The first question to address is why do we ask horses to teach us leadership, team building and communication skills?
The horse, as we know it, evolved some 5 million years ago, in comparison humans have existed for 50,000 years. Along with dogs, horses have had a hugely important role of the history and development of mankind and still retain a strong influence in culture, folklore and sport even though their use as essential transport is largely redundant. Think of the mythological horses – Pegasus, Bucephalus, Boxer and Clover from Animal Farm and of course Black Beauty, who taught many generations the importance of caring for horses.
Even after centuries of domestication horses remain prey animals, which means that to ensure their survival they rely on non-verbal, instinctive herd communication to move swiftly away from real or perceived danger. Despite what Hollywood would have us believe horses in the wild rarely make any noise, as that would tell a predator exactly where their next meal is coming from! Horse herds, or teams, communicate pretty much constantly, often with tiny changes in body language – a twitch of an ear or a stamp of a foot to maintain the security, harmony and pecking order of the group.
Honesty & being “In the moment”
In terms of their interaction with humans, horses respond to what they are experiencing at any given moment, honestly, directly and without judgement. They are not swayed by our status or material wealth – their only concern is how you relate to them and your intentions towards them. Even the slightest shift in approach can make a huge difference to the horse and can take us from ineffective communication to effective and sustainable interpersonal skills.
Why not dogs?
Why do we work with horses and not dogs? Well, if you want a dog to follow you and it doesn’t trust your leadership you could drag it along or even pick it up and carry it. You can’t do that with a 500kg horse. You can’t cajole, bribe or force a horse to do something it doesn’t want to do so you HAVE to gain it’s trust and respect by being an effective leader and if you work in a team you will have to communicate as an effective team to complete the exercises. This is what you will achieve during this course. And if you can tell us a way to herd cats, please let us know!
A strong and integrated team is an asset to every project. This course will have both immediate and long term benefits for every team member, leading to increased efficiency.
Equine Assisted Leadership Training will examine your personal leadership style and how this impacts on the people around you, resulting in enhanced self-awareness and interpersonal skills.
Meet your course leaders, learn about how their backgrounds and experience that have inspired their passion for Equine Assisted Training.