A lot of people ask “what do horses have to do with leadership development and training?”
Horse Assisted Education is a fairly new and innovative concept that is quickly gaining popularity for leadership and team development in the West. Progressive companies are increasingly choosing to make horses a part of their core leadership development strategy. We are proud and excited to be pioneers in this field and thrilled to invite you to join us in the early stages. Horse Assisted Education will become the ‘new big thing’ that takes organisations to the next level of business performance in the age of smart machines, as horses teach us things that machines cannot replace.
Social Responsibility - By choosing to engage horses in your learning and leadership strategy, you are giving them a new chance to fulfil their full potential as our partners. You are also making it possible for them to help millions of mental health patients in the world to solve problems of autism, Asperger's syndrome, depression and PTSD.
So what do horses have to do with leadership development and training?
Horses have been on this planet for over 55 million years. Humans have benefited from them them for transport, agriculture, sports and entertainment. We are only now beginning to tap into their higher power – their wisdom and strengths – so that we can use those lessons in business performance and mental health therapy. Below are some of the reasons why they make such fantastic coaches and teachers in these spaces.
☀ 700 KILOGRAMS OF PRESENCE & EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE
‘Presence’ and ‘Emotional Intelligence’ are key leadership traits required to be able to inspire and engage large teams. When we are in front of 700 kilograms of horse, we learn to become fully present to our whole self, especially our emotional state, as they pick up our tiniest feelings. The ground exercises with horses make us fully aware of our emotions, teaching us how to manage and use emotions constructively to lead the horse forward, without any force. This is the beginning of tapping into a leadership style that is inspiring, engaging and goal oriented. Participants learn to unleash their full ‘horsepower’ as leaders and teams.
☀ ACCELERATED LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT THROUGH RAPID FEEDBACK LOOPS
Feedback is documented as one of the most important success criteria in new age company cultures. Horses give us instant, non-judgemental feedback through their clear responses. We have the chance to learn immediately what did not work, make small shifts and try the exercise again, until successful with the horse. Horses only follow us when they trust us. And they only trust us when they sense we are reliable and authentic.
☀ EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING THAT DELIVERS LASTING BEHAVIOUR CHANGE AND SELF AWARENESS
Having worked inside organisations, we understand the frustration of learning and training programs whose effect lasts only for a few days before old behaviours are back. Horses engage the ‘whole person’ in the learning process – mind, body and energy - etching powerful insights into our cellular level (not just the mental or emotional levels).
☀ TEAMS LEARN TO OPERATE LIKE HERDS – AGILE, COHESIVE AND GOAL ORIENTED
To maximise resource efficiency and bring out full collective potential organisations need teams to operate cohesively as opposed to silos. Horses have survived as prey animals over 50 million years because of their ‘herdpower’ – their ability to operate as ‘ONE’. The herd instinct exists in every single horse and drives their responses to us. Exercises with horses teach us how to be agile, cohesive and goal oriented whilst working physically together as a team.
☀ LEARN HERD BEHAVIOURS OF LEADERSHIP FLEXIBILITY AND CONNECTED MINDSET
Successful organisations’ leaders and managers are able to step into each other’s roles and switch hats quickly with a positive mindset. Our group exercises based on the leadership model of the herd, teach you how to step into each others’ shoes depending on the situation, always engaging a connected mindset for the horse to come & to stay with you.
☀ PROFOUND LEARNING ALONGSIDE MEMORABLE TEAM EXPERIENCES
Offsite days are rare, and we understand the importance of combining business with personal growth and memorable experiences. Learning with horses is a lot of fun because you are outdoors, with gentle animals who like to play. Camaraderie is increased in participants, whilst profound learning takes place.
☀ STRESS REDUCTION AND RECOVERY
Because of their energetic nature and millennia of evolution, horses know how to activate the (parasympathetic) part of our nervous system which enables rest, healing and wellness. With them, we engage our parasympathetic nervous system too, releasing vast amounts of recovery hormones. This naturally reduces our stress levels when with horses.