Combining horsemanship and leadership

Condensing our approach to horsemanship and leadership into a few simple paragraphs is difficult.

Not only is each subject broad in itself, but the relationship and integration between the two is also important.

Lets begin with some thought to the scope of horsemanship and leadership as it relates to the approach we use.


Under horsemanship we include things like:

  • Psychology, thought patterns, and its perception of environment
  • Bio-mechanics and the benefits of achieving athleticism
  • Communication and language
  • Impact of diet on moods and receptiveness

These are just a few key subject areas, the list isn't exhaustive.


Under leadership we would include things like:

  • Being an effective leader to those you want to influence and have enthusiastically follow you
  • Emotional fitness, not just self control but also awareness and empathy towards others
  • Neuroscience, body chemicals, and patterns of behaviour that enhance or sabotage efforts

Again, the list isn't everything, but you get the picture.

Benefits of having a positive relationship and leadership influence with our horses

A commonly seen quote goes something like “…people don’t have horse problems, horses have people problems…”.

We agree with this wholeheartedly - our own starting point is a testimony to this simple fact.

The difficulties people get into do not only come from a lack of understanding of their horse.

A lot of problems also come from not understanding the true meaning of leadership - what it is, and how to develop it

It has to be said that some people can be rather dissatisfied with this point of view - it’s not the answer they want.

They are looking for a technique that they can follow, that will get their horse to submit and obediently do what they have in mind.

Unfortunately this is a an all too common pattern of thinking,...and it has nothing to do with leadership.

The expectation has often been instilled by the culture people have been exposed to.

Somewhere along the way they have been caused to forget or suppress the way they would actually like to be with their horses.

The problem is that no one has told them about any other way.

There is no awareness that alternative and better options genuinely exist for them and their horse.

We get it, we have been there.

Local experts and cleverly marketed programs can convince us that they are the only solution and close our minds to the need or possibility of anything else.

But, if we want the best for ourselves and our horses, then we need to stay open and inquisitive for new insights.

Adapting leadership education from the people world

Typically the first thing people ask to understand is why we integrate leadership education adapted from corporate, team, and personal development practices.

For simplicity, it’s easier to begin talking about leadership separately from horsemanship.

We can then go on to cover the frequently asked horsemanship questions.

Leadership is a big subject for us and we believe that it is a key contributor to success with horses, just as it is with people.

When it comes to leadership attributes there is significant crossover between people and horse domains.

The fact that horses are used very effectively in equine facilitated people leadership development programs bears testament to this.

And we proved it to ourselves.

We found that our own knowledge of leadership from personal and corporate development, could be readily adapted to act as a catalyst for accelerated progress with our horses.

Authentic leadership coupled with an understanding of horses helped us develop a stronger bond with greater engagement and willingness to partner.

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