Inspiring leaders with horse-assisted training

Inspiring leaders with horse-assisted training
April 2019
How horses can help you to empower your team and become a better leader?
Tamás Kiss

Tamás Kiss Author

IT manager
IT manager

This learning by doing method is balancing experience based and cognitive learning. It's built on the ‘Gestalt-method’ which works with self-awareness through observations without any judgement.

This special training offers insights into self-awareness, effective communication and collaboration with a reflection on leadership skills, like no other learning experience.

Transformational leadership

Modern leaders need to make an impact and be able to manage change effectively. In order to navigate through challenges within a team and empower collaboration, leaders need transformational skills.

The horse-assisted training provides a unique approach that unleashes profound insights to deal with challenges, so you can improve teamwork and leadership skills at the same time.

"I didn't know what to expect as the whole concept of working with horses was so strange at the beginning. But I was looking for something different so I gave it a go," says Gary Corley, senior project manager at Evros, one of the top IT companies in Ireland.

He was assigned to lead a project with a new team in New-Zeland and didn't have much time to get ready, so he wanted something powerful to boost trust and ensure active collaboration right from the start.

"It turned out to be an extremely good day with lots of learning, fun and memorable experiences for all of us. Ever since we had this training there's a special 'bond' in my team."

Why horses?

Horses are herd animals with an extremely well developed social life and sophisticated communication abilities which makes them the perfect partners to work with and learn from.

The program is not about horse riding or horsemanship, therefore you won’t be sitting on a horse but interact with them from the ground. No previous experience with horses is necessary.

"They react in real time, in an honest way without second thoughts. Collaboration among horses is a matter of survival which means that they would only respond to powerful yet sensitive leaders who they trust," says Kieran Morrin experienced horse riding instructor and owner of the Country Cottage Stables where the training takes place.

This family-run yard is located close to Dublin and provides specially trained horses for these corporate training. The stable is surrounded by beautiful mountains and a spectacular view of Sugarloaf.

Collaboration in Action

Here you will find yourself in unknown situations where you can learn about your reactions and team dynamic. Questions and self-reflection will support participants to explore more about themselves, their perceptions, relationships and personal influence on others.

"This learning by doing method is balancing experience based and cognitive learning.

We are facilitating change through exercises with horses which inspire participants to find solutions in situations where they can’t rely on their usual routine," explains Marcell Szabó, a senior trainer and Professional Certified Coach, accredited by the International Coach Federation.

Szabó has over 10 years of professional experience in the business sector delivering leadership, collaboration, communication courses and more than 2000 hours of executive coaching.

"This unique programme is designed to address challenges related to business management and leadership. It provides an inspirational experience for leaders and teams, where you will walk away with tangible learning outcomes and feel re-energized", said Marcell Szabó, who has been working with numerous teams from multinational and medium-sized companies.

Many indoor courses are using fictive situations to encourage people to think outside the box.

Florence Irwin, Business Development Manager at SNP Communications is always eager to learn and attended many courses over the years. Despite her fear of horses, she joined a horse-assisted workshop focusing on collaboration within teams.

"I believe in life long learning, still after a while it's hard to find courses that would go beyond knowledge-transfer.

I got really excited when I learned more about this training and wanted to see for myself what makes this different.

I started to worry the day before the course about how I'm going to react and what could I possibly learn from horses? I have to admit that I had serious doubts but my curiosity won.

It was straight to the point, no fluff, just pure learning experience. One that I will remember and integrate into everyday work. It was months ago and I can still recall every element of the training.

Working with horses really emphasised the need for awareness, feedback and active communication in successful collaboration," Florence Irwin shared some of her experiences.


Tamás Kiss

Tamás Kiss Author

IT manager
IT manager