Five Leadership Lessons you can learn from Horses

If you’ve ever sat down after a leadership training day and wondered whether what you learned was really worth the money you spent, then you simply haven’t thought out of the box when it comes to training. Believe it or not more than 90% of human communication is non-verbal, which is why many of us find it so difficult to remember what we’ve learned when traditional teaching methods are used.

man doing exercise with horseThe best way to learn is to do and as horses don’t talk, the only way to effectively communicate with them is through action. Ten or twenty years ago most executives would turn their noses up at the idea that working with a horse could develop leadership skills, but today’s best business leaders understand that words do not make the man and are exploring other ways to hone their leadership abilities.

Still not convinced that Equine Leadership training could benefit you and your team? Take a look at the following five leadership lessons that you can learn from horses to discover what a little horse sense could do for your business.

1. Projecting Presence

Horses naturally live in herds and each herd has a leader. The dominant horse asserts their authority through their actions and observes the rest of the herd to ensure they understand who is boss. The lead horse guides the herd and keeps them safe. In order to guide a powerful horse it’s necessary to assert authority in a non-verbal, non-aggressive way and to carefully observe how the horse responds.

2. Being Aware

Horses are always aware of their surroundings and their circumstances. For example, they’ll use their heightened senses to search for food or travel further afield to find the sustenance they need. Working with horses can teach you how to be more aware of the environment you’re in and use all your senses.

3. Conserve Energy

When a new group of horses meet for the first time, there’s lots of jockeying and galloping around, but when the dust settles it’s always the horse with the most integrity and has managed to preserve their energy that emerges as leader. They can assert their authority with a simple twitch of the ear or nod of the head and have no need to throw their weight around. A good leader conserves their energy and trusts their own timing.

4. Renew your Spirit

Horses have spirit by the bucket load, which is perhaps why we humans are so drawn towards them. Great leadership training takes spirit too and observing horses as they run, buck and play can help renew your spirit too.

5. Keep your Herd Tight

Horses form tight nit groups and if one wants to move up in the hierarchy succeeding or not he/she must still be be willing to work as part of the team and stick to the the rules. Spending time with horses will help develop the leadership skills necessary to give clear directions and set boundaries with staff in an atmosphere of mutual respect and understanding.