Effective leaders have well developed emotional intelligence. Numerous studies have shown a positive relationship between emotionally intelligent leadership and employee satisfaction, retention, and performance. As organizations become more aware of this, they are looking for ways to recruit and promote from within people that are strong in emotional intelligence.

Emotionally intelligent leadership has five key factors:

  1. Self-awareness
  2. Awareness of others
  3. Listening skills
  4. Awareness of emotional atmosphere
  5. Ability to anticipate reactions and respond effectively

Unlike classroom only courses and lectures, working with horses can develop these skills in a practical, hands on, experiential way. 

Why horses?

Horses are strong, large animals (although we work alongside small horses, they are the weight of a human and have all of the behaviours of a larger horse) and in our modern world they are no longer a part of our daily lives. Working with horses is therefore usually a novel experience and outside of most peoples day-to-day comfort zone. This creates a wonderful opportunity for experiential learning, an effective tool for personal and team growth and development.

As horses are social herd animals with distinct personalities, attitudes and moods, they can be playful, cooperative, stubborn and challenging, just like people! Horses can also mirror human behaviour and can be very effective for developing insights for leaders for their own leadership behaviour as well as their skills in working with individuals and teams.

Teams and groups will experience:

  • Individual and group awareness
  • Behaviours and attitudes
  • Accountability and responsibility
  • Relationship development
  • Verbal and non-verbal communication
  • Trust and respect
  • Problem solving

Format of the session

The format is designed around the specific requirements of your team.  A consultant will take a briefing understand the key requirements of your team. A typical one day experience working in our custom built facility may include:

– Readings and research

– The theory and practice of emotional intelligence in leadership
– Horse orientation and selection, refection Lunch at local pub

– The theory and practice of emotional intelligence in leadership
– Horse activities embedding and experiencing learning

Wrap up
– Post session team discussion


  • No horse riding is involved, experienced horse handlers will be assisting the facilitation
  • The session is delivered by at least two facilitators, one with leadership development and equine assisted learning experience and training and a horse facilitator with equine assisted learning experience and training
  • Development sessions are held in a rustic natural environment including outdoor activity so it can be a bit dirty and cold in winter (but we have a fire)!
  • Sessions are held in Hampton 2.5 hours west in Sydney and 30 minutes from Katoomba.  Transport can be arranged.
  • One on one coaching is available.