There are a fair number  of opportunities for those who’d like to explore the possibilities of enhancing their leadership skills with the help of horses. But, those who follow the world of equine-assisted team and leadership development paradigms might have asked themselves, at some stage, the simple yet all-important question : ‘Why horses?’
If so, they can find answers in a paper by Professor Janet W. Hagen, Ph.D., MBA (at the Department of Human Services and Professional Leadership at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, US) entitled: ‘An Equine-Assisted Model for Developing Effective Leadership’ (published in the John Ben Shepperd Journal of Practical Leadership, Spring, 2007) Here’s a partial extract:
“Horses are prey animals.
Their vision is sharp and their hearing is acute.
Their ears can swivel around to listen in all directions. Their ears also can move independently from each other which gives the horse the ability to attend to several stimuli at once. Horses have a large gut and long spinal cord which acts as part of their nervous system and which provides them with the ability to sense those things that may be unseen and unheard. As part of the herd, a horse is constantly giving out information about what they feel: anger, fear, fatigue, relaxation or submission. Unlike people, ‘horses don’t lie – they always tell the truth with their bodies. There is no separation between what a horse thinks and what its body says’ “
Here are some videos demonstrating horse ear swiveling dynamics.
Also don’t miss: Introducing a new concept – ‘Equitelligence’
Note: The illustration shows camels not horses. They may also be appropriate for executive leadership and team-building applications. Here are some articles that make progress towards answering the question ‘Why camels?’