Horses have as many traits, personalities, attitudes and opinions as the humans they work with

They will constantly rate your interaction with them and give you instant feedback moment to moment.

They will respond best to a leader who can express themselves clearly, confidently and congruently.

So will you lead the horse or will they lead you?


“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way”.

John C. Maxwell

Let’s think about what sort of leaders there are.

There is the Dominant Leader, their team is usually afraid of speaking up or making suggestion for the dominant leader wants to be totally in charge. When a dominant leader tries to move a horse around an arena without any connection to the horse via a lunge line or a lead rope the horse will be afraid of him and would literally try to escape out of the arena.

There is an Inspirational Leader who has brilliant ideas but is so far ahead of the team that they tend to lose touch with their team and can totally lose touch with those back at base. When this sort of a leader tries to move a horse around the horse can be glad to follow and listen for a little bit but when the connection from horse to leader is lost the horse will just go back to being a horse and doing his own thing.

Then we have the Nurturing Leader. They are always checking back with their team to make sure that everything is OK with them and will often work with their team to get the job dome. However these leaders make little progress and often fall behind in innovation and even in getting the job done on time. With this sort of a leader the horse will likely stay close and enjoy their company for a while and then get bored and go back to being a horse and doing his own thing.

There is also the Leader who is a Predator. These are the ones who really don’t care about their team because they believe that there is always someone willing and available to take a castaways place. These leaders actually eat up their opposition. Horses will not respond to these leaders and the leaders in turn will have no time trying to interact with horses. A predator will probably turn the horse into some kind of zombie that might get the work done but it will be an unwilling and resentful interaction.

So what is the solution? Well according to the horses there is no solution to the Predator except run for your life!

But again for horses their idea of the best leader is a mix of the other three leader types. Someone who can get the job done, have some brilliant ideas and can keep the connection with them.

It’s truly amazing what you can accomplish if you know how to engage leadership, dominance, and companionship-related skills—without becoming abusive or indulgent. Understanding the differences between these ‘power tools,’ when to employ them, and how to combine them has been a revelation!” ~ Linda Kohanov

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.

John Quincy Adams