Below are a selection of cases from our equine leadership development practice.

COO, family-owned business

Client challenge: Managing upwards to set and maintain expectations. Tendency to ”people please”

Learning process: Working through a series of exercises designed to clearly communicate boundaries

Insight and learning: Client learned how to recognise the emotions that precede a boundary being challenged, and thus learned how to be prepared. She developed the ability to not be over aggressive, butfine-tuneher response. The insight was finding the place and energy level in her body to create a boundary without rejecting. This skill was brought to the workplace, enabling her to say no in a gentle way, and more discerningly select work tasks.

Head of department, professional services firm

Client challenge: Ability to slow down and recognise signals from others to stop

Learning process: Engaging in exercises of starting and stopping the horse using body language and energy only.

Insight and learning: Despite an excellent ability to lead, build relationships and energise, the client was less able to stop and slow down. For this challenge, he worked to modulate own energy levels to stop and slow the horse. He also worked in close body contact with the horse (touch and grooming) to learn how to monitor and recognise subtle non-verbal cues from the horse that signal “stop” or “slow down”. This way, he was able to create an in-body memory of how to stop, recognising when the point of ”enough” is reached. This skill is highly useful in mastering his leadership style, and better manage the energy of his team and co-workers.

Senior executive, manufacturing company

Client challenge: Ability to build relationships and relate to others authentically

Learning process: Exercise to approach and build a relationship with a horse.

Insight and learning: Though able to ”go through the motions” of emotional intelligence, this business leader did not feel it ”came from the heart”. When the client approached, the horse kept moving away. This continued evasive response led the client to the realisation that it was his (unconsciously held) anger which caused this response. This enabled the client to reframe to a new mind-set which immediately created a change of response in the horse. This opened up for a more authentic way of relating with co-workers.

Senior partner, professional services company

Client challenge: Ability to “close” on deals, moving from friend to professional zone

Learning process: Exercise to approach and catch a horse with an “agenda” – i.e. a head collar

Insight and learning: This client had phenomenal ability to build relationship, as long as there was no agenda. The moment he moved to agenda –  in this case, catching the horse with a head collar – the relationship shifted, and the horse retreated, feeling the surge in nervous energy. Working through a series of mindset shifts and in-body emotional shifts, this client learned how to combine being “just friends” with making requests to progress into a work mode – and closing the deal whilst retaining friendship mode.