Why do we use horses to teach leadership and emotional intelligence?

Horses are amazingly wise, clever and proud animals. Their nature is such that they live the values that organizations strive for; values which Executive Management  try, with great difficulty, and often with little success, to instill in the hearts and minds of their employees. The old adage “direct from the horse’s mouth” applies in this process – horses don’t lie, and you cannot lie to them. Status does not impress them and they will reward any person who treats them with respect.

Interaction with a horse touches one’s emotions – be it fear, excitement or confidence. The horse provides the conduit for individual exploration, as the horse provides immediate feedback and offers opportunities for profound personal growth.

  1. 1 Working with a horse offers an emotional attachment that mirrors situations similar to those in which a participant may face, in the workplace.
  2. 2 The horse becomes a partner in the learning journey.
  3. 3 Accomplishing a task by involving a horse provides a wonderful metaphor when dealing with other intimidating situations in life.
  4. 4 Horses are intuitive animals. They respond instinctively and are unburdened by the veneer of civility of humans.
  5. 5 As herd animals they are attuned to the slightest inconsistency in their environment.
  6. 6 Learning is less threatening, because it is a more personal experience and feedback is direct “from the horse’s mouth.”
  7. 7 Horses mirror human body language and emotions. We become aware of the unconscious signals we send out into the world.
  8. 8 Horses are honest – you cannot fool them.
  9. 9 Horses are large and powerful animals – they provide a natural opportunity to overcome fear and develop self-confidence.
  10. 10 Horses are very much like humans, in that they are social animals, with defined roles within their herd.
  11. 11 Humans can be both predatory or prey in behaviour , whereas horses carry the mindset of one that is preyed upon.

why horses