Thursday, February 24, 2011

Ten Commandments of (Horse) Leadership: Part 1

Today I was in a meeting at work listening to a presentation about leadership skills.  As the speaker went through the ten commandments of leadership, I couldn't help but think about our leadership role with horses.  I know, bad bad girl.  Thinking about her horse during a work meeting.

#1: Make What Matters Really Matter
There were a number of bullet points under this heading that all pointed to what I call "walk the walk" or "lead by example" or even "actions speak louder than words."  Think about these ten specific behaviors that employees watch for in their leaders to determine what really matters -- and think about how your horse would interpret them.
  • What you pay attention to.  (Jackson's feet, how he uses his body, forwardness, balance)
  • What you talk about and emphasize. (forward, try, balance)
  • What you do; the example you set (hmmmm, correct posture, relax, focus, consistency)
  • What you expect and demand from your horse (effort, manners, "try")
  • How you spend your time (grooming, washing tail, grooming, washing tail, riding)
  • What you budget for and allocate resources to (eek!  no self control here.  tack, treats, etc)
  • What you measure and evaluate (keep a log of short term goals - i.e., balance, no bridle wars)
  • What you brag about (Jackson's try, his forward, his goofy fun factor)
  • What you reward (try)
  • What you enforce (forward, manners)
What really matters to all of you?


  1. Pretty interesting, how you can apply all that to your horse. Universal.

  2. Very interesting. I'd have a similar list to yours. Good to think about.

  3. I have the "eek!" factor too when it comes to my animals. I can exist on peanut butter and crackers when I have more month left than money, but the dogs and horse get cookies and treats and I have a hard time turning down tack and equipment for the horse. (He has newer clothes than I do ;o)

  4. Very interesting--on both levels. I've often thought that the qualities we work toward in our horse partnerships are the exact qualities we should want in our work partnerships, but this is a different angle. The majority of those questions would be answered by me--relationship. Except one--what I budget for and allocate resources to, but that would be answered, horses. All of our extra money goes to the care of our horses. And that's very funny that you were thinking about horses during that time. ;) I can sooooooo understand that!!!

  5. I'm glad you emphasize the importance of effort. Too many people look at what a horse does successfully, and not how hard he tries to please.


Thanks so much for commenting! I love the conversation.