Why Horses?

Amanda Madorno with two of the herd
I grew up with horses, yet, I did not consider what they had to teach me about my body language and general communications with my staff. Amanda's approach has taught me to stop, listen and pay attention to the little things that people are telling me non verbally. Amanda's workshop was presented in a very professional, yet relaxed environment. Worth the investment! - Terri Inglis, Executive Director, Homeward Pets
This training was actually about more than leadership at work. We all have an opportunity, in every aspects of our life, to be a leader and foster leadership in other people. This experience was an authentic life lesson for me. Asa Irwin, Major Gifts Officer, Friends of Youth
Thank you and your team for a fun, exciting, meaningful and most importantly enriching learning experience. Your team did an outstanding job with the leadership workshop. One of our executives rated it as one of the most memorable approaches to teaching leadership skills in his career at Lilly. Everyone had fun and thought it was a great experience. Amanda, we truly benefited from our participation in this workshop. - Cathy Allen, Lilly Marketing Institute, Lilly Customer Experience Center
Thank you for the incredible gift of your time, your horses, and your healing. The afternoon we spent together has been tremendously helpful to me and I want to learn more about horse medicine. You have a rare gift. I am thankful that you shared it with me and hope to see you sharing it with others. – Lynne Taddeo, Microsoft
The day was a special experience in how much horses have to teach us about ourselves as leaders. They are so perceptive and honest. The Epona Meadows herd showed me how being congruent in my spoken and unspoken language can bring me closer or farther away from my team and our goals. - Catherine Stehr, MA
Amanda is a very strong and direct coach and her connection between coaching leaders and using horses is powerful. The parallels with the horses are incredibly enlightening and more effective than a lot of the leadership training that I have previously experienced. - Neal Myrick, former Executive Director, Groundwire
I've been in Corporate America for several years, focusing on my own leadership competencies or helping other leaders develop theirs. I've never been exposed to such a creative, energizing, and authentic approach, not to mention your professionalism and passion! I appreciated the opportunity to see first hand how you are paving a new path in leadership development & team building. Just fabulous! - MaryJo Krutak
The key is staying focused on each step in the process. If you lose your focus as a leader, the horse mirrors that for you. They stop following you. Or they walk away from you. They sense your distraction or lack of commitment in that moment. The most significant learning for me was coming to understand that as a leader, I need to make and keep my commitment to each step in the process. - Asa Irwin, Friends of Youth
A team of people and a herd of horses have a lot in common. They both require strong leadership; clear, consistent communication; and a keen awareness of the needs and goals of the group.

Horses provide us with a dramatic view of how our leadership skills and team work measure up. Many employees have been socialized into hiding feelings and reactions in the work place, especially from their leaders. Horses will tell you in no uncertain terms how you’re affecting them — if you pay attention to the right signals. They hold up a mirror for those of us in leadership positions that we simply do not get from those who work with and for us.

Horses don’t care about titles or degrees, pay scales or professional status symbols. They have no hidden agendas. They respond to us in ways that are immediate, transparent, and honest. They can’t be bullied into partnership. They react in direct proportion to a person’s ability to lead. Horses are master coaches who can show us when we are:

  • Present or absent in conversation
  • Aligned in our walk and talk
  • Congruent with our bodies and feelings
  • Clear about our purpose and what we are asking
  • Pretending or judging

Horses can provide rich learning experiences to help leaders and work teams build a greater sense of cohesion, improve communications, and gain a deeper experience of ‘right relationship’ with others.