Balanced Leadership Through Horsemanship

Written by Shawn Carlin

Here at Horse Empowered, I speak a lot about the connection between horsemanship and leadership.  The recognition of the connectedness between these two ideas is what truly hooked me forever into the equine world.  I didn’t grow up with horses and I have spent my entire working career in the corporate world. In my mid-twenties, I had hit rock bottom in my life.  But thankfully, I found horses. Fate intervened and introduced me to an owner of a small ranch in Colorado. It was his first lesson with me, that changed the course of my life and connected me with my calling to help people rediscover the best, most authentic version of themselves.    

Rather than immediately jump in the saddle and take a mindless, head-to-tail trail ride, instead I discovered the horse’s ability to teach me how to be a better person, a better leader.  Importantly, the horse showed me a way to heal and...

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In Horses We Trust

“The best moments are when you are alone with a horse, because that is where truth abides.”

- Allan J. Hamilton, Lead With Your Heart


I often speak to the correlation between horsemanship and leadership.  The inspiration for the Horse Empowered™ Programs was rooted in the discovery of what challenged me in my career and in my life were the same things that challenged me in my relationship with my horse.  Leadership is influence, in its simplest definition. Leadership and horsemanship are elegantly aligned because both require an awareness of how we influence the outcomes we desire.

 At the core of effective leadership and horsemanship is the concept of Trust.  Trust is foundational to the success of any relationship, including your horse.  When trust is high, relationships of all kinds can be fluid, built and sustained.  When trust is low, communication breaks down and relationships can be destroyed quickly.  In Stephen M.R....

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